Fishing Rubber Worms for Bass – Tips and Tactics

When it comes to fishing rubber worms for bass it can be daunting trying to figure out where to start.

With so many varieties, colors, and sizes the possibilities can be endless. 

To follow are my tips on how to fish rubber worms. 

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What are Rubber Worms?

Plastic worms also referred to as rubber worms, are made with various types of plastisol. 

bass with rubber worm

Plastisol is a  synthetic resin that can be converted into a harder rubber by heating it up. The end product is a rubber-like material.

Plastic worms are used every day to catch fish. They resemble bait fish that bass naturally feed on.

Fishing plastic worms can be extremely productive and are arguably one of the best ways to catch bass.

Before we get into This fishing rubber worms for bass guide, first we must go over the various types of plastic worms on the market today. 

What Worms Are Good for Bass?

There are many styles of bass fishing worms on the market today. There are literally thousands of colors and hundreds of styles.

The most common rubber worms utilized by bass fishermen and anglers are as follows,

  • Strait Tail Worms
  • Ribbon Tail Worms
  • U Tail Worms
  • Paddle Tail Worms

While other styles of plastic worms exist, such as stick baits and finesse worms, these three are the most commonly used.

Straight Tail Worms

Straight tail worms are worms that are, well, straight. They typically have a thicker head and taper down through the body and again into the tail.

straight tail fishing worm

The tapered tail is by design and allows the tail of the worm to have some action while in the water.

Sizes for these worms can be as large as 12 inches long.

The colors of the worms can literally be any color in the world.

They make every color of dye you can think of and by mixing these dyes, and adding glitters,  the possibilities become endless. 

Ribbon Tail Worms

Ribbon tail worms have a thin tail that has a gradual twist in it creating a ribbon like effect driving bass crazy.

These worms have even more action than the previously mentioned straight-tail worms and are made from the same materials.

ribbon tail fishing worm

Color ranges for ribbon tail worms are the same as straight tail worms. 

Sizes for these worms again can be very long. When fishing these longer worms upwards of 14 inches or more, you will tend to catch larger fish.

That is not to say that using the shorter versions will not yield large fish. 

U Tail Worms

U tail rubber worms have a body like that of the straight tail and ribbon tail worms.

The difference here is in the tail as you could imagine by the name.

U tail fishing worm

A U tail worm will typically have one singular curl on the tail.

Sizes and colors here will remain the same. 

Paddle Tail Worms

Paddle tail worms may differ the most from the previous three worms mentioned.

paddle tail worm

The body types of these worms can vary. Most will have a straight body down to the tail and you will have a paddle-type tail.

Sometimes these bodies can get thicker in the middle and then tapper back down before reaching the paddle. 

The “paddles” on these tails can differ as well. Some tails are square, some are round, and some can be both. 

What does not change with these worms is the color schemes and materials. 

Fishing this style of worm is very similar to fishing swimbaits for bass.

Rigging Soft Plastic Worms for Bass

As difficult as it may be to select the right worm to use in any given situation it is much more vital to rig it properly.

Rigging these worms may be difficult to understand but don’t sweat it I am going to break this down for you. 

Let’s first start by understanding the different style hooks and how to insert them properly into the worm. 

Fishing Hooks for Plastic Worms

When fishing rubber worms for bass, hook selection is very important. The type of hook will play a crucial role it presentation and hook sets.

Each fishing hook has a specific use and it is important to understand each one individually.

Straight Shank Hook

straight shank fishing hook

Straight shank hooks make a great option for a Texas rigging soft plastics when fishing in heavy cover. Because straight shank hooks are made of thicker metal, it allows us to set the hook harder in that thick cover.

Octopus Hook

octopus fishing hook

An octopus hook is ideal for nose hooking baits. Useful while drop-shotting, this hook is smaller and allows our drop shot plastics to have more movement in the water. This extra movement entices more bass to bite.

Wacky Hook

wacky fishing hook

The wacky hook may be for more obvious uses. The name gives it away as our go to hook for wacky rigging bass fishing plastics. Wacky rigging your soft plastic baits for bass is a great way to catch fish in early spring.

Offset Shank Hook

offset shank fishing hook

The offset shank hook is my favorite option for fishing weedless with rubber worms. The offset part of the hook allows you to bury the point into the bait yet allows for the worm to stay straight and in line with the line.

Extra Wide Gap Hook (EWG)

extra wide gap fishing hook

The extra wide gap hooks are a variation of the offset shank hook. It is similar in design but has a wider gap between the shank and the point of the hook. These hooks are great for thicker bodied worms such as Senko’s.

Each of these hooks has a specific use. The straight shank, offset, and EWG hooks for the sake of simplicity are mostly interchangeable.

The biggest factor in determining which of these to use will be the rig you use them on as well as the style of the worm. 

Rigging these worms will be the predominant factor in catching fish.

Rigs for fishing rubber worms for bass include

  • Texas Rig
  • Carolina Rig
  • Drop Shot
  • Split Shot
  • Wacky

These are not the only ways of fishing rubber worms for bass, but they are without a doubt the most popular.

Let’s break each one down step by step. 

Texas Rigging Rubber Worms for Bass

A very popular rubber worm rigging method, this rig when done correctly is weedless.

For the purpose of time, I am using a youtube video for instruction. This video is from Kevin Sewel Fishing on

So that’s the basic setup for Texas rigging rubber worms. Note how he keeps the tip of the hook in the worm to make it weedless. 

That Set up he used in the video is very very productive. Some people chose to “peg” that weight to the head of the worm.

While there are situations where that may be preferable, more times than not I won’t peg the weight. 

Want more Texas Rig Secrets? We have a whole article based on Texas Rig Tactics.

Carolina Rig Rubber Worms for Bass

The Carolina rig while similar to the Texas rig, has a little more versatility.

It includes all of the same components as the Texas rig but this time we’re going to add a swivel and a bead to the rig.

Note in this video by Joshua Taylor from the bead placement and his thoughts on your leader. 

As he demonstrates toward the end of the video that rig can be fire.

Now if you have not put it together the biggest difference between the Texas and the Carolina rig is that the Carolina rig allows your bait to float off the bottom freely.

Split Shotting Rubber Worms for Bass

Now, as we move into split shotting with rubber worms I just want to say, I’m not a fan. 

These rigs DO catch fish, that’s not my issue with it.

Split Shotting Rubber Worms to me is the lazy man’s version of the Carolina Rig. Typically you are going to use less weight than a Carolina Rig because well, split shots are smaller. 

Here is a good video by a young kid named Brendan Miller from youtube.

In the video, he talks about Split Shotting being the “finesse” version of the Carolina Rig. If I want to finesse a worm I will go completely weightless but nonetheless, his information is accurate and has good points. 

Wacky Rigging Rubber Worms for Bass

This Rig can be extremely fun to fish. When Wacky Rigging Rubber Worms we are not going to use any weight at all and we will place the wacky hook somewhere near the middle of the bait. 

In this video, “How to Rig Wacky Worms for More Hookups” from Wired2Fish, they will show the basic principal and a little trick for hook placement. 

Wired2Fish also has a fantastic blog that is well worth the look.

Drop Shot Rig for Bass

This is another great rig and quite popular when fishing rubber worms from a boat.

Were going to use an octopus-style hook on this rig and a specialized drop shot weight.

This rig is fished off the bottom like most of the others but, note in the video the hook placement and weight placement. 

This video is by HatCamBass he breaks it all down very well with tackle needed, and techniques. 

When he says this may be the best rig in bass fishing I would have to agree for the most part.

If you are looking for a rig to fish that is going to catch fish winter, summer, spring, and fall, and in grass, brush, rocks, or docks, then this is your rig without a doubt. 

Best Color Rubber Worms for Bass

The issue of what color to use may not be that complicated at all. In fact, from beginner to pro the process is quite easy. 

To start, let us first look at our body of water. Where are we fishing? No scratch that it doesn’t matter. Ask yourself this one question, What color are the fry or bait fish? 

This and water clarity is in my humble opinion all that really truly matters.

Now sure, we could definitely complicate the matter by adding weather, depth, barometric pressures, sky cover, so on and so forth. The truth is rubber worms work all the time, so we won’t complicate them. 

Across the world, you will find that anglers are using many of the same colors. 

Pumpkin Seed Worms

Pumpkin Seed,d sometimes called Green Pumpkin, is quite popular across all soft plastics.

pumpkin seed rubber worm

Its lighter green hue with black glitter is almost iconic it is so popular. In the United States, you may be hard pressed to find a fry that doesn’t resemble this color in some way. 

Watermelon Rubber Worm

Water Melon is another popular color when talking about soft plastics.

watermelon rubber worm

It is a little brighter than the Pumpkin Seed color adding a slight flare. Often Watermelon is mixed with red flake taking on the name Water Melon Red Flake. 

Margarita Mutilator 3

Maybe one of the best worms of all time, Roboworm makes my all time favorite color of soft plastic worms.

margarita mutilator worm

The color is called Margarita Mutilator 3 and it is an absolute beast. Imitating what I can only imagine to be blue gill and perch. 

Prizm Shad

So when conditions get tough you need to find yourself a color that you truly have some confidence in.

prizm shad rubber worm

When I’m fishing clear water under tough conditions my go-to color is Prizm Shad by Roboworm.

For some reason, these colors really seem to work well under tough conditions. The almost translucent color with the flashy glitter work great in clear water. 

Best Fishing Line for Plastic Worms

Lets talk fishing line for a second. When it comes to what type of fishing line to use while fishing rubber worms for bass, there is only one option here.

The only type of line that I attach to my rubber worms is a fluorocarbon line. 

The Fluorocarbon fishing line is low visibility in comparison to the monofilament fishing line. This makes it much less visible in clear water conditions. 

seaguar fishing line

There are many types of fishing lines that are acceptable to use when fishing rubber worms. This is just my preference.

Use size 6-10 for most applications however if fishing larger soft plastic worms in or around vegetation your can as large as 20.

It also has great knot strength as well. When cinching fluorocarbon knots make sure to moisten the knots before cinching it tight. Fluorocarbon will fray and weaken the knot if not moistened.  

Fishing Rods for Rubber Worms

This is one of those questions that I get ll the time. What fishing rod should I buy for fishing rubber worms? Well, the answer to that question is kind of open ended. 

My opinion is always shop affordable. Personally, I want a fishing pole in the 7-foot range.

I also need my worm fishing pole to be able to cast up to 5/8 ounces. Another preference I have is a one-piece rod. One option that meets this criteria is below. 

mojo fishing rod

The St. Croix Mojo Bass Spinning Rod is a great affordable option that meets all the criteria. 

If you have a favorite rubber worm fishing rod I would love to know about it in the comments below. 

Fishing Reels for Rubber Worms

Just like the fishing rod for rubber worms, it is not necessary to spend a ton of money here.

lew's mach2 fishing reel

You can pick up a reel like Lew’s Mach 2 Metal Speed Spinning Reel. I have had 2 of these in the past and they hold up well. 

Where to Fish Rubber Worms for Bass

When I go out fishing rubber worms I tend to target areas of opportunity. What I mean by that is natural ambush points.

For this, I look for points with deep water next to it. This is just a very general place to get started.

Docks make a great place for bass to get up under them and find some shade. I have found piles and piles of bass hiding in and around docks. 

Brush piles or submerged rock piles present great opportunities as well. With the weedless versions of how to rig a rubber worm, we can place the worms right into the brush to entice hungry fish. 

Fishing rubber worms for bass around brush piles can be so much fun. My favorite method is just a weightless and weedless worm.

Tips For Fishing Rubber Worms

  • Use Natural Colors – Anytime you fish clear open water try starting with natural colors. Colors like greens, blues, and purples will imitate a lot of bait fish.
  • Vary the Size – It’s important to have your rubber worm be the correct size of the bait fish. If you are not sure what size that is you will need to experiment. 
  • It’s How you Use It– Make sure you give your rubber fishing worm some action. If using the drop shot rig or the wacky rig don’t be afraid to give it a little wiggle. 
  • Always Check Your Knots After Fish – Every time you catch a fish with a fluorocarbon fishing line, run your finger up the line to check for nicks or frays in the line. This is a lesson I have learned the hard way. 

Conclusion – Fishing Rubber Worms for Bass

If you would like to know more tips on catching fish try reading my 11 Proven Tactics to Catch More Trout. Don’t let the title fool you, the tips are interchangeable with bass as well. 

pinterest image rubber worms bass fishing

I really hope this article on Fishing Rubber Worms has given you some insight into fishing with soft plastics. 

I would love a comment below on your thoughts about this article. What worms are your favorite? Where do you like to fish them? 

As always I would tremendously appreciate a follow on social media. Sharing with your friends is greatly appreciated.