How to Make Tokyo Rig: Master the Tokyo Rig

Are you ready to learn how to make a Tokyo Rig? Look no further! In this concise guide, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of creating your Tokyo Rig. So, whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner in fishing, get ready to master this effective technique. Let’s dive in and discover how to make a Tokyo Rig!

What is a Tokyo Rig?

 The Tokyo Rig is a revolutionary fishing rig that originated in Japan and has gained tremendous popularity among anglers worldwide. It is a unique setup consisting of a hook with a wire dropper that positions the weight below the curve at a further distance. Unlike traditional drop shot rigs, where the importance is connected to the hook via a leader, the Tokyo Rig employs a wire connection, allowing for a cleaner pick-up by the fish and ensuring better hook sets.

 Why Use a Tokyo Rig?

The Tokyo Rig offers several advantages, making it a popular choice among anglers. Here are some reasons why you should consider using a Tokyo Rig:

a) Versatility: The Tokyo Rig allows you to fish in various conditions and environments. Whether you’re feeling in heavy cover, around structure, or on open water, this rig can adapt to different situations.

b) Increased Bait Presentation: The Tokyo Rig offers an improved presentation compared to traditional rigs. The bait can move independently from the weight, creating a more natural and enticing presentation that can trigger a strike from even the most cautious bass.

c) Enhanced Sensitivity: The Tokyo Rig’s design allows for increased sensitivity. With the weight attached to a separate wire or fluorocarbon leader, you can feel even the slightest nibble or subtle movement, enabling you to detect more bites and increase your hook-up ratio.

d) Weedless Design: The Tokyo Rig is weedless and highly effective in areas with heavy vegetation or thick cover. The hook point is often tucked within the bait, reducing the chances of snagging and increasing your chances of landing a fish.

e) Customization Options: The Tokyo Rig offers plenty of customization options. You can choose different hook sizes, bait types, and weights to match the fishing conditions and target species. This flexibility allows you to experiment and find the best combination for you.

The Tokyo Rig provides versatility, improved bait presentation, enhanced sensitivity, weedless design, and customization options. These benefits make it a valuable addition to your bass fishing arsenal, increasing your chances of success on the water.

How to Make a Tokyo Rig

 Making a Tokyo Rig is a straightforward process that begins with gathering the necessary components. Here’s a step-by-step guide to making your own Tokyo Rig:

  • Step 1: Gather the Components To make a Tokyo Rig, you will need the following components:

  • Hook: Choose an appropriate hook size and style based on your fishing scenario. Wide gap hooks, such as the EWG (Extra Wide Gap) hook, are commonly used.

  • Wire: Use a durable wire that can handle the weight and pressure of the fish. Tokyo Rig wires are available in different lengths and thicknesses.

  • Weight: Select a weight that suits your fishing preferences and the conditions you’ll be fishing in. Options include bullet, egg, barrel, and bass casting weights.

  • Split Ring: The divided ring is the connection point for the weight and the hook. Ensure it is sturdy and securely attached to the wire.

  • Step 2: Attach the Hook Start by attaching the hook to the wire. Slide the wire through the eye of the theme and pull it until the clip is positioned at the desired distance from the weight. The length of the wire dropper will depend on your fishing technique and the depth you wish to target.

  • Step 3: Add the Weight Slide the selected weight onto the wire, allowing it to rest below the hook. Ensure the weight is secure and properly positioned. You can experiment with different weights to achieve the desired sinking speed and action.

  • Step 4: Secure the Wire To hold everything in place, bend the end of the wire. Consider turning the wire more than just a 90-degree L-bend for heavier weights to ensure stability during your fishing endeavors. This step is crucial to prevent the weight from sliding up or down the wire during casting and retrieving.

 Common Mistakes to Avoid

While the Tokyo Rig can be a powerful tool in your bass fishing arsenal, it’s essential to be aware of some common mistakes anglers make when using it. By avoiding these mistakes, you can maximize your chances of success and make the most out of your fishing experience. Here are some common mistakes to watch out for:

a) Using the Wrong Size or Type of Bait: Choosing the right bait is crucial when using the Tokyo Rig. Using an appeal that is too large or too small can result in fewer bites or missed opportunities. Consider the size of the baitfish in the area and select a bait that closely mimics their appearance.

b) Improper Weight Selection: The weight you choose for your Tokyo Rig should match your target fishing conditions and depth. Using a weight that is too heavy or too light can affect the presentation and prevent you from effectively reaching your desired depth.

c) Neglecting Line and Leader Maintenance: It’s essential to regularly check and maintain your line and leader when using the Tokyo Rig. Over time, the rig’s components can become worn or damaged, compromising performance. Inspect your line and leader for any signs of wear, such as fraying or weak spots, and replace them as needed.

d) Ignoring Environmental Factors: Water clarity, temperature, and weather conditions can significantly influence bass behavior. Ignoring these environmental factors and failing to adjust your Tokyo Rig tactics accordingly can result in less productive fishing trips. Stay observant and adapt your approach to suit the prevailing conditions.

e) Poor Hookset Technique: A solid hookset is crucial when using the Tokyo Rig. Understanding the rig’s mechanics well and applying the appropriate pressure when setting the hook is essential. Practice your hookset technique to ensure a firm and effective hook penetration.

f) Fishing the Wrong Areas: While the Tokyo Rig can be versatile, it’s still important to fish in areas where the bass is likely to present. Research and understand the habitat preferences of bass in your fishing location. Focus on points, drop-offs, weed edges, and structures where bass will likely hide or feed.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can enhance your Tokyo Rig fishing skills and increase your chances of landing more bass. Remember to stay attentive, adapt to changing conditions, and continuously improve your technique to achieve optimal results on the water.

Tokyo Rig Applications and Techniques

 The Tokyo Rig offers unparalleled versatility and excels in various fishing applications. Let’s explore some of the most effective techniques for utilizing this rig:

Punching Mats

 One surprising application of the Tokyo Rig is punching through thick mats of vegetation. The weight’s positioning at the bottom of the rig allows for smoother entry into the cover, reducing the risk of snagging. As you punch through the mats, the bait remains free to move, creating enticing action. The Tokyo Rig is an excellent choice for targeting bass hidden in heavy vegetation.

Bed Fishing

 When it comes to bed fishing, the Tokyo Rig is highly effective. Opt for a lighter-weight setup that keeps the bait in place while providing subtle movements. Shaking or popping your rod can simulate intrusions near the nest, triggering aggressive strikes from protective bass. The Tokyo Rig’s ability to maintain an action in a confined area makes it a go-to choice for bed fishing scenarios.

Fishing Texas Rigged Plastics Offshore

Using the Tokyo Rig to fish Texas-rigged plastics offshore is a game-changer. Its unique design allows for a more natural horizontal presentation of your bait, which can entice fish to strike. Cast the rig and let it swim along the bottom, imitating a distressed or injured prey. The Tokyo Rig’s ability to maintain bottom contact without getting snagged makes it a reliable choice for offshore fishing.

Fishing Swimbaits Deep on the Bottom

 For anglers targeting deep-water bass, rigging a swimbait on a Tokyo Rig is highly effective. The weight’s presence ensures consistent bottom contact. At the same time, the swimbait remains free to swim without getting entangled in grass or mud. This combination creates a clean and enticing presentation, enticing predatory fish to strike. The Tokyo Rig shines as an offshore presentation during the summer and winter.

Fishing a Tokyo Rig as a Swing Head

 Another innovative application of the Tokyo Rig is using it as a swing head. The weight’s positioning below the hook provides a unique swinging action to your bait, mimicking the movement of a feeding prey. This technique is particularly effective when targeting bass in deeper water or fishing around heavy cover. The swinging action can trigger aggressive strikes from bass in an opportunistic feeding mode.

Safety Considerations

When engaging in any fishing activity, including using the Tokyo Rig, it’s essential to prioritize safety to ensure a pleasant and incident-free experience. Here are some safety considerations to keep in mind:

a) Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Always wear the appropriate personal protective equipment, such as a life jacket or personal flotation device (PFD), especially when fishing from a boat or in areas with deep water. PPE can help prevent accidents and protect you in case of an unexpected fall or emergency.

b) Proper Casting Technique: When casting the Tokyo Rig, be aware of your surroundings and ensure enough space around you to execute your cast safely. Avoid throwing near other anglers or objects that could cause injury. Practice proper casting techniques to minimize the risk of tangling or hitting yourself or others with the rig.

c) Sharp Hooks: The sharp hooks used in the Tokyo Rig can cause injuries if not handled with care. Always exercise caution when driving the rig, and be mindful of the hook’s position. Use hook covers or keep the hook point embedded in the bait when not actively fishing to prevent accidental hook pricks.

d) Weather Conditions: Stay informed about the weather conditions before heading out for a fishing trip. Avoid fishing during severe weather events such as thunderstorms or strong winds, as they can pose risks to your safety. If weather conditions deteriorate while on the water, take the necessary precautions and return to shore promptly.

e) Fishing in Groups: If fishing with others, communicate and coordinate your movements to avoid collisions or entanglements. Be mindful of your fellow anglers’ casting range and maintain a safe distance from each other. Respect the personal space and fishing boundaries of others to ensure a safe and enjoyable fishing experience for everyone.

f) First Aid Kit: Carry a basic first aid kit with you, including bandages, antiseptic wipes, and pain relievers. In case of minor injuries, you can quickly address them and prevent further complications.

Safety should always be a top priority when engaging in any outdoor activity, including fishing. By following these safety considerations, you can fully minimize the risks and enjoy your Tokyo Rig fishing adventures. Stay vigilant, be prepared, and have a safe and enjoyable time on the water.

Tokyo Rig Maintenance and Storage

Proper maintenance and storage of your Tokyo Rig are essential to ensure its longevity and optimal performance. By caring for your rig, you can maximize its effectiveness and be ready for your next fishing excursion. Here are some tips for Tokyo Rig maintenance and storage:

a) Rinse and Dry After Use: After each fishing trip, thoroughly rinse your Tokyo Rig with fresh water to remove any salt, dirt, or debris that may have accumulated. Pay special attention to the hooks, swivels, and other components. Once rinsed, allow the rig to dry completely before storing it. This helps prevent corrosion and extends the life of your rig.

b) Inspect for Damage: Regularly inspect your Tokyo Rig for any signs of wear or damage. Check the leader, wire, and connections for weak spots, fraying, or rust. If you notice any issues, replace the damaged components promptly to maintain the rig’s integrity.

c) Replenish Terminal Tackle: Over time, hooks, weights, and swivels may wear out or become dull. Replace any worn or damaged terminal tackle to ensure optimal performance. Sharpen hooks if necessary to maintain their effectiveness in hooking fish.

d) Store in a Tackle Box or Organizer: Store your Tokyo Rig in a tackle box or organizer specifically designed to protect and organize fishing gear when not in use. This helps prevent tangles and damage to the rig. Consider using separate compartments or small containers to organize different rig sizes and types.

e) Avoid Extreme Temperatures: Extreme temperatures, whether hot or cold, can harm your Tokyo Rig. Avoid exposing it to direct sunlight for extended periods or storing it in icy environments. High temperatures can cause plastic baits to melt or deform, while low temperatures can make lines and leaders brittle.

f) Separate Components: Separate the Tokyo Rig’s components when storing to prevent tangling and potential damage. Keep weights, hooks, and leaders in separate compartments or use small bags to keep them organized and easily accessible.

By following these maintenance and storage tips, you can prolong the life of your Tokyo Rig and ensure it remains in top condition for your fishing adventures. Regular inspection, cleaning, and organization go a long way in preserving the rig’s effectiveness and reliability. With proper care, your Tokyo Rig will be ready to perform whenever you hit the water.

Tokyo Rig vs. Traditional Rig

Regarding bass fishing, anglers have long relied on traditional rigs such as Texas, Carolina, and drop shot rigs. However, the emergence of the Tokyo Rig has sparked a debate about its effectiveness compared to these tried and true methods. Let’s explore the differences between the Tokyo Rig and traditional rigs to understand their strengths and weaknesses:

a) Bait Presentation: One of the key differences between the Tokyo Rig and traditional rigs is the bait presentation. Conventional rigs typically have the weight directly attached to the line above the hook, resulting in a more rigid and fixed production. On the other hand, the Tokyo Rig allows for a more natural and free-swinging expression. The bait is attached to a separate wire or fluorocarbon leader, giving it more movement and real action.

b) Versatility: Traditional rigs offer versatility in the types of baits that can be used. They are well-suited for soft plastic worms, creature baits, and other finesse presentations. The Tokyo Rig, however, expands the versatility further by accommodating a more comprehensive range of bait types, including larger soft plastics, crawfish imitations, and creature baits. This makes the Tokyo Rig a more versatile option for bait selection.

c) Sensitivity: Sensitivity is critical in detecting subtle bites and maximizing hook-up ratios. Traditional rigs, especially those with long leaders like the Carolina rig, can sometimes dampen sensitivity due to the distance between the weight and the hook. The Tokyo Rig offers increased sensitivity with its shorter leader and direct connection to the bait. Anglers can feel even the slightest taps and movements, increasing their chances of detecting and hooking fish.

d) Weedlessness: Both traditional rigs and the Tokyo Rig can be rigged weedless to some extent, but the Tokyo Rig has an edge regarding heedlessness. The design of the Tokyo Rig, with the hook point often tucked within the bait, minimizes the chances of snagging on weeds or structures. This makes it an excellent choice for fishing in areas with heavy vegetation or cover.

e) Learning Curve: Traditional rigs have been around for a long time and are well-established in the fishing community. Anglers are familiar with their setups and techniques. Being a relatively newer innovation, the Tokyo Rig may have a steeper learning curve for some anglers. Mastering the nuances of casting, retrieving, and hookset techniques specific to the Tokyo Rig may require some practice and adjustment.

f) Adaptability: Traditional rigs have proven effective in various fishing scenarios and conditions. Anglers have developed various techniques and adaptations over time to suit different situations. Although gaining popularity, the Tokyo Rig is still considered a newer approach. While it has shown great potential, its adaptability and effectiveness in all fishing scenarios are still being explored and refined.


Congratulations! You’ve now learned how to make a Tokyo Rig like a pro. Following the simple steps outlined in this guide will equip you with the knowledge and skills to create your own Tokyo Rig and enhance your fishing experience. Remember, practice makes perfect, so don’t hesitate to try different variations and adapt the rig to suit your specific fishing conditions. Now that you’ve mastered the art of making a Tokyo Rig go out there cast your line, and reel in those big catches! Happy fishing with your very own Tokyo Rig!

So, what are you waiting for? Start gathering the necessary materials and prepare to implement your new skills. Follow our instructions, and soon enough, you’ll proudly show off your handmade Tokyo Rig to your fellow anglers. Remember, the key to success lies in practice and patience. Experiment with different bait-and-tackle combinations to find what works best for you. With your newfound knowledge of how to make a Tokyo Rig, you’re well on your way to becoming a fishing aficionado.

So, go ahead and make your Tokyo Rig today! Take advantage of the chance to elevate your fishing game and reel those trophy fish. Remember to share your successes and experiences with fellow anglers, spreading the word about the wonders of the Tokyo Rig. You are now armed with this valuable information on how to make a Tokyo Rig, go forth and confidently conquer the waters. Tight lines and happy fishing with your very own Tokyo Rig!

Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Qs)

 Is the Tokyo Rig only suitable for bass fishing?

While the Tokyo Rig is highly effective for bass fishing, it can also target other species, such as pike, walleye, and catfish.

 Can I use the Tokyo Rig in both freshwater and saltwater?

The Tokyo Rig can be used in fresh and saltwater environments, making it a versatile rig for various fishing conditions.

Is the Tokyo Rig difficult to learn and use?

The Tokyo Rig may require some practice to master, especially in casting and hookset technique. However, with time and experience, anglers can use the rig proficiently.

 What type of bait works best with the Tokyo Rig?

The Tokyo Rig can accommodate many bait types, including soft plastics, crawfish imitations, and creature baits. Choose baits that closely resemble the natural forage in your fishing area for optimal results.

 Can I modify the Tokyo Rig to suit my fishing preferences?

Absolutely! The Tokyo Rig allows for customization based on personal preferences and fishing conditions. To find the best combination, you can experiment with different hook sizes, weights, and bait types.

 Are there any specific fishing techniques to use with the Tokyo Rig?

The Tokyo Rig can be fished using various techniques, including dragging along the bottom, hopping, and swimming. Experiment with different retrieves and movements to entice the fish.

 Can I make my own Tokyo Rig, or must I buy one? 

You can make your own Tokyo Rig using the appropriate components, such as hooks, weights, and leaders. Many anglers enjoy creating their rigs, allowing for customization and cost savings.

 Is the Tokyo Rig weedless?

Yes, the Tokyo Rig features a weedless design, which helps minimize snagging and allows fishing in areas with heavy vegetation or cover.

Can I use the Tokyo Rig for finesse fishing?

While the Tokyo Rig is often associated with power fishing techniques, it can be downsized and used for finesse fishing approaches. Adjusting the size of the bait and weight can make it suitable for finesse presentations.

 Are there any specific safety precautions when using the Tokyo Rig?

 When using the Tokyo Rig, always prioritize safety. Be aware of your surroundings, watch for hooks, and use proper casting techniques to avoid accidents or injuries. Additionally, follow general fishing safety guidelines, such as wearing appropriate personal protective equipment and being mindful of weather conditions.

Emma is the wordsmith behind the insightful articles and guides on our website. Her extensive research and passion for fishing shine through in every piece she creates. Whether sharing angling tips or delving into the latest conservation efforts, Emma is dedicated to providing valuable and engaging content.