Best Hooks for a Wacky Rig – Complete Guide

There is little doubt the wacky rig is a tremendous way to catch bass. New anglers and professionals alike rely on this presentation to catch bass on a consistent basis.

An ideal wacky rig hook is short-shanked with a wide gap. These hooks have enough room to hold the wacky worm in the gap and still present enough space for successful hookups.

While anglers can have success with almost any hook style, these specially designed wacky rig models are easy to use for anglers and present the compact profile that makes wacky rigging so effective.

The Wacky Rig Fall and Hook Design

The subtle shimmy action of a quality stick bait as it falls weightless is what bass find irresistible. 

A short-shank wide gap hook keeps the weight of the hook close to the stick bait. This design allows the lure to fall in the most natural manner possible.

Longer-shanked hooks present more surface area and resist the water differently than a short-shanked model. This resistance can alter the fall of the lure.

(Here is an article on what triggers bass to bite.)

The Importance of the Wide Gap on a Wacky Rig Hook

Most stick baits, commonly the 5” versions, have a larger diameter than say a standard trick worm. This bulk is what creates the ideal action, but it can also impede the hookset when a narrower gapped hook is used.

A wide gap gives some room for the worm to move freely and still offers anglers a high-percentage hook-up ratio.

Many manufacturers offer their wacky rig hooks in four different sizes.

ManufacturerSize 4Size 2Size 1Size 1/0Size 2/0Size 3/0Size 4/0
VMC – WK Wackyxxxxxxx
Eagle Claw TK97xxxx
Mustad – KVD Weedlessxxx
Gamakatsu – G Finesse Wackyxxxxx
Sizes and offerings may vary since the time of publication

Standard Wacky Rig Hooks vs. Weedless Hooks

The wacky rig can work in a variety of situations. Open water, vegetation, rock, around wood, and about anything else you can think of.

Weedless wacky rig hooks have a small wire or polymer guard that runs from the eye to the barb of the hook. 

While far from truly “weedless” the guard does definitely help when fishing around wood. To save yourself the most frustration when flipping a wacky rig near some laydowns or brush, be sure to retrieve the rig slow and steady when the presentation is over.

Most hang-ups will occur when the lure is yanked back to the angler. This sudden and strong movement will easily dislodge the weed guard when it hits something hard.

By pulling the lure carefully over the limbs the guard is more likely to stay in place and save you the hassle of breaking off.

Should Wacky Rig Hooks be Rigged Through an O-Ring?

I have fished a wacky rig with and without an o-ring. After making countless presentations, I can say that I prefer to fish the rig with the hook piercing the worm in the traditional manner.

While a proper fitting o-ring can help eliminate baits ripping prematurely, I feel that my hook-up ratio is much better without the o-ring.

The other issue is there is a considerable amount of variance in diameter between lure manufacturers. While one brand of stick bait may fit snugly on an o-ring, another brand may slide too easily and result in lost baits anyway.

Each angler should experiment with o-rings and determine what they have the most success with.

This Bass Pro Shops Weighted Wacky Jighead is great for fishing deeper and with a faster fall rate. Click on image for link to site.

Weighted Wacky Rig Hooks and Fall Rate

I am a huge fan of a weighted wacky rig hook. For several reasons.

I feel the added weight imparts more action to the lure. During underwater tests, I noticed a substantial increase in the “shimmy” of the stick bait. 

A fast fall rate is also a benefit in clear water. Bass are very curious and will come right up to a lure and watch it. If something looks unnatural, the fish are more apt to turn away. 

In stained water, a slower fall rate is beneficial. I prefer a slightly faster fall right when fishing in clear water. This means the bass are more inclined to react on instinct when they see something falling through the water column. Granted, a weighted wacky rig still does not have the fast drop that a Texas rig can have, but I do have more confidence with a weighted wacky in gin clear water.

The weight is also important when fishing in river systems and battling current. When I fish the Upper Mississippi River a weighted wacky rig is my go-to for many situations. 

The other benefit of a weighted wacky rig hook is the quicker fall rate allows anglers to fish the lure in deeper water.

There is a noticeable difference in time spent waiting if the bass are sitting in 10ft of water as opposed to 2ft. The added weight means an angler can make many more presentations in a day.

Good luck out there and be sure to encourage someone today. You never know how you may change their life forever.

Isaiah 6:8

Steve Rogers

Steve spends his time filming and writing about bass fishing. You may even see him in your area. If so, stop and say "hi."

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