How To Rig A Senko: 5 Ways

Senko Fishing Techniques, Tips & Tricks
Here are 5 ways to rig a Senko, plus a great tip on how to make them last longer!

The Rig....

Bait - Yamamoto Senko -

Bait - YUM Dinger -

Hook - 2/0 Gamakatsu EWG Hook -

Hook - 2/0 Trokar EWG -


The Gear...


Rod - St. Croix Mojo Rod - 

Reel - Abu Garcia Revo SX Low Profile Fishing Reel -

Line - Seaguar InvisX 15lb - 

Weight - Tungsten 1/8oz -

Jig Head - 3/8oz Football Jig -


Rod - St. Croix Mojo Spinning Rods -

Reel - Okuma ITX Carbon Spinning Reel -

Line - Seaguar Tatsu 6lb -

Weight - Dropshot -

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Hey, folks. Glenn May here with and today I want to talk to you about the many different ways you can rig the soft plastic stick bait. Sometimes people call this a Senko, this happens to be a Yum Dinger right here. I like the Yum Dingers better, they tend to last longer, but there's a lot of different manufacturers out here who make a bait like this. There's a lot of different ways to rig it and use it. So today I want to show you a couple different ways to do that.

The first one and the most common one is to rig it weightless, Texas rig. So I've got here just a 2/0 hook here, extra wide gap hook. You can see the hook is in line with the eye here, and that's what you want. Okay, the reason being is what you're going to do when you Texas rig this, you're going to put the hook right down the middle.

A lot of times these have a seam on each side from the molding process. So to make it really easy, if you haven't done this before, put the hook right down the eye and then line it up with that seam and bring it right on through. I'm going to show you a little trick here that I think a lot of you haven't seen before.

What I do in order to make the bait last longer and to stay on the hook longer is I use a little pegging system. I use some 40-pound, real stiff, look how wiry that is, real stiff monofilament. What you're going to do is you're going to put that through the eye of the hook. I don't know if you can see that very well, there's the eye and you're going to put it right through the eye just like that, except only when it's buried inside the bait.

So, let me put it in the bait. Bury it right in the head, now you can't see it. So how do you find it? Well you put it between your fingers and you rotate that hook until you can feel that eye and you feel it right between your fingers. Then you aim for it with this monofilament and you stick it right into the eye. I'm trying to do it. Of course, it's like typing, when people are watching you, you do a bad job of typing. There we go. It's hard for me to see, okay, let me do it the way I normally do it. Oh, there we go, right in.

Anyway, you bring it on through and then you can see it's sticking out a little bit on the end right here. So you want that flush, you don't want it sticking out, because it's going to pick up a little weeds and things like that, moss and whatnot. Flush with the bait and then you cut the other side flush with the bait as well. What that does is it keeps it from sliding down the hook. See that? Okay? Consequently, it keeps it from tearing too, it makes the bait last a lot longer.

Okay, then I just rig it normal Texas style, that's how you want it to look. You line it up, bring it through the bait. Then I just, you can see the hook sticking out like that. So I "Texpose" it, just back it off a little bit and put the hook, bury the hook right back inside the bait so that way it's nice and flush so it doesn't pick up any weeds.

That's the most basic way to fish this bait, weightless, throw it out there. When it drops, it drops vertically and it just shimmies like this, just does this little shimmy action as it falls down. The fish just love that, love that, so this is the most common way to do it.

Here I'm using 15-pound test, I'll use it on a medium-heavy action rod with a fast action tip. That's my typical general purpose setup, I throw this in all kinds of cover and open water. There's several other ways to fish this.

For example, you can fish it drop shot. Here I've got it rigged up on a drop shot rig, okay? It's just sticking out like that. In the water, it's going to stick out like this. I just have it nose hooked, as you can see. Okay? I just have it nose hooked.

So it's not Texas rigged in this case, but the bait is free to do its little action. Okay? Nothing really is inhibiting it, this is a great finesse tactic in clear water when the fish just don't want to bite. However, don't let yourself limit to that, you can up-size the weight. Here I'm using six-pound test, I use six-to ten-pound test on a seven-foot medium-light action rod, spinning outfit of course. You can go heavier on this, you can use heavier weight, heavier line.

This is a real light weight here on the end, I've got this thing up about two feet above the line. I like my drop shot that way. I want this bait to be up off the bottom, because typically that's what a drop shot rig is for, is when the fish aren't feeding right on the bottom. So they're looking up, they're near the bottom, but they're looking up. So I want to get this off the bottom so they can see it.

You can use heavier weight and heavier line and you can fish this in heavier cover. You might want to Texas rig it then instead of having it exposed like I have here, but you can fish it in heavier stuff. As a matter of fact, I've used drop shots, heavy, heavy drop shots, 50-pound test, three-quarter-ounce bait with a flipping stick and thrown it into weed in a matted hydrilla and matted milfoil. So don't let that change the way you fish, or don't let the drop shot limit yourself to light line.

Another way to fish this is, again, we're going back to weightless, however, we're going to fish it ... going to take that peg out, we're going to fish it wacky style. What is wacky? Well, as the name implies, it'sa weird way of fishing it. All we're going to do is e're going to stick the hook right in the middle, just right through it, just like that. Does that look weird or what? Okay? That's why it's called wacky because it looks really weird. Okay?

It completely changes the action of the bait. Now instead of the bait shimmering down like that when it falls, it does one of these numbers as it falls. Okay? It's completely different action and the fish, sometimes that's exactly what they want.

Now this is weightless so that the action is going to be a lot less pronounced. It's not going to be super, but what you can do is you can use weighted jig heads or weighted heads that will make it fall faster and will cause that action to be a lot faster. So what I like to do, I've experimented a bit and I've discovered that you don't have to get a wacky head, a wacky jig head. There's some out there you can buy but I've learned that fish don't care, they really don't care what it looks likes.

It's that action that they key off of, so I just use your regular football head jig. This one is a quarter-ounce I think. I use eighth-ounce up to three-quarter-ounce football head jigs and I'm throwing a lot in rocky areas where you can get hung up real easily.

So I find a football jig works real well. It looks ugly when you rig it, trust me. It's not aesthetically pleasing but, again, the fish don't care. You just rig it on just like that, that's the basic gist of it, right? It looks weird but I'm telling you, it works, and especially in current. When it's heavy current, this football head jig works really well, it doesn't get hung up.

You can also throw it in weedy areas. Here's a jig head that's got a little weed guard right here. Okay? It's a little wire weed guard and that works equally well for wacky rigging. Again, adding just a little bit of weight makes the bait fall a bit faster, you’ll get a more reaction bite, you get a little more pronounced action on that fall. Okay? So a couple different ways, let your imagination fly. Again, the fish don't care what it looks like so you don't have to buy any special gear, look around what you have in your tackle box and experiment.

Another way you can rig this bait is Texas rig. Again, it's just like we had weightless, I rigged the exact same way and I pegged it, again, pegged the plastic but here I just have a weight in front of it, just a bullet weight. Again, that changes the action, here we go again. This, now it doesn't have that little fall to it.

What it does is when it hits the ground, when you throw it in heavier cover, it stands up like that and then slowly wiggles as it falls back down, all right? Fish love this, and you can throw this in cover, throw this in heavy cover wood, things like that, it's not going to get hung up. It's also a little bit subtle action.

Sometimes when you're throwing those creature baits, those lizards and those Brush Hogs and that sort of thing, they got all those appendages making all this action and sometimes that's not what the fish want. They just want something a little more subtle, a little bit less action, and that's when this is the ticket. Okay? It's very basic, straightforward, but sometimes that's candy to them. So take a look at your Texas rig and if you're not getting bites, maybe you put one of these on.

Finally, another way that I rig it is the split shot rig. Here I've got a, or a Mojo rig, some people call it Mojo. I have a cylinder weight up here on the front, this goes through weeds and rocks a lot better without getting hung up, so it works really well. About 18 inches behind it, again, I have that weightless Texas rig just like I showed you. This is a little bit smaller bait, this is a three-inch bait, because I'm using here a six-pound test on a seven-foot medium-light action rod again. I'm sensing a theme, that's what I use for my finesse gear. You can use six-to ten-pound test.

What this does, this weight here, this gets the bait down on the bottom quicker. If you're fishing 15, 20 feet deep, maybe even deeper, you don't have to wait for this to make its way on down. This gets it down, it's on the bottom, and this then is set as it falls to do its trick, it starts doing that little shimmy action again, but this time it's really deep.

Every time you lift the weight up an you drop it, this thing, again, just this shimmies right down behind it. Great presentation for deeper water or, again, when fish are real finicky, post front, really don't want to bite, it's a real subtle, slow action here, and you can even drag it on the bottom if you want and that's another option you can do.

Again, don't limit yourself to finesse tactics, you can do this Carolina rig as well, just all you're using is a heavier weight. As a matter of fact, I don't deal with all the swivels and the weights and the beads and all that stuff when rigging up Carolina rigs. I just go to a heavier rod and reel. I'm using 15-pound, 20-pound test, maybe even more. I'm just up-sizing one of these to a three-quarter-ounce or a heavier weight. It's the same rig, okay? Just a little Mojo weight here.

Works great, it's a very versatile bait, that's why it's so popular. You can rig it so many different ways and it works in a whole variety of different applications. So I hope it gave you a few ideas and I hope those tips help. So for more tips and tricks like that, visit