Wacky Rigging Duct Tape? How to catch your first bass on soft plastics

Want to learn how to catch your first bass on artificials? Yes! We received a question on social media asking how someone would catch their first bass on artificial bait. We love the question and the opportunity to help. That’s what we’re here for!

What a daunting task it has to be for someone looking to start bass fishing in 2021. Buying a few baits alone could be overwhelming. There’s thousands of different soft plastic and hard baits in a never-ending merry-go-round of colors. Some baits look real and natural, and other baits look like an abstract art project gone astray--a never-ending supply of options all touted to work better than the competition. So instead of trying to unpack all that jazz, how about we start with one soft plastic, one hook, and one color paired with a straightforward 123 approach that will catch bass anywhere in the country.


Soft plastic stick baits don’t look like much, but that’s a part of the beauty of the bait. The original soft plastic stick bait was created by Gary Yamamoto, who got the inspiration for the design by looking at a Bic pen. Initially, the plan was to create a bait similar to a Slug-Go, but it was clear it shined as a finesse bait after testing. You won’t hear me say game-changer often, but Gary Yamamoto’s Senko was/is just that. So now every company that makes soft plastics makes their version of a soft plastic stick bait inspired by the Senko. Why? They flat-out catch fish!

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There are various ways to rig a soft plastic stick bait, but arguably the most effective way to present these baits is by wacky rigging them. When you let a soft plastic stick bait on a wacky rig fall on a semi-slack line, ole buddy, you’re cooking with peanut oil. As the soft plastic stick bait falls on a wacky rig, the tips of the bait shimmy back and forth in a way that drives bass crazy!


Rigging a soft plastic stick bait on a wacky rig couldn’t be easier. Grab yourself a TK137 Pro-V Finesse Hook and put it through the middle of the soft plastic stick bait like the photo below. That’s it. A part of me wants to elaborate further on a wacky rig, but… that’s it. Take your TK137 and hook it directly through the middle of the soft plastic stick bait, end of story. Yes, you can use an O-ring and O-ring tool to get more fish per bait, but we’re going to stick to the meat and potatoes of the question for this blog, catching bass!

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I prefer fishing a wacky rig on either a  7-foot medium-fast action EC 2.5 Bass rod or EC3.5 Pro Series rod paired with an EC2.5 spinning reel spooled with light braid and a fluorocarbon leader. If I lost you there, don’t worry, you can fish a wacky rig on whatever setup you’re currently fishing with, including lighter trout gear, for instance. It might not be ideal, but you can catch your first bass, hopefully a ton more, and then consider grabbing a bass specific rod and reel combo.


Ready for the simplicity to keep on rolling right through this blog? The initial fall of the wacky rigged soft plastic stick bait is the juice, but you have to position yourself to get out of the way, and be ready to set the hook. What I mean by getting out of the way is not imparting any action into the bait using the rod or reel. The design of the bait and rig will do all the work if you let it. Cast your wacky rig to a piece of structure or cover and keep your line semi-slack. I know saying semi-slack line can be confusing, so we’re going to unwrap that a bit. You’ll get bit if you cast out a wacky rig and just let it fall on slack line, but you won’t see half the bite. The only reason you keep the line semi slack is so you can see the bites translate through the line that are sometimes a subtle tick. After a few casts you’ll find the sweet spot and get the perfect semi-slack bow in your line that won’t change the free fall of the bait but is tight enough to give that tick telling you it’s time to set the hook.



A wacky-rigged soft plastic stick bait shines when worked around the edges of structure and cover. I’d sound like Bubba Gump when he starts talking about all the ways to cook shrimp if I started listing every piece of structure and cover where this setup will catch bass. That being said, the outside edges of cattails, weed edges and docks are all high percentage areas common across the country.



Going back to what I wrote in the second paragraph a bit. Color selection of soft plastic stick baits can be overwhelming. Anglers are a crazy bunch, and demand has created soft plastic stick bait in hundreds of colors. I have some off-the-wall colors that I love, but more often than not, I fish green pumpkin. Green pumpkin is bass fishing duct tape that works well in a wide variety of water clarity conditions.


  1. Wacky Rigged green pumpkin soft plastic stick bait
  2. Cast the rig into cover and let it fall on semi slack line
  3. As soon as you see your line tick or move, reel down and set the hook! When you’re bass fishing, something else worth mentioning is it’s always worth the effort to cover more water. Don’t work the same piece of cover for hours on end. If the laydown you’re casting to doesn’t produce a bite, move onto the next piece of structure or cover and start working that. As a rule of thumb, I never spend more than 10 minutes in one spot that hasn’t given me a reason to stay.

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To pick up everything needed to start wacky rigging check out our Lazer Sharp Pro-Series Avid-Kit-Finesse/Neko and Wacky kit. 

If you have any questions about this blog or about fishing in general, fire away in the comment section below, we’re here to help!

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