I usually use the Neko rig interchangeably with a shakey head

I will say it tends to get some bigger bites for whatever reason

Then one end of the worm is weighted with either a nail weight or screw-in weight. Thus, the worm sits tail up on the bottom, with the hook higher up off the bottom.

Curtiss’ typical hook is 1/0 or 2/0 wacky hook for a stickbait and a No. 1 or 1/0 if using a finesse worm. You can use a hook with or without a weedguard depending on how much cover you’re around. As for weights, he typically uses 1/16-ounce or less.


The why behind this rig seems different for every angler. Curtiss likes the Neko rig for two reasons: He can cover water with it faster than with a wacky rig (“It gets to the bottom faster”) and when it’s on bottom, he can shake the worm more, without it moving forward as much on a shakey head. That second point makes it a killer bad-fishing bait.

Much like a wacky rig, most of Curtiss’ bites come while the bait is falling. That holds true whether he’s casting toward the bank in 5-feet of water or targeting suspended fish over 50-feet.

He’ll cast it out and let it fall, letting the unweighted

Sean Ostruszka


Being that the Neko rig is similar to a wacky rig, it should be straightforward as to how to rig the hook – just pierce it through the middle of the worm. Yet, that’s not the only way.

Curtiss and many others actually run the hook parallel up the middle of the worm or slide O-rings or even silicone tubing down to the middle of the worm and run the hook through that. Thus, when the weighted end of the worm is on the bottom, the hook point is pointed up as opposed to sideways.

There are pros and cons to both ways of rigging.

Having the hook pinned through the side (parallel to the bottom while at rest) increases hooking percentage, but it also increases snags, even with a weed-guard on the hook.

Having the hook pinned along the worm (perpendicular to the bottom at rest) makes it far better to cover through cover, but it can make setting the hook a little trickier, as you truly can’t set too hard or you’ll miss fish.


Summer 2018