Fishing Rigs


Take a look at the following rigs that anglers use to catch more fish.


The 3-way swivel rig is a popular rig for fishing with live bait and for trolling with artificial lures. Most anglers use this rig when they are fishing with live bait.  This rig works great for fishing near the bottom for freshwater and saltwater fish.


The ball style jighead is usually used for veritcal jigging.  It is great for getting down to the bottom quickly.  Worms, minnows, leeches and soft plastics are usually used with ball style jigheads.

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The basic floating rig is setup with a bobber, a split shot for the weight and a hook with your bait.  Some of the details that are important when fishing with a bobber are the depth, type of bait, and the type of fish you are fishing for.  It is probably the most common fishing rig for new anglers just learning how to fish.  If you are interested in fishing deeper water with a float, you may want to learn about the slip bobber rig.

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A rigging method designed to present a soft plastic lure along the contour of the bottom. This rig consists of a main line with a heavy sinker, bead, then swivel. The swivel has a leader (1-6ft) to which the hook is tied.  This rig is often used for fishing with live bait as well.

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Darter Style Jigheads have an angular head and they are designed to glide through the water with little resistance.  These types of jigheads work well at imitating smaller bait fish.  A good paint job paired with plastic minnows and curly tailed grubs can be a great combination.  Darter style jigheads work well with a cast and slow wind in retrieve and even trolling can be effective.

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The Double Hook Bottom Rig is a popular bottom fishing rig for saltwater anglers.  While this rig may take a little bit of time to set up, it has plenty of strength to wrestle big snapper and grouper to the boat.  By using this rig compared to a double hook drop shot rig, the leaders coming off the 3-way swivel to the hook is what makes this rig stand out.  When fishing with live bait, you are giving your bait a short leash to swim around and entice a bite from something big.  With live bait, this rig will help you entice more strikes than the double hook drop shot rig.


Like the drop shot rig, the double hook drop shot rig is very effective for a variety of freshwater and saltwater fish.  The main line is tied to the hook and you want to leave some extra line after you tie the knot so you have room for another hook and some additional line to tie to the sinker.  The key to tying this rig is to make sure that you give yourself plenty of extra line after you tie your first hook.

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The double jig rig is probably most popular among crappie anglers, but anglers use this rig for many other fish as well.  Saltwater anglers use a double jig rig with just a plain jig head and they will add live bait or soft plastics.  Panfish anglers like to target perch, bluegill, rock bass and other types of panfish that will school up over deeper water in the summer months.


The drop shot rig is a very popular rig for a variety of fishing situations.  Whether you are fishing deep, shallow, around cover, with live bait, soft plastics, for bass, panfish or huge saltwater fish, the drop shot rig will work in most situations.  The main line is tied to the hook and you want to leave some extra line after you tie the knot so you can tie that line to the sinker.  If you want to keep your bait 1 foot off the bottom, make sure to leave a little over 12 inches of extra line from when you tie the hook to the line.  This way, you’ll have about 12 inches of line left over to tie to the sinker.

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The Fish Finder rig is one of the most common rigs that is used among saltwater anglers and it is also very popular among freshwater anglers as well.  This rig works well for all types of live bait and many different artificial lures.  The fish finder rig is also referred to as the egg sinker rig or the sliding egg sinker rig.

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Football Style Jigheads are preferred by many bass anglers.  The football head jig is usually preferred over other types of jigheads when dragging a jig along the bottoom. This type of jighead works great when worked over rocky bottoms, humps, sandy bottoms, along rock walls and in many other situations as well.  Football Style Jigheads are often paired with pigs, craws, or grubs.  Weedguards are common when using this type of jig in very heavy cover.

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Stinger hooks help when fish are biting your baits short.
You can use these with soft plastics, however, most anglers use the jig and stinger hook when using live bait.  Use this rig for nightcrawlers, leeches and minnows when the fish are biting short and you should be able to catch more fish.


The Ned rig is one of the best rigs for catching good numbers of bass.  It’s a finesse-style rig where you use a long shank hook and a 2.5 to 3 inch wacky-style worm. Most anglers just break their 5 inch wacky worms in half to use with the Ned rig, but some manufacturers do make these smaller sized worms too.  It’s an action rig and you can catch a lot of bass with it.  Smallmouth bass, largemouth bass and spotted bass will all fool for the Ned rig fished slowly along the bottom.


The Neko rig is a unique rig and it’s becoming very popular among many anglers.  As you can see in the tank to the left, the hook is in the center of the bait and the weight is at the head of the bait.  In this case, it’s a screw that is screwed into the head of the worm.  Some anglers use small nails too.

Basically, you are going to be walking the head of your bait along the bottom.  It’s very effective for many of the bigger soft plastic baits such as large worms, wacky style worms, lizards and creature baits.  Anglers usually use this technique for bass.

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A Styrofoam cork with the top shaped to make it gurgle when yanked.  The noise is supposed to imitate sounds of fish feeding on top, thereby attracting the attention of gamefish.  The popping cork is very effective in saltwater, especially for sea trout.  It will work in freshwater as well, although, most freshwater anglers probably don’t even know what a popping cork looks like.  Sunfish, white bass and largemouth bass can all be enticed for a closer look with the popping cork and a tasty minnow, nightcrawler or type of soft plastic may be perfect for drawing a strike.


The porgy rig is very effective on porgies, snapper, grunts and any other medium-sized fish that school up near the bottom.  Grouper anglers will use this rig as well, but there are stronger rigs that will work better for grouper.  The porgy rig isn’t made for catching very large fish.

This rig consists of a swivel that attaches the main line to a leader that attaches the sinker.  On the leader that attaches the sinker, you will add 2 additional leaders of line by tying a dropper loop onto the leader.  The loops should be about 6 inches long.  At the end of these loops, add your hooks and you will have a great rig for catching porgies and other medium-sized schooling fish.

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The Quick Strike Rig is set up to use a hook in the front part of the bait fish (lips, head, just above the gills on top of the fish, etc.) and a second hook goes near the middle top of the bait fish.  This helps anglers get more hook-ups without having to let a pike or muskie swallow the bait.  The goal of the quick-strike rig is to allow anglers to get a quicker hook set when fishing with live suckers and chubs for northern pike and muskie.  It also helps anglers release more fish that will survive to see another day as a result of getting hooked in the mouth and not the back of the throat.

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Rattling jigheads are more popular with bass jigs.  Some of the better bass jigs on the market with use a rattling jighead as the base of the lure.  However, some manufacturers do make smaller jigheads with a rattle on them.  These are more expensive and it can get real expensive in a hurry if you’re fishing a very rocky area and you keep getting snagged up.  However, they can be very effective for a variety of fish.  They work extremely well on largemouth bass and smallmouth bass.


A string of five or six tiny flies with golden hooks.  Attach a small lead weight at the bottom, and the flies can be dangled (with a spinning rod) under a dock or buoy where baitfish school.  Hook one and the others will converge, until almost every hook has a baitfish.  Anglers often tip the hooks with some cut bait or small pieces of shrimp.

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Scrounger Jigheads will make your soft plastics come to life compared to most other rigs.  These jigheads are incredible for slowly retrieving a variety of soft plastics baits.  Soft plastic minnows that are typically used for jigging or drop-shotting will come to life on a scrounger jighead, which gives you the option of using that same soft plastic as a swimbait as well. You do need to compare soft plastics though because some soft plastics look just ok, while others look incredible.

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This jighead was designed to keep your bait upwards when the jighead is on the bottom.
This works well with soft plastics such as worms, lizards, minnows & crayfish.

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The Slider style jigheads are an all in one design for the Texas rigged hook and sinker.  The bullet shaped head helps this jighead slide through vegetation easier.  It is common to use this rig with plastic worms, lizards, creature baits and other soft plastics.

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The Slip Bobber Rig is the way to go if you are looking to fish deeper water, but still use a float.  You can find slip bobber rigs in most bait & tackle shops.  Once you learn how to use them, you’ll agree that they are fairly easy to set up.  In this rig, the bobber slides freely until it hits the bobber stop.  You will set the bobber stop at the depth that you would like to fish your bait.  For example, you may be fishing a deep weed edge and you see that most of the fish are suspended about 15 feet down.  By setting the bobber stop at 15 feet, the line will slide through the bobber and your bait will be positioned exactly where the fish are positioned.  Fishing with slip bobbers is popular among freshwater and saltwater anglers, but it is probably most popular with crappie and walleye anglers.

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The Slip Sinker Rig is very similar to the carolina rig.  If you decided to swap out the split shot for a swivel, it would be the same rig with a different weight.  There are a couple of reasons why the rig that you see to the left is used over the traditional carolina rig.  The first reason is that the walking sinker works great for holding on the bottom, even in current.  By using a split shot instead of a swivel, you can easily move the split shot to change how much line there is in between the split shot and the hook.  When you use a swivel, like in the carolina rig, you have to re-tie to change the length of line between the hook and the weight.  The slip sinker rig is typically used with live bait, but you can also use artificial lures.

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Spinner Rigs are very effective for using live bait while still covering some water.  Fishermen, that like to use live bait, know that it is hard to cover a lot of water while using live bait.  Spinner rigs solve that problem.  They work well with worms, minnows, small bait fish, and leeches.  A spinner rig will include a monofilament snell, a blade and clevise, some beads, and a multiple hook harness.  The Snell length can vary depending on the situation.  Spinner rigs (also known as crawler harnesses) are very popular for trolling.  You can troll for many different types of fish, but most anglers use these rigs to troll for walleye and northern pike.

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The Split Shot Rig is a very popular live bait rig that works for so many different types of live and cut bait.  Anglers also use this rig a lot with soft plastics such as plastic worms, minnows, lizards and more.  It is a simple rig that consists of a split shot as the weight and the hook.


Swimbait hooks are popular for rigging swimbaits, however, these hooks also work great with pretty much every soft plastic that you would use a Texas Rig or Shaky Head Jig with.

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The Texas Rig is one of the more common ways to fish a soft plastic worm.  With this setup, you can fish in and around many different types of cover, over deep water and in the shallows if you go with a lighter weight.  The texas rig is a go to presentation that will work from spring through fall with a variety of different soft plastics and it can be just as effective for largemouth and smallmouth bass. You can also use a Weightless Texas Rig setup when you don’t need the added weight.

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Tube Style Jigheads are designed for fishing with tubes.  Its shape helps the jighead slide completely inside the tubes.

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The Spinner style jighead is great for swimming or hopping a variety of soft plastics.  This type of jighead is very popular among bass, northern pike and crappie anglers.  Grubs, finesse worms and minnow-style soft plastics work well on the spinner style jigheads.  You can also use a variety of live baits such as nightcrawlers, leeches and minnows.

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The Wacky Rig is a very popular rig for using soft plastic worms and live nightcrawlers.  Bass anglers can entice more strikes by hooking their favorite plastic worm or live worm in the middle.  When retrieving the worm with a lift and fall retrieve, the action is much different than when you hook the worm in the front.  The wacky rig provides excellent action to the worm and entices consistent strikes from a variety of bass.

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Weedless jigs are great for fishing around scattered weeds and timber.  It’s amazing how many less snags you will get by using these weedless jigs.  The finesse sized jigs are very popular among the live bait crowd when fishing for walleye and panfish around timber and weeds.  You can use them for a variety of different fish though.


The weightless rig (also known as the “free lining rig”) is very common when fishing for fish higher up in the water column.  You will notice that the picture to the left displays a hook and line.  That’s all it is.  No weights, bobbers, swivels, etc.  Most anglers use this rig when fishing in shallow water, but there are many anglers that will free line a decent-sized live bait over deeper water as well depending on where the fish are in the water column.  This rig is popular for fishing with soft plastics for largemouth and smallmouth bass.  It is also a very popular live bait rig for a variety of different freshwater and saltwater fish.

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The weightless Texas rig is a great rig for using bigger soft plastic baits such as worms, jerkbaits, creatures and lizards.  It’s great for rigging the bait weedless which allows you to fish your baits around all types of cover.

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