If you’ve watched any of my videos or read some of my past blogs, you know that I’m really big on how baits move. Whether it’s side-to-side, up-and-down, or just simple undulation, slight variations are often the difference between a great day and simply a good one.
But what if I told you that I had a soft plastic presentation that moves differently than anything else out there? You’d be crazy not to listen. When you get to the typical highly-pressured lake on a Saturday morning, there may be 20 guys throwing Texas Rigs and 20 more guys throwing Carolina Rigs. If you can get your soft plastic to move just a little bit differently, the result can often be more bites.
That’s where the “sliding weight rig” comes in. What’s great about this one is not just that the fish haven’t seen it, but also that it’s super simple and doesn’t require much new gear, or really any at all.
Start with the hook. I like offset hooks for this technique, either round bends or EWGs, usually in sizes from 1/0 to 4/0. Any bigger than that and it gets slightly more difficult to rig. Next, you need a dropshot weight. The clip-style weights are OK, but open eye versions work better here. All shapes can be employed, but I prefer teardrop or cylinder weights.
You’ll also need some sort of sinker stop to keep the weight in place once it’s rigged. There are various options, such as VMC sinker stops and various rubber pieces marketed as “bait keepers.”
Last but not least, you’ll need some soft plastics. Another great thing about the sliding presentation is that you can let your imagination run wild – there are endless options from tubes to worms to creatures. I tend to prefer straight tail worms, soft stickbaits, or craw and beaver-style lures.
Whichever lure you choose, you start off rigging it like a normal Texas Rig: run your hook down about 1/8 of an inch or so, and pop it out, but don’t reinsert it just yet. Instead, put a rubber stopper on the shank, then add the weight, and then add the other stopper. Now finish your Texas rig. The stops keep the weight from sliding too far in either direction.
This is unique because it does special things on the fall and on the retrieve. On the cast, the weight is sliding around and the bait falls horizontally, almost like a wacky rig. Once it hits the bottom, work it just like a normal worm or jig. The weight will kick up silt as you drag it, and every time the weight slides the bait will shift in a distinctive wobbling motion.
Another advantage of this rig is that when you get a bite, the fish is grabbing nothing but hook. The weight doesn’t get in the way, so your hookup percentage will go way up.
Finally, the movement of the weight produces just a little bit of sound, the minor clacking that replicates the noises made by minnows or crawfish. This really is an all-around killer. It’s so incredibly easy to build and doesn’t require any specialized gear or expensive purchases. I guarantee that if you give it a try you’re going to catch more fish.
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