Fishing the Weightless Texas Rig for Bass: The Ultimate Finesse Technique

The weightless Texas rig is a powerful finesse technique that continues to be a go-to method for anglers targeting bass around isolated cover and vegetation. It's one of the most effective soft plastic rigs available, and the best part is that it's incredibly simple to set up and fish. In this article, we'll explore the ins and outs of the weightless Texas rig, its benefits, and how to use it effectively to catch more bass.

Fishing the Weightless Texas Rig for Bass: The Ultimate Finesse Technique

What is a Weightless Texas Rig?

The weightless Texas rig is essentially a Texas rig without the bullet weight. This results in a lighter presentation that offers a slower fall rate and a greater range of motion. By removing the weight, the bait becomes more finesse-oriented and can entice finicky bass in literally all kinds of conditions.

The finesse inclusion of the weightless Texas rig has made it into one of the most effective techniques in the realm of finesse bass fishing today.

Weightless Texas Rig for Bass
The basic profile of a weightless Texas rig

Why is the Weightless Texas Rig So Good?

The weightless Texas rig shares many benefits with its weighted counterpart, the Texas rig, but it offers some distinct advantages.

It's weedless

With the hook point hidden within the soft plastic, this technique grants you access to areas where there's heavier vegetation and other threatening zones. With largemouth bass often hugging these areas, the way this soft plastic is rigged means we can throw our bait right into the thicket with a bit of protection.

It's subtle

With no weight apart from the weight of the soft plastic, the weightless Texas rig will showcase a slower fall than its Texas rig counterpart. A slower fall is always going to be your best option when targeting more pressured bass, or less favorable conditions in terms of bass feeding behavior.

It's a pleasure to fish

This technique is incredibly versatile in terms of bait selection, as virtually any soft plastic can be rigged effectively. It's also incredibly simple to set up. All you need is a hook and a soft plastic of your choice. This makes the weightless Texas rig a dream to fish in terms of rigging efficiency.

How to Set Up a Weightless Texas Rig

One of the main features of the weightless Texas rig is the easy process involved in setting up the technique. It involves only two elements: a soft plastic, and a hook. The hook you use comes down to personal preference. Many prefer an EWG hook, while others turn to a pitch-style hook.

Below you can find the steps involved in setting up the weight Texas rig:

How to set up a weightless Texas rig

Texas Rig vs. Weightless Texas Rig

While both techniques share similarities, the weightless Texas rig offers some key differences. The primary distinction lies in the weight itself. The Texas rig utilizes a bullet weight, resulting in a faster fall and greater water coverage. On the other hand, the weightless Texas rig is more finesse-oriented, with a slower fall that appeals to less aggressive or finicky fish. The weightless rig is also better suited for fishing in less thick vegetation compared to its weighted counterpart.

The weighted Texas rig unlocks greater access to thicker cover because of the bullet weight. The bullet weight ‘punches’ through vegetation and enters strike zones that are relatively hard to access.

When to Use a Weightless Texas Rig

The weightless Texas rig excels when targeting bass around isolated cover and shallow areas. It's highly effective around laydowns, docks, and grasslines. These situations call for a finesse presentation that can be worked slowly and precisely around the targeted cover.

These forms of cover can be found in any kind of system, whether you’re fishing your local pond, or Lake Fork.

How to Fish a Weightless Texas Rig

Fishing the weightless Texas rig is similar to fishing the Texas rig, with a few adjustments.

  • Cast your bait near cover and allow for a semi-slack line to provide a more natural action on the fall. This slower descent can trigger strikes from bass that are less willing to chase.
  • Once the bait reaches the desired depth, impart one or two subtle twitches and repeat.
  • It's important to get your bait as close to cover as possible, as bass often position themselves in these areas.

Weightless Texas Rig Setup

For casting the weightless Texas rig, a spinning rod is recommended due to its ability to handle the lighter presentation. However, if using larger salt-impregnated soft plastics, a baitcasting setup will suffice. Opt for a rod with a fast action, as it provides a more direct hookset and better control over the presentation.

When it comes to line selection, fluorocarbon is the top choice. It offers excellent abrasion resistance around vegetation, increased sensitivity, and enhanced hook-setting ability. You don’t want to go heavier than 8-10lb for a weightless Texas rig. Remember, the lighter your line, the better your soft plastic’s range of motion.


The weightless Texas rig is a finesse technique that can produce outstanding results when targeting bass around isolated cover and vegetation. Its simplicity, versatility in bait selection, and weedless nature make it a go-to choice for anglers seeking finicky fish or challenging conditions. By mastering the setup, fishing techniques, and understanding when to use the weightless Texas rig, you'll have an effective tool in your angling arsenal to catch more bass and enhance your fishing experience.

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