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The wacky rig

By Nic DiGravio

bass fishing tackleThere is no doubt, the wacky rig is as simple as it gets when it comes to Bass fishing techniques. The Bass that have been put into tournament live wells are a testament to the wacky rigs performance.  Just this past weekend has been an amazing demonstration of its ability to catch Bass when other techniques failed. 

My partner and I witnessed two boats fishing a gin clear reed bed that we purposely targeted from studying our maps prior.  One of the boats was definitely tournament anglers, probing the reeds like a torpedo.  They were obviously pre-fishing for the next day’s tournament.  They must have had their bow mount at high output because they were moving, obviously site pre-fishing, but never the less fishing just the same!  We didn’t witness a single Bass taken with their efforts and without notice another boat probed the same waters, but with such a racket that you would swear the Bass should have scattered to oblivion!   

Now let me give you some parameters of the situation.  The water was anywhere from two to five feet in depth with pencil medium density reeds scattered in gin clear water conditions.  Just to prove a point, my partner and I proceeded right into the heart of the highway of travel of the previous boats and boated not one, but two beautiful Largemouth Bass weighing in at five pounds plus each!  Now how did we accomplish such a feat you ask?  Quite simple really; the wacky rig!

The wacky rig consists of three main components that when combined make a lethal Bass fishing weapon.  The bait itself is normally a Senko worm with a Gamakatsu weed less hook in the mid section of the Senko.  The hook doesn’t necessarily have to be weed less, but with weeds in the mix it’s a prerequisite.  And to top the rig off we have a ten or twelve pound fluorocarbon leader or main line.  The line that shines for me is the Spider Wire Invisi-Braid in ten pound test.  It has proven its invisible qualities and superior strength in my outings.  So when the wacky rig is ready I have a black Senko Worm with a black Gamakatsu weed less hook and Spider Wire Invisi-Braid line.  When this setup is in gin clear water all the Bass see is ‘black’ and that is the important ingredient!

A good salt impregnated Senko Worm is ideal because it helps in its flutter to the bottom.  On the initial cast I like to give the wacky rig plenty of slack line.  This is of utmost importance because you want it to look as natural as possible to the Bass.  After the cast and its settling to bottom dead stick it by letting it lye still for as long as you can stand it.  Then by jerking while retrieving it will give it life by making the bait seem like its swimming away due to the ends swaying back and fourth.  Sometimes that’s all it takes to get the Bass to strike.  A full bellied Bass prefer the dead sticking of the wacky rig and that’s how eight out of ten of my Bass are normally caught.  It works, period! 

bass fishing tackleWacky rigging with a Senko worm and hook alone are effective in relatively shallow water, but in deeper water this same rig can be enhanced for the deep dwellers such as the Smallmouth Bass.  Smallmouth generally like the deeper water because they like the cooler temperatures.  But the deeper staging fish can also be had with the wacky rig by adding nail weights to each end of the Senko.  Adding just enough weight to it for a prolonged fall is the ticket.  Nail weights can be bought at your nearest tackle shop or you can cut your own from the nearest hardware store.  Cast the wacky rig with the nail weights as far as you can and let it fall on its own merit.  By using the Spider Wire Invisi-braid one only has to keep an eye on the slack line to detect a Bass.  The slightest nudge will be felt and seen so be ready because Smallmouth are notorious for the infamous ‘grab and go’ in the wink of an eye. 

An ideal wacky rig combo would consist of a spinning reel set up.  I am partial to my Diawa Steeze 6’8” medium action rod teamed up with the Shimano Sustain 1000.  Spinning is a good way to go with wacky rigging, but any spinning reel will do so long as it has a good tough drag system to handle the hook sets.  In order to take the Largemouth out of cover or the water dancing Smallmouth on the end of your thumb and forefinger, you need to have a good strong back bone in the rod.  As far as the length goes a 6’8” or a 7’2” medium rod will do the trick.  We need the elasticity of the tip to get the wacky out there and for distant casts the length helps along with the action. 

When you think you have tried everything and are about to give up; have you tried the wacky rig?  All I can say is that when rigged properly the wacky rig can up your odds immensely.  I am living proof of that because in one day alone I put this rig to a vigorous test with the Steeze, Sustain and Invisi-Braid combo and lipped over 40lbs of Bass.   That, my angler friends, is what it’s all about.  The wacky rig alone out fished many, even a ruckus caused by boat traffic was not enough to steer the Bass away from the effective wacky rig!  I can guarantee you that the first and second chance anglers sure turned their heads when I posed for the camera holding both five pound plus prizes! 

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