How to Rig a Tubebait Weedless: The Stupid Rig

Tubebaits and hollow tube jigs can be a frustrating bait to fish with. Not only do they often get hung up on the hook point, but fishing tubes can get …

Tubebaits and hollow tube jigs can be a frustrating bait to fish with. Not only do they often get hung up on the hook point, but fishing tubes can get tangled in their own tentacles if not rigged properly. If you love fishing with tube jigs but want a better option, it’s time to consider the Stupid rig for your tubebait weedless bass fishing.

Not only will you get a secure presentation catching bass in the area, but you’ll also have fewer hangups and less tangling of the tube itself. If that wasn’t enough, the Stupid rig ensures the tube body gives off a natural look and helps make nearby smallmouth bass and another fish strike with speed and aggression.

The Stupid Rig Explained

Even though it might be called the Stupid rig, using this to catch more bass is a smart choice. It’s specifically made to offer your bass fishing tubes in a natural and realistic way, so fish not only take notice quickly but strike without inspecting the lure or shying away from it.

In addition to offering a very natural action, another of the biggest benefits to the Stupid rig is that it offers a completely weedless presentation. You won’t run into any issues fishing in weed beds, tall grasses, or other areas where exposed hooks get snagged.

While there are a variety of different lengths of bass tubes you can use, try to find the softest plastic available. This makes getting successful hookups easier without having to put much pressure on the rod tip when you feel a bite.

If you are an angler that loves fishing tubes in heavy cover, around exposed roots, along rocky outcroppings, or in areas where underwater vegetation, debris, and structures can cause an issue with exposed hooks, the Stupid rig can be a great option to try.

Stupid Rig Essentials

EWG Jig Head

Using the right tube jig head makes your Stupid rig that much better. Jig heads on the small size (such as the Zman Finesse model) are great since you will be using hollow body baits. Most anglers will use and recommend ⅛ ounce or smaller tube heads to give your hollow tube a natural look and allow for realistic movements.

Favorite Tube Bait

Finding the right soft plastic tube bait is a personal choice. Many anglers opt for the Strike King brand of tubes around the 3-4 inch size, but any brand can perform just as well. If you are selective about using colored baits, consider trying green pumpkin or smoke colored tubes to get the contrast you need in most water types.

How to Tie the Stupid Rig

Step 1

Holding your tube bait in one hand, slowly place the hook point of your jig head into the hole in the center of the tentacles. Continue sliding the jig head into the tubebait until the hook is threaded all the way through.

Step 2

Since the tubes are hollow, you want to keep pushing the hook through the center until the jig head is against the inside wall of the head of the tube. This provides security for your hook and the proper weight to give your bait the realistic movements you are looking for. The goal is to have your hook point completely hidden within the tube bait, making it entirely weedless.

Step 3

Once the hook has been inserted, rotate the jig head so the line tie pushes through the soft plastic. You’ll have your hook point sticking through one side so the point is towards the center of the tube,, and the line tie sticking out the opposite side. This gives you a suitable place to run your line so that the tube moves and shakes naturally in the water.

Step 4

Once the tubebait is secured to the lead head, rig the jig as you normally would. This can be to a Texas rig style setup, or a Drop Shot which is becoming more popular with some bass fishing enthusiasts.
Don’t be afraid to take time to ensure the proper adjustment of your tube and hook. The right jig head position and straight tube body will get a higher percentage of successful hook ups. One thing to note is that since the hook point is hidden within the hollow body of the tube, you will have to put a bit more effort in securing a hookup when a bass nibbles on the bait.

Fishing with a Stupid Rig

Where to Throw It

Many anglers love throwing their tube baits around pylons, docks, and other large cover structures . You want to target fish where they hide out during the days or nights, and undercover is a very common feeding area for big bass. 

Since your hook point will normally be hidden inside the tube, it can act as a weedless presentation and is great for tossing in and around weed beds or long grasses. When you rig a tube, you can either opt to have the hook point exposed or hidden inside the tube. Most anglers will keep their hook inside the tube and just put a bit more effort when jerking the rod to get a successful hook.

How to Retrieve It

When working your tube on a Texas rig or other successful rig type, many anglers swear by two main retrieve methods. Most will cast the tube out far, then let it fall to the bottom before hopping it a few times.

After this, they let it rest again for several seconds then repeat the process. This quick but random movement draws the attention of nearby fish and gets them interested in what you are offering. Smallmouth bass are especially curious about these hop-and-go movements.

Another very common way is to slowly drag the bait across the bottom of the open water. You will have to judge the best speed depending on your particular fishing area and what the largemouth and smallmouth bass seem to like, so don’t be afraid to try out different speeds.

Sometimes a slow drag with little to no hops or quick pull action is one of the best retrieves you can go for with this style of lure, especially if you are fishing in areas where crayfish are a prime prey item.

Other Stupid Rig Tips

When fishing with a Stupid rig, always be sure you are using a good spinning reel and rod combination. Typically a 7-foot or longer medium heavy rod is paired up with a casting reel that has extra smooth motion and a medium to heavy weight.

Using a 15-20 pound braided line is common for your main, while many anglers will opt for a lighter 6-pound fluorocarbon line as their leader. This gives a good combination of invisibility and sensitivity without leaving too much stretch or spring in the line after getting a fish on the hook.

Since tube bait fishing is considered a finesse technique, it’s not uncommon to see anglers making extremely long casts and working it slowly back to the boat across the bottom of the lake. More times than not, this slower retrieve method can get the most attention from nearby largemouth bass and other fish.

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Jeff Knapp is an expert fisherman, guide and outdoor writer whose work is widely published across a range of sites including Tackle Village. Jeff is based in Pennsylvania and loves exploring the waterways of that state in pursuit of smallmouth bass, largemouth, panfish and trout.
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