Plastic Worms

Rubber Worms
Rubber worms make up the biggest category of bass lures. There are so many brands, styles, sizes, and colors that you could spend a lifetime fishing and not use them all. Any tackle shop you go into is likely to have an entire wall filled with nothing but soft plastics, and they are barely scratching the surface on selection.

The reason rubber worms are so effective in bass fishing because of how lifelike they look and feel to a bass. When eaten by a bass they feel like natural food, causing bass to hold on longer than they would other lures. This gives the angler more time to set the hook before the fish spits the bait.

What makes them so popular is they can be fished anytime, anywhere, and by anyone. Soft plastics are effective in all seasons, in all waters, and by anglers of all skill levels. They are one of the best beginner lures while also constantly used by the pros on the big tournament trails.

There are many ways to rig a rubber worm but by far the most popular is the Texas rig. If you’re just starting out check out this Texas Rig Kit. This kit has everything you’ll need for Texas rigging a worm.

Contents

Best Plastic Worms
Selecting Soft Plastics
Selecting a Worm Color
Selecting a Worm Size
Worm with a Tail vs No Tail
Worm Weights
How To Rig A Soft Plastic Worm
The Texas Rig
The Carolina Rig
The Wacky Rig
Fishing With Worms
Best Plastic Worms

The classic style rubber worm that all anglers know are ribbon tail worms, like the Zoom Magnum II Worm. This nine-inch ribbon tail worm has been a top-rated bait amongst bass anglers for decades and continues to prove its worth.

 

This worm works best texas rigged or Carolina rigged. For a color, suggestion go with green pumpkin or Junebug.

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Another, more recent, soft plastic worm that is going to perform in just about any body of water is the Senko Worm by Gary Yamamoto. This worm will be effective in clear or stained water for largemouth and smallmouth bass.

Senko Worms 

The Senko worm works best when wacky rigged or Texas rigged. We suggest watermelon, green pumpkin w/ black flake and green pumpkin with red flake.

 

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Selecting Soft Plastics
Plastic WormsSelecting the right worm is based on the water your fishing and the conditions. It also matters what kind of presentation you are trying to put on. There are 4 factors to determine when selecting the right worm:

Selecting a Worm Color
If you fishing dark or stained water you should fish a lighter colored worm, or one that is partially bright like with a chartreuse tail for example. In clearer water, you want to use darker, more natural colors. You may have heard the phrase “match the hatch”. In clear water, where bass will rely more on vision, that couldn’t be more important.

Selecting a Worm Size
When selecting a worm size you need to consider two factors: water clarity and sink rate. The clearer the water the smaller you want your worm to be. In darker water you want the bigger bait to provide added attraction. Sink rate (the rate at which the bait sinks) will be slower with larger bodied worms because there is more water displacement, so if you are not using weights you need to consider how fast you want the worm to sink.

Worm with a Tail vs No Tail
Use a worm with a tail:

In Dirty water
Around sparse weeds
When bass are active
In warm water

Use a worm without a tail:

In clear water
In open water
In colder water
In water under heavy fishing pressure
Worm Weights
Add weight to a worm to alter the sink rate. The sink rate is a huge factor in getting a bass to strike. The difference between speeds can affect whether a bass even looks at the bait. The best way to test it is to start with a faster sink rate and slow it down over time if you’re not getting results. Here are some tips to help you determine the best sink rate.

Slow Sink:

Tough bite
Cold water
Early spring, late fall
Fast Sink:

Warm water
Among active bass
In thick cover
How To Rig A Soft Plastic Worm
There are many ways to rig a rubber worm but the three most popular are the Texas Rig, the Carolina Rig, and the Wacky Rig. You can fish either one in mostly any conditions and find success, but its the difference in a presentation that will determine what the bass are looking for.

The Texas Rig
Texas RigThe Texas Rig is the most common worm rig used by bass anglers and is 100% weedless. The only way to hang this rig up is by wrapping it around something like a tree limb. A special worm hook, with an extra-large hook gap, is usually used, but you can use a standard Carlisle or Aberdeen hook as well.

The hook is inserted into the head of the rubber worm, threaded to the collar, then the point is pushed out of the body. The hook is then rotated 180° and the point is buried back into the body of the worm so that the worm swims straight. A cone-shaped sinker is threaded on the line above the hook and allowed to slide all the way down, forming another worm head.

These are usually fished in heavy cover, with stiff rods, and heavy line, so you can get an instant hook set, and drag the bass from cover before it can wrap the line around something. You cast it directly into cover and fish it very slowly, as slow as you can stand it. Just raise the rod tip slowly every so often, and crawl the worm across the bottom.

When a bass picks up the worm, the weight slides, so the bass does not feel the weight. Anytime you feel a ‘peck-peck’, you need to set the hook quickly and firmly. When the hook is set, the point of the hook drives through the worm body, and into the bass’s mouth. Then the fight is on. You need to use a strong reel with heavy gears so you can drag the bass from its cover immediately. Baitcasting reels are preferred. For more info on the texas rig click here.

The Carolina Rig
rubber worms

The Carolina Rig is similar to the Texas Rig, except the weight is rigged above a swivel that keeps it 12” to 18” away from the rubber worm. This allows the worm to ‘swim’ rather than crawl, like the Texas Rig. This rig can be fished a little faster, but still slow compared to other lures. You just cast out, and retrieve by raising your rod tip to the 12 o’clock position, then reeling in slack as you lower the rod tip. Wait a bit, then repeat. Set the hook anytime you feel resistance.

Which one is better? It depends. The Carolina Rig allows you to cast farther, and work more area, quicker. But, the Carolina Rig is not as weedless, and can’t be used in very dense cover. It also doesn’t sink as fast, so it is not as good for working ledges and drop-offs. This is where the Texas Rig shines. It allows you to crawl your rubber worms across the bottom, into every nook and cranny. For more info on the Carolina rig click here.

The Wacky Rig
Wacky WormThe third way to rig rubber worms is the Wacky Worm style. Just stick a hook through the middle of the worm. We suggest using a Gamakatsu Finesse Wide Gap Weedless Hook with a Wacky Ring.

The wacky rig is fished with very light weights, such as split-shots, or with no weight at all. You just cast it out and allow it to slowly sink, twitching the rod tip gently every so often. This makes the rubber worm spasm and will drive fish crazy at times. This rig is best in smaller streams and rivers, rock piles and overhangs. The worm will be shallow enough for you to see it, so when a bass takes it, you will know it. For more info on the wacky worm click here.

Fishing With Worms
Rule number one when fishing a plastic worm, always keep tension in the line. If your worm is sitting on the bottom and you have slack in your line you are not going to feel a bass take it. Bass don’t bite worms, they suck them in, and it can be hard to feel even with proper line tension.

Its important when you feel the worm get taken, to set the hook right away. Many times a worm will get picked up and dropped before an angler has a chance to set the hook. To set the hook, pull your rod tip back toward your body. This will expose the point of the hook and allow it to penetrate the lip of the fish.

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