What is a Texas rig?
A Texas rig is a specialized way of weighting your fishing lure and is usually used for casting to shallow-water structure to catch bass. After casting, it allows you to fish the lure efficiently and retrieve it slowly without causing too much disturbance in the water. It also means that the lures action is correctly presented to the bass.
To understand how the Texas Rig works requires a basic knowledge of fishing line weights. There are three weights of fishing line that are commonly used on a Texas Rig. These are pound test, which relates to the diameter of the line and the circumference. Each is also used with a specific rod.
The first is a light pound test of line that is 6-pound a diameter. A rod that is made to cast this line is often short, and light in weight. The second is medium (8-pound) line, which requires a rod that is designed to cast medium line. The third is heavy (12-pound) line. This line requires a rod that is designed for use with heavy line.
Your tackle box should have rods made of a durable material such as graphite. The most popular, the graphite version of the “magnesium” T-Platform, is a perfect choice.
Texas Rig Components
The most important factor when you are selecting Texas rig components to throw is selecting the right hook and sinker for the current conditions. There are several different components to keep in consideration.
The weight of your sinker is the major consideration when you are deciding on how much weight to use. The general guideline is one- to three-ounce sinkers are best for fishing shallow depths. One-ounce sinkers are best for deeper depths.
To add more weight, you need heavier lines. In freshwater lakes and rivers, you can add more weight by tying a larger, heavier sinker on the line. In saltwater, you can use a heavier line with a heavier sinker. Often as a professional fishing guide you may need to play around with a variety of weights and depth to find the best fishing zones.
For novice Texas rig users, I usually recommend that you use no-lead jigs. They typically come in 1/16-, ¼-, and 1/2-ounce sizes.
Pay attention to the sinker size. Some professional guides like to keep the same weight at the end of the line as they do at the lead. However, this may effect the action of your worm.
How to Set Up a Texas Rig
Holding the fishing line in his right hand with a loose loop, the fisherman slips a rubber tube or “worm weight” over the line to hold the plastic worm on the bottom of the water and hides the weight by holding the line at an angle from the line in his left hand behind the weight. He starts a few inches above the weight under the water and continues winding the line 5-6 times above the weight at an angle, until the line reaches near the top of the water.
With the line in his right hand, the fisherman lifts the line up over the weight and across the front of the weight, where the line crosses the other part of the line. He crosses the line between the middle of the weight and the top of the weight. Then he holds the line and the weight in his left hand and tugs the line in the opposite direction to finish the knot. Then he lets the line slide from his left hand to complete the Texas rig.
Texas Rig Benefits
The Texas rig worm fishing technique gives the advantage to the angler. It does not prod the fish, it does not get tangled up in roots or the bottom. It can be worked slowly or aggressively and can be stopped completely if the worm is picked up by an inquisitive fish. The Texas rig is also positioned in such a way that it has the best possible action and is out of the way of where you are likely to hook up with vegetation.
The Texas rig bait has about 2 to 3 feet of line between the hook point and the worm. It means that if you get snagged, it is usually on the bottom. When you hook up, you have enough slack to work the fish. A snag is more likely to be a rock or stump than some grass roots or submerged stumps. This is important if you are mouting your lure vertically on the side of the boat.
With the Texas rig, the worm has even more action that it would with any other rig. As the worm moves down the line, it drapes over the curve of the hook. It’s very important that you don’t want the worm to wrap back on itself. If the worm hangs up on the bend of the hook point, it’s time to replace the worm.
How to Fish with a Texas Rig
Worm Rigs are a bait fishing technique to bass fishing where the worm is rigged on the hook and a weight is added. The hook is positioned off to the side, much like open jaw rigs, however, the worm is closer to the fishing rod. The worm may be horizontal to the water or vertical, but the worm is never perpendicular to the water. The worm is never held in a horizontal position until it is ready to be cast.
A Texas rig is a simple method of fishing; however, as simple as it is, there are some subtle techniques that will make a big difference in the odds of catching a fish. The wrong angle when setting the hook or the way it comes through the water can spook or irritate a bass.
The Texas Rig—A Classic for Good Reason
The Texas rig allows you to fish a weightless worm, which is widely considered to be the most effective way to fish a worm. Because the worm is weightless, it gives the illusion that it is actually alive. This is a very big advantage when you are trying to catch catfish, largemouth bass or any other fish that eats live food.
The Texas rig is as simple as it gets. You just attach the worm on the hook using a slipknot. You can do this a few different ways. One method—a rigging method used frequently by Stump’s customers—is to pull the hook up through the worm. This allows you to hook the worm from top to bottom in order to keep it off the bottom.
Once you have your hook setup, you can then place your weight either above the hook, below the hook or next to the hook. Once you have decided on where to place your weight, you then adjust the worm so that the hook is above the weight.
One of the most popular Texas rig combinations is using a 3/0 Gamakatsu worm hook and 12-20 ounce drop shot weight. It is an excellent combination with unlimited applications.