How to Rig Soft Plastic Fishing Baits
Have you ever felt overwhelmed when walking into a fishing aisle at a large retailer? It can be hard to know where to start when there are literally thousands of hooks and lures of all styles, colors, sizes and more.
Soft plastics are themselves just as complicated. Since they are one of the most excellent tools in a saltwater fisherman has, there are likewise hundreds of shapes, colors, and more. Understanding how to rig a soft plastic fishing bait will help you better wrap your head around the concept as a whole and make a more informed decision about what will work best for you. A solid understanding of these methods can also be the difference between a slow on the water and a great one.
Our Favorite Types of Hooks
These are the hooks we personally use and recommend for soft plastic bait fishing. Always experiment on your own to see what works for you.
- Mission Fishin ⅛ oz. Jig-Head
- Mission Fishin Jig-Head (Weaveless).
- Hook with Pinchweight. Screws right into the lure. There are also fixed weight versions to give your bait more depth and movement.
- Standard worm hook (Gamakatsu).
There are also pinch weights and DOA hot heads that make great accessories to your baits/hooks. With hot heads you just push the hooks through the heads the same way.
How to Rig Soft Plastic Bait
With a Jig-Head:
- Pull the hook through the top of the bait
- Push the hook out the side as the hook starts to round. Make sure it is center.
I recommend you start with something like the DOA C.A.L. Shad Tail soft bait with a 180 bounce jig-head.
The same applies for the Weaveless Mission Fishin Jig-Head. You just take the weed guard and attach it to the hook.
With a Regular Hook:
- Again, pull the hook through the nose of the soft plastic bait and out the side as it starts to turn.
- Slide Bait to the base (not tip) of the hook.
- Pull/Turn the hook, securing the bait to the 90-degree notch at the top of the hook.
- The hook should be coming out of the side of the bait and turning back into the soft plastic bait.
- Push the hook back into the bait, making it weedless.
I recommend you use the Exude™ soft bait for this type of hook. The Exudes have slots designed for the hook that help guide you through the process.
You can add weight to your lure with a pinch weight. You literally just pinch the weight onto the hook to allow it to sink at a different weight a give you a different action.
Gamakatsu Hook with Screw and Weight
- Screw it into the top of the soft plastic bait.
- Turn it so that the underside of the bait faces the tip of the hook.
- Like with the regular hook, bend the bait and push the hook into the underside of the bait so that it comes out the back.
- Make sure it is centered to avoid twist.
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