How the Tokyo Rig is Changing How Seth Feider Fishes
One of the latest trends in bass fishing is the VMC Tokyo Rig. Other brands are now jumping on the bandwagon, but the Tokyo Rig was the first to hit the mainstream in the United States. Bassmaster Elite Series pro Seth Feider has found several uses for the rig and says that it has changed the way he fishes in certain situations.
“It just gives the fish a different look, and the bait is right in their face. I use it a lot when fishing grass around home. It is a way to get in heavy cover and still have the look of a drop-shot rig,” said Feider.
While flipping and pitching is where he uses it the most, he has found other uses as well.
Flipping and Pitching the Tokyo Rig
As he mentioned, Feider likes to rig a Tokyo Rig for fishing grass. He has found it to be excellent for pressured bass and when the fish get conditioned to traditional flipping and pitching presentations.
“It is really good for pressured fish or when you have caught a few on a jig or Texas-Rig, and the bite stops. It gets bit when the other rigs don’t,” Feider began.
Since he is mainly using it for wary bass, he fishes it differently than standard flipping and pitching.
“I fish it a lot slower and a lot like how I fish a drop-shot. I will shake it in place more, and there are times when I’ll take 30 seconds in one small spot trying to trigger a bite,” he shared. “I don’t use it when I am trying to cover water quickly.”
Feider prefers a BioSpawn Vilebug or Vilecraw when fishing this way and said that the design of the Tokyo Rig allows him to use lighter weights than he does with a standard Texas-Rig.
“The majority of the time, I am rigging a ¼ ounce or 3/8 ounce tungsten weight. You can get by with a lot lighter weight than you think because it falls so quickly,” he added.
Since he fishes it as a cross between a flipping and pitching setup and a drop-shot, he uses a relatively lightweight set of gear. His rod of choice is a 7’ medium-heavy Daiwa Tatula Elite rod paired with an 8.1:1 Daiwa Tatula Elite reel. He spools the reel with a braid to fluorocarbon setup consisting of 40-pound Sufix 832 braid and a 20-pound Sufix Advance Fluorocarbon.
While vegetation is his first choice of locations for fishing the Tokyo Rig this way, he has found a few other good options. “I fish it mostly in the weeds, but it works good in brush piles and around laydowns,” he said.
Swimbaits and Craws
Another use Feider has found for the Tokyo Rig is off the bank in the same places that he would fish a swinging football head or “hard head” near the bottom.
“I’ll fish a craw or swimmer on it and just grind the bottom. I typically use a super-heavy tungsten weight and fish it right on the bottom as I am winding it in,” he said. “For this technique, I’ll use a ¾ ounce up to a 1 ½ ounce weight if the water is deep.”
He will fish the Biobaits Vilecraw or BioSpawn ExoSwim Swimbait. “I like the 3.25” and 4” swimbait for smallies and the 4.75” for largemouth,” he shared.
For this method, he prefers a 7’3” medium-heavy Brent Ehrler signature series Tatula Elite rod and the same reel and line that he uses for fishing the Tokyo Rig around the grass.
More Hook Options Available
The original version of the Tokyo Rig features a VMC extra-wide gap attached to a ring that is connected to a wire to attach your weight and a swivel to reduce line twist.
This year, VMC added two more options: the Heavy Duty Worm Hook and Heavy Duty Flippin’ Hook.
“The new worm hook is the old-school round bend hook and some guys like those for fishing big worms, but personally I am more of a wide gap guy,” said Feider. “The flippin’ version is a straight shank hook that a lot of guys use for fishing heavy cover. There is a hook option for whatever bait you are fishing and whatever hook style you prefer.”
The Tokyo Rig has a nearly unlimited number of uses and situations. The ability to customize it with the weight and soft-plastic bait of your choice opens up many possibilities. Two ways that Seth Feider has used it to change the way he fishes is around shallow cover in place of flipping and pitching and as a substitute rig for fishing for offshore bass.