Wacky Worm Rig

The wacky worm rig is created by hooking a worm through the middle of the body. This allows both ends of the worm to bend and swing freely. 

You can also hook the worm slightly off center to get a different action. 

Most regular worm rigs are hooked through one end of the worm. This makes the wacky rig look different. Many say that it got its name because it looks wacky when you set it up.

The wacky rig is so popular because it is very easy to rig. But just because it’s easy, doesn’t mean it’s not effective. 

As a matter of fact, the wacky rig is a deadly technique. It straight up catches  bass under difficult conditions. 

Even pro tournament anglers rely on the wacky rig for catching bass when other lures won’t work.

How To Rig A Wacky Worm

There are several ways to rig a wacky worm rig. One of the simplest is to just insert the hook through the middle of your worm. Unfortunately, this can have a major drawback. 

Hooking worms with lots of salt impregnated into the plastic can result in constantly losing worms.

The reason is that worms hooked through the middle can easily be ripped off the hook. 

As an alternative, you can add an O-ring to the middle of your worm. 

The o-ring is simply a rubber o that you place around the middle of the worm. You then run your hook through the o-ring instead of the worm.

The rubber o-ring acts as a solid holder for the hook. This prevents the hook from ripping into the plastic body of the worm.

So, with this technique, you can catch more than one fish with the same worm. This can save you some money in the long run.

Wacky Worm Rigging Tool
The wacky worm rigging tool allows you to slide the o-ring up the metal shaft.

O-rings are available in packs of differing diameters. You can also buy an o-ring tool. This is basically a hollow tube. You drop the worm into the tube and then slide the o-ring up the tube. Make sure to line up the open end of the tube with the middle of the worm. 

Finally, you slide the o-ring up the tube until it slides off the end and onto the middle of the worm. 

If you like arts and crafts projects, you can make your own wacky rigging tool out of a used sharpie marker shell.

When you’re done sliding the o-ring onto the middle of the worm, you just insert a hook through the o-ring. Try to avoid passing the hook through the worm itself.

Ideally, you only want the hook to pass under the o-ring. The wacky hook will be in-line with teh worm. Some anglers don’t like this, but you will be able to catch plenty of fish with this wacky rig setup.

This will complete your wacky worm rig. You’re ready to fish with it.

One issue that some anglers have with using a single o-ring is that the hook is lined up parallel to the worm.

Some anglers don’t like this because they claim that it leads to missed hook sets.

To prevent this, they rig their wacky worms with dual o-rings. 

Wacky Rigged Worm With Double O-rigs Crossed Over
To get the hook oriented across the worm instead of inline with it, you can use 2 o-rings and cross them over.

To do this, they just add two o-rings to the middle of the worm then cross them over each other in an X pattern. When you insert the hook through the middle of the x, it is held perpendicular to the worm. 

There is also another way to rig a wacky worm. This method will prevent you from losing worms and allow you to insert the hook in any orientation you like.

Alternative Wacky Rigging

If you’re looking for an alternative to o-rings for wacky rigging there are a couple of options that I know of. 

First is you can use rubber tubing. You can get this tubing at most aquarium supply shops. Make sure you get tubing that is large enough. You will only be able to stretch it a small amount. You’ll also need some special rubber tubing pliers. 

The first step is to cut the rubber tubing into sections. You may want to start with sections that are about 1/4 inch long.

The next step is where the pliers come in.

You use the tubing pliers to expand the rubber tubing and then run the worm through the tubing. Run it through  until it gets to the point you want then release it.

Once you release it, you can then run your hook through the tubing.

Another option is to use heat shrink wrap. You’ll also need a lighter for this technique. You can get heat shrink wrap and most hardware stores. It’s normally used for electrical applications.  Make sure to get some wrap that’s just slightly bigger than the worm. Cut the wrap up into sections. You can start with a section that is about 1/4 to 1/2 inch long. 

Then when you’re ready to rig, you just run the worm through the wrap. Use the lighter to carefully heat the wrap. As you heat the wrap it will shrink around the worm. Once the worm is properly wrapped, you can run your hook through the wrap.

Wacky Worms

Gary Yamamoto Senko

The most popular worm for wacky rigging is the Gary Yamamoto Senko. This is a stick bait style worm. What that means is that it has a thicker than normal body and it doesn’t taper to a curly tail or other shape. 

On the senko, one end is flat and the other end tapers slightly. It does not taper to a sharp point. It tapers down to a rather rounded dull point.

Senko With O-Ring for Wacky Rigging
Senko With O-Ring for Wacky Rigging

The Senko is also heavily impregnated with salt. This cause is it to sink slowly. 

Now, here is the part that really shines on the senko. First, you hook the senko through the center as I described above, and then throw it weightless.

As the worm is slowly sinking, you should get a shimmy action. This means that the ends of the worm will move back and forth as the worm falls. This action is very tantalizing and subtle. 

It gives the impression of a worm that is actually alive and slightly moving as it falls.

Of course, you can buy other brands of stick baits to wacky rig. You can probably save a few bucks too.  Some anglers argue however, that you may not get the same action that the senko has.

You can also wacky rig regular worms or even finesse worms. A more slender work profile will have more bending action whenever you jerk it. So keep in mind that thicker worms will usually be stiffer and thinner worms will have a more limp action.

There are also various lengths of worm that you can get for wacky rigging.

Wacky Hooks

Wacky Worm Hooks

There are hooks that are ideal for wacky rigging. These are hooks with short shanks and rounded bends. 

Often times they will also be of a lighter wire construction. I like to use the Gamakatsu Finesse Widegap Hook. I get it in size 1 or 1/0. 

ANother option is the Owner Mosquito Light Hooks.

Both of these hooks will give you a smaller package that will fit will with the wacky rig presentation.

The mosquito light hooks are especially suited to lighter line rigs.

So, if you’re using light spinning tackle this this is a good choice. 

Overall, a shorter shank will give you that small presentation that won’t disrupt the look of the rig as much. 

You can also get weedless versions of these hooks. This is a wire weed guard that extends out from the hook eye. You then wedge the weed guard wire under the hook barb. These weedguards won’t be 100% weedless, but they will help. 

Wacky Rig Setup

I often like to go with a medium spinning setup. I’ll load a 2500 sized reel with15 pound braided line. Then, I’ll add an 8 to 12 pound leader to the braid. I tie the leader on with an FG knot. The beauty of the FG knot is that it is a very compact knot. So, it is less likely to interfere with the line or with the guides as you cast. This lets you make leaders as long as you like. 

Finally, I pair this all up with a 7 foot medium action spinning rod. 

Of course, you can use baitcasting gear too. Just make sure that if you’re casting a weightless worm that your rod and reel can handle casting the lighter package. 

Sometimes with baitcasting gear, it can be difficult to cast light lures such as the wacky rig. 

How To Fish A Wacky Rig

Fishing a wacky rig is pretty simple. You simply cast it out there and then allow it to fall and do it’s magic. 

The tantalizing fall of the worm can draw strikes from long distances. 

I like to throw a wacky rig into shallow areas. A weightless wacky rig can usually work to depths of around 6 feet. Yes, on a calm day you could probably stretch that to about 10 feet.

However, if there is current, or heavy winds, your rig will move with the water. This is not necessarily a bad thin, but it may prevent the bait from sinking as further.

I’ve had great success throwing a wacky rig into open spots in shallow grassy areas. They have also worked for me around shallow docks and stumps or standing timber.

I like to throw a weightless wacky rig on spinning gear with 8 to 12 pound test. 

Aside from letting it fall, you can raise it up or jerk it. Then, you can let it fall again. The time in which it’s slowly falling back down is when you’re most likely to get a strike. 

Many times you’ll feel the strike. It will feel like a short twitch on your rod.

Sometimes though, you won’t feel it. You may see the line suddenly start moving sideways. 

Another common occurrence is you’ll see the line twitch, but you won’t feel anything.

This is why it pays to keep a close eye on your line while you’re fishing the wacky rig. 

Some anglers even use bright colored braided line as their mainline. They then add a fluorocarbon leader. The high visibility mainline helps them see any soft strikes that they might miss.


A wacky rigged worm is a great way to catch largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass. Bass love the action produced by this rig.

It can really work when other presentations are not. If you have any questions or comments about the wacky rig, feel free to leave them in the comments. I read all of them.

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