The Texas rig worm is one of the most basic and utilized tools in the bass fishing arsenal. The same can be said for the shaky head. But the two are not equal. Move up to the magnum versions of these two presentations and they differ that much more.
Texas Rig Worm vs Magnum Shaky Head Worm: What’s the Difference?
Anything over 15-feet is when I’ll go with the shaky head. Less than that, I’ll usually go with the Texas rig. And when we’re talking about big worms, I rarely throw one any shallower than 5 or 7-feet. I might throw like an 8-inch worm shallower than that but not the 10 or 12-inchers.
The deeper I am, the more I want the weight to stay together with the hook, that’s why a shaky head is so good. I hate pegging a Texas rig. I watched a Shaw Grigsby video once where he explained it. Most of the time, if you peg a big Texas rig weight, it will pop open their mouth when you set the hook.
In Texas when I’m fishing offshore rock ledges, I’ve found that shaky heads are better. Because if I’m not going to peg the weight on a Texas rig, then the weight is going to separate from the bait either on the cast or while the bait is falling down. Then I miss some of the strike zone if my weight is 10-feet up my line and I pull the bait and can’t feel if it’s actually made contact yet. The shaky head just allows me to have more contact with the bottom in deeper water.
Then again a shaky head isn’t as weedless as a Texas rig.
So if I’m fishing a brush pile, I’ll most often throw a Texas rig but maybe put the bobber stopper 3-inches up the line.
Texas Rig Worm vs Magnum Shaky Head Worm: When do You Throw it?
When the fish first get out deep in the summer, they are the dumbest they’ll be all year, so I’ll usually throw a big worm. I like a 12-inch big thick trick worm. I know Xcite baits makes a good one and Strike King also makes a good one.
As soon as the summer gets going good and the fish have seen more lures, I’ll start throwing skinnier worms or ones with a frilly tail at the end. I like to throw something like the Zoom Ol’ Monster around August and September because a lot of people will just throw the big trick worm all summer.
Texas Rig Worm vs Magnum Shaky Head Worm: What do You do With a Worm That’s Different?
If I do use dyes or scents it’s never the tail. If that thing is 12-inches long you don’t want the fish eating the tail. It does you no good. Sometimes I’ll use the markers to do some spirally marking to the head area.
I’ve done that a few times and can’t say if it definitely increased my catching but it certainly made my lure look different.
Texas Rig Worm vs Magnum Shaky Head Worm: How do You Fish it?
I almost always throw a crankbait or big swimbait first to pick off the easy ones and then just to clean up a spot, I’ll throw the big shaky head. When I’m fishing rock, I’ll use more of a football-style shaky head and when I’m fishing brush it’ll be more of a round ball head.
With a big worm, it’s mostly just a slow drag.
With a smaller shaky head on a spinning reel, I think the bait stands up a lot. But with a bigger worm on a big shaky head, I highly doubt that the bait is standing up all that often unless you’re throwing a 12-inch floating worm or something like that. So for me, it’s just a slow drag to stir up as much of a mud trail as I can. That’s why I like the shaky head more because the big ball head stirs up more mud than the slender Texas rig weight.
Texas Rig Worm vs Magnum Shaky Head Worm: What Gear do You Use?
The deeper you get, the harder it’s going to be for the fish to see your line so I don’t usually worry about throwing small line with a big shaky head or Texas rig, I’ll go with 17-pound fluorocarbon. If you’re fishing in 15-feet of water or more, you’re going to have some stretch.
So, I throw it on a 7’6” medium-heavy in open water. If you get into the brush, maybe use a heavy action rod. Long casts are really key too, so I throw it on a Lew’s Hyper Mag which is the farthest casting reel they make in my opinion.