Best Shaky Head Rod Reviews and Guide
The basic working principle is never the same as the swimbait. But you can still use the same type of rods for these two fishing jigs. The shaky head is more for shallow water, and this is one of the most popular fishing techniques for bass and other monstrous fishes.
Some lures are sold in bulk without any hook or other tackle and must be rigged before use. This is true of most soft-plastic lures. The Shaky head and Texas rig are basic to fishing any worm, lizard, crayfish, or other soft plastic for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, walleyes, panfish, perch, trout, or catfish.
Finding the best shaky head rod is like an endless journey to shopping choices. You can find rods that range from a hundred dollars, and that price goes up high as a thousand dollars.
Reviews of the Best Shaky Head Rod
- 1 Reviews of the Best Shaky Head Rod
- 2 How to Choose the Best Rod for Shaky Heads: Buying Guide
- 3 Shaky Head Fishing Tips
- 3.1 There are different types of hooks out there.
- 3.2 Cast around the rip rap, boat ramps, and docks
- 3.3 Let the worm work by itself.
- 3.4 Use fast and heavy rods.
- 3.5 Know how to rig different shaky heads
- 3.6 Use different reel and rod for different situations
- 3.7 Use Invisible lines for Finesse Techniques.
- 4 Drop Shot vs. Shaky Head
- 4.1 How to Use Rigs for Better Fishing
- 4.2 Correct Rigging of the Shaky Head
- 4.3 Adding Weight for Better Casting Distances
- 4.4 Trolling Rigging Techniques
- 4.5 How to Use Shaky Head in Freshwater
- 4.6 Setup for Finesse Fishing
- 4.7 Fishing with Two Lures with Shaky Head Rod
- 4.8 How to Get Most Out of Shaky Head Setup
- 4.9 People Also Ask About Shaky Head Rod
- 4.10 Conclusion
We have shortlisted many fishing rods that have been the best choices for many professional anglers worldwide. The materials on these will vary from brands to brands, and there will be too many changed according to t the price range. Eventually, the value for the price will matter the most.
Dobyns Rods Fury Series FR 702SF
The first one we will be looking at is designed for tournaments. This is lone a sports car for the anglers targeting bass. The two-inch short length is kind of a tricky choice for anyone, but you can still get the most out of this because of the fast action and heavy power.
This rod is stiff, and this is good for a reason. Many anglers will say that you will need the light rods to get the bass hooked, but Dobyns shaky head rods are more to hook the fish and pull it out of the cramped bushes or corners where they are hiding.
These handles are kind of an interesting thing for anglers. This is a hybrid handle that includes both cork and rubber in the construction. The rubber on the bottom gives you confidence, and the grip and the upper cork will give you the stiff place to fully fist the rod.
The overall capacity is not that high because of the power of the action rod. But the 12 lbs rating is good enough to get decent bass from shallow water.
- The striking fast action will hook the fishes just right
- Perfect for letting you enjoy the fitness fishing
- Very comfortable to use for bass fisherman
- This is rated for sports grade performance with shaky head jigs
- The hybrid handle gives you more control over the rod for good reasons
- The capacity is not that high, and the tip does not feel too good for the pressure.
Legend Xtreme Spinning
The handle might look weird, but this is one interesting handle for anyone with super fast fishing actions. This is st Croix shaky head rod that is made in the USA. The overall built quality and the finishing are beyond what you might expect.
The most quality thing you will notice from this rod is the graphite reinforcement. This is reinforced by SCVI carbon which is a super light material. For a rod 7 feet, this rod does not weigh that much at all. The medium action is not perfect, but this medium action is great for high capacity. You can easily fight with 15 lbs bass and manage to win.
The price range is a bit expensive, but it has reasons. The line guides are smooth and do not have a lot of resistance while throwing the jig into the shallow water. The placement of the reel seat gives this rod a more balanced weight distribution which is necessary for accurate casts.
The handle is matte finished, and this EVA grip does not feel like it’s going to get worse over time. This is the best rod for shaky head fishing coming from a great company.
- Advanced handle design feels nice on the hand and has a great grip
- The warranty provided by the company is super useful
- Easy and comfortable to handle for anger
- Better casting distance with a spinning setup
- Advanced reinforcement of carbon fiber results in good capacity
- This rod is expensive, but the value of money is worth the quality.
G. Loomis IMX-PRO 822S SYR Spinning Rod
If you want to go super cheap and still want a decent performing shaky head rod, this is the one you should get. g Loomis shaky head rod is mostly targeted for the people who are starting with aggressive style fishing techniques. This is on the short side of the fishing rod category, where the length is more on the manageable category.
This rod is small. As a rod with a length 6’10” long, which is below 7 feet is not on the sweet spot, but this is not going to be bad at all for decent performance. The fast action is so tight that you can barely get a bend on casts. You can pull out any fish from any corner with a single pull.
The sensitivity of this rod is also on point. You can easily feel what is poking your jig, and you can then react instantly.
This is a fly-style rod that is unusual for shaky heads, But if you are casting on running water and still want to use shaky head jigs.
- This is an inexpensive solution for your jigs.
- The cork handle of head rods feel classic and solid for short rods
- The price is inside the decent categories
- The perfect combination of size and action for the jigs
- The action seems too fast on this rod
Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Fishing Rod
You don’t really have to say anything about Ugly Stick as they are one of the oldest companies that make gears for anglers. Elite shaky rod by Ugly stick is the best spinning rod for a shaky head that comes in such a low price range. This deserves an award for the best value for the money because of the price range.
While you are purchasing this rod, you will get plenty of size and action choices that many companies out there do not offer to their customers. The most eligible choice here would be to buy 7 feet medium heavy rod. This comes in one piece.
If you want, you can go for a two-piece configuration as well. The overall experience on this feels smooth, and that is enhanced by these low-profile line guides. This rod combined with a smooth spinning reel can be the best shaky head rod and reel setup for anyone starting with a lightweight shaky head jig.
The classic thick cork rod is a killer thing for you if you want that fast grip on a lightweight rod.
- An inexpensive spinning rod for lightweight rig jig
- The line guides are low profile and reduce the overall weight significantly
- Comes in various buying choices
- The cork on the handle feels a bit cheap
Dobyns Champion Extreme HP Spinning Rods
If you want to go more low profile than anyone else in the competition, you can buy Dobyns Champion Extreme spinning rods. This is the best rod that has the capacity to fight bigger bass. This is rated to handle bass more than 27 lbs, and that is almost spot on. You can even go further than that if you want to.
The action of this is medium-fast, and that is a manageable, strong rod for shaky head jigs. The reinforcement does not feel like it is not going to work out. The best thing about this rod that will amaze you is the sensitivity.
This is an extremely sensitive rod. You can use lightweight jigs and wait for the bite. You can sense the bite almost instantly, and the medium-fast action will surely get the bass on your hook.
The handle is one piece cork handle. The overall finishing is super good, and it is great for handling bigger fishes.
- 7 feet rod combined with the medium-fast action is perfect for shaky heads
- The uniquely designed handle can provide more control overcasts and movements
- The capacity of the rod is great and overkill for the money
- The low profile handle with spinning rod is kind of a new thing to get used to
St. Croix Rods Premier Spinning Rod
St. Croix Rods Premier rod is the best spinning rod for a shaky head if you consider the value for the money. This is almost there in the cheapest range, but the quality of the rod is as you can expect from a premium quality rod.
These are the rods that you should always use for lightweight jigs. If your jig weights below 3/8 ozs, you should choose this rod combined with a smooth spinning rod. This rod is effective when used with lures cast and retrieved at high speed since the scent dissipates too rapidly for a fish to find or follow the lure.
The confidence you get from these rod and reel setups is nice perfect. The reinforcement seems promising, and you can fearlessly fight with a bass weighing more than 15 lbs.
This rod combined with a fast-spinning reel will be the best combination for long-term use. This rod feels like this can last for years. The black coating on the rod will last a very long time, and the stainless steel reel seat can stand the humidity as well.
The handle is low profile, and the thickness is shallow compared to the others. This will be great for you if you are used to that. The low profile does feel lightweight.
- Minimal design aesthetics and featureful rod setup
- Premium built quality with premium materials in the built
- You can find various rod size and action combination while buying
- The capacity of this rod is questionable
Fenwick HMG Spinning Fishing Rod
If you are looking for the best rod for shaky head fishing with great all-over built quality, you should probably look for this one. Fenwick HMG does not cost a lot of money still; the quality of the materials will serve you the value for it.
Taste and smell attractants have become popular with some anglers. However, they are best used with lures, and rod reel setup fished slowly and deliberately, such as shaky head rigging with the Fenwick HMG.
The handle is designed differently. It has different cork materials on different parts. The bottom part has a thicker cork that brings the weight to the bottom. The bottom is also thicker than the whole handle. You are going to get a better grip because of this design language.
The finishing of this whole rod is spot on. It has a shiny finish, and the finish is seamless on every corner, even on the line guides.
The line guides and other aspects of this rod are also super smooth. Using a spinning reel with this setup is a breeze. The most amazing thing about this inexpensive rod is that you are going to get a lifelong warranty which is an absolute carnage for the money.
The last but not the least thing to mention is the feel of the action. The 7 feet medium heavy action is a must-have for this kind of jigs. Using a rig and proper fluorocarbon leader will give you an excellent experience for bass fishing.
- Uniquely designed thicker handle for better grip and control
- A great rod for the money
- Perfect rod length from 6′ to 7’6″
- The sensitivity of this rod is on point
- The rod feels a bit thick on the bottom and thinner on the tips
How to Choose the Best Rod for Shaky Heads: Buying Guide
Shaky head rod selection is based on three considerations: wind conditions on the flats, the size of the flies to be cast, and the size of the stripers you expect to cast.
Bass Rod Weight
Rods from 6- to 10-weight will handle virtually every combination of conditions. With small flies, small fish, or light wind, you should choose toward the 6- or 7-weight end of the spectrum. With large flies, large fish, or a brisk wind, I prefer 9- or 10weight rods. Ideally, you’ll use a rod that you can comfortably cast quickly and accurately with the weather and fishing conditions at hand.
Rod stiffness is a factor while bass-fishing. When wind and water conditions are calm, a delicate presentation greatly reduces spooking the fish. This is also true in the very shallow water of 18 inches or less.
A soft rod (slow or progressive action) in these conditions opens the casting loop, allowing the fly line to drop gently on the water, thus not alarming the fish. When the wind is up, this is much less of a factor, and a stiff rod (fast action is preferred to punch out the casts.
Size of Bass Rod
7-to-8-foot rods are ideal for wading inshore flats and working offshore flats by skiff. However, in the surf, a longer rod is preferred to drop short casts over wave tops, mend lines in complex currents, raise the line above cresting waves, or otherwise manipulate the shaky rig line in this dynamic environment. Long rods also allow a longer reach on the retrieve, ideal with the short presentations preferred in the surf.
Finishing of the Rod
Shaky head rod finish is a factor for bass fishermen. Stripers, with their superb overhead vision, readily pick up flashes from above the water surface. The higher the source of flash, the further away bass may detect it.
So, before selecting a rod, you should check out what finish you should select. A better finish will deliver better performance even if it cost a bit more.
The Comfort of the Handle
Check out the comfort of the rod before choosing one. Cause fishing in shallow water needs lots of dedication and patience. And for that, you need to hold the rod for a long time. Without a perfect handle, you won’t be able to do so.
So for better fishing with these kinds of a jig, check what padding the rod is giving. Does it have cork handles? How does it feel while playing with the bait?
So, check these specs in your favorite rod.
Casting Accuracy with Finesse Fishing
The longest, most accurate casting is possible with the rod held over-the-shoulder and a vertical stroke. This makes gloss-finished rods a liability on the flats. Many fish that seem hopelessly lockjawed or move quickly away from an otherwise well-presented fly have already been spooked by rod-flash.
To avoid this and maintain my stealth, you should prefer rods with matte finishes that reflect less light. Some manufacturers sell rods already in this condition (G. Loomis and Cape Fear, for example), but unfortunately, many do not.
To remedy this situation, you should remove the gloss finish from my sight-fishing rods with a Scotch Pad. While it may sting a bit to scuff the shine from a beautifully crafted rod, doing so will improve the rod’s fishing performance and boost your scorecard on the flats.
Types of Rig for Bass Fishing
The secret of effective rigging is to make sure that the worm or lizard is straight on the hook, with no bends, kinks, or stretching. This is an ideal basic rig, but especially for fishing in weeds or around snags and underwater structures. (A tapered worm weight can also be used to provide casting weight or help sink the worm to where the fish are feeding.)
The Florida rig is much like the shaky rig and Texas rig, but the hook is threaded farther into the head of the worm so that it is kinked. The result is a worm that twists and swims in the water, although it can also twist the line unless you attach a swivel.
A variation uses a barbed-shank, baitholder hook, with the point exposed and the worm extending partway down the hook bend to create the kink and the swimming motion. A ball-bearing swivel can be used to reduce line twists. This rig is best for open water, where the twisting, swimming motion will draw fish out and provoke strikes.
The rear-hook Texas rig is a variation, with the hook placed in the tail of the worm. One way is to tie the hook to the line, run the hook through and out the head of the worm, then into the body, repeating this several times as necessary before turning it and sinking the point into the tail end of the worm.
An alternative is to run a very long needle (available from clothing and upholstery stores) eye-first up from the worm’s tail and out the top, thread the line through the needle eye, and pull it back through the worm before tying on the hook. This is the best rig when fish are striking short-not taking the whole worm or striking and running without getting a head-hooked worm in their mouth.
The Carolina rig uses either an exposed hook or a weedless rig (Texas rig) with a sliding bullet sinker on the line; you then tie the line to a swivel and tie the swivel to a leader (often 24 to 30 inches long) that ends with the worm. It is difficult to cast and must be lobbed, but it is good for fishing deep in large lakes. It will take fish from deeper waters than any crankbait.
A basic Carolina rig can use a Texas-rigged (weedless) worm or one with an exposed hook point. It is ideal for fishing deep, open water. Cliff Shelby.
Wacky Worm Rig
The wacky worm rig is fished most often around structure or in open water for suspended bass. It looks a lot like a live creature bait, writhing worm when it moves through the water. Achieve this action by burying a lead worm weight or a small nail body in the top of the worm, then hooking the worm through the center with the point exposed.
The weight causes the front of the worm to sink; when jigged, it will have a wacky up-and-down movement. This is an ideal rig for spotted bass or any fish held in deep, open water, along water edges, or near break lines.
Shaky Head Fishing Tips
The shaky head is known as one of the best fishing techniques for basses and other monstrous fishes. If you live around shallow water and want your jig to sink and get the fish from the absolute bottom level, a rig would be on the go for you. Here we have a handful of tips and tricks to help you with catching more on your hooks.
There are different types of hooks out there.
If you have explored the fishing hooks market, you have most probably bumped into many hook designs designed for this kind of rig. Almost all of them have differently styled for rigging. They will also have different ways to cast. They are all built for different water and soil conditions as well. You can experiment with them if you can. It will also be a wise idea to have a set of each of them in your collection.
Cast around the rip rap, boat ramps, and docks
The angler has known that shaky heads are the best jigs for casting around the shores. Low-depth rip raps and docs are the places where you should cast. You can not cover, or even you cannot reach the deep water and get a good sense of your fishing setup.
As many fishes will be around the boat ramps to stay safe and gather around for the shade, you can get a good result casting around there easily.
Let the worm work by itself.
Though the name is the shaky head, people back in the days used to gently shake the rod to get the shake on the worms; you should not just do that. The work will work by itself as it is sinking and lying on the ground below.
If you want, you can gently wind up the bass fishing lines as the worm has sunk to the bottom of the water. You don’t have to go wild on the lure.
Use fast and heavy rods.
As we are talking about rods in this review, it is worth mentioning that you should always choose a fast action rod that snaps the hook out of place instantly.
For an angler may recommend having a light rod for the rig to shake a little bit. Yes, it is possible, but you should not give the fish any chance to fight with you while it is around the boat ramp or docks.
Know how to rig different shaky heads
The shaky head is a jig type, and in different types of hooks, the setup will be different. You must get familiar with the process of rigging up a jig. This setup process might look easy and simple, but there are many measurements related to this rigging process. You should get familiar with them and practice more often.
Use different reel and rod for different situations
Using different types of reels makes a lot of differences, and you will need to know what reels you should and when you should use them.
Most anglers use spinning and baitcasting reels for different situations. Baitcasting reels are more robust, and they have a low gear ratio than a spinning reel. This makes it more useable for heavy lures. If your fishing jig weights more than 3/8 ozs, you should use a baitcasting reel.
If you have a lightweight fishing reel, you should obviously use a spinning reel. Spinning reels are smoother than a baitcasting reel. Because of the high gear ratio, you will also get the advantage of pulling the fish out of the water faster.
Use Invisible lines for Finesse Techniques.
The best line for the rig is the invisible line. It is easy to scare the fishes off if you are using a visible braided fishing line. It is always recommended that you get a fishing rod that is invisible underwater. These will be a bit more expensive than the regular visible lines, but you will surely see a great difference in catching more bass if you get one of these.
Drop Shot vs. Shaky Head
These two fishing jigs are kind of the same in terms of the use of lures and even how you set the hook with the lure. But they are a lot different in what they are targeted for, how you set them up and how you fish with them.
The whole setup is different
The drop shot is a whole different idea of fishing. Though you are targeting the bass on the bottom part of the water, you are still not on the bottom of the water while drop-shotting.
A drop shot is generally used when the bottom of the water has a lot of weed, and you are feeling that your rig might get buried under the bushes. Drop shot has a separate weight that you attach to the line. Then you attach the hook sets to the line tied up to the line that is almost one foot above the weight on the bottom. This is how you drop shot.
When and why you use these different jigs
As these two jigs are totally different, you will have to use them in different scenarios. Generally, when you are casting alongside the boat ramps, you have to use shaky heads as boat ramps do not have many bushes around them.
You cannot just cast around the shored and alongside the weeds. The deeper the hook drops, your hook can easily get tangled onto the weeds, and you are going to lose your hook as well.
Setup processes are different
These two types of fishing jigs have two different ways to set up as well. To be honest, setting up a shaky head is easy and straightforward. You just have to properly insert the rubber worm on the hook, and you are all set up.
The setup process of drop shots is not that easy. You will have to tie the weight and hooks separately. You might have to measure the line length too. But in both jigs, you can learn the setup process by looking at the tutorials online.
How to Use Rigs for Better Fishing
Any of the above rigs can be fished alone or rigged with a tapered worm weight to get the lure down to the fish and help penetrate weeds.
Correct Rigging of the Shaky Head
Plastic worms sometimes require special tricks to rig correctly. Here are two tips that make worms easier to fish, regardless of the rig you use.
First, peg the worm to the line by running a toothpick into the hole in the weight after threading it onto the line and tying and rigging the worm hook. Break off the toothpick to prevent snags. The peg will hold the weight in place and allow it to pound through weeds and sink the worm rapidly.
The second tip is similar: To keep fish from taking a worm or soft-plastic lure and sliding it down the hook, hold the worm in place with a toothpick threaded through the head of the worm and the eye of the hidden hook.
Adding Weight for Better Casting Distances
Some lures require added weight or rigging to be cast properly or trolled at the correct depths. Several solutions include an in-line sinker positioned between the rod and the lure to help get lures deep.
With rigs designed for casting, such as the shaky head, the sinker should be carefully positioned: no closer than about 1 foot in front of the lure to prevent slowing the lure action, and no more than about 2 1 feet ahead of it to allow for casting. Cast slowly and carefully, and make sure that you have complete clearance for the lure rig.
Shaky jigs that have the line, bait or lure leader, and sinker leader tied to separate eyes of a three-way swivel are effective and easy to make.
The length of the leader from the swivel to the sinker controls the depth of the rig. Some bait rigs, especially when very slowly trolled, use a small bobber (as shown) to keep the bait visible to the fish and off the bottom.
Trolling Rigging Techniques
If you are trolling, sinkers can be 30 feet or more ahead of the lure in saltwater, but usually only a few feet in freshwater.
Drop sinkers are used only in trolling, not casting, to keep the lure close to the bottom. Rig them using a three-way swivel with the line tied to one eye, the lure tied by a leader to the second eve. And the sinker tied to a 1- to a 3-foot leader to allow it to bounce along the bottom.
Note that fish caught on trolled lures with long leaders must be handlined to the boat since the swivel cannot be reeled through the guides or onto the spool.
If you are using a shaky head rig, you need to add more sinker weight, but that has to cope with the power and capacity of your fishing rod.
How to Use Shaky Head in Freshwater
With a sinker weight with the shaky head rig, it becomes somewhere similar to the drop-sinker rig, with a short leader and a special sinker that drags along the bottom during slow trolling or drifting. You can use these mixes, most often used in freshwater, with the lure close to the bottom.
Setup for Finesse Fishing
Any angler should follow some basic principles of having a finesse fishing experience with the shaky head rig. There is not only should be a buyer’s guide on rod and reel, but you should also have guidance for a sinker, swivel, and other parts as well.
Sinkers, either in-line or drop-style off a leader, can be used to control the depth of a running lure that might otherwise float, never reaching the desired depths. The sinkers are very useful for using shaky heads and Texas rigs for finesse fishing.
A swivel or split shot, as shown, is used to keep the sinker away from the line-tie to the lure and to make sure that the lure action is not compromised by the weight.
One way to make bottom rigs in snaggy water is to use a series of split shots on a separate leader off a swivel or tied from a dropper loop. Then, if the sinkers get caught, they will pull off so that the bait/hook or lure is not lost. Use a lighter-test sinker leader than you do in the mainline.
Basic shaky head rigging for bass fishing:
- Run line through tapered worm sinker and tie-on hook.
- Run the point of the hook straight into the head of the worm.
- Bring the hook point out of the worm’s side so that only the end of the hook shank remains in the worm.
- Insert the point of hook back into the worm’s body to make it weedless.
Fishing with Two Lures with Shaky Head Rod
It is often effective to fish two lures in tandem on one line. Rig the added lure from a dropper or a leader running from the main lure to a trailing lure. The two lures are generally separated by a foot or two. Here are some possible combinations for the finesse techniques of bass fishing.
- A small jig behind a topwater (cupped-face) chugger or a floating diver plug
- Two jigs, one on the mainline and one on a dropper.
- A shaky head rig on a dropper in front of a diving crankbait—as if the crankbait were chasing the smaller jig.
- A small spoon on a dropper in front of a larger spoon.
- A Shaky head rig followed by a nymph.
- A small nymph on a dropper in front of a streamer fly.
- A Shaky head rig plastic worm or grub on a dropper ahead of a jig head.
- A small and shaky head, or two same-size lures in different colors.
How to Get Most Out of Shaky Head Setup
Lures are often “sweetened” with bait to increase strikes and catches. The bait should enhance the lure and not interfere with any built-in lure action. Some typical lure-and-bait combinations are:
- Spinners are often tipped with a piece of worm, bloodworm, small minnow, or strip bait cut from caught fish. For different action rods, these are great techniques.
- Soft plastics, such as the shaky head often fished on a jig head in salt water, can be tipped with a shrimp, shrimp tail, or bloodworm.
- Spinnerbaits and buzzbaits are commonly tipped with pork rinds or strip baits. Strips of fish can be used to “sweeten” lures, such as the strip baits used on this jig and metal casting spoon.
- Heavy-structure spoons dropped to a deep structure are often sweetened in saltwater with shrimp, clams, clam snouts, strip baits, shiners, or bloodworms; in freshwater, with earthworms, small minnows, or leeches. Also, the jigs are tipped with shrimp, bloodworms, minnows, strip baits, or clam snouts. In freshwater, they are tipped with earthworms, strip baits, salamanders, crayfish, or leeches.
- Offshore-trolling lures are frequently rigged with the whole baitfish, specially rigged to troll at relatively high speeds. Strip baits cut from the belly of a fish may be substituted.
People Also Ask About Shaky Head Rod
Can a Shaky Head Jig Used with Weedless Spoons?
Rig a shaky head with the weedless spoons for making the weedless wonder. Weedless spoons need thin baits such as strip baits, pork rinds, minnows, or leeches to avoid interfering with the spoon’s side-to-side action. Never forget to use a tough line for the setup, and the rod you select has to specialize in shaky head fishing.
There is no secret to finding the best casting rod for shaky heads or a technique to get more fishes than ever. The total success of getting more fishes is to practice more and practice with the perfect setup.
If you already have a shaky head rig set up for bass fishing, you can add up a fishing rod that will diversify your fishing techniques as well. You can have a fishing rod for your secondary setup as well.
If you haven’t tried shaky heads before, you should dive into this fishing technique. This is proven to be one of the best techniques for casting around the rip raps and boat ramps; you will surely see differences in the numbers of fishes you catch.