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Three Great Bass Rigs You Really Ought to Learn
by "The Bass Coach" Roger Lee Brown

Caught in a rut? Many of todayís anglers all too often seem to have the enthusiasm to get themselves all psyched up on the evening before that big day of fishing tomorrow - only to find themselves coming in at the end of the day with just one or two bass caught. They will spend the day, usually casting, re-rigging, running the motor, losing lures, etc., but most of all they get frustrated because the fish "arenít cooperating."

Sound Familiar? I, surely know this feeling and Iím sure that any angler reading this article has had the same feeling at some point at some time! Now, donít feel bad if this does happen to you because you are definitely not alone, there are millions of other anglers out there with this same problem. But, there are a few "tricks of the trade" that you can use to help remedy this problem. The tips given in this article have worked for me and for many of my former bass angling students and guide charter clients whom I have taught in the past. Why not give it a try yourself? You've got nothing to lose, and everything to gain by reading on.

It all comes down to three rigs. I have found that on certain days when the bass donít seem to cooperate, I usually will put my action baits away and pull out the "rigs of last resort", which are the:

  1. Texas Rig
  2. Carolina Rig
  3. Floating Worm Rig

Anytime and anywhere. These three rigs are probably the most successful ingredients for catching largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass just about anytime and anywhere. Now, some anglers may ask; "Why would I use all three of these rigs?" and the answer is really quite simple. Itís like using tools of the trade! A carpenter wouldnít use a hammer to back out a screw, nor would a screwdriver be used to pound nails (Well, at least most of them wouldní!). The same goes with bass fishing, an angler should use the right "tools of the trade" to do a specific job!

First, letís talk about the Texas Rig. This rig was the first plastic worm rig used by most of the anglers way back when the sport of bass fishing was just getting started about 25 years ago! It is a simple rig to set up, and it has produced more bass catches than any other artificial bait ever used, even today!

To rig a Texas Rig you will need line, a hook and a sinker - thatís all! First, you put your sinker (usually a bullet shaped slip sinker) onto the line with the smaller point of the weight going on first or "facing the front." Then tie your hook (usually an offset shank worm hook) to the end of the line after you put on the weight. Now you are ready for your soft plastic baits to be rigged on the hook.

This Texas Rig can be fished (or "presented") just about anywhere you will find bass. It has certain advantages and disadvantages over the other two rigs that we will talk about, and I will give a few examples of the differences later. But first, let's rig up the Carolina Rig and the Floating Worm Rig. okay?

Second, letís make a Carolina Rig. With this rig youíll need line (your main line going to your reel), a barrel swivel, about 6í of leader line, a weight, a "bead" (glass bead, brass bead, or "rattle chamber"), and of course, an offset shank hook. I know this seems like a lot of stuff, but it's worth doing because the results can be incredible!

To begin, take your "Leader Line" (usually the same line that is on your reel already, but I would suggest at least a 2 lb. test or lighter line than your main line in case you get stuck and must break off. Most of the time by using a lighter leader line, when it breaks it will break off at the leader line thus saving the other hardware on the rig. Now, tie one end of your leader line to one end of the barrel swivel and then put it aside for a moment. Then, take your main line from your reel and first put on the weight (usually anywhere from a 1/2 oz. up to a l oz. bullet or egg sinker). Next, after the weight is on your main line, follow it with a bead (rattle chamber, glass or brass bead) and then tie the end of the main line to the other end of the barrel swivel that you just put aside. After you tie to the swivel, tie your hook at the other end of the leader line giving you a 2í to a 4í leader. Now, you're ready to bait your hook with a tempting soft plastic offering!

Third, letís tie the Floating Worm Rig.  This "Floating Rig" can and will produce bass sometimes when all else fails. Itís quite simple to rig and the results can be devastating! You will need a SMALL Barrel Swivel and a hook for this rig. First, take about 3í off of your main line, and use it to make a leader line. Tie one end of your leader line to one end of the barrel swivel, then tie the other end of the barrel swivel to the main reel line. With this rig you leave off the weight! That's right, no weight. Then  you tie the hook - preferably a "Light Wire" worm hook - only allowing about a 1í leader for the leader line. The reason for no weight and a light wire hook is to allow as much buoyancy as possible. This rig is designed mostly for styles of worms specifically sold as "Floating Worms", but if you have any other types of buoyant soft plastic baits, they will also work on a Floating Rig too.

Now, letís say that you were to fish around "rip rap" - man-made rocky areas built around dams, levees etc. In rocks, you probably would NOT use a Texas Rig unless you put the lightest weight possible on it to try to keep it from getting wedged in the rocks. Nor would you use a Carolina Rig because the heavier weight (1/2 oz. to 1.oz.) would most likely get hung up in rocks as well. So, the rig that makes the most sense would be the "Floating Rig." This rig will allow a slow presentation over the rock areas and the bass that may be around the rocks will come up after it. Also, this kind of rig is used better around branches, lily pads, thick surface vegetation and such.

Now, letís say that we are working a bank that has a "downward" slope from about 3í depth to a 20í depth for instance. The most sensible rig to use on slopes would be the Carolina Rig because the heavier weight will stay in better contact with the bottom contour. The deeper you work it down the bank, the more line you can give it off your reel. So, you can get a better "bottom presentation" here with a Carolina Rig. A Texas Rig can be tried here too, but you often find that the deeper you go down a slope with a Texas Rig, the more it will lift up away from the bottom, which is not the best thing for intercepting bass, most of which may be right on the bottom.

Now, letís say that you were going to work some open water pockets amidst a field of bulrushes. To accurately cast into the open pockets, a Texas Rig is the most preferred of the three rigs because the weight allows you to make more accurate casts to hit the pockets. A Floating Rig can also be tried for this type of area, but it is much harder to cast very precisely with such an unweighted rig.

In thick sloppy grass and vegetation areas, all three rigs can work, but the Carolina Rig has produced some quality bass for me in areas like this - more than the other two rigs. Donít worry about getting weeds on the Carolina Rig! Just give it a try, keep cleaning the weeds off of the rig, keep casting into these thick areas and "Hold On!"

These rigs can be used anywhere and just about under any circumstances. Remember this: most bass tournaments ever fished have paid out more money to anglers fishing these rigs than any other types of artificial baits ever used! So if youíre not using all three of these rigs, just give them a try! I promise, the results can be devastating! If you have any questions regarding this article please feel free to email me at the address below.

Until next time, Take Care & God Bless!

"The Bass Coach".... Roger Lee Brown

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