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The Best Freshwater Fishing Rigs for Success on the Water

Freshwater fishing rigs are endless in style, variety, and combinations. But choosing the proper rig for your application doesn’t have to be difficult.

With a few considerations and some of the staple freshwater fishing rigs in your tackle box, you will be geared up and ready to catch a variety of freshwater fish!

freshwater fishing rigs

Our Top Picks

Most Versatile
Fishing Hooks Bobbers Freshwater Tackle Kit

Best Rig for Largemouth Bass
PLUSINNO Wacky Worm Fishing Lure Kit

Best Rig for Smallmouth Bass

Best Rig for Walleye
Temorah Fishing Lures Jig Heads

Most Versatile

Fishing Hooks Bobbers Freshwater Tackle Kit

Fishing Hooks Bobbers Freshwater Tackle Kit 215pcs Fishing Gear Tackle Box Include Fishing Hooks, Fishing Weights, Bobbers for Fishing, Beginners Fishing Equipment Starter Kit for Trout Panfish

If you want to catch the most variety and number of fish, there is no comparison to the classic bobber and hook rig. For most people, their first time fishing involves this time-tested freshwater fishing rig.

Simply tie a hook to the end of your line and affix a bobber above it at the desired depth. Then add bait to the hook. You could go the more traditional route by adding a worm or a leech. Kid-friendly options like bread or a piece of hot dog also catch a lot of fish.

The variety in a kit like this ensures you have the right gear for any application. Go with smaller-size hooks if you are around a lot of bluegills and other panfish. The bigger hooks will give you more fighting power if you are targeting bass or walleye.


  • Multiple-size hooks and bobbers for many applications
  • Plenty of spare tackle for when gear needs to be swapped out
  • Comes in a well-organized tackle box for easy transportation
  • Affordable price for the amount of tackle included


  • No snaps or swivels included for easy hook changes
  • Only one size of split-shot weight included
  • Tackle box is not waterproof

Best Rig for Largemouth Bass

PLUSINNO Wacky Worm Fishing Lure Kit

PLUSINNO 133PCS 5.5" Wacky Worm Fishing Lure Kit, Soft Plastic Fishing Lures, Grub Baits Hook Wacky Rig Bass Trout Fishing Worms Lures w/Tackle Box-A

The wacky rig is just that, wacky! It’s hard to believe that something so simple can catch so many fish. If you want to catch a bass, there is no freshwater fishing rig that will do a better job.

The PLUSINNO Wacky Worm Fishing Lure Kit has everything you need to set up this fish-catching rig.

The rig starts with a 5” soft plastic worm threaded with a hook perpendicular to the worm body. It’s a good idea to use the included ring tool to add a silicone ring before you add your hook. It will give your bait added durability, allowing you to catch more fish on a single bait.

If you are fishing deeper water, stick a nail weight into one or both ends of the worm. This will allow your bait to get down to deeper depths.


  • Four different color options of worms for different situations
  • Complete kit of everything you need for a wacky rig
  • Added silicone rings and tool for added longevity
  • Affordable price tag


  • Will need to get additional worms since you can easily go through all 8 of a color
  • No weedless option of hook included
  • Tackle box is not waterproof

Best Rig for Smallmouth Bass


Z-MAN KIT-NED-GP Ned Rig Kit - Green Pumpkin, Multi, one Size

If you are near a lake with smallmouth bass, look no further than the Ned Rig. Named after the angler who made it popular, Ned Kehde took this simple technique mainstream after catching records of fish with it.

Simply put a small plastic worm on a mushroom head jig and cast it out until it reaches the bottom. Slowly reel and hop it back to you. The design of the jig head, matched with the buoyancy of the plastic, will cause the rig to stand straight up.

Z-MAN has always been the top manufacturer of Ned Rigs for freshwater fishing gear because of the durability of their plastic. ElaZtech is a proprietary formula that will allow you to catch tons of smallmouth bass on one bait.


  • ElaZtech material is extremely durable
  • Two jig sizes included to fish various depths
  • Best-performing worm color included (Green Pumpkin)
  • Welded wire keeper for advanced worm staying power


  • Does not come with a weedless jig option
  • Only one color of plastic provided
  • Slightly more expensive for premium materials

Best Rig for Walleye

Temorah Fishing Lures Jig Heads

Temorah Fishing Lures Jig Heads,Ball Heads 1/32oz-1/2oz,Sharp Fishing Hooks for Freshwater or Saltwater (Assorted, 1/16OZ 50PCS)

Walleye are some of the best-tasting freshwater fish in the country. Often targeted in the Northwoods, these fish can be caught with a simple jig and a leech all year long.

It’s always a good idea to have a variety of colors handy because the preferred color will change from day to day, depending on the conditions. The Temorah Freshwater Jig Heads kit comes not only with a variety of colors but also has several different sizes that work well in different depths.

You will want to use a head size that will allow you to get down to the fish quickly, whatever depth they are staging in. With the options and variety in colors/sizes, adding a kit like this to your freshwater fishing rig arsenal is a good idea!


  • Includes 5 fish-catching colors
  • 8 available sizes to choose from
  • Includes high-carbon steel hooks for increased durability
  • Vibrant powder-coated paint finished colors


  • Included tackle box is basic at best
  • Some of the eyelets may need to be picked out before use
  • Will need to purchase multiple boxes for different sizes

PLUSINNO Pre-Rigged Soft Swimbaits

PLUSINNO Fishing Lures, Trout Pike Walleye Bass Fishing Jig Heads, Pre-Rigged Soft Swimbaits with Ultra-Sharp Hooks, Bass Lures with Paddle Tail, Fishing Bait for Saltwater & Freshwater…

A soft swimbait has the ability to catch any type of fish. This freshwater fishing rig requires accurate casts and precise placements to attract hungry fish to bite.

Depending on what size swimbait you are using will determine what type of freshwater fish might bite. Micro to small swimbaits will attract panfish and bass, while the larger rigs can attract northern pike and muskie.

No matter what size you choose, they should all be worked in a cast and retrieve motion. The PLUSINNO swimbait kit comes in several different sizes and styles to fit your fishing needs.


  • Ready to fish right out of the pack, no rigging needed
  • Variety of sizes and colors to catch many types of fish
  • Comes in an organized tackle box
  • Ultra-sharp hooks included


  • Hard to replace soft baits when they get chewed up
  • Included tackle box is not waterproof
  • Limited large-size swimbaits

Lindy Floating Rig

Lindy Floating Rig - Lime/Yellow - Crawler/Leech Hook

A great way to cover lots of water with a freshwater fishing rig from a boat is with a Lindy Rig. “Lindy Rigging,” known up north, requires a weight to be dragged along the bottom with a separate line attached to a hook floating off the back.

The float keeps the worm or leeches a foot off the bottom, where the fish are more likely to be. There are several different components that can be interchanged.

The weight can be adjusted depending on the depth you are fishing. It’s important to have a large enough weight to keep it along the bottom. You can also adjust the hook and float size depending on how large of a bait you want to put on it.


  • Efficient rig to cover a lot of water
  • Lindy Rig is the most trusted name in this category
  • Plug and play allows you to change up parts for different applications
  • Premium components for increased life


  • More advanced rig is harder to set up
  • Need to be used from a boat
  • Still need to buy worms or leeches to add to the hook

Freshwater Fishing Rig Buyer’s Guide

Choose a Rig That Matches Your Fishing Scenario

Many freshwater fishing rigs can be used for multiple applications, but not everything works. Before selecting a rig, consider where you are fishing and how you plan on using it.

If you are fishing in a large area where you need to cover lots of water, then moving-style rigs like a Lindy Rig or a Swimbait would work best. When fishing a specific area, slowing down with a wacky or ned rig will get you bites.

Fishing from a boat or fishing from shore is vastly different. If a freshwater rig requires passive movements like a jig and minnow, fishing from a boat will suit you better. Actively casting rigs can be used from any fishing location.

Choose a Freshwater Fishing Rig That Excels at Catching the Target Species

Species considerations also play a role in the rig you select. There are reasons why anglers go back to the same rigs for the species of fish they are targeting.

Seasonal conditions, habitat, and fish behavior all play a role in what freshwater rigs excel for that particular species. There are many different variations, but there are general factors to consider when trying to get specific freshwater species.

For walleye, use freshwater fishing rigs that require you to add live bait like worms, leeches, or minnows. Any artificial bait mimicking live bait fish or crawfish works well for bass. Panfish love a hook tipped with worms and grubs!

Look for Rigs That are Easy to Change Out

Choosing the first freshwater fishing rig to use on an outing can be difficult. The important thing is to pay attention to your surroundings and make adjustments as needed.

That is why choosing a rig that can be easily switched out is important. Some anglers prefer to re-tie when they want to change rigs. Others will bring multiple rods with different rigs.

A better approach is looking for rigs with easy-tie or snaps and swivels on them. This makes changing baits a breeze and gives you more confidence in the water.

Select Rigs With Quality Components

When it comes to freshwater fishing rigs, quality is key. Many bargain brands out there will fall apart after one fish is caught.

Quality includes thick gauge wires, coated hooks, and pressed blades. If you can easily bend any part of the rig with your hand, go for a different one. The cost per fish will decrease with well-made rigs.

freshwater fishing rigs

Freshwater Fishing Rig Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best rig for beginner’s fishing?

The best rig for beginners fishing is to use a bobber and hook. It is easy to set up and will catch you the most and largest variety of fish. It is also easy to use. Simply watch your bobber to detect a bite.

If the bobber bounces or goes all the way underwater, a fish has your bait. Set the hook and reel in!

How do you set up a freshwater fishing rig?

The most common freshwater fishing rig is a bobber and hook. To set up this rig, simply tie a hook to the end of your line with a snap and swivel. Add one to three split shot weights on the line above your hook.

Next, add a bobber a foot or more above the hook on the line with the built-in clips. The final step is to add your favorite bait to the hook and cast it out!

Get Ready to Hit the Freshwater

Choosing a freshwater fishing rig can seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right gear and planning, anyone can be successful at catching many different freshwater species.

With an abundance of different freshwater species available to the Minnesota angler, check out our fishing headquarters with all the info you need to have fun and catch fish.