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Rigging PowerBaits?


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Hi, new here - seen a lot of these plastic PowerBaits, Gamblers etc - no idea how to rig em or fish em - anyone? THX!

[This message has been edited by DaveTV (edited 03-09-2004).]

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I use the Powerbaits in almost every possible way: weightless, Texas, wacky, Carolina, drop-shotting, etc. The first thing to find out is where in the water are the bass? If they are low, run it Texas-rigged. If they are suspended, run it Carolina-rigged or drop-shot or possibly weightless. And twitch it just beneath I do use almost every variety of the Powerbaits (nightcrawlers, worms, etc.)(or top) the surface for active bass.... Just my 2 cents.

God bless,
Judd Yaeger
Yaeger Guides (Twin Cities Guides) www.yaegerweb.com/guide

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THX - but "Texas, wacky, Carolina, drop-shotting"- I have no clue what you mean! I meant how do you rig them with hook, etc - treble, whatever - I have no clue

[This message has been edited by DaveTV (edited 03-09-2004).]

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I fish alot of my plastics Texas rigged. Here is a link that to show you what one is like if you are unfamiliar.


I have some things that I do to my Texas rig that seem to work for me. I put a bead in between my cone sinker and hook. This will make a clicking nose when the sinker and bead come together. I also use brass sinkers because the click louder than lead sinkers. I also put a swivel in my line about 12 inches up from the hook. This will prevent line twist. When I rig mine up I also do not go with a super heavy sinker because alot of the lakes I fish tend to be super weedy and I fish shallow alot.I don't need to get good weed penetration in these areas. Make sure you use a good worm hook. I prefer Gamakatsu hooks. But go with what you like.

Now on to how I fish my Texas rig. I use spinning tackle and when I cast my worm I keep an eye on my line immediately. You will get alot of fish that hit your bait right away. Any non normal line movement and I am setting the hook. When working my rig I bring my rod tip from 5:00 to 12:00. Any pressure and I am setting the hook. On the way back down to five o'clock I reel in the slack until there is very little in the line and on the way back up feel for pressure again and set the hook accordingly. I keep this up until the worm is either out of the strike zone or I run out of room to work it. I also work my plastics very slow for the most part. I personally get bigger fish by working them slow. I feel that if you are rigged up properly weeds are not an issue. You will not feel them. I also use a pretty strong hookset. I like to bury that hook in the fish's mouth. Hope this helps and if you have any questions about what I wrote don't hesitate to ask.

Also here is a link to a Gamakatsu worm hook.


[This message has been edited by panolo (edited 03-09-2004).]

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There are a lot of ways to rig plastics. The easiest and one of the most effective for begining would be the texas rig:

Unpegged Texas Rig. A conical sinker is allowed to slide freely on the main line, with the hook tied directly to the main line. Optionally use a bead. The sinker will jackhammer constantly against the bead and make a tiny clicking noise that can attract fish at times.

Unpegged Texas Rigs -
One difficulty is an unpegged sinker can slide far up the line on the cast, making for inaccurate casts and imprecise presentations. An unpegged sinker can also slide far down the line and get your rig stuck in snaggy cover. For more control over an unpegged sinker, you can contain it on a short 12 to 24" leader tied to a swivel. This gives you the desirable unpegged lure movement (and bead-clicking option) while at the same time, the short leader gives you better control over the cast and presentation.

Pegged Texas Rig -
Pegged Texas Rig. Pocket a few toothpicks the next time you pay the check at the diner. Then jam one in the butt of a bullet weight and break it off. Keep in mind, don't jam it in so tightly that you risk weakening the line. Slide it down the line, and the toothpick will hold the weight securely against the nose of a soft bait used in heavy cover. The weight and bait will act like one unit that slips through weeds and resists snagging in cover.


Weightless Rig. The purest form of rigging, and most deadly with the Senko. No sinker is used and the hook can be tied directly to the main line. Optionally, tie the hook to a 12" to 24" inch leader tied to a free-turning swivel that dissipates the line twist which often occurs with unweighted soft baits.


Carolina rig:
Carolina Rig. Used most commonly on open, relatively unobstructed bottoms. Simply thread a bullet, egg or barrel-shaped sinker onto your main line, followed by a glass bead which clicks when the weight hammers against it. Then tie on a swivel, a leader line which is 18" to 24" most of the time (but can be longer), and your hook. As with all the various rigs we describe here, use lighter weights of Carolina rigs with light tackle, and heavier weights of Carolina rigs with heavier tackle.


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The majority of the time you'll be fishing bass in cover, so that is why the hook tip is buried. This makes the rig much more weedless and pretty well snag proof.

It doesn't hamper the hook setting much, but you need to set the hook hard! Use a fairly stiff rod and lay into them.

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When I fish texas, I always try to bury the immediate tip of the hook and I've never seen a difference in hooking percentage (except less weeds smile.gif). It really helps make your bait weedless and that is one of the great things about using Extra Wide Gap (EWG) hooks is they lay pretty much flush with the top of your bait when rigged properly.

Great articles guys!

For info on wacky and drop shot rigging, just look around on this site. Maybe Mr. Wood will post another article on how to rig those. You might also want to check out this month's in-fisherman mag, some good bass articles on rigging.

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Hey Dave,

I went through my worm-learning stage three years ago (with help of FM ers), so I understand your confusion.

The good news: Once you figure out how a rig works (aka: Texas, Carolina, etc) you will catch fish.

Plus, a texas rig is a very nice way to fish weeds. You do not hang up very often, so you are fishing, not cleaning off weeds or getting out of snags.

Still, it can be confusing. Here is what I learned, just about worms, not all the plastics.

On Brands, Style and Size: You mentioned Power Baits, and they work great...mostly because of their softness and scent.

But, they tear easily, compared with other brands, which means they can cost more and be more of a hassle.

Other brands that I like: Zoom, Culprit and lately, Yum.

Size will normally be the 6 or 7.5 inch, and I normall use a "ribbon-tail" style.

On Color: This was a huge source of confusion for me, since there are so many colors, and they change by manufacturer. (Every worm fisherman has their "go-to" color...and it varies believe me.)

I was told by one guy: Any color as long as it is Red Shad, so I used Red Shad (Culprit brand, deep red over black.) I caught a lot of fish.

But I catch more using a JuneBug color, which is blue-green. It is my "go-to" color.

I suggest you try buy the following colors, and they will work: Red Shad, Purple (or a dark purple mix), June Bug, Pumpkin (or other craw/nightcrawler/natural color), Silver or Black shad, and Black and then a color that just looks great to you (the fun factor).

Color rule of thumb:
Clear water, sunny conditions: light colors.
Overcast, Dark waters: Darker colors.

Scent: I use it. I have used both PowerBAit scent and the Yum spray. Rinse your hands before eating a sandwich.

STORAGE: Finally, I have a plastics tackle "bag," basically a small 12x14 zipper bag.

I keep my worms in their orginal bags...they are less of a mess, and I know which kinds I use regularly. I keep my scent in there as well.

Weights and hooks (BUY GOOD HOOKS, sizes 1 to 4...good hooks are worth the money. As you learn to feel bites, a good hook catch you fish, while a cheap hook will cost you fish)stay in my regular tackle box.

Good luck, Dave, plastics are a ton of fun, and become a sub-culture within the bassin' community.

Watch how many guys post other color suggestions. There is no right answer, just a lot of fun looking for it.


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Hi DaveTV,

It wasn't so long ago that I was only a spinnerbait / topwater / crankbait fisherman. I started worm fishing when my buddy caught his first fish on a plastic worm. I haven't stopped since.

One thing you may not expect. This is remarkably like (dare I say it) walleye fishing. You're going to cast out your worm and work it slowly along the bottom. A bite is going to feel like a panfish pecking at your worm (it feels about the same whether it's a large bass or a small one).

Here's what I do ... I reel up all the slack line until my rod is in the 3 or 4 o'clock position and then set the hook hard. The reason to set the hook hard is to drive the point of the hook through the plastic (if you have it Texas rigged). From there on, the fight is on.

Don't give up if you miss a few fish. Like any new technique, you'll need a little while to get used to a new way of fishing but I'll pay you back big if you stick with it.


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Boy this alot of excellent info guys! I know there probably isnt a stupid question but i am glad someone else was wondering about this stuff like i am. A buddy of mine wants to fish some small bass tourneys this year but neither of us have little to no experience fishing with plastics or really knowing where or when to look for fish. It doesnt bother him as much as it does me. He just says prefish?? Thats fine if ya know where to find the fish and what to use! Ya i know early morning you might find them in shallow but after that i am in trouble.
I dont want to sound like a one-who-thinks-I-am-silly but if i cant catch a bass on a spinner or a crank i am screwed. I have some plastics(probably all the wrong ones) but have had no success at all. Its probably because i am not using the right lure and presentation. Now i am a avid walleye fishermen and someone wrote that using worms kinda feels like walleye fishing. If thats true to some extent then its easy to learn. I just am at a loss when it comes knowing where to look and how or what plastics to use. Some of it i have already read in the prior posts so i am soaking up the info. Just gonna have to write it all down.

How about equipment? I have a med. action Gloomis spinning rod but was thinking about getting a baitcaster and learning how to use that. I can hit a certain spot with my spinning rod but not if your real close and under docks would be pretty tough i think. How about line? Mono or braided? I have braided on my spinning already. Like was said early i suppose everyone has there go to lures. But i suppose if you were to buy what everyone said you probably would have a whole tackle box full. I am sure there are more questions that i will think of but thats enough for now. Sorry if it got to long. Just want to learn how to catch more largemouths!

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Welcome to Bass World. This site has been worth more than 100 text books to me....

So, if you want to save the advice posted here, just print out the page (save in a paper file folder)...don't take the time to write it down.

Also, I am reading a book published by In-Fisherman...."Critical Concepts: Largemouth Bass Fundamentals" that really does a good job with explaining bass pattrerns and biology. It might be on their web page.

JT, if you want to get the hang of worms or plastics, try the following for the simpliest, cheapest way I can think of.

Rig one your spinning reels (pick one with a stiff rod)with PowerPro or Stren Super Braid line (30# is fine, 50# would work) or at least 10 pound mono. The stren and power pro will have no memeory.

Go buy some worm hooks (size 3 or 4), some worms (any scented brand with 3 or 4 colors: red shad, purple or pumpkin or watermelon).

Then just go fish some docks this summer in the evenings. Hook the worm from the front so it is weedless (tex rig style, but without the weight), put a split shot or two about two to 3 feet up from the hook.

Just flip this rig under the dock as far as possible, and SLOWLY JIG IT, let the worm fall all the way to bottom, then lift again.

Wait for a tapping feel (the walleye bite described earlier) and watch your line, if it starts moving one direction, set your hook the opposite way.

This is a fun, easy way to learn wormin'. You don't need bait casters to try this out, because the accuracy of spinning gear is needed for dock work.

If you can cast without the weight, go ahead. Just let the worm slowly drop.

This is cheap and easy...and you will learn a ton.

Good Luck

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