Struggling to know how to rig up a soft bait? Or are you loosing lost of gear fishing the river? Well here is an easy guide showing you different ways to rig up your soft baits and where they are most effective! If you want to know more then leave a comment down below.
Jig Heads are essentially a weighted hook developed to give casting weight and extra action to soft plastic lures. The symmetrical head and 90 degree eye allows it to cut through the water quickly, sinking fast with minimal action on the fall.
Jigs can be a highly effective fishing presentation when the proper set-up (rod, reel, line and jig) is used. Unlike a spinner or hard lure, when a fish strikes the lure and hooks itself, a jig bite most often is very light as the fish inhales the bait usually on the fall when the jig is settling towards the bottom. To detect strikes more easily jigs should be fished with stiff (fast action) sensitive rod with enough flex to cast your jig along with using the lightest possible line. This will help you feel the bite on the retrieve or when the jig is sinking by keeping the line tight. You can also use the fishing line as a strike indicator, when the jig sinks watch the line for any subtle twitches signalling a bite. To optimize the visual of fishing line it is best to use fluorescent coloured braid over clear monofilament and wear polarized sunglasses improving the line visibility even more.
Shakey / Shakedown Jig heads
A soft plastic lure matched with a shaky head jig is probably the ultimate finesse bait for finicky fish or fish that are affected by fishing pressure. The key to shaky head fishing is using as light of a jig head as possible and still keep the bait in contact with the bottom. A finesse worm is the top choice of most anglers for shaky head fishing, but a variety of soft plastics performs well with a shaky jig head. No matter what lure you use, the key to rigging a shaky head combo is to make sure the lure sits straight on the hook. If the lure has a little crook in it the line will frequently twist and eventually weaken. When rigged correctly the point of the hook should be barely under the skin of the lure body to make the combo weedless.
Fishing a Shakey head can be done in many ways; you can drag they across the bottom, you can hop it across the bottom and you can even swim it like a normal jig head. They are extremely universal and very good when the bites are slow.
Cheburashka or Cheb Rig
The Cheb Rig gives you extra movement than a standard jig head but also the versatility of changing weight and hook size/pattern very quickly.
Simply tie on the clip and be sure to have a range of weights (I tend to carry 3G-12g). I like to fish this with an offset hook and fished weedless, but you can easily change that by mounting a straight hook, or smaller hook if you feel that’s what’s needed.
The additional movement between the weight and hook makes the lure look fantastic in the water. The Cheb is definitely not a rig to ignore if you’re moving around, encountering lots of different swims and fishing situations.
The Texas rig is probably my favourite method of fishing soft plastics on the river. It involves a bullet-shaped weight being threaded onto the fishing line first, followed by a glass or plastic bead, and then the line is secured to a hook (usually an offset worm hook) by a Snell Knot.
The hook is then inserted into the head region of the bait and exits about 5mm down. The bait is then moved up the hook towards the shank and then rotated so that the bait is now ‘locked’ on the shank. The point of the hook is then threaded back into the body of the worm to make the rig weedless.
The bead is fully optional. Some anglers find that the added noise or colour a bead can provide gives them an advantage in stained or muddied water, because the clicking imitates a crayfish crawling over rocks and debris, while some anglers think that the bead detracts from a realistic presentation considering that most baits will not click.
The weight can be ‘pegged’ which means adding a float stop before you put the bullet weight on to provide a stopping point. If you add a float stop either side of the weight about 10 inches back from the hook you will make a Carolina rig. Click here for our Carolina Rig blog.
When fishing in open water without much cover to snag on, the Texpose Rig is a better choice than a Texas Rig because it increases the number of fish hooked. A Texpose rig is set up the same as a Texas rig with the exception that the hook point is pushed all the way through the body of the bait so it is slightly exposed.