Okay, here’s a great rig for when the bite is a little slow and they’re short-striking your lure. It’s called the eel rig, and it’s basically a cross or hybrid between a Neko rig and a chicken rig. That sounds crazy, I know. But as you read on and figure out what I’m doing, it’ll all make sense to you.
A snap swivel or a snap and a swivel. I use VMC Crankbait Snaps for this. They’re a little wider so they work a little better. And I like black. It’s less intrusive.
A drop-shot sinker, any style or shape. The main thing here is that it must have a round, closed eye on top. Do not use one with a pinch style connector on top.
A short 2-foot piece of 15- to 30-pound-test braid. I like 20-pound-test for my eel rigs. Color doesn’t matter because it’ll be inside the plastic.
A Neko hook with a bait keeper on the shank. The VMC Finesse Neko Hook is perfect. I carry sizes between a No. 2 and a 1/0. I switch them around depending on the size of the bait I’m using. The main thing about this hook is that it has a bait keeper on the shank. That really helps hold the plastic in place.
A straight tail worm or a plastic stickbait. The perfect bait for this is the Berkley PowerBait Flute Worm, and I like both sizes. The thing here is that it has O-rings on it that help you measure where you want the hook to come out.
We’re going to do this in a step-by-step process, but before we do I’m going to tell you what you’re building so you have an idea what’s happening.
When you’re done, the eel rig will have a sinker attached to the snap on the swivel. A piece of braid will come off the snap and run through the worm to a Texas-rigged hook about two-thirds of the way back into the plastic.
When you’re done, you have an eel-like lure with a weight hanging off the bottom at the head. The worm stays flexible and the hook is in the back part of the worm. Beyond that, it’ll drop down like a Neko rig before you snake it along the bottom.
And, you can change the weight and the rate of fall as the conditions change — in a matter of seconds! All you have to do is take the old weight off and clip the new one on.
I’m telling you fellow bass-heads, the eel rig is the real deal. Practice building it now so you’re ready to go this spring. You won’t be sorry.