Knowing Shaky Head Rigs and How To Do Their Setup

Even though fishing seems to be a simple and repetitive task, it comes with a lot of different techniques. Along with these techniques are also different equipment and tools. If you’re a beginner, you might find them very confusing and even overwhelming. 

This article will serve as your guide to one of the most useful tool in fishing which is the Shaky Head Rigs and how to do its setup.

What Is A Shaky Head Rig?

It is an asymmetrical jig head that is paired with a bait screw to hold a soft plastic that seems to be welded onto the hook. It has a nail that keeps your bait, whether a worm or not, to the bottom so dragging the rig without losing any contact from it is made possible. 

When paired with the right bait, you get some real magic.

That head nails your worm or creature to the bottom, letting you drag the rig without losing contact. It also forces your bait into that appealing head-down position, allowing the flapping tail to do its thing without your intervention.

When Should I Use It?

Here are some of the circumstances or situations where a Shaky Head Rig is the best option to use:

Zero-bites Day

If you’re experiencing a zero-bites day or any challenging condition, you might want to consider using a shaky head rig. This does not only promise to deliver high numbers of fish on good days but also produces bites on no bite days. 

If you are just starting to fish

This all-around bait is also best to use for beginners and even kids. It can help them catch their first bass too. All you have to do is tie it onto the line and make sure that you fish it on the bottom so it can mimic a foraging bait fish. You can use it even in lakes or areas where bass are reportedly few and far between.

During spawn and post spawn season

The techniques used in shaky head fishing are ideal for fishing during spring especially in the spawn and post spawn season. A shaky head finesse worm is great for sight fishing, whether bass are spawning or simply drifting in the shallows. To catch the adult bass guarding its kids, it would be good to pitch a wobbly head worm to the black clouds of bass fry.

Every fall

Fall is one of the best times to fish a shaky head. When the water surface begins to chill, bass rise from the depths, but the fish become difficult to catch because they are suspended beneath the docks and above the brush piles. You can still capture these suspended bass by presenting them with a slow-falling wobbly head finesse worm. Because strikes normally occur as the bait falls, there isn’t much shaking with this method.

What Are The Things Needed?

In setting up a shaky head rig, there are two main items you need to secure. Here are those two:

Shaky Jig Head 

In terms of shaky jig heads, the 3/16 oz. are already sufficient. Choosing something that goes over ¼ oz. can be too heavy and uncomfortable. You can easily acquire these at any tackle shop just like the Sportsman’s Warehouse. You can also choose different colors depending on what works best for you.

Soft plastic

For soft plastics, you can use the 4-inch green pumpkin & watermelon senko or you can also opt for the one with a more natural color. If that isn’t available, the Strike King Finesse Worm can also be a great alternative. All you have to do is see if it floats well or does it have an extra stellar action on the jig head.

An Angler’s Guide To Shaky Head Rigs

Which Type Is Best For Me?

In choosing head designs for shaking soft plastic baits, you might come across two different types of them. Don’t be overwhelmed for we have compiled the differences between both of them already.

Round/Ball Jighead

If you wish to fish gravel bottoms and open water banks, a round jig head is for you. Its head rolls back and forth which is why it gives the bait a rocking action as it works through cover. 

When using a ball jig head, four inches to six inches finesse worms or stick worms are ideal baits. When fishing near shad, use a stick worm on a shaky head to simulate the baitfish’s darting movement.

Standup Jig Head

This is ideal for shaking 6- to 8-inch “trick” worms and soft plastic jerkbaits along riprap and other broken rock bottoms. It easily slides through rocks and allows you to fish the baits slowly without wobbling because the jighead keeps the lure upright. The 1/8- and 3/16-ounce jigheads work well for fishing shallow rocks, but for probing water deeper than 15 feet, use a 5/16-ounce head.

Your Choice of Bait

For the majority of anglers, a finesse worm is the ideal choice of bait for shaky head fishing. However, there are also other available options that perform as well as finesse worms like the variety of soft plastics. You can also choose creature baits like stick worms, soft plastic jerkbaits, and plastic lizards. 

To catch post-spawn bass hung under docks, use a beaver-style bait rigged on a 3/16- or 1/4-ounce shaky head. Then, throw the combo to the docks’ shadowy sections. As the lure sinks, shake it to make the tail flutter, imitating bluegill or shad darting around the docks.

Find The Right Color

Shaky heads function well and are meant for clear water tactics. This is why soft plastics with natural plastics are the ideal choices. Colors like green pumpkin, watermelon/red flake and pumpkinseed for shaky head lures are good too.

But always remember that colors only play a little role in the whole process. What you need to focus more on is making sure that the lure sits straight on the hook. If the lure is slightly crooked, the line will frequently twist and eventually weaken. To make the combo weedless, the point of the hook should be just under the skin of the lure body when properly rigged. Several shaky jig heads on the market today have screw or peg keepers that make accurately mounting the lure a breeze.

How To Do The Shaky Head Rig Setup?

To set up a Shaky Head Rig, you should do the following steps:

First Step: Attach your bait to the jig head by screwing the bait on. You can also choose to glue them down but it would require more work than just screwing.

Second Step: Bury the hook into the bait so you can make sure that it is weedless. 

Third Step: Just start fishing for it. Since it is designed to mimic how a bait fish forages onto the bottom, you don’t need to worry about a lot of things. Bait fish also feed tail up and head down in the mud so it would help you keep the bait on the bottom so you can pull it along with making the tail stand up and fall down.

Always know that you can also get it along and use it in deep or shallow water. This is ideal for flat areas with good cover and are on soft or silty lake bottoms. However, if you’ve noticed that the site is on the rockier side, you should bring in extra bait as you might just lose some.  

How To Rig Shaky Head

Threading a worm onto a shaky head is easy with just a few steps. Here’s how to do it in two different ways:

How to Rig a Ballhead Style Shaky Head

To begin, remove the head of the worm you’ll be using to flatten the head. Thread the hook through the worm’s head for approximately a quarter of an inch, then push it through the side. Slide the worm over the ballhead’s bait keeper and swivel the hook so it is facing the worm. Find the point where the hook will penetrate the worm and bundle it up there before pulling the hook through.

How to Rig a Screwlock Style Shaky Head

Cut the head of the worm you’ll be utilizing to flatten the head off once more. Thread the hook through the worm’s head for approximately a quarter of an inch, then push it through the side. Insert the worm into the screw lock and spin the hook so that it faces the worm. Find the point where the hook will penetrate the worm and bundle it up there before pulling the hook through.

How to Fish a Shaky Head

To fish a shaky head, make sure that you leave a slackline of three to four feet on the surface. Then, slowly shake your rod tip. You don’t want to launch your shaky head toward you or pull it off the bottom. But you can try to get it to subtly dance so that the worm can be set using a wriggling motion.

You should expect to see the head fractions move an inch forward every few shakes. This isn’t the sign to get the rig moving, you don’t need to rush. 

Every few shakes will pull that head fractions of an inch forward, but you don’t want to really try to get the rig moving. Shake as slowly as possible, and only pick up lines to maintain the proper amount of slack.

Now that you’ve learned all that, you can now bring your fishing experience up to notch. Start experiencing a more productive and smooth fishing now with the Shaky Head Rig Setup!

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