The best fishing equipment and tools

The best fishing equipment and tools

There are dozens of ways to rig soft plastic bait for bass fishing. But most of the best bass rigs consist of three main parts: the weight, the hook, and the soft plastic bait. However, some rigs can be a bit more complex, such as the Donkey rig (Double Fluke rig) which uses two hooks, two soft plastic jerkbaits and two swivels.

Then there’s the canopy platform, which is another beast in itself. All of these different devices are worth taking a look at, and most are worth incorporating into your arsenal, as many of them can be used to catch bass in a wide range of different situations.

Although this is not an exhaustive list, we have compiled some of the best bass rigs below for your consideration, along with brief descriptions of them as well as in-depth articles on how to rig and catch the vast majority of these best bass rigs.

  • Texas rig
  • Carolina rigged
  • Downreach
  • Foolish manipulation
  • Niko reg
  • Fire drop platform
  • Free tampering
  • Tokyo rig
  • Alabama Reg
  • Ass manipulation
  • Chicken rig
  • Eno reg

Texas platform

The Texas rig is among the simplest and probably the most versatile of all these bass rigs. Take a simple bullet weight, a 4/0 circle curved worm hook and a soft plastic worm and string them together and you can travel across the country catching bass everywhere you go. This is a great tool for fishing 2 feet or 20 feet, along clean bottom or in thick cover, and in any water color. Easy to manipulate. They are easy to hook and can be caught coast to coast. Arguably the best bait for fishing is a worm and the best way to rig it of all has to be a Texas rig.

Learn how to tie and fish a Texas Rig here.

Carolina rigging

Think of the Carolina rig as the bigger, more stretchy brother of the Texas rig. With this device, a large weight is slid down the line, followed by a bead or two, and then a swivel is attached to hold it in place.

Next, a fluorocarbon line or monofilament main line is tied to the other end of the swivel and a hook is attached to the tag end of this main line. Place a piece of soft plastic and you’re ready to slowly drag your C along the bottom, putting one of the best nibbling rigs on the planet at your disposal.

Learn how to tie and fish a Carolina Rig.

One of the best vertical fishing rigs, the drop back rig mainly consists of a weight, hook, and soft plastic; But this platform rearranges all three. For starters, tie the hook onto your line, making sure to go through the face of the eye first (the hook point side of the eye). Also during this process, you will need to leave a long end mark (roughly 10 to 24 inches depending on how high off the bottom you want your bait to be).

Once the knot is secured (a simple terylene knot will suffice), take the long tag end and pass it back through the eye face of the hook. When you pull the tag end and your main line at the same time, your hook should stand straight. You can either tie a piece of soft plastic onto the hook, weedless it, then finish off your dropper by adding a drop weight to the bottom end of your tag.

Master rigging and hunting shooting platform.

Ned dance rig

The Ned rig is another great technique when the fishing is tough and you’re just looking to get a bite at all costs. However, this tool isn’t just for tough fishing, it also catches big fish – especially smallmouth bass and spotted bass.

A very simple tool, just slide a minute of soft plastic into Ned’s flat head and you’re ready to go. Even though the hook is left exposed on Ned’s platform, it is surprisingly resistant to tearing. There are also Ned Weedless Heads that include a weed guard for an even slippery setup when it comes to sneaking through cover.

Learn more about Ned Rig here.

Foolish bass rig

The Wacky rig can be assembled using a simple straight hook and a decoy worm if you like, with the hook held perpendicular to the worm so that the entire hook passes through the soft plastic near its midsection, and the bait rests in the bend of the hook when all is said and done.

Or you can purchase technique-specific Wacky rigs and hooks (some with weed guards) as well as small rubber or silicone rings to wrap around the worm, which will help reduce lost baits. Regardless, the Wacky is one of the best bass rigs available when the fish are precise and positioned near the surface.

Learn more about Wacky Rig here.

The Neko platform looks a lot like the Wacky platform at first glance, but these two differ in several key aspects. For starters, the direction of the hook point is different. Instead of running the hook perpendicular to the worm as you would with a Wacky rig, you want to set the hook perpendicular to the worm, with the hook point pointing up. The “top” is determined by which end of the worm you intend to add weight to – which is the “bottom” end and the second major difference.

A nail or neko weight is inserted into the front of the soft plastic, with the hook point facing up and away from it. This creates a fairly flawless rig with a vertical orientation to the worm, which can be fished along the bottom with the hook pointing up, poised and ready to lock in on an unexpected bass.

Learn more about the Neko Rig here.

Once again, the free platform takes these three elements that we see frequently, but brings them together innovatively. This time, pass your line through the bell weight loop, then tie on the hook of your choice, circle bends, EWG hooks and straight shank hooks work well here.

Place a soft plastic bait such as a lizard or trick worm on the hook, keeping it weedless, and now you have a free tackle. The term “free” is a reference to the weight of the bell, which is allowed to move freely up and down your line. This allowance creates more precise movements in the bait as it washes down the bottom, and the weight of the bell is not as restrictive as the bullet weight of a Texas rig.

Learn more about Free Rig here.

Tokyo platform

The Tokyo platform can be thought of as a small shot of fishing. Similar to a drop shot, the Tokyo rig keeps the soft plastic slightly off the bottom – but the gap between the bait and the bottom is much smaller with the Tokyo rig. This gap is also maintained by a solid metal wire instead of fishing line.

Again, like a drop shot, there is a weight at the bottom of this device that keeps it down, but this weight is held in place by bending the end of the wire after the weight has slid. Upward-facing lead weights work well with Tokyo rigs, as the pointed ends slide through rocks and other debris better than round weights.

See more about the Tokyo platform here.

Alabama Rig is catching big bass

The umbrella rig, and the version most commonly used for bass fishing called the Alabama rig, differs significantly from the rest of the rigs on this list. For starters, there are usually five soft plastic swimbaits used on an umbrella rig. Each swimbait is placed on a jighead, then suspended from one of the metal arms spread throughout this rig.

An umbrella rig can also be used to target suspended fish much better than most of these other rigs, which are better at catching bass off or near the bottom. Large baitcasting equipment is also needed for this rig, as clumping metal and plastic can quickly add significant weight.

Learn more about the Alabama device here.

Double luck manipulation

The Donkey Platform (or Fluke Dual Platform) differs from all the other platforms we’ve discussed so far also in one key way, which is the lack of weight. Two lightweight, Texas-rigged soft plastic baits are used with this setup to create an enchanting jig as the two baits dive and splash just below the surface of the water.

Put this rig together by sliding the swivel up onto your main line and then attaching another swivel to the end of that line to prevent the first swivel from slipping off. Next, tie a 2-foot piece of main line on the open end of the first swivel and a 3-foot main line on the open end of the second swivel. Tie a 4/0 shank hook to the end of each piece of leader line and then place a soft plastic bait on each and you’re good to go.

Learn how to rig the Donkey (Double Luck) rig and fish it.

Chicken rig

The chicken stand is a slightly different breed again, and its closest cousin is the Neko stand – think of a weedless Neko stand standing on its head and you’ll come pretty close. Start by tying an offset shank worm hook, stick the hook into the middle section of the worm (the hook is pointed toward the head of the worm), and run the worm up the hook shank about 2 inches.

Remove the point of the hook and then allow the worm to rest on the sharp bend in the shank near the eye of the hook. Stick the hook point through the worm, leaving it slightly exposed or the skin hooked on the other side. Add a nico weight or nail to the worm’s head and you’ve got a chicken platform.

Learn more about the chicken machine here.

In manipulation

12. INU device

The Inu deck is one of the newer oddball decks to come out of Japan. Here’s a quick and dirty way to do it using a trick worm, a Niko hook, a split ring, and a straw.

Take a coffee stirring straw and cut it at a 45 degree angle on one end. Insert the pointed end of the straw into the top of the decoy worm’s head at an angle, then lift the belly of the bait to the sharp point of the straw and insert it at an angle again. Then go back through the back of the worm one last time while passing the straw through the end of the bait.

Now, cut off all the exposed straw pieces. Add a dab of glue to each place where the straw passed the bait to secure the straw pieces. Now, you are left with a worm that has three small pieces of straw running through it. Attach the Nikko hook to the skin through the back of the worm’s head, with the hook pointing up and the eye of the hook placed directly over the first straw hole.

Now, pass your line through the eye of the hook, but do not tie the hook. Continue passing the end of the line through each straw section in the same direction you initially pushed it through. At the end of your line, you can now tie a split loop using any knot you trust. The split ring is there to ensure that the free swinging hook does not slip out of the line during the fight no matter what. You can also use a drop shot or bell weight on the bottom of this rig to fish it in deeper water.

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