In the late 1960’s anglers sat on Rocky Point at Irvine Lake, casting to deep water. Their worm, hooked in the middle, was inched along uphill. “The Irvine Rig,” some called it.

During the same era, a few San Diegans took the same 6-inch straight tail, and hooked it in the center as a jig trailer. I heard it referred to as “fishing on the drape” or with the worm draped on the hook.

Out of Texas, somewhere late in the 1970’s or maybe later in the 1980’s, the method was actually called “wacky” style, and the worm was usually a 6-inch Creme Scoundrel, though a conventional Sproat style worm hook was still standard.

Today, it’s definitely a wackier world. An avid angler faxed me what he referred to as a Neco Rig (using an O-ring) yet with some research, I found people who claimed the origin was Japan, some four years previous. But you know what? It doesn’t matter who did it first. When it’s tied onto the end of your line, it’s your wacky rig and you can customize it any way you want.

What’s really different these days is the use of the O-ring and the perpendicular hook rig means the worm isn’t just laying two ends on the bottom. Now, with a Senko or look-alike, Flick-Shake, or just about whatever you have that is fat enough so the O-ring can stay on and hold the hook can be a player.

The secret, of course, is something earlier eras did not think of–that is, adding a nail weight (lead, tungsten, kryptonite, whatever) to one end of the plastic so the worm tends to move along head high/tail down. We also have a lot more hook options: circle, beak style, weedless Senko hooks, even small, ringed live bait hooks used in saltwater.

When the fish force you to change-up, you can do so many wacky things with baits you already carry. The “floating worms” are especially nice since they’ll stand nearly straight up if you have enough ballast at the other end. The Winged Dinger, fished fins up, is another interesting creature that almost waves to you as you lightly move it along. BPS has a long, squidlike tube that can be fished backwards as well. You don’t need me to tell you the possibilities.

What are the limitations? Worm diameter is pretty much it. But even some baits that might be a little skinny may have a “collar” molded into the plastic to catch the ring, and for others that are close to being right size, just adding a shallow slice in the plastic on the opposite side of where you place the hook will lessen the chance of the O-ring slipping.

And speaking of the O-ring, the guys who sell them also have what they call an O-Wacky Tool that makes it easier to slide on the ring. But I’m cheap and careless, both. I have reverted to Bic pen caps or hollow ballpoint pen bodies, because I lose stuff. They actually work and for the list price of the made-for tool, you also get about 50 pens!

Oh well. I’m a wacky guy.

And looking around, so is everybody else.


6 Responses to “It’s a new game: Be as wacky as you want!”

Hey George,

The first time I read about the nail weighted wacky worm was in an In-Fisherman magazine circa mid 1990s. Then they had it on In-Fisherman TV in the late 90s early 2000s. I can’t remember who they gave credit to (more than likely the Lindners) and I don’t have that magazine anymore.

Hope you’re surviving fine in Elsinore. The pics of the lake remind me of 1983. 🙂


by George Kramer

Here’s the $1 million dollar question: Why did the people who apparently invented such stuff never do anything with it? I know versions of this are a cash cow now in the West.

You know George, it’s a pretty crazy concept, but there are a few people out there who don’t want, desire or need recognition. They just want to catch fish. 🙂

BY the way, do you know what they call that rig up at Shasta? If not, I’ll have to email it to you – it’s not a “Blog-Friendly euphemism”.


By the way, since I answered your Q, where’s my million dollars? 🙂


by George Kramer

No, and it’s in the mail. 🙂

Hey george,

I personally think the wacky rig wth the o-ring is the best and you can by the wacky tool out of bass pro to put your o-ring on with out tearing them apart.