The Wacky Rig: How to Rig and Fish Guide

The Wacky Rig: How to Rig and Fish Guide

Spring is the perfect time for bass fishing, and there’s one particular bait and rig that’s synonymous with this season, the wacky rig soft stick bait. The wacky-rigged Senko, in particular, is hard to beat when the bass is shallow and looking to spawn.

But it’s not just the quantity of bass that a wacky rig can produce in the spring; it’s also the quality. Some of the biggest catches in my experience have come on wacky rigged Senkos and other stick baits. And in tournaments, some of the biggest basses have been caught on wacky rigged stick baits. It’s a big fish catcher this time of year, and it just works.

So, if you’re planning a springtime bass fishing trip, be sure to bring along some wacky rigged soft stick baits. They’re easy to rig and can produce some of the best fishing of the season. Here you can also get an idea about The Carolina Rig, The Drop Shot Rig, and The Texas Rig.

How to Rig a Wacky Rig

The Wacky Rig How to Rig and Fish Guide

The key to a successful wacky rig is to ensure that the bait stays on the hook, even during the fight with the fish. While you could simply tie a wacky hook on your line and run it through the middle of the bait, this approach may result in losing the bait after a few catches. Here’s how to rig a wacky rig to save money and increase your chances of success:

Get an O-ring

To start, you’ll need an O-ring, a hook, and your favorite soft stick bait. You can use a tool to get the O-ring on the appeal, such as a pair of spreader pliers or a cylinder tube made to slide the O-ring on one end and the trick into the opening on one end. Both ways are shown in the images below. Some anglers may use big split rings, but these tend to cut through the bait more quickly

Slide the O-ring onto the bait

Use the tool of your choice to slide the O-ring onto the bait, centering it on the bait’s body.

Insert the hook through the O-ring

Run the hook through the O-ring and position it in the middle of the bait. Make sure the hook is not exposed, as this may cause the bait to come off the hook too quickly.

Cast and fish

With your wacky rig now properly set up, you’re ready to cast and fish. The wacky rig is a simple rig to fish, and it’s highly effective at catching bass, crappie, and panfish, especially in the spring when fish are shallow and looking to spawn.

By using an O-ring and proper rigging technique, you can maximize the lifespan of your soft stick baits and avoid losing them to aggressive fish or during the fight.

Wacky Rig Setup

The Wacky Rig

When fishing with a wacky rig senko on baitcasting gear, I find that using a lighter medium action rod between 6 feet, 10 inches to 7 feet with 12-pound fluorocarbon line results in a natural bait fall and enables me to set a good hook with ease.

By simply reeling and pulling, the fish are caught effectively. To prevent the wacky rig senko from going too deep, it’s important to have a sensitive rod and keep an eye on the line. Alternatively, some anglers prefer to use a spinning rod and reel with a medium action, braided line, and a fluorocarbon leader, or even just straight 8-pound fluorocarbon.

Using a spinning rod allows for easier skipping under trees and docks and quiet casting, making it ideal for covering water precisely around potential fish-holding areas.

Wacky Rig Weights

Fishing with Wacky Rigs has never been more exciting! With the addition of small cylinder or teardrop weights that clip onto the hook bend, you can take your Wacky rig fishing to the next level.

These weights help your bait to drop horizontally, causing it to shimmy and flap enticingly on the way down. Alternatively, using a weighted Wacky jighead, also known as a Flick Shake head, makes it even easier to fish Wacky rigs deeper and faster.

The weedless option is also available, with hooks featuring built-in weed guards that will keep your rig free in most situations. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or just starting out, adding weights to your Wacky rig setup is sure to help you catch more fish and have a blast doing it!

Weedless Wacky Rig

Get ready to take your Wacky rig fishing to the next level with a weedless option! Hooks with built-in weed guards work exceptionally well, keeping your rig free from snags and allowing for a more efficient and enjoyable fishing experience.

While some anglers insert the point of small circular Wacky hooks into the plastic, this can result in less effective hooksets. Choosing a weedless Wacky rig with built-in weed guards ensures your rig stays clean and snag-free in most situations, giving you the freedom to fish where the fish are without worry. Try out a weedless Wacky rig and see how it can take your fishing game to new heights!

Wacky Rig Hooks

When it comes to Wacky rig fishing, the right hook can make all the difference. Traditional circular hooks are a popular choice, allowing for an easy and effective hookset. But for those looking for even more versatility and options.

There are several specialty hooks available for Wacky rigging. Octopus hooks with offset bends are a popular choice, as hooks with weed guards are built in for a weedless setup. Some anglers even opt for drop shot hooks, which can be use with a split shot weight to add some extra weight and drop the bait down deeper.

Whatever hook you choose, make sure it’s appropriate for the size of bait you’re using and matches the conditions you’ll be fishing in. With the right hook, you’ll be sure to land that big one in no time!

Components of the Wacky Rig

The Wacky Rig has two basic components: a hook and a soft plastic lure. Let’s take a closer look at each component.

  • Hook: The hook used for the Wacky Rig is a standard worm hook, but it is inserted through the center of the bait instead of the head. This allows the bait to move more freely in the water and gives it a more natural presentation.
  • Soft Plastic Lure: The soft plastic lure used for the Wacky Rig is typically a stick bait or a finesse worm. These baits are design to mimic the natural movement of worms or other prey in the water.

How to Fish the Wacky Rig

  1. Cast the rig into the water and let it sink to the desired depth.
  2. Use a slow, steady retrieve, twitching the bait occasionally to give it a more lifelike appearance.
  3. Pay close attention to your line for any movement or twitches. Reel in the slack when you feel a bite and set the hook.
  4. Continue to fish the Wacky Rig in the same way until you have caught your limit or decide to try a different technique.

The depth at which you should fish the Rig will depend on the species of fish you are targeting and the conditions in which you are fishing. A good rule of thumb is to fish the rig at or near the bottom, where many species of fish feed.

The best soft plastic lure to use for the Wacky Rig is a stick bait or finesse worm. These baits are design to move naturally in the water and can be rigged easily on a worm hook.

The best size hook to use for the Wacky Rigs will depend on the size of the bait you are using and also the size of the fish you are targeting. In general, a size 1 or 2 worm hook works well for most situations.


The Wacky Rig is a simple yet effective fishing technique that can be used to catch a wide variety of fish in different conditions. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can rig and fish the Wacky Rigs like a pro. Experiment with different baits and depths to find what works best for you, and don’t be afraid to try this rig in both freshwater and saltwater.

Joshua Collier
"Joshua Collier is an experienced angler and writer based in Florida. With over 10 years of experience fishing in freshwater and saltwater environments, Joshua has become an expert on everything from fly fishing for trout to trolling for marlin.