Tips for the Wacky Rig in 2023

Wacky Worm Rig

If you’re just starting out using the wacky rig, the idea of using it can be…well…wacky. Here are a few tips that will help you out with fishing the wacky rig and hopefully will help you catch more bass when using it.

Use Weedless Hooks

This may not always be an obvious tip, but using weedless hooks for your wacky rig is very important. It’s going to save you a lot of time cleaning off your hook between each cast. Using a weedless hook is especially useful when you are punching it through mats of vegetation and retrieving through them as well.

The type of weedless hook I use all the time has a spring loaded wire weed guard that is very effective. Under normal casting and retrieving, this wire guard protects the barb and point. However, when the fish bites down on it, the pressure of the fish’s mouth on the wire guard exposes the barb and point, giving you the best chances to set the hook.

Use Weights

Using a wacky rig without a weight is pretty much pointless. If you go weightless on your rig, your worm is going to take an excruciating amount of time to reach the bottom of the pond or lake and presentation is going to be terrible. Especially if you are using a floating worm—although that is not recommended. Adding a wacky rig weight will help your worm appear more life-like and trigger a reaction strike.

There are many types of wacky rig weights that can be used, but I’m only going to recommend two of them. The first type I use is a pencil weight or nail sinker. These are typically inserted into the center or end of the worm and the hook is then inserted around the backside of the weight. However, if you are using a wacky rig, inserting it into the center of the worm is going to be more effective since the weight is going to be distributed better.

The second type of wacky rig weight I recommend is actually a weight system specifically made for wacky rigs. It operates the same way as the rubber band would in that you slide the worm all the way to the center of the weight and you insert the hook into the slits in the weight. This type of weight also protects the worm by preventing the hook from breaking down the worm’s strength. I would recommend this weight system over the pencil weights, since I’ve had more success using it.

Use O-rings and an O-ring Tool

Using o-rings on your wacky rings allows you to use the same worm for more casts ands more bites. It helps by preventing the hook from tearing into the worm. However, it can be very difficult to add o-rings by hand to any stick worm. The size of the o-rings are just large enough to fit the worm through. With the help of an o-ring tool, sliding o-rings on is a breeze.

Flip or Pitch to the Edges

Largemouth bass are ambush predators and tend to hang around the edges of structure, vegetation and even shade/sun edges, waiting for their next victim. When you drop your wacky worm rig right on the edge of some vegetation or a dock rather than open water, you will have a bigger chance of evoking a reaction strike from a waiting bass. Finding a transition between sun and shade can be rewarding as well.

Use Fresh Bait

The last couple of times I’ve gone fishing using a wacky rig, I’ve been skunked. After contemplating what I had done wrong, it finally dawned on me that I had been using the same plastic worm those last few times. The last time I was successful was the last time I had changed my worm. A new, plastic worm provides a fresh scent, a better presentation, and a better chance of a bite. Change baits every outing and at least every 3 catches. If you find that after 1 or 2 catches you aren’t catching any more, switch it out for a fresh worm and even change the color.

Use Stick Worms, Not Curly Tail

There isn’t exactly a wacky rig worm made specifically for wacky rigs. However, I have not had any success with curly tailed worms on a wacky rig. Stick worms seem to be a lot more performant with the uniform shape. I have seen a double curly tailed worm that may work a little better than a single curly tail, but the single has not worked for me in the past. I have also been successful with worms with a flat side when used in a wacky rig.


I hope these tips will help you be be more efficient and use the right applications to your wacky rig. I’d love to hear your feedback, so leave your comments below and tell us what you use on a wacky rig.