Three Bass Rigs You Really Ought to Know

Floating, Carolina and Texas - Bass Fishing Rigging

Many of today's anglers all to often seem to have the enthusiasm to get themselves all psych'd up for that big day of fishing only to find themselves coming in at the end of the day with only one or two bass caught.

They will spend the day, usually casting, re-rigging, running, loosing lures, etc., but most of all getting frustrated because the fish aren't cooperating.

"Sound Familiar?"

I, surely know this feeling and I'm sure that any angler reading this article has had the same feeling at some point and time. Now, don't feel bad if this does happen to you, because you are definitely not alone, there are probably millions of other anglers out there that this same problem happens to! But, there are a few tricks of the trade that you can use to help remedy this problem... at least a few that work for me.

I found that on certain days when the bass don't seem to cooperate, I usually will put my action baits away and pull out the "last resort rigs"

These three rigs are probably the most successful patterns for catching bass (largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass). They can be used just about anywhere and anytime.

Now, some anglers may ask; "Why would I use all three of these rigs?" and the answer is really quite simple. It's like using tools of the trade! A carpenter wouldn't use a hammer to back out a screw, nor would he or she use a screw driver to pound nails (Well, at least most of them wouldn't! The same goes with bass fishing, an angler should have the right tools of the trade to do a specific job!


First, let's talk about the Texas-rig This rig was the first plastic bait rig that was used by most of the anglers when the sport of bass fishing really got started decades ago! It is a simple rig to set up, and has produced more bass catches than any other artificial baits ever used, even today!

To rig a Texas-rig you will need line, a hook and a sinker. That's It!

First, you put your sinker (usually a "bullet shaped slip sinker") onto the line with the smaller point of the weight going on first or facing up. Then tie your hook (usually an off-set worm hook) to the end of the line, after you put on the weight. Now you are ready for your plastic baits.

This type of rig can be fished (or presented) just about anywhere you will find bass. It has certain advantages and disadvantages over the other two rigs that we will talk about, and I will give a few examples after we rig up the others.


With this rig you'll need line (main reel line), a barrel swivel, about 6' of leader line, a weight, glass or brass bead or rattle chamber, and a hook. I know this seems like a lot of stuff, but the results are incredible!

First, take your leader line (usually the same line that is on your reel already, but I would suggest at least a 2 lb. test lessor than your main line in case of a break-off). Most of the time by using a lighter leader line, when it breaks it will break off at the leader line, thus saving the other hardware on the ri) and tie one end of it to one end of the barrel swivel and then put it aside for a moment.

Then, take your main line from your reel and first put on the weight (usually anywhere from a 1/2 oz. up to a l oz. bullet or egg sinker).

Next, after the weight is on your main line, follow it with a rattle (rattle chamber, glass or brass bead) and then tie the end of the main line to the other end of the barrel swivel that you just put aside.

After you tie to the swivel, tie your hook at the other end of the leader line giving you a 2' to a 4' leader. Now, we're ready for the bait!


This rig can and will produce bass sometimes when all else fails. It's quite simple to rig and the results can be devastating! You will need a SMALL barrel swivel and a hook for this rig.

First, take about 3' off of your main line for a leader line. Tie one end of your leader line to one end of the barrel swivel, then tie the other end of the barrel swivel to the main reel line. With this rig you leave off the weight!. NO WEIGHT!

Then finally, you tie the hook (preferably a light wire worm hook)  allowing about a 1' leader for the leader line. The reason for no weight and a light wire hook is to allow as much buoyancy as possible. This rig is designed mostly for buoyant plastic artificial baits.


Now, let's say that you were to fish around rip-rap around dams levees etc. You probabley wouldn't use a Texas-rig unless you put the lightest weight possible on it to keep it from getting it wedged in the rocks. Nor would you use a Carolina-rig, because the heavier weight (1/2 oz. to 1.oz.) would most likely get hung up. So, the rig that makes the most sense would be the floating rig. This rig will allow a slow presentation over the rock areas and the bass that may be around the rocks will come up after it. Also, this kind of rig is used better around branches, lilly pads, thick surface vegetation etc.

Now, let’s say that we are working a downward slope from about 3' depth to a 20' depth. The most sensible rig to use would be to use the Carolina-rig, because it will stay in contact with the bottom contour and the deeper you work it, giving it line from your reel you can get a better bottom rresentation. A Texas -rig can be used for this also, but the deeper you go with it the more it will lift off of the bottom.

Let's say that you were going to work some pockets around a bull rush field. To accurately cast into the pockets a Texas-rig would be the most preferred, because with the weight of it you can make accurate casts. A floating rig would also be recommended for this type of area as well.

Thick sloppy grass and vegetation areas, all three would work, but the Carolina-rig has produced some quality bass in areas like this over the other two rigs. Don't worry about getting weeds on the Carolina-rig! Just give it a try and clean the weeds off of the rig and keep casting into these thick areas and "Hold On!"