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Wacky Worm Rig How To

By Kastking | 22 January 2018 | 0 Comments

Presenting  fluttering wacky worms can make the difference on a slow day.


Some situations call for finesse tactics.  Maybe the fish are finicky or the water is ultra-clear.  Maybe you need a rig that you can easily skip far up under docks or overhanging trees.  Maybe the key is just a different presentation.  In any of these cases, the wacky worm rig may be just what you need to get more fish in the boat.


A wacky rig can be fished weightless, or with a weight pegged in one end of your worm.  There are also weighted wacky hooks that work well in situations where you need your bait to fall a little quicker.  It is an easy rig to learn, and one that every angler should have in his or her arsenal.



Wacky worm rig hooks

Wacky worm rig hooks



Pictured here are two different wacky worm rig hooks.  The one on the left is a weightless hook.  This is a great option for pitching a soft plastic bait up under a dock or other structure that hangs over the water.  The hook is weedless, making it easy to bring through brush piles or other heavy cover.  The hook on the right is a weighted wacky rig.  This is a great option for deeper, clear water.  The weights can be small, from 1/16 oz., but they will help the soft plastic get down to where you want to fish it.  While this hook is also called weedless, it is easy to see that the weed guard is not very strong and will easily bend out of the way.  For that reason, most anglers choose this for deep rock humps and places without much heavy cover.


Different types of worms for wacky rigging wacky worm

Different types of worms for wacky rigging




Worms are the go-to bait when using a wacky rig.  Pictured here on the left is a 4” worm.  These are great when an angler desires a smaller profile.   The worm in the middle is a 6” trick worm.   These give a more erratic action than a straight-tailed wacky worm, and sometime help entice a fish to bite.  The worm on the right is a 5” stick worm.  It should be mentioned here that not all worms are the same, even if they are in the same category.  Each has their own salt content, some are softer than others, and there are a variety of other factors that will make the worms behave differently in the water.  It is best to experiment until the desired result is achieved.


Line choice will depend on where the angler plans to use the wacky rig.  When skipping docks or fishing over heavy grass beds, braid may be the best option.  Learning to skip docks can be tricky, but will definitely put more fish in the boat.  It is also a perfect presentation for the wacky rig.   Hold your rod tip about 6 – 12 inches from the water and your bait 6 – 10 inches from the end of your rod.  With a flick of the wrist, roll cast your bait level with the water toward the overhanging over.  The buoyancy of the bait will cause it to skip several times, getting your bait far back up under the overhang.  This cast is best done with a spinning set up rather than a bait caster.   Skipping will get your bait to areas other anglers may not be able to reach, and often results in bringing some big fish to the boat.  It is best to remember that the hook in this case is not an ultra-strong, heavy hook.  A sweeping hook set will be enough to impale the mouth of the fish.


When fishing deeper, clear water, monofilament or fluorocarbon line is best.  These types of line have less of a profile in the water.  When the water is very clear and fish are spooky, a lower test line, such as a 6 lb. test, will help you fool those elusive creatures.   The weighted wacky hooks you chose can be smaller, much like a drop shot hook.  They won’t allow you to “horse” fish into the boat, but if you have the patience to play a fish a bit, you will have the opportunity at some fish that others could never hook with other set ups.


A classic wacky worms rig shown with a weedless hook

A classic wacky worm rig shown with a weedless hook


Setting up a wacky rigged worm is fairly simple.  First, locate the center of the weight of the worm.  As in this picture, that may not be the exact middle of the worm.  With the worm shown here, in order to get the bait to fall the same on both sides, the hook must be inserted 7 ribs away from the egg sack in the worm.  That will allow the worm to fall straight and evenly on both sides.  When the worm is rigged wacky style, it flutters as it falls.  If the bait is rigged as shown here, it will flutter straight down as it falls.


wacky worms nail weight

A nail weight can be used to change the action of a wacky worm


There are times when an angler may choose to have the worm fall faster on one side or the other.  This can be done by hooking a stick worm in the egg sack, for instance.  Another option is to insert a length of nail weight into one end of the worm or the other.


A trick wacky worm from eposeidon

A trick wacky worm


The trick worm, the pink one pictured here, will fall completely differently than a stick worm.   It is not as uniform in shape, so it will create an entirely different action as it falls through the water column.



Weighted wacky worm

Weighted wacky worm



While a 4” worm can be rigged on a weightless wacky rig, it is pictured here on a weighted wacky hook.  There are a variety of 4” worm manufacturers, and there can be a great deal of difference in the action and fall rate of these worms from one company to another.  Experiment with different worms from different places to see which ones give you the desired effects.  This particular 4” worm is a hand poured worm, so it has a flat side.  Rig hand poured worms with the flat side down.



Wacky worm rigging is a great tool that can be used in a variety of situations.  It is very versatile.  Next time you find yourself faced with spooky or finicky fish, or on a lake with uber-clear water, tie on a wacky rig.  You will be pleased with the results.


— By Beckie Joki

Beckie Joki is an avid bass fisherman in Northern Wisconsin. She has an eye on conservation and the environment as it relates to all types of fishing. She is a member of the Hodag Bassmasters, and is a member of the Shawano Red Nek Bass Busters. She understands the importance of maintaining fisheries and looks to get younger generations into the sport of fishing. Beckie writes regularly for the Northern Wisconsin Fishing Examiner





Eposeidon (www.eposeidon.com ) is an e-commerce company (Eposeidon Outdoor Adventure, Inc.) that brings a fresh, innovative approach to anglers by offering quality fishing tackle products at the best prices and no cost, or low cost shipping. Eposeidon’s goal is to exceed expectations through outstanding customer service and superior product value to their customers. Eposeidon is continually expanding its product lines, which include KastKing™ fishing line, fishing reels, and fishing rods, MadBite fishing lures, Ecooda reels, and other fishing tackle products, to meet individual fishing equipment needs. Eposeidon is headquartered in Garden City, NY, USA and sells fishing tackle products globally. Eposeidon is the sole North American Distributor for Ecooda fishing reels.


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