Friday, July 14, 2006

A Guide to Modern Rigging

By Russ "Bassdozer" Comeau

How goes it? It's Bassdozer here. You know what I am thinking? Maybe this is a good time to review a number of basic rigging options that are used nowadays with soft baits. Nothing fancy, just bass rigs you basically make with a bait, a sinker, and a hook. So here goes.

1) Weightless Rig. The purest form of rigging, and most deadly with the Senko. No sinker is used and the hook can be tied directly to the main line. Optionally, tie the hook to a 12" to 24" inch leader tied to a free-turning swivel that dissipates the line twist which often occurs with unweighted soft baits.

2) Unpegged Texas Rig. A conical sinker is allowed to slide freely on the main line, with the hook tied directly to the main line. Optionally use a bead. The sinker will jackhammer constantly against the bead and make a tiny clicking noise that can attract fish at times.

One difficulty is an unpegged sinker can slide far up the line on the cast, making for inaccurate casts and imprecise presentations. An unpegged sinker can also slide far down the line and get your rig stuck in snaggy cover. For more control over an unpegged sinker, you can contain it on a short 12 to 24" leader tied to a swivel. This gives you the desirable unpegged lure movement (and bead-clicking option) while at the same time, the short leader gives you better control over the cast and presentation.

3) Pegged Texas Rig. Pocket a few toothpicks the next time you pay the check at the diner. Then jam one in the butt of a bullet weight and break it off. Keep in mind, don't jam it in so tightly that you risk weakening the line. Slide it down the line, and the toothpick will hold the weight securely against the nose of a soft bait used in heavy cover. The weight and bait will act like one unit that slips through weeds and resists snagging in cover.

4) Florida Rig. An advancement over the toothpick-pegging method, Florida rig sinkers are molded around a thin Teflon tube, and a corkscrew wire that screws in to the nose of a soft bait. Slip the sinker on the main line, tie the hook directly to the main line, and screw it into the bait. This provides the ultimate in weedless and snagless presentation for big bass in heavy cover.

5) Mojo Rig. Mojo sinkers are long, thin, and shaped like pencil leads. They're part of a complete system which includes rubber pegs that thread through the Mojo weight to peg it from 12" to 24" inches above the bait. The rubber strand cushions the line from any potential damage that can occur with wooden toothpicks or crimping splitshots on the line.

The thin Mojo sinker will slink through weeds better than most other weight types. Mojo rigs also work for vertical fishing in deep water where baits are suspended for bass lurking in or under the tops of flooded trees or brush.


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