Tokyo Rig Vs Texas Rig: Bass Rigs Compared

Updated on:

Tokyo Rig Vs Texas Rig: Bass Rigs Compared

Updated on:

When it comes to bass fishing, there is no shortage of great setups to try. While many anglers love their tried and true Texas rig, a new rig that showed up on the scene in 2018 has been becoming much more popular over the years.  Looking somewhat similar to the Drop Shot rig, the Tokyo rig quickly rose to become one of the more popular fast-dropping rigs for bass anglers around the country.

The Tokyo rig and Texas rig are currently two extremely popular riggings when it comes to bass fishing. But is one better than the other? And should every bass angler that only fish with one rig switch to the other? We’ll take a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages each rig offers, and how you can use both of them at different times and in different situations to catch more fish.

Tokyo Rig vs Texas Rig: Advantages of Each 

Tokyo Rig

Pros

  • Keeps your soft plastic bait suspended above the bottom of the lake
  • The split ring in the center provides a full range of movement
  • Can be dropped into and pulled out of deep water dense vegetation easily
  • Allows for better hookups when hungry bass take your bait

Cons

  • Not for top water or midwater fishing

When to Use

Brand new anglers might find the Tokyo rig easier to setup and work with on whatever rod they might be using.

The Tokyo rig showed up in 2018 and quickly rose to the upper ranks of largemouth bass fishing riggings. Similar in design to a Drop Shot rig, the Tokyo rig consists of a drop shot style weight with a freely swimming bait above and behind it. Your braided line is attached to a barrel swivel that is connected almost directly to the extra-wide gap hook, and a few inches away from the low hanging weight which prevents a lot of snags in grass lines and rocks.

The Tokyo rig is excellent for fishing in deeper water, just as the Drop Shot rig is. The Tokyo rig will drop extremely fast and can get your soft bait or Tokyo rigged worm into position quickly. It’s also extremely versatile, so you can use a huge range of soft plastic baits, live baits, cut baits, creature baits,  paddle tail swimbaits, and much more. Whatever you have in your tackle box, are comfortable using, and have success with, you can use it on a Tokyo rig.

Once the Tokyo rig drops down to the bottom, the drop shot style weight will sink into the sand or mud but your soft plastic or creature bait will remain above it by a few inches. This gives bottom-dwelling bass a great opportunity to see and strike your soft plastic bait when they may have overlooked it otherwise.

Additionally, with the weight on the Tokyo rig being below the bait by a few inches, it’s excellent for sight fishing. You can use the Tokyo rig as a yo-yo, popper or as a swimmer. If your local population of bass reacts better to a certain technique, the Tokyo rig is versatile enough to be used in that way.

Casting into tight areas around lily pads and other floating vegetation is also possible with the Tokyo rig due to its fast drop. If you’re trying to get your bait into a narrow thicket at the edge of a weed bank and deliver that bait down to the bottom level of the water column, the Tokyo rig can get it done.

See also: Tokyo Rig vs Drop Shot Rig for bass

Many other setups, such as the standard Texas rig, will drop slowly, or carry your soft plastic craw (click here to buy the best one) or other bait down at a gliding angle which can lead to snags and entanglement when trying to get a precise cast. But the Tokyo rig will drop at a true vertical angle eliminating the risk for your soft plastic presentation straying outside of your chosen strike zones.

If that wasn’t enough, the lower placement of the weight also helps imitate foraging baitfish which largemouth bass will go crazy for. Since it stirs up muck and silt every time you pop and wiggle it, bass feeding in the area might think your bait is a clueless meal foraging in the mud. 

Texas Rig

Pros 

  • Drops with a glide to give midwater fish a chance to notice it
  • Can be used successfully as a traditional punch rig in heavy vegetation
  • Versatile enough for a wide variety of baits or lures

Cons

  • Does not drop straight into the lower levels which can cause hook snags
  • Fish may bite sinker causing poor hook set or popping their mouth open

When to Use

Texas Rig Feature Image
The Texas rig can be a very fast rig to use, which makes it great for use in the shallow water during the fall.

The Texas rig is an excellent option to use during the spawning season when you need to get your bait down into the thick cover and entice those big breeding size fish to reaction strike. It’s not the most effective choice as a fish finding rig, but if you happen to know the location of a few big bass, you can toss the Texas rig right into their strike zone among the matted weeds and wiggle it around a bit to get a response.

The Texas rig can be a very fast rig to use, which makes it great for use in the shallow water during the fall. When big fish are cruising along the rocky bottom looking for a meal and aren’t afraid to exert a bit of energy to chase it down, zipping your bait or lure in and out of the area can get lots of attention from the hungry fish due to the natural presentation you are offering.

See also: Ned Rig vs Shaky Head Rig for bass

The Texas rig is also versatile enough to work perfectly when things need to slow down. Toss it into the cold water when fish are sluggish and inactive and deliver an easy meal right into their mouth. You can stick with a robust creature bait, or move into a finesse worm for more targeted applications, and slowly hop it around to get more bass to notice it and grab your hook.

Don’t be afraid to go to your favorite fishing spots and fish in heavy vegetation areas with your Texas rig either. It’s a highly effective rigging when it comes to punching through vegetation and weed beds and can get your baits through some heavy grass as well. For the best heavy cover fishing, try using more streamlined baits such as soft plastic worms (these Gary Yamamoto ones are a great choice)  or flipping tubes.

Final Thoughts on Tokyo Rigs vs Texas Rigs

Both rigging options have been extremely popular in the bass fishing world for quite some time, and show no signs of slowing down now. Many anglers have made the switch from the Texas rig to the Tokyo rig and haven’t looked back, while others are more reluctant to choose one over the other.

Brand new anglers might find the Tokyo rig easier to setup and work with on whatever rod they might be using, but the Texas rig and its very similar counterpart the Carolina rig are both also extremely easy to work with and don’t require any special rod or movement skills either.

See also: Wacky Rig vs Texas for successful bass fishing

Both options can be highly successful for any angler when it comes to catching bass, and both are a great way to practice flipping and pitching to get more action from fish in the area.

Both the Tokyo rig and the Texas rig are also pretty forgiving when it comes to technique. If you make a few mistakes, you probably won’t ruin an entire cast during your fishing trip. While they can both be mostly hands-off bass fishing rigging, beginners and experts alike would do well to add a little action on their rod tip when fishing with either rig.

Regardless of your choice, both the Texas rig and the Tokyo rig can catch bass throughout the year. Don’t be afraid to change up the components a bit, such as the bait or the weight length, in order to find a fishing technique that works well and feels comfortable for you.

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AUTHOR
Jeff Knapp is an expert fisherman, guide and outdoor writer whose work is widely published across a range of sites including Tackle Village.