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 Post subject: Texas Rig for UL
PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 7:56 am • # 1 
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Went out after dinner in the kayak on a private community lake here in NJ. After landing a quick bass, mid-lake, on a medium power rod I decided to explore the edges with UL. There's been no getting around the fact that plastic worms have been getting me most of my bass lately. So I Texas rigged a moderately small (4-5"?), unweighted, Zoom worm on the smallest EWG hook I could find, size 2. The rod was a 7' Daiwa Presso ultralight rod with a Shimano Stradic CI4+ spooled with 6# braid and a 4# flouro leader.

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Started at the very headwaters of the lake which were maybe 9" deep and cast to the edge. With such shallow water the take by what would prove to be a 2.18# largemouth was very obvious. The question was whether or not I could successfully set the Texposed EWG hook with an UL rod and keep the fish out of snags. Success! A few casts later at the point of some cattails and I had a 1.72 pounder. In between the two I missed the hookset on a third bass.

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In the waning light I continued to cast under over hanging trees and at points and alleys in lilly pads and landed another three. The last, the biggest at 2.48#, was the only one I couldn't prevent from diving deep into the mats and I was shocked that he didn't break the line.

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The key to this fishing was being able to quickly get the bass moved out of cover and near the kayak before it had time to fully engage int he fight but not snap the line in doing so. This technique is working well on 4# flouro fishing line but I don't think a more accurately rated 4# tippet would be enough.


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 Post subject: Re: Texas Rig for UL
PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 8:30 am • # 2 
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I use that same setup on my fly rod when bass fishing in lakes that have a lot pf hydrilla in them, it works great.
If the bass get into the grass just keep pressure on them and slowly move over to where they are and VERY SLOWLY pull the bass up. You'll get a lot of weeds along with the bass, but most times you'll still be able to get the bass to the top without the line breaking. I caught a 9# bass at Lake Fork on a popping bug, it went into the weeds and I thought I lost it, but when I slowly pulled all the weeds to the boat the bass was still on the hook. Once they get into the weeds they quit fighting.


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 Post subject: Re: Texas Rig for UL
PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:39 am • # 3 
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Very true Cliff. Once the fish's face is covered the only fight is with the weeds. Even at that, I don't think I could have pulled the weeds and bass up had I been using the 3# Sunline Troutist which my reel was spooled with earlier in the season. There's probably a 2-3# real world difference in break strength between that and mono.

Is that the nine-pounder in your avatar? Twice the size of any bass I've ever caught.


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 Post subject: Re: Texas Rig for UL
PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 11:47 am • # 4 
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Nice fish!!


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 Post subject: Re: Texas Rig for UL
PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:19 pm • # 5 
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When I was a kid, I caught most of my bass (in NC) on a 5'6" glass Berkeley UL spinning rod, Mitchell 308, 4 or 6 lb test mono (depending on what was available at the discount store), and a Carolina rigged 4-6" purple worm (which is, as I recall, a variant of the Texas rig, or vice versa). I would usually start with a 2.5" floating Rapala, just to see if I could get some topwater action, but always ended up with the purple worm. Fly tackle was reserved for bluegill, which had (and still do imo) the glamour of Brook trout.


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 Post subject: Re: Texas Rig for UL
PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:23 am • # 6 
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Knotty, that's a 7-11 bass I caught at a lake near Tyler in 2002. I was fishing with a clouser on my 6/7 wt.


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 Post subject: Re: Texas Rig for UL
PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:11 pm • # 7 
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Returned to the lake for some mid-afternoon kayak fishing. This time I added a tiny bullet weight to the Texas rig (1/32 or 1/16 oz, not sure which) as I wanted to fish not just edges but also some deeper water, maybe upto 8' or so.

First big fish of the day was a three pounder, deep along a weed edge. Three times it burried itself in the weeds and I used Cliff's method of bringing it up vertically by hand. Probably could have avoided the repetition by netting it w. the weeds instead of trying to clear them first.

I'm always looking for points and alleys in the plants and noticed a small wake in an alley when a dragonfly touched down in the water for a moment. Maneuvered the kayak into position and cast to that location and nabbed what was maybe a two pounder. Wasn't convinced it was the only fish there and casting again produced a nice 2.73#largemouth.

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The "alley".
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The worm.
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Ended up with 15+ bass for the afternoon with only a couple dinks. Just as many caught mid-lake as at the edges. Really enjoying this on ultralight. My "heavy" rod, which is really a medium, never left the rod holder.


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 Post subject: Re: Texas Rig for UL
PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 9:35 am • # 8 
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Nice bass, Knotty!! Sounds like you had a great day of fishing! I always try to use my net when bringing in a bass tangled in a bunch of weeds.


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 Post subject: Re: Texas Rig for UL
PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:02 am • # 9 
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Awesome fish!

I've been loving my new Bass Pro Micro Light glass rod.....so much that I haven't cast a fly rod in a week or 2.

I've been using a similar set up as you with a 6" Berkley "Havoc" Juice worm in watermelon red. I'll use the full 6" without weight or with a 1/16 jig head to get it deeper. I've even tried biting off a couple of inches to shorten the worm and use a #7 split shot 8" or so up the line from the worm to get a little bottom action.

My only problem is I'm leery of using the soft action UL rod for a heavy hook set and driving the point of the hook thru the worm, so I've been rigging with the hook point exposed. Luckily I'm not hanging up too much, but I seem to get more and better hook ups that way than weedless with the hook point buried in the worm.


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 Post subject: Re: Texas Rig for UL
PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 6:10 pm • # 10 
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If I may be so presumptuous; when you put that 1/16 oz. slip sinker on the line, take a needle threader (or bobbin threader -- same critter) and thread a rubber band through it once it's on the line. Clip the rubber close at the top and bottom of the sinker. The rubber band will hold the sinker against the hook; this will give you better hooksets and will also result in fewer hangups in brush and grass. And if a big bass starts shaking her head, the sinker will generally slide up the line several inches, depriving her of much of the weight leverage she needs to throw the hook. Also, you can slide the sinker up the line to fish it like a Carolina rig if you so desire.

When I was an avid bass angler I found that pegging the sinker thusly -- even with 20# monofilament on my pitching rig and 25# or 30# monofilament on my flipping rig -- significantly increased my hookup ratio and decreased my snag ratio. A small Tupperware container of rubber bands and a needle threader stayed on the front deck of my bass boat all the time. Given my druthers, I would be pitching a Texas rigged 7 1/2" or 10" worm, or a 1/4 to 3/8 oz. jig, at heavy cover. And if it was a Texas rig, the sinker was always pegged. The old toothpick method would weaken the line, but the rubber band didn't. My Palomar knot (supposedly a 90 - 95% line strength knot) at the hook was the weak link in the system.

I used my crappie rigs (I was guiding at the time and had a fair bit of "extra" tackle) a lot for bass when conditions permitted; they were spinning reels on 6 1/2 to 7 foot light action rods loaded with anything between 6# and 10# superline with a 4# fluorocarbon leader. The pegged sinkers really facilitated that kind of fishing. I had some stellar days fishing (both my clients and me) small tube craws with a 1/16 oz. rubber-pegged sinker 6-10" above a Gamakatsu wide-gap hook on riprap edges at the north end of the lake. Some times we would insert foam soaked in scent in the tubes; other times we fished them naked. It was very productive at times (and, what you won't see on TV -- very unproductive at other times).

Anyway, give it a try. I think you'll like it.


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 Post subject: Re: Texas Rig for UL
PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:31 am • # 11 
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armyflyfisher: Like you I too was concerned about hook ups with the Texas rig and an UL rod and was fishing only exposed jig heads. However, the waters I fish have so many weeds that it became futile. What rod you use matters a lot. I have some that are too soft, bending deep into the blank, that don't work. The Daiwa Presso on the other hand does fine.

hipshot: Thanks for the tips. Will give the rubber band idea a try. Question about the knot. Are you using something other than a Palomar? I finally started using it and am amazed at how well it performs. For me it's consistently stronger than an improved clinch.

Went out for an hour and half on Sunday night and caught six. Unfortunately one was gut hooked. First time it's happened to me and I felt bad about it. The two fish below were the best of the night and came from my first and last casts.

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 Post subject: Re: Texas Rig for UL
PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:44 pm • # 12 
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Knotty, the Palomar is the best knot I've found yet for tying a hook or a swivel to monofilament or fluorocarbon. And although some say it doesn't work well with braid, it has for me. At least with Spiderwire and Fireline, which I used to use in fresh water, and Power Pro, which I use in the salt. However, I fly fish 99.9% of the time, so I don't use braid very often.

Are you familiar with "Texposing" your worm? If not, it's basically Texas rigging with just the hook point barely under the skin of the worm. While not as effective at keeping you snagfree as a Texas rig, it's much better than an exposed hook. You might try that, if you haven't already.

Another technique you might try, if you are throwing plastics with a jighead, is a screwlock. They are coiled wire; they look like a stretched-open coil spring. Use a light jighead with a 60 degree offset, and the hook eye needs to be vertical rather than horizontal (looking at the hook from the side). Clip a screwlock into the hook eye and thread the head of your plastic bait onto it. Now Texas rig (or Texpose) your plastic onto the jighook. It will ride straight, preventing line twist, and the bait won't ball up on the hook during the hookset, causing the hook to fail to penetrate -- that's the cause of a lot of poor hookups with plastics. Your bait will also last much longer than with conventional rigging, and when it does get a little ripped up you bite off the top 3/8" of the head and rerig it fresh. I used to buy the screwlocks from Tru-Turn when I was into bass fishing. As far as I know now Oldham sells them, but I don't know if anyone else is making them. Anyway, I hope this helps. Fish on!


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 Post subject: Re: Texas Rig for UL
PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:26 pm • # 13 
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Oops! :o :o :o :o
I just reread the original post and saw that you were already using a Texposed setup. Sorry.....


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 Post subject: Re: Texas Rig for UL
PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:54 pm • # 14 
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hipshot wrote:
Oops! :o :o :o :o
I just reread the original post and saw that you were already using a Texposed setup. Sorry.....


No worries. You provided some good tips. In particular the screw locks, which I have but haven't used in the way you describe.


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 Post subject: Re: Texas Rig for UL
PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:55 am • # 15 
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Owner makes screwlock-type hooks with the wire coil already on them. That's what I use when I use soft plastics on my fly rod, they work great.


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 Post subject: Re: Texas Rig for UL
PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 2:58 pm • # 16 
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Gotta come clean. Did some fishing on a big lake recently and I was getting unexpected break offs on fish and snags with the 4# flouro. I was starting to think that my previous success with the UL Texas rig was because I only thought I was using 4# but really had a 6# leader.

Then yesterday I kayak fished the smaller lake again, being sure to use a 4# flouro leader. Pleased to report that I caught about 15 lmb plus a pickerel, bluegill and crappie all one one hook with no reties.

Since the reel and line were the same in both scenarios, I'm trying to figure out the different outcomes of the two locations. First, I think the Daiwa Presso used on the small lake from the kayak provides better line protection. On the big lake I was in a pontoon boat and used a less expensive Daiwa Spinmatic. Both rods are the same weight class and length. Another possibility is that being on the very stable pontoon boat, I was more aggressive and thus broke off more.

Either way, I'm glad I didn't have to come back to the forum and eat crow.

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