5 Rigs You Need in Your Tackle Box

5 Rigs You Need in Your Tackle Box

Most anglers get comfortable with a few favorite rigs and often forget to experiment with newer models that are designed for specific applications. Sure Texas, Carolina, and Lindy rigs have caught a lot of fish and still should still be used.

But this doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t experiment with the innovation found in modern rigs. Many anglers were very skeptical when the drop shot first hit the U.S. market, but I think it’s safe to say that rig has stood the test of time.

Here are five not-so-secret rigs that you should consider having in your tackle box.


A Neko rig originated in Japan for bass. In layman’s terms, a Neko rig is a nail-weighted wacky rig. You hook a plastic worm in the middle and put a nail weight in one end so that it both can be cast, but at the same time creates a unique fall when rigged in this manner.

This incredibly effective finesse bass tactic is great by itself, but the Neko hooks are actually very versatile. Besides a sharp point, a good Neko hook has an epoxied eye so that light line doesn’t get pinched in the gap and break.

Another great way to use a Neko hook is actually for drop shotting. This uniquely shaped hook does much better than a traditional drop shot hook when using larger plastics and allows anglers to thread the lure on. This makes it much more difficult to lose the bait and keeps the hook further away from the line for short-biting fish. This exact same rig is excellent for walleye when you replace the soft plastic lure with live bait.

Wide Gap Turned Up Eye

As much as soft plastics and other artificial lures play a role in fishing, it’s safe to say just as many if not more people still use live bait as their go-to option. When fishing straight live bait the size and liveliness are definitely important, but so is the hook style.

As the name states the wide gap tuned up eye hook has a large gap that allows for larger bait to be used, which also aids in getting a better hookup. One caveat that is very important to understand is that this style of hook should be attached with a snell knot.

With a snell, the hook is going up into the mouth instead of pulling out. This occurs because by snelling the hook it comes out at the proper angle and not at variable angles. A traditional knot can slide all over the line tie hole in different directions, in return changing the direction of the point of the hook. In reality, this needs to be done with any turned-up eye, another good example being an octopus hook.

The wide gap turned up eye excels for catfish with either live or dead bait and even species such as largemouth bass when using large live shiners.

Bladed Treble

In fishing, most of us learn you don’t always need to reinvent the wheel—just tweak it a bit. Anglers have received the relatively new addition of factory-made bladed trebles so well, they seem to be sold out consistently at shops across the country. The small willow blade puts a little bit of extra flash out that seems to enhance just about any lure where a treble hook can be attached. The list includes, but is not limited to, crankbaits, spoons, glide baits, and even stinger hooks.

Popular lures such as a Jigging Rap really seem to catch more fish with this bedazzled treble hook. As important in most cases, it keeps you from having to use live bait. They certainly aren’t cheap, but they sure do work and keep you from buying even more costly minnows.

Tokyo Rig

The name itself lets us know that this is yet another modified technique brought over from Japan. The Tokyo Rig is available with many different types of hooks depending on the lure type you are planning to fish. What makes it unique is the long firm wire that comes off of the shared swivel. You slide a sinker like you would use for a Texas rig up onto the shaft and using a pair of pliers bend just the end of it to keep the weight secure. This is important because you can now change weight types and sizes without cutting and retying your entire rig. Another added benefit is you don’t have any line wear from the sinker.

A big selling point of the Tokyo rig is that it allows you to fish bottom without plowing your lure and hook right into the bottom. This extremely versatile rigging system can be used with almost any type of soft plastic and much like the Neko hook, you can fish it with live bait for walleye, panfish, or catfish.

Spin Drift

If you fish live bait long enough you know that twist in your line is a quick way to ruin both your line and your chance at catching some fish. The Spin Drift has a partial swivel adhered to the shaft to ensure that your line won’t twist, but your bait will.

The very popular method of slow death rigging is accomplished by using a small piece of nightcrawler and allowing it to almost tumble in a circle. The problem with many slow-death bent hooks is quality and twist, which is why the spin drift is so successful.

The key to using the Spin Drift hook is to thread the worm completely up on the shaft and even over a good portion of the hook’s bend before coming out with the point. This question mark-shaped bend in the worm creates the roll and wobble that fish find attractive. Experiment with different overall lengths of the worm past the hook’s bend. In many cases, less is more. In some cases, switching out to an artificial worm can also be successful.

There is an old saying that the only thing that comes in direct contact with a fish is the hook, so choose wisely.

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