The 5 Best Bass Fishing Rigs for Beginner’s

When I first started bass fishing I was overwhelmed with all of the different bass fishing rigs, baits, lures and techniques I needed to learn to be able to catch bass. With so many options I wasn’t sure where to start or what bass fishing rigs to use.

I wasted a lot of time and money buying things I didn’t need, not rigging my baits correctly and fishing with stuff that didn’t’ work. Needless to say I didn’t have much success.

Over the years through my own experience and learning from other anglers, I’ve learned exactly what takes to have success bass fishing and now I enjoy sharing and teaching others.

If you are a beginner or simply want to learn how to catch more bass and are looking for some simple bass fishing rigs that you can use to catch fish, than this article is for you.

In this bass fishing rigs for beginners guide you’ll learn about:

  • Best bass fishing equipment for beginners
  • Best bass fishing rigs, baits and techniques for beginners
  • Simple tips and strategies that will help you catch more fish
  • Everything you need to know about getting started into bass fishing

Let’s begin.  

Bass Fishing Setup for Beginners

First things first. Let’s talk about the basic bass fishing setups you’ll need to be able to throw these rigs effectively.

Here are the two most versatile and basic bass fishing setups that I’d recommend any angler get that is just starting out. These two combinations will allow you to throw a variety of baits and rigs and will help start catching bass.

Setup #1: Spinning Combo

Having a solid spinning rod and reel setup is a must have for any bass fishing angler. In my opinion the most versatile rod is a 7’ to 7’2” medium. This length is perfect for finesse fishing techniques like the Drop Shot, Wacky Rig, Ned rig and others.

As far as a reel size goes a 3000 (or 30) size reel is ideal. It holds a lot of line and it’s the perfect in-between size that works great for bass. With that being said you can fish with smaller reals just fine when starting out.

If you already have a spinning setup that you can use that to start. However, if you plan on bass fishing frequently I would recommend getting a dedicated bass fishing spinning reel combination.

Here is a great spinning rod combination setup for targeting bass. It’s versatile and will allow you to throw a wide range of finesses baits and lures.

Recommended Spinning Setup

Setup #2: Casting Combo

Another fishing rod and reel setup that every bass fishing angler needs is a baitcasting combination. Without one you’ll be unable to fish certain baits and techniques effectively.  

If you are new to bass fishing the perfect bait casting combination is a 7’ to 7’2” medium to medium heavy powered rod paired with 7:1 to 7:9 gear ratio reel. This probably one of the most versatile setups and will allow you to throw heavier baits and rigs.

If you already have a casting setup you can use what you have and then upgrade from there. If don’t have one or are planning on bass fishing frequently here is the setup, I’d recommend.

Recommended Casting Setup

Okay, now that we have covered the basic equipment you’ll want to have for bass fishing let’s now discuss the best bass fishing rigs for beginners and everything you’ll need to know to get started catching bass.

The 5 Best Bass Fishing Rigs for Beginner’s

If you have ever walked down the aisle of a local tackle shop you have probably noticed the hundreds of baits and lures options that are available for bass fishing. 

With so many options it can be overwhelming and confusing at times, especially if you are a beginner.

For that reason, I have put together the following list of best bass fishing rigs & baits for beginners. All of these rigs and baits are simple to learn, easy to throw and most importantly will help you catch a lot of bass.

Let’s begin.

Texas Rig

A Versatile bass fishing rig ideal for fishing soft plastic baits around heavy cover and vegetation

The Texas rig is one of the most versatile and effective ways to catch bass using soft plastic baits. It’s extremely versatile, easy to fish and it’s an ideal rig for bass fishing beginners.

The Texas rig has four basic components: a soft plastic bait, bullet-shaped sinker, hook and an optional pegging device to keep your weight from sliding.

This rig is considered a weedless rig which allows anglers to fish soft plastic baits into hard-to-fish cover like grass, trees, bushes, and other types of structure.

Let’s take a look at the gear & tackle you’ll need, how to rig and fish this popular bass fishing rig.

What Gear to Use

Having a solid bait casting setup will allow to fish bass fishing rigs like the Texas Rig. The casting combination I mentioned above will work great for throwing the Texas Rig in most every situation. If you want to have a specialized setup for a Texas rig here is what I would recommend:

  • Rod Length: 7’2 to 7’6
  • Rod Power & Action: Medium to Medium Heavy, Fast
  • Reel: High speed reel(7:1 and up)
  • Line: 12-20 (Heavier the cover the bigger the line)

Texas Rig Setup

One of the great things about the Texas Rig is that you can adjust the size of your hooks, weights, and baits depending upon the caliber of fish you are targeting and the forage you are imitating.

If you are just learning to throw the Texas Rig its best to keep things simple at first and only select a few different baits.

Here is my all-time favorite Texas Rig fishing setup that can help get you started:

How to Rig a Texas Rig

Tying on and rigging the Texas rig is pretty simple. Here are the few basic steps:

  1. Put on a bobber stopper (optional). This will keep your weight from sliding up and down. I’d recommend this if fishing in heavy cover. If not, a bobber stopper isn’t needed.
  2. Insert your line into the bullet weight.
  3. Tie on the hook with the knot of your choice (I use a Palomar knot)
  4. Insert hook into the nose of the bait
  5. Exit about a ¼ inch from tip of nose
  6. Pull hook through body, rotate hook and embed the point into the bait.
  7. Embed the point right under or through the bait surface at an angle angel that keeps the bait straight.

From more information about how to tie one the Texas Rig check out this video tutorial by Gene Jensen.

How to Fish a Texas Rig

One of the reasons why the Texas rig is such a versatile and effective bass fishing rig is because there really isn’t a wrong way to fish it. If there are bass around they will bite a properly rigged Texas Rig worm or creature bait.

Here are some of the best ways to work a Texas Rig:

Pitching and Flipping – Pitching and flipping your Texas Rig is grass, lily pads, trees, bushes and any other type of structure is perhaps the most common and effective way to fish a Texas Rig. Simply pick out a piece of structure and flip you bait all around it and you’ll catch some big bass.

Dragging – Simply dragging your Texas Rig after a nice cast can certainly catch plenty of bass. This technique is especially effective when the bass are being finicky.

Lifting and Dropping – A great way to have your Texas Rig imitate a crayfish or small bait fish is by lifting it up and dropping it as you retrieve it in. This technique can produce some nice bites.

Swimming – Making a long cast and slowly swimming your bait can be an effective way to catch bass in the spring and summer when they are active.

The Texas rig is a staple in bass fishing and is a rig that every angler needs to learn and use. It’s versatility and overall effectiveness makes it a great bass fishing rig. I’d highly recommend trying this rig out on your next fishing adventure.

Ned Rig

Arguably one of the easiest and best bass fishing rigs for beginners, ideal for fishing open water

The Ned Rig is a super popular finesse bass fishing rig that excels in tough fishing conditions. This technique has quickly become a go-to rig for many anglers and is an easy way to catch bass making it a perfect rig for any skill level.

The Ned rig consists of a light mushroom-style jig head paired with a small stick bait or senko. It’s considered an ultra-finesse technique because it’s generally fished on light line and tackle.

Let’s discuss the gear and tackle you’ll need for the Ned Rig and how to effectively fish it and catch bass using this simple bass fishing rig.  

What Gear to Use

The Ned Rig is a finesse bass fishing technique meaning that its best thrown using light line and on a spinning rod. The spinning rod and reel combo I mentioned earlier can work great when throwing the Ned Rig.

Here is the exact equipment I’d recommend for this technique:

  • Rod Length: 7’ to 7’4
  • Rod Power & Action: Medium to Medium light, Fast
  • Reel: High speed reel
  • Line: 6-8 Fluorocarbon

Ned Rig Setup

The Ned Rig is one of the easiest ways to catch bass and works especially great in clear water and for smallmouth. I’ve also caught plenty of big largemouth on this rig as well. The size of jig head, bait will depend upon the how deep you are fishing it and the caliber of bass you are targeting. 

Here is my all-time favorite Ned Rig setup that will work just about anywhere.

How to Rig a Ned Rig

Setting up a Ned Rig is pretty simple and straightforward. Simply grab your mushroom style jig head and slide the point of the hook into the top of your bait. Slowly push the hook into the bait and pop it out of the middle of the bait. Make sure your bait looks straight and isn’t bent.

For more insight on how to Rig this technique check out his video by Okuma Fishing Tackle USA.

How to Fish a Ned Rig

Although some anglers refer to the Ned Rig as a do nothing rig. There a few techniques and retrieves that might help you catch more fish. Here is a list of some of my favorites ways to fish a Ned Rig that can be a great way to trigger some bass into biting.


This technique shines when the fish are feeding more aggressively. Try this technique by simply casting your rig out and letting it fall to the bottom, as it falls give it some more action by shaking your rod lightly. Once your bait is on the bottom, simply shake and reel your rig back to you or the boat. You can try different depths depending on where the fish are holding.

The Drag

This retrieve is simple yet effective. I like to think of it as letting the bait do all of the work. In this retrieve, cast your Ned Rig out, once it’s on the bottom place your rod at 3 o’clock and with your rod, slowly drag the bait towards you. You want make sure that you are only reeling in your slack line as you are dragging it with your rod. This is one of my favorite methods for catching finicky bass.


After launching the bait let it fall to the bottom and simply allow your bait to lie dead for about five seconds. After this you can shake it and work it back in and then dead stick it again by holding your rod still. Rinse, wash and repeat. At times this is by far the most effective way to fish a Ned rig.


This retrieving method is much like the drag technique. After your cast, hold your rod to about the five-o’clock position. Once your bait has fallen to the bottom, hop it by turning your reel handle twice, and then pause, Allow the lure to fall back while shaking the rod. Repeat this cadence throughout your retrieve.

Swim It

No need for too much detail for this retrieve. Cast your rig out and hold your rod at 2- to 5-o’clock and slowly turn the reel handle at a moderate speed. You can also improve your probably for success by adding some shakes and pauses as your work the bait in. I don’t use this method as much but there are times when it can be a key player and catch more fish.

Wacky Rig

One of the easiest and best bass fishing rigs for beginners, perfect for fishing around shallow structure, docks and isolated cover.

The Wacky Rig is a simple, yet killer bass fishing rig. It consists of a small hook (typically a wide gap finesse #1, 1/0, 2/0) and a Senko or stick style soft plastic worm. Some anglers will add an O-ring to the center (which I recommend as well) which helps your soft plastic worms last longer. It will also increase your hook up ratio, so you’ll hook and land more fish.

The Wacky Rig can be an effective bass fishing technique pretty much anywhere but it excels around key structures such as docks, grass lines and rock banks. It does tend to get hung up in heavy cover due to its exposed hook.

Let’s take a closer look at the equipment and gear you’ll need and how to setup and fish the Wacky Rig.

What Gear to Use

The Wacky Rig can be thrown using either a bait caster or a spinning setup. I’ve had the most success throwing it on a spinning rod. This rig is super lightweight and is most effective when fished on lighter line. You’ll get more bites and have an easier time casting.

Here is the equipment I’d recommend using:

  • Rod Length: 6’10” to 7’2
  • Rod Power & Action: Medium to Medium light, Fast
  • Reel: High speed reel
  • Line: 6-10 Fluorocarbon depending upon caliber of fish

Wacky Rig Setup

The Wacky Rig is a simple bass fishing technique but having the proper setup and fishing it correctly will help increase your chances of success dramatically.

Here is my all-time favorite Wacky Rig setup that will flat out catch you a bunch of bass:

How to Rig a Wacky Rig

Rigging a Wacky Rig is as easy as it gets, but there are a few things to pay attention to that can make a big difference. Here are some tips and tricks hat will help you rig a Wacky Rig correctly.

5 easy steps to setup a wacky rig:

  1. Get your tackle together (senko, O-ring/wacky rig tool, hook)
  2. Slide bait into wacky rig tool
  3. Pop O-ring onto the plastic bait
  4. Rig the hook just under the O-ring
  5. You are ready to fish

Check out this video tutorial for more instruction and information on how to rig a Wacky Rig.  

How to Fish a Wacky Rig

The bread and butter of the Wacky Rig is the fall. This is an important thing to remember because you are going to catch the majority of your fish as its falling.

If you can get your Wacky Rig to flutter down right in front of bass, they are going to have a hard time resisting.

The best places to throw the Wacky Rig is around docks, cover, structure and in shallow water. However, it can be effective pretty much anywhere.

Here are some steps and tips to help you fish the wacky rig:

  • Cast out to your target and let your bait fall on slack line.
  • Watch your line carefully and look for any pops, jerks or twitches.
  • If you do feel something different, be ready to set the hook.
  • Let your bait fall all the way to the bottom.
  • Once you’re on the bottom, lift up your bait with your rod and bring the bait toward you and let if fall back down.
  • Repeat this until your bait is out of position.
  • When you do feel a tick, jerk or see your line move. Set the hook and land your bass.

For more information on how to catch bass on the Wacky Rig, check out this article: How to Fish a Wacky Rig (Easiest Rig Ever)

Carolina Rig

One of the all-time great bass fishing rigs that will catch bass just about anywhere

Another great bass fishing rig that will help beginners catch a ton of fish is the Carolina Rig. This rig has been catching bass for decades and it doesn’t matter whether you are targeting largemouth, smallmouth or spotted bass this rig gets it done.

The Carolina Rig or “C-Rig” is a bottom fishing technique that holds your bait near the bottom and allows you to cover water effectively. It’s easy to cast, setup and most importantly it will help you catch a lot of bass.

Let’s take a look at the gear & tackle you’ll need, how to rig and fish this popular bass fishing technique.

What Gear to Use

The gear and equipment you’ll need to throw the Carolina Rig is very similar to the Texas Rig.

You’ll want to have bait casting setup to allow you to fish this technique. You want something with power and that will allow you to throw heavier line.

Here is the type of setup you’ll need to have to fish the Carolina Rig effectively:

  • Rod Length: 7’2 to 7’6
  • Rod Power & Action: Medium to Medium Heavy, Fast
  • Reel: High speed reel(7:1 and up)
  • Line: 12-20 (Heavier the cover the bigger the line)

Carolina Rig Setup

The Carolina Rig is pretty simple but it has a few more components than some of the other bass fishing rigs mentioned in this guide. There a lot of different baits and small modifications you can make. We are going to keep it pretty simple.

Here is the basic terminal tackle you’ll need to be able to rig and fish the Carolina Rig.

  • Weight (1/2 to 1 ounce)
  • Swivel
  • Bead
  • Wide Gap Hook (2/0, 3/0,)
  • Line:
  • Leader Material: Monofilament (2 1/2 – 3ft)
  • Peg ­(Optional)
  • Soft Plastic Bait (Creature bait or worm)

Here is my all-time favorite Carolina Rig setup that will get you started and help you catch a bunch of bass.

How to Rig a Carolina Rig

Out of all the rigs mentioned in this list the Carolina Rig requires a few extra steps and knots to get it properly rigged. Here is an excellent video on rigging the Carolina Rig. Or you can follow these simple steps below to get your Carolina Rig setup and ready to fish.

Carolina Rigging Steps

  1. Place your bobber stopper onto your main fishing line
  2. Below your bobber stopper slide your weight and beads if you are using them
  3. Tie your favorite fishing knot to your swivel
  4. Add about 2 to 3ft monofilament leader and tie it to the other end of your swivel.
  5. Tie your leader material to your EWG style hook
  6. Texas Rig your bait to your hook
  7. You are ready to fish.

How to Fish a Carolina Rig

The reason why the Carolina Rig can be so effective is because your bait will look very natural to the fish and can look like an easy meal. This technique is designed to be dragged on the bottom and imitates bait fish or crawdads.

Here is how you can effectively fish the Carolina Rig

  1. Cast your rig to where you the fish are at (around structure, rocks, logs, etc.).
  2. Let your bait sink all the way to the bottom
  3. Keep you rod to your side, and reel in any slack line in your line
  4. Slowly pull your rod back and to the side allowing your bait to drag on the bottom
  5. Once you have lifted it 6 inches or so reel back down and get rid of the slack in your line
  6. Allow the Carolina Rig to settle back down on the bottom and repeat the process until you reel it all the way in.
  7. Try mixing up your retrieval speed until you can find what the bass are liking
  8. If you feel a tap, set the Hook and start reeling in!

For more tips and techniques on how to fish the Carolina rig for bass check out this video by

Drop Shot Rig

Arguably one of the best clear water bass fishing rigs, perfect for targeting smallmouth, spotted bass and largemouth in open water and around high percentage areas.

What Gear to Use

The Drop shot is a finesse bass fishing technique that excels in clear water and in tough conditions. For this reason, you’ll want to have a spinning rod and reel combination paired with light line (4-8lb fluorocarbon)

Here is the ideal equipment I’d recommend for the drop shot:

  • Rod Length: 6’10” to 7’2”
  • Rod Power & Action: Medium to Medium light, Fast
  • Reel: High speed reel
  • Line: 4-8 Fluorocarbon

Light line and a finesse spinning rod combination will make it easy to cast, and fish the drop shot and will help you catch a lot of fish. If you already have a spinning combo that will work just fine to get you started.

Drop Shot Setup

The Drop Shot consists of three major components: a finesse hook, weight and small plastic worm or creature bait. The size of weight will depend upon how deep you are fishing. If you are fishing shallow, you’ll want to use a lighter weight. If you are out deep or fishing in the wind a heavier weight is best.

As far as baits and hooks go you can use just about anything, but a finesse hook paired with a straight tail worm or small creature bait is the most effective.

Here is my all-time favorite Drop Shot setup that will work just about anywhere.

How to Rig a Drop Shot

Rigging the Drop Shot is pretty easy. Here is a video tutorial on exactly how to rig it correctly. Or you can also follow the simple steps below to get your Drop Shot rigged and ready to fish.

Drop Shot Rigging Steps

  1. With your fluorocarbon fishing line tie a Palomar Knot.
  2. Grab the tag end of your line and thread it back through the eye of the hook.
  3. Ensure that your hook is straight.
  4. Attach your drop shot weight to the tag end of the line.
  5. Grab your favorite bait and nose hook it or Texas Rig it.
  6. Now you are ready to fish.

How to Fish a Drop Shot

The Drop Shot is a deadly bass fishing rig that excels when you know that there are fish in the area. Its fish slow and excels when the bite is tough. Here are a few of my favorite ways to fish a drop shot.

Dragging – Simply dragging this rig on the bottom by moving the bait toward you and reeling in the slack can be a great way to catch bass. I find this technique best when fishing around points, flats and other high percentage areas.

Shaking – Mixing in a few shakes as you drag the Drop Shot across good areas can be an effective way to get a lot of bites. Shaking your rod with the bait in the same place creates an erratic action and can trigger a lot of strikes.

Vertically – If you are fishing from a boat or kayak vertically fishing a Drop Shot to fish you can see on your graph or to structure can be a deadly way to catch them.

For more tips and tricks on how to fish a drop shot check out this video by Aaron Martens who is considered on the best finesse professional anglers around.

Final Thoughts

One of the great things about bass fishing is there are so many different baits, rigs, lures and techniques you can use to catch bass. Each being a unique tool that you can utilize to help you catch bass anywhere.

I hope this bass fishing rig guide for beginners has helped you understand the basic rigs, techniques and baits you can use to have success catching bass. I’d recommend reading this article once again a practice rigging at home, so when you do hit the water you’ll be ready.

Now it’s time to go out there and try using the rig and techniques we’ve talked about in this article and catch some fish. Best of luck out there and tight lines.

Aaron Warner

Aaron Warner is an avid angler with over 15 years of experience. He has participated and won fishing tournaments all over the country and enjoys fishing for bass, trout, walleye and other species.

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