Shaky Head Vs Texas Rig: Which Is Best For Bass Fishing

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Texas Rig vs Shaky Head Rig

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For both new and experienced bass anglers looking to get ahead of the competition, considering different styles of rigging may be something you want to do. There are countless bass rig options on the market, with more being created on a regular basis. 

When it comes to fishing for bass, some bass anglers might want to compare the common traditional Texas rig, also known as the T rig, with the Shaky Head rig to see which can deliver better results throughout the year. Many anglers swear by the T rig being the go-to rig for landing big bass with a worm during all seasons and through their spawning season, while other anglers say you will get the best results with a worm from the Shaky Head, especially if you love to fish finesse worms or other baits on your line.

This article aims to take a closer look at each rig independently and see where the T-rig might do better than the shakey head. You may find that sticking with the tried and true T rigged worm is right for you, or you may learn that you love to fish a shaky head and can get results better than you have ever had.

You may also find that switching between the two rigging will give you the best results on a single bass angling trip, or when changing up tactics during different seasons or certain situations. You might prefer one in deep water and the other in shallow water. Regardless of your ideas or decisions to get a catch, let’s dive in and get a closer look at each difference in the two.

Shaky Head vs Texas Rig Advantages of Each 

Shaky Head Rig

Shaky head with worm attached drawing
The Shaky Head with a finesse worm is a better option for open bottoms that are not muddy, have a decent amount of rocks or sand.


  • Extremely easy to rig yourself with a variety of baits and lures
  • Outstanding for getting bottom dwellers to start biting in open water
  • Bait or lure stays stationary in the lake while providing a lot of shake and wiggle action
  • Can get a big bite from even the most hesitant fish where other rigging can’t


  • Much more prone to sinking into mud and muck at the bottom of the lake
  • Very easy to snag onto branches or sunken brush around your favorite lake
Reaction Tackle Shaky Head Black 1/2.
Reaction Tackle Shaky Head Black 1/2.
Reaction Tackle Shaky Head Black 1/2.
Our Score
  • Five pack of high quality jig heads
  • Tungsten weights for fast sinking and extra feel
  • Super strong professional grade hooks

When to Use

If you’re often searching for big bass around docks or rock outcroppings, as well as other hard bottom contact areas, a Shaky Head worm is the best choice to consider. While this mid-weight rig won’t do well in heavy vegetation, you might guess that it can skip a creature bait across hard and rocky bottoms easily simply due to its design.

For shallow skipping with a shaky head jig, your best option would be to use a 1/16 ounce jig head on your rig, but for deeper skips you can go with a ⅛ ounce jig head for the best action. A slow fall on the head helps keep your bait in the full view of nearby bass and makes it much more noticeable for other basses that may be passing by.

In fact, if you rig it properly with a small soft plastic bait, the mid weight head action will mimic a small bottom darter zipping through the rocks which can elicit an aggressive feeding response from monster-sized bass hiding in the shadows of your favorite lake.

When bass fish are not responding to other presentations, many anglers swear by the Shaky Head being able to finesse a worm in such a way that even reluctant or timid fish will strike. One of the biggest differences between the Shaky Head and a Texas rig, is that the bait, spoon or jig head will suspend a bit above the bottom giving big fish an easier strike zone.

If you’re targeting fish with a light line around the docks and staying around rocky outcroppings, the best color of bait or lure to use in clear water is green pumpkin. This shade on the head or body of your bait can closely match the color of small baitfish and bluegills that also congregate around dock pylons and other underwater structures. 

You can also opt to use a head or body color of chartreuse or shades of brown if crayfish are common in the area, though for dawn angling and when dropping your line in muddy water, you might get the best results from a worm that is in purple or shades of iridescent blues.

Texas Rig

Texas Rig Feature Image
Use texas rig on your next fishing trip if you love shaking your worms around for bass in heavy cover, long grass, or thick weeds.


  • Very common rig to make yourself or purchase commercially
  • Amazing for bass angling in high vegetation areas or spots with long grass
  • Very snag-resistant shape regardless of the worm or bait presentation or hook size used
  • Very easy to punch through vegetation when targeting fish in their nesting grounds
  • Extremely responsive on the rod tip to give you full control over lure movement 


  • Bait is always presented on the bottom which misses midwater fish
  • Can be hopped and danced, but bait will hang below the rig
THKFISH Texas and Carolina Rig Kit (360 pieces)
THKFISH Texas and Carolina Rig Kit (360 pieces)
THKFISH Texas and Carolina Rig Kit (360 pieces)
Our Score
  • All the gear needed to create effective Texas and Carolina Rigs for bass
  • Includes bullet weights, beads, swivels, hooks and more
  • High quality and great value

When to Use

The Texas rig is probably one of the most common rigging next to the Carolina rig when it comes to targeting big catfish or bass, and it’s decent for long casts with a good sized worm. Many anglers, both new and old, will start their bass fishing or rigging journeys with the Texas rig by drop shotting or standard rod dancing with variable weight on the end.

It’s extremely simple to set up your own Texas rig from scratch with a finesse worm or other soft plastic of your choice, but you can also find them already rigged and ready to go from a wide range of retailers. You’ll be able to select the weight you want, or run weightless if that is your choice. Most anglers will go with at least some weight on their T rig to help it take your worm to the bottom quickly.

Bass love hiding around vegetation such as tall grasses, weed beds, sunken wood, and different sized rocks waiting for your finesse worm or other bait to come into view. Getting a fishing rig into and out of those areas can be easier said than done in some cases. However, the Texas rig is extremely snag-resistant and great for visual fishing in and among heavy vegetation and other heavy cover areas at depth. 

Since the hook end is normally covered by your bait, you can punch through vegetation without risking snagging or entanglement like you would with other rigs. This is probably one of the biggest benefits to fishing with a Texas rig technique.

During the summer, when plants are growing steadily, you can throw it into heavily covered areas with thick vegetation, shake it around for several minutes, and still be able to offer a weed-free presentation to fish in the area. This will definitely entice a fish to bite and can help you catch that next trophy bass.

You’ll also be able to present soft plastics in a way that targets bottom dwelling or lazy bass under the dock. In fact, the Texas rig is probably one of the better known bottom rigs for bass and catfish. Let your rig slowly drop through the water in a gentle gliding motion and start shaking the lure around in your preferred way. Over time, even inactive deeper water fish will take notice of this shaking technique and inspect what worms or other bait you are offering.

Another big benefit to using a Texas rig is that you won’t need any special or expensive gear or tackle to get success when using it. In fact, this is an extremely beginner friendly rig as it can be used with almost any medium-light rod, almost any style of hook, and a massive range of soft plastic worms, general baits or creature baits.

Final Thoughts on Shaky Heads vs Texas Rigs

After taking a more detailed look at both rights, you may have noticed that both rigs have their pros and cons but each has a distinct difference too. They are each better suited for different areas and styles of fishing. Ultimately, if you are not changing up your fishing location often, you can generally pick either rig you are most comfortable with using and stick with it.

If you love shaking your worms around for bass in heavy cover, long grass, or thick weeds – the Texas rig is probably one of the unrivaled rigging to consider on your next fishing trip. It’s very snag resistant and easy to move through heavy vegetation due to its hidden hook. It can also be fished through vegetation with ease since the hook point being hidden in your soft plastics.

For open bottoms that are not muddy or covered in sludge, have a decent amount of rocks, or a healthy amount of sand, the Shaky Head with a finesse worm is a better option. While the shaky head doesn’t do as well around long grass or other vegetation since it can be prone to snagging in vegetation, so you may want to avoid using it in these areas. But it’s excellent at getting a strike from timid or inactive fish when other rigs just can’t get the fish excited.

Regardless of which you decide to use, they both offer a fair bit of versatility when it comes to the hook, worms, line, rod and other gear you can use. In fact, neither one requires any special equipment to get success from which makes them very easy for beginners to pick up and start on their journey to enjoying the hobby.

If you aren’t in love with either the Shaky head or the Texas, you can always try you hand with a Carolina rigging or a Drop Shot. Both the Drop Shot and Carolina rigs help take the guess work out of landing a good sized fish. Select your worm, go for the heaviest or lightest weight depending on your preferences, and watch that fish latch onto your worm quickly!

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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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