The best fishing rig is not one individual rig, but instead, it is the best fishing rig for the type of fishing you are trying to do. What may work as a great bass rig may not be good for a crappie rig, and vice versa.

To know what fishing rig to use, you will need to know what type of fishing you will be doing and where you will be doing it.

What is a Fishing Rig?

First, you need to know what a fishing rig actually is.

A fishing rig is a setup that combines different items to make the rig. It will typically include a sinker, swivel, bobber, hook, and some type of bait. Fishing rigs are commonly used with live bait, but they can also be used with lures.

To make a fishing rig, you will need to have the following items in your tackle box:

Having these items in your tackle box will allow you to make any fishing rig you need.

The Best Fishing Rigs

Carolina Rig

This is often considered the best fishing rig because of how it allows the bait to move freely in the water. The Carolina rig gives the bait a natural movement while in the water, making it more noticeable to fish.

A Carolina rig can be used to target any type of fish, which is another reason it is so successful among anglers.

To set up a Carolina rig, you will connect a bullet weight and a beat to the line and then tie the line to a swivel. Then you will attach between 12” and 18” of fishing line to the swivel. At the end of the line, you will tie your hook and use the bait of your choice.

Live bait works best with Carolina rigs, but you can also use soft plastics to replicate live bait.

Three-Way Swivel Rig

The three-way swivel rig is great for fishing the bottom. This means you will likely target catfish and other species that bottom-feed.

The three-way swivel is an easy rig to set up, and it is even easier to use.

To set up a three-way swivel rig, you will take the main fishing line from your reel and attach it to a three-way swivel. One end of the three-way swivel will be attached to the main fishing line, one end will be attached to a sink, and one end will be attached to a hook.

The sinker drags the line to the bottom while the three-way swivel allows the line with the hook to float a little bit above. This allows the bait to float naturally in the water and makes it noticeable for bottom-feeding fish.

Texas Rig

You will want to use this rig when using soft plastic worms. It is quick, easy, and very effective. It is a fan favorite among anglers.

A Texas rig uses a bullet sinker, a soft plastic lure, and a worm hook. The bullet sinker is attached to the line first. Then you will tie on your worm hook. Once the worm hook is tied on, you will take the soft plastic lure and insert the hook into the head of the lure for about an inch or inch and ½ until the hook comes out of the lure on the other side.

Once that happens, you will slide the body of the soft plastic lure all the way down the hook until it reaches the top of the hook where the bullet weight is located. Finally, you will take the body of the lure and insert the hook at the location where the lure will be stretched out perfectly, concealing the point of the hook.

Texas rigs are quick, easy, and very effective for catching bass.

Basic Bobber Rig

We’ve all fished these types of rigs before because they are fool-proof.

The basic bobber rig takes a bobber, a sinker, and a hook. The bobber is attached high on the line, about 24” or so to where the hook is tied on. Near the hook, there will be a sinker or a weight attached to the line. This will allow the hook with your bait to sink into the water while the bobber stays on top.

The bobber rig is so effective because you don’t have to rely on feeling the line to know when a fish is biting. Instead, you just watch the bobber, and if it starts to bounce, you know you are getting a bite. When the bobber goes completely under, the fish has taken your bait, and it’s time to set the hook!

Split Shot Rig

A split shot rig will use a soft plastic lure that has been rigged onto a hook and connect it to a 3-way swivel that has another line with a split shot sinker(s) attached.

A split shot sinker has a groove that runs down the length of the sinker and can be pinched closed around the line to keep it in place. To remove them, simply open the sinkers back up and pull them off the line. They are very quick and easy to use.

You can rig your soft plastic lure to the hook by using a Texas or Carolina rig. These are the most effective and preferred ways to attach your bait. The weight of the split shot sinkers you use will keep the line on the bottom while the bait floats naturally above it.

Drop Shot Rig

A drop shot rig will have a hook tied to the main fishing line, and the line will continue going until it reaches the end where a weight or sinker has been attached to it. Drop shot rigs are effective in areas that are difficult to maneuver a lure through, which is what gives the drop shot rig its name.

Drop shot rigs should be cast directly from the side of the boat and straight down to the area below. You will need to keep the line tight and free from slack for the bait to finesse the right way. When there is slack, the bait will not move as much, so make sure you keep your line tight and pop your rod every now and then to make the bait move.

Wacky Rig

It has a funny name, but that’s because it’s a funny concept.

A wacky rig is when you take a soft plastic lure, typically a Senko worm, and thread the hook in the very middle of the worm so that there are two equal sides on each side of the hook.

Wacky worms are successful because bass typically strike the worm in the very center of the worm, which is exactly where the hook is located. By placing the hook in the middle of the worm using a wacky rig, you significantly increase the chances of hooking a fish that strikes the rig.

Umbrella Rig

As long as you’re not fishing in a tournament, you can use an umbrella rig. Umbrella rigs have been banned in most fishing tournaments because they are so effective. To keep the competition fair, umbrella rigs are typically not allowed.

Umbrella rigs will connect a 5 wire rig to the fishing line, giving you five total lures to put in the water from one line. The 5 wire rig should have a swivel on each end so that you can attach the lure or the hook of your choice. This gives you the option of using many different baits or lures to see which one is the most effective. Work smarter, not harder, right?

Unfortunately, 5 wire rigs aren’t legal in all states, so you will need to make sure the state in which you are fishing will allow 5 wire rigs to be used. Otherwise, you could be faced with some harsh penalties.

Why Are Fishing Rigs Important?

Fishing rigs are important because you need to have as much control over your bait in the water as you can from the bank or the boat. The method in which you attach hooks, sinkers, and bait can create a different effect as the bait is in the water.

Fishing rigs can also step up your fishing game. You could be doing everything right; have the right lure, with the right color, in the right location, but nothing is working. Changing the way your lure or bait is positioned and moving in the water can make all the difference in the world.


We hope this has helped you understand the difference between the many types of fishing rigs, as well as which fishing rig may be the best for you to use.

Next time you go out on the water, give one of these fishing rigs a try. We bet they will make a difference in how the fish respond and react to the bait you are using. Don’t be afraid to give different ones a try. Practice makes perfect!