Wacky Rig Vs Texas Rig: Bass Rigs Compared

Updated on:

Wacky Rig Vs Texas Rig: Bass Rigs Compared

Updated on:

If you’ve spent any amount of time around bass fishing anglers or read even a single sentence about bass fishing setups, you have no doubt heard of the Texas rig.

This bass fishing rig has been a staple in bass fishing since the beginning and is still extremely popular today. It has probably caught more bass than most other setups combined and can be used with a weight or weightless depending on what you prefer.

The T rig is a great way to catch fish that hang out in thick vegetation and heavy fishing cover since a Texas rigged hook is specifically made to be mostly weedless and snag free. It’s great for getting your bait into and out of hides, thick cover, weed beds, tree roots, and more when you want to land those bigger fish that might be lurking.

See also: Tokyo Rig vs Drop Shot Rig for Bass

However, you may have also heard of countless other setups when it comes to bass fishing. These may include the Carolina rig, the Tokyo rig, the Drop Shot rig, the Fish Finder rig, and even the Wacky rigged Senko worm. 

The Wacky rig is not necessarily as old or well known as the Texas rig, depending on who you ask, but many bass anglers swear their Senko wacky worm (click to get one here) technique catches more fish on a regular basis than any other rig available.

The Senko Wacky style is not a good choice for fishing in heavy vegetation, but if you are fishing for bass in open water areas or targeting timid bass in the fall at the edge of a weed line, the Senko Wacky rigged presentation can help you get more bites on the hook and land some trophy bass fish in very little time.

One thing that doesn’t change in the world of bass fishing is that bass fish love to eat worms. You can toss a robust 6 inch worm into the water and find a hungry bass that will not hesitate to grab it. The benefit to throwing Wacky setups and Texas setups is that you can run long stick worms on each setup with great success.

Wacky Rig vs Texas Rig: Advantages of Each 

Wacky Rig

Pros

  • The Wacky allows for a very natural movement of your favorite bait or lure
  • Can get almost guaranteed strikes from timid, suspicious or inactive fish

Cons

  • A Wacky rigged presentation can be complex to set up correctly
  • Can require multiple Senko type baits throughout the day
  • Wacky is not a beginner friendly rig, though very fun to learn 
  • Prone to getting caught in weeds and heavy vegetation
XFishman Wacky Rig Kit with Senkos, Weights, Hooks, O-Rings and Applicator
XFishman Wacky Rig Kit with Senkos, Weights, Hooks, O-Rings and Applicator
XFishman Wacky Rig Kit with Senkos, Weights, Hooks, O-Rings and Applicator
Our Score
  • Contains 30 worms in five best selling colors and two sizes.
  • Includes Senko baits, weights, hooks, beads, and O-Wacky Tool
  • Great value  and high quality Wacky Rigging gear.

When to Use

The Senko Wacky can be best used for fishing bass in open water areas or targeting timid bass in the fall at the edge of a weed line.

Bass anglers will probably reach for a Senko Wacky rig if they are not having much success on another rigging. One of the biggest and most noticeable benefits of using a Senko Wacky style rig is that you are getting a full range of movement from both ends of your Senko soft plastic worm. This double-ended wiggling motion is almost guaranteed to catch bass when other rigging falls short.

Most bass anglers will only run Senkos or long artificial worms on their Wacky rig, so it can be somewhat limited when it comes to versatility on soft plastic baits. However, the results usually speak for themselves. Toss a Senko Wacky rigged worm into the water around fish and you are almost guaranteed to get bites, even from the more timid or suspicious fish that like to study your bait, lure, or hooks from the safety of their cover (these Gary Yamamoto Senkos are a great choice).

The biggest downside to a Wacky rig, however, is the exposed hook. Many other rig styles will keep the hook tip hidden inside your soft plastic bait so you don’t get those hooks snagged or caught on vegetation or rocks. Unfortunately, a Senko Wacky rig hook is fully exposed.

Another downside is that in some cases you will go through a lot of Senko Wacky rigged rubber worms when fishing open water. Depending on how aggressive the fish is when it strikes, you may be replacing the worm after every fish you hook. 

See also: Ned Rig vs Shakey Head Rig for Bass

However, a quick fix for this can be to use a rubber O-ring to attach your Senkos worm to the underside of the hook. This O-ring belt-like securing fashion can get the bass on the hook instead of on your Senkos worm which means you can reuse your Senkos multiple times before needing to replace it. Placing the O-ring is simple and well worth the extra minute or two it takes so you save money on replacing your Senko Wacky worms. (here are some all-in-one kits that have Senko worms, an applicator and the O-Rings.

If you’re fishing in heavy cover areas, or there is long grass reaching up into the water column, you might prefer to run a Texas rig instead of the Wacky, either weighted or weightless, to see if it gives better results than the Wacky for your chosen baits. 

Texas Rig

Pros 

  • Quick and simple to set up, great for beginners to use
  • Outstanding option for fishing in heavy vegetation, the fall or winter
  • Really shines in shallow water, but can also be used in deeper water
  • Can be fished weighted or weightless depending on your preference
  • Versatile enough to use with different baits, different hooks, and more

Cons

  • Can fall a bit short when offering a true natural looking movement
  • Might take some time to get reluctant fish to strike your bait
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

For beginners, the T rig can be a great rigging to start with because it is not overly complex to set up.

The Texas rigging, or T rig, is probably one of the most popular and well-known bass fishing rigging around. T rigged presentations are extremely common for casual weekend fishing as well as tournament use. The T rig has been adjusted and tweaked in countless ways to suit individual anglers, and still offers a wide range of success when it comes to catching more fish.

You can even fish with Texas rigged Senko worms to get a mix of both rigging. And you can decide if you want to run with tungsten weights or go weightless with a finesse worm (click here to buy a good one) to specifically target that one bass in clear water that keeps eluding you!

See also: Fish Finder Rig vs Carolina Rig for Bass Fishing

The Texas rig really shines when it’s being used in heavy vegetation and heavy cover areas. With a T rigged fishing technique, you can easily punch through vegetation without issue and very rarely get your rigged Texas wacky worm snagged. You can run a T rig across the bottom in grassy areas or rocky areas and not have a single issue with your hook point getting snagged. Or drop your Texas rigged presentation into tight thickets where big bass are holed up for spawning or seasonal changes.

For beginners, the T rig can be a great rigging to start with. It’s not overly complex to set up and can be very forgiving if you are still learning the best way to handle your rod and drop your bait down into the strike area. It’s also versatile enough to be used for quick swim baiting, or can be taken slow and steady with some hopping and popping around overhanging cover, docks or tall grass.

Texas rigged fishing is probably the rig most fishermen started with, whether they realize it or not. Wacky rigging can get results when other rigging falls short, but many fishermen will swear by the T rig for reliable casting, a slower drop speed, and the versatility it offers when it comes to different fishing techniques.

Final Thoughts on Wacky Rigging vs Texas Rigs

Both rigs are perfectly able to catch fish throughout the year. However, the Texas rig might end up being a better choice when fishing around heavy vegetation. The Wacky rig, on the other hand, can definitely hold its own when fished with Senkos in open water or in areas where big bass and other fish are very suspicious of new bait that gets tossed into the water.

In the end, it will come down to the personal preference of the bass angler themselves. Do you want to take the risk of getting snagged on vegetation and use a Wacky rig with a Senko worm on your hook for the almost guaranteed bass strikes? Or do you want to take it a bit slower, but be able to power through pretty much any weeds or grass in your way, while still getting bass to take notice even though it may take a bit longer?

Whether you are a beginning bass angler just learning about the vast number of different fishing setups, or you are an old bass fishing pro comparing catch numbers with your boat partner, using the Texas rig over the Wacky rig will come down to what you personally hope to get out of your boat fishing trip.

While you are somewhat locked into the type of bait you can use with a Wacky rig, the Texas rig offers a range of options for you to try, including the Senko baits. If one bait style isn’t working out with your local bass, don’t be afraid to switch to something else and see if you have more action.

What works great in the spring might not work as well in the fall, and what gives great results with smallmouth may not get any bites from largemouth.

It’s impossible to say you should use one rig over the other since both offer their own range of pros and cons. It’s extremely important that each angler take some time to try out the different rigging themselves before making a choice.

Toss the rig in the water, take some time to learn how to move it around and finesse it. Place it in front of the fish directly in that strike zone and see if they bite, or toss it a little further out and see how quick it can draw fish in. The results may surprise 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.