Wacky Rig vs. Texas Rig: Understand Two Powerful Techniques

The wacky rig and Texas rig are two incredibly effective applications when it comes to bass fishing around shore-based cover. Although you may look to throw these rigs in similar areas, they are very different in operation. Understanding when to use these techniques will give you as an angler immense fish-catching ability. We look at the wacky rig vs the Texas rig.

Wacky Rig vs. Texas Rig: Understand Two Powerful Techniques

Wacky Rig vs. Texas Rig

The wacky rig and Texas rig are two incredibly effective applications when it comes to bass fishing around shore-based cover. Although you may look to throw these rigs in similar areas, they are very different in operation. Understanding when to use these techniques will give you as an angler immense fish-catching ability. We look at the wacky rig vs the Texas rig.

Finesse vs. Power Fishing

One of the key differences between these two techniques is the style of fishing they possess. The wacky rig is considered a finesse fishing technique while the Texas rig is considered a power fishing technique.

Finesse fishing involves lighter line and bait applications in order to bring about a more subtle and natural presentation. This style of fishing really comes into play when bass are pressured and the usual techniques aren’t getting their usual attention. Finesse fishing however is slower in operation and you won’t have the ability to cover loads of water.

Power fishing involves heavier line and bait applications. Several power fishing techniques, such as the Texas rig, give the angler the ability to access heavier forms of cover where bass may be hiding. Most of us will turn to power fishing techniques if conditions allow, as it gives them the ability to cover loads of water and throw baits into attractive vegetation.

What is a Wacky Rig?

A wacky rig is a finesse presentation with one of the more unique profiles. The rig involves only a finesse hook and a soft plastic (generally a stick bait), but the way the bait is rigged makes this technique so interesting but effective.

The wacky rig hook runs through the egg sac of the soft plastic, making it one of the easiest rigs to set up. This gives the bait a horizontal falling action with a unique ‘shimmy’ on either side.

The one potential negative of the wacky rig is the exposed hook point. This can make fishing cover slightly more challenging at times.

One can expect most of their bites on a wacky rig on the initial fall after the cast, as bass struggle to resist the slow, horizontal falling action of a wacky rig.

Wacky Rigged Senko
A Wacky-Rigged Senko

Why does a Wacky Rig work?

The wacky rig is without a doubt one of the most prolific finesse applications in the book. It’ll often be the technique that gets fish in the boat when nothing else is working.

Here are some reasons why the wacky rig works so well:

  • Unique profile: The wacky-rigged worm has a form like no other and it looks epic on the fall - especially when rigged weightless. This different profile gives you another option when out on the water and bass seem to love it
  • Light line technique: Light line means a thinner line diameter and this gives your bait a more natural presentation, while also having a less visible mainline. Light line techniques (or finesse techniques), will work even in the most pressured systems
  • All-season technique: There’s no bad season for the wacky rig. It’ll work in the most favorable and least favorable conditions, making it a worthwhile technique to turn to at any point
  • Shallow water technique: The wacky rig is one of the best rigs to throw when fishing shallower, isolated cover. Largemouth bass especially will often hug vegetation in shallower pockets and the wacky rig gives us access to these strike zones. There are also weighted options for when you'd like to work deeper columns

What is a Texas Rig?

A Texas rig is a power fishing technique and is one of the most recognized applications in the sport. This technique continues to win millions of dollars each year, and it’ll remain one of the most satisfying ways to target bigger fish.

It’s a relatively basic setup, involving only a pitching-style hook, a bullet weight, and a soft plastic of your choice. One should also include a stopper in this rig, especially when fishing heavier vegetation!

The bullet weight sits just above the hook and the bait and plays a key role in getting the presentation through any sort of cover and into a bass’s strike zone.

Along with jigs, the Texas rig is the most effective most to cover shore-based cover efficiently and effectively.

The key with the Texas rig and fishing heavy cover is that the bait is rigged weedless, meaning one can throw into the heavier stuff without worrying about getting snagged.

Creature bait Texas Rig
The Texas rig with a creature bait

Why does a Texas Rig work?

Although the Texas rig does require certain conditions to be successful, it is still a pretty versatile technique.

Here are some reasons why the Texas rig is worth the work:

  • Covering water: When one approaches a bank covered in juicy vegetation, it’s great to have the ability to cover every little spot quickly. The Texas rig, with its added weight, gives us the ability to cover water very fast and you won’t miss any strike zone
  • Reaction bite: The Texas rig will often get smashed on the initial fall after the cast. The faster fall rate of the Texas rig has the potential to entice a reaction bite from a cover-hugging bass
  • Access to dense cover: The bullet weight plays a key role in ‘punching’ a bait through any sort of cover. This means one can look to the Texas rig when approaching the heaviest of vegetation such as mats of all kinds. Remember, the heavier the cover, the heavier the weight needed!

Wacky Rig vs. Texas Rig: Key Differences

Although you may fish these two techniques in similar zones, the wacky rig and the Texas rig are very different in operation. Let’s have a look at the major differences.


There is a major contrast when it comes to the profile of these techniques. The wacky rig is a slower, more subtle presentation, while the Texas rig falls faster and is more imposing.

The wacky rig has a horizontal falling action, with a much slower fall. This makes the wacky rig much more suitable in pressured waters. For this reason, no matter where you're fishing, you can expect more bites on a wacky-rigged worm.

The Texas rig will have a more vertical falling action because of the weight driving the bait straight down. This action looks very appealing on baits that have a few flailing limbs, such as the Cowboy.

Fishing Conditions

One needs to take into account the conditions they’re fishing in before deciding on which technique may work best.

The wacky rig is versatile in that there is never really a bad time to throw it. It’ll get eaten in the most ideal conditions (warmer water, low fishing pressure), as well as the toughest conditions (colder water, high fishing pressure).

The Texas rig is less versatile here. This technique does require slightly warmer water because of its faster action, and it may be quite imposing for fish that have been previously released (pressured).

Types of Cover

Although both ideal for shore-based cover, the wacky rig, and Texas rig do differ when it comes to areas where you’re looking to throw your bait.

The wacky rig is generally thrown on light line, meaning it’ll be more vulnerable to getting cut off in heavy vegetation and other forms of cover. The exposed hook point also makes it more susceptible to branches and so on. There are however weedless wacky hook options, which give anglers access to heavier forms of cover. That being said, many anglers will consider fishing open water with a wacky rig.

Another bonus of wacky rigs is that it's suitable for skipping under overhanging cover, meaning you can really access fishy zones.

The Texas rig, or T-rig, is one of the most effective applications for covering dense and heavy cover. This technique is designed for pitching into some of the heaviest forms of vegetation or other threatening cover, thanks to the bullet weight and the weedless bait application.

Equipment and Tackle

There needs to be a very different approach to equipment and tackle when fishing these techniques. Wacky rigging thrives on lighter equipment, while Texas rigging needs heavier gear.

For the wacky rig, a spinning setup with lighter fluorocarbon (8-10lb) will help get the best action and ideal responsiveness in the technique.

The Texas rig is a much heavier application, making it suitable for a baitcasting rod and reel, along with the heavier fluorocarbon, such as 15-20lb.

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