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Bass fishing goes with multiple fishing techniques. Almost every angler begins with a Texas rig or Carolina rig fishing from the shore or on a boat because they are easy to comprehend. Moreover, since basses are ambush predators waiting in densely vegetative areas, the C-rig or Carolina is strong enough to break through the bushes.
However, bass tend to move closer to the shore for lunch and spawning when the weather gets colder. When basses approach shallow water, the C-rig or Texas rig requires thick or harsh techniques. They’re more apparent, so bass can easily recognize a threat instead of a meal and relocate to unapproachable places. To avoid such a situation, you need finesse fishing or the shaky head rig.
This is a shaky head fishing 101 article that covers the basics of the techniques, starting with the appropriate shaky head rod, special spinning reel, and everything you need to know. Suitable for beginner and intermediate levels.
My Top Picks
Best Shaky Head Rod Overall
KastKing Royale Select
Best Ultralight Shaky Head Rod
GOOFISH® Solid Nano Blank Series
Best Budget Shaky Head Rod
St. Croix Rods Triumph
How to Pick the Shaky Head Rod?
Casting or Spinning Rod
Picking the better fishing rod may confuse any angler, so here is how we do it. The shaky head is a finesse technique, so we choose a spinning rod for practical reasons. Namely, the spinning rod works better with a lighter line and light baits. You could also opt for soft plastics for an easier and more effective cast.
We opt for a medium-heavy spinning rod. The medium one is also fine, but this one is our go-to rod. It is perfect for fishing in clear water where the environment calls for delicate situations.
Length is quite crucial for the shaky head rod. The shorter rod is slightly more sensitive compared to the longer rods with the same power and action type. But, the longer rods are better for shaky heads because when you cast, it can be faster than the short ones.
Before diving into the power specifications, you need to know a few “rules” regarding shaky head fishing. Namely, when it comes to shaky head casting, bear in mind that you usually need to cast it to open water. For this, you’ll need enough power for an efficient throw.
Now that we established the power, the action must match it. The medium or medium to heavy power usually goes with fast action. The reason for this is that fast action allows better sensitivity. That way, you can throw the cast better and more successfully. The shaky head jig simply works better with spinning rods, fast action, and medium-heavy power.
How to Fish a Shaky Head?
Selecting the proper shaky head size, color, and shape makes picking the right shaky head difficult.
First, for summertime or early fall fishing, always get the long straight-tail worms. They work like a charm. However, when it comes to the shaky head size, you need 8 ounces or 3/16 ones. This is the ideal option.
When it comes to the shaky head rig, many anglers, especially beginners, struggle to tie both ends. It is pretty simple if you follow the instructions below:
- Attach the bait to the jig. You need to apply the bait by screwing it on the jig.
- Cover the hook. It should go seedless, so you need to cover the bury entirely.
To experience the real shaky head technique, you need to cast the bait farther. You should also be able to see the line resting on the surface. This will allow enough room for the fast reeling as you will put the bass into chasing the prey position and be fully prepared for when the attack comes.
There is a difference between shaking a head and hopping the head worm. Many anglers agree that learning the difference will bring you more catch with less effort.
Instead of simply twitching the rod, you should try to recreate the hop movement of the worm as you pull it out. Recreate the worm’s hop by making a movement as if you moderately try to whip the water. This movement further creates more vibrations that disturb the big predators and provoke them to react.
5 Best Shaky Head Rods
- KastKing Royale Select – Best Shaky Head Rod Overall
- GOOFISH® Solid Nano Blank Series – Fast-Action & Lightweight Spinning Rod for Shaky Head Fishing
- St. Croix Rods Triumph – Well Balanced Rod
- Redington Butter Stick Fly – Extra-Sensitive Rod for Professionals
- Zebco Rhino Tough Glowtip – Beginner’s Rod for Shaky Head Fishing
Best Shaky Head Rod Overall
Best Shaky Head Rod Overall - KastKing Royale Select
WHY WE LIKE IT: The affordable price is one of the reasons we love these rods, but not the most important. We included it in our review for its quality – super light yet so powerful. Additionally, if you cast with these rods, you will notice that the whole power is directed to the hook. This guarantees to hook and pull more fish than usual.
OVERVIEW: We love KasKings products. Every rod has its unique beauty and value. This one contributes explicitly to ease of use and a powerful cast for a super affordable price. Namely, that sums up the rod’s main features, but the quality of this product should not go unmentioned by any means.
The design includes a mixture of stainless steel and graphite, which guarantees the durability and longevity of the product. Given that this is a fast-action rod, you can expect an effective game against predators or ambush-feeding fish. We recommend it because it offers excellent performance and is super easy to navigate.
FEATURES: These spinning rods are among the most sensitive, light, and surprisingly powerful rods on the market. What makes them stand out from the crowd is the high-end design and carbon material used.
We tested this rod with a Quantum PT Accurist Reel, and the experience was fantastic. If you don’t have this reel, you can try it with other spinning reel alternatives.
Fast-Action & Lightweight Spinning Rod
GOOFISH® Solid Nano Blank Series
WHY WE LIKE IT: This fast-action spinning rod is one the most lightweight and versatile rods we have ever tested from Goofish. We love it for the high-quality performance of the cast, the reeling, and the control it provides. This makes it one of the best shaky head rods suitable for numerous anglers.
OVERVIEW: Shaky head fishing comes with various shaky head rods to suit everyone’s taste and grip. We’re talking about a light and versatile spinning rod in this case. Anglers use this rod with various reels.
FEATURES: Speaking of the unique advantages of this rod, we have to mention the versatility that these rods offer. It’s lightweight and matches various reels, although we spot the best performance with the smaller reel.
Apart from the reels and balance the rod offers, we have to mention the high-end guides and reel seat that are one of the best features of these shaky head rods. They are perfectly aligned and distanced from each other.
Well Balanced Rod
St. Croix Rods Triumph
WHY WE LIKE IT: There are several reasons why we love this rod so much. The balance it offers is just beyond words. In fact, the cast shouldn’t go unmentioned too. If you are fishing for largemouth bass in the deep areas, you need steady rods that will balance the stress and pulling and help you win the battle with the bass predator. In that vein, the medium-heavy power this rod offers is what makes it the best shaky head rod.
OVERVIEW: It’s the primary choice if you want to experience a powerful spinning rod. The handle is of cork quality offering the user a strong grip and control over the rod. Additionally, it is designed with the best carbon construction and supported by the Fortified Rasin System.
FEATURES: One of the main advantages St. Croix Rods has over the competition is the premium SCII carbon construction of the rod fused with the Fortified Resin System. Experienced anglers can picture the kind of ‘tool’ we’re discussing. The strength and durability of this fishing rod are unmatched.
Extra-Sensitive Rod for Professionals
Redington Butter Stick Fly
WHY WE LIKE IT: It is a product for the slow-action angler who would much rather cast gently and accurately. We love this rod because of its flexibility. It’s the ultimate choice for experienced or advanced anglers that can handle this rod’s extra-sensitive tip and flexibility. Also, it is perfect for creek or river fishing.
OVERVIEW: You will find this rod amazing if you are an experienced angler or a river/creek fishing enthusiast. It is a longer, super flexible rod and recommended only for steady and firm hands. Redington provides a cork grip that allows you to navigate the rod tip easily.
The cast is impressive but requires patience and focus. This rod can handle both small and large fish. Although mostly recommended for freshwaters, especially creeks or high streams, the rod is also salt-resistant and upgraded to tackle large sea fish.
FEATURES: This slow-action rod features short and accurate casts. Best for experienced anglers because of the extra sensitive tip that is difficult to navigate if you’re still clumsy with the casts. It has a durable material T-Glass construction which is the ultimate fiberglass taper offering that glass touch.
Beginner's Rod for Shaky Head Fishing
Zebco Rhino Tough Glowtip
WHY WE LIKE IT: It made our review for best shaky head rods because every angler needs to have or know one guaranteed quality rod for windy or stormy weather. We deliberately tested this rod at the beginning of winter, and the performance was strong and stable, to say the least.
OVERVIEW: The shaky heads of this type of rod are suitable for aggressive bass with over 3 lbs. This is so because of the pole sensitivity that can sustain large fish. When we tested this rod, we paired it with a 200 reel, 8 monofilament line, and the balance was just fine.
Moreover, you can opt for a shaky head worm or crankbaits of 1/8 oz for the best performance. This setup landed us 7 largemouth bass in a day. Moreover, we recommend this shaky head rod for all largemouth bass fishing fans and bass tournaments. The setup will not fail you.
FEATURES: The pole’s cross-weave graphite and unsanded design allow users to have that stable and firm control over it, putting this rod ahead of the competition. Moreover, there is a fiberglass core mixed with a solid glass tip around the graphite, providing more control, overall strength, and durability to sustain numerous fishing days.