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Tokyo Rig: Ultimate Guide For The Tokyo Fishing Rig

Tokyo Rig: Ultimate Guide For The Tokyo Fishing Rig

The Ultimate Tokyo Rig Guide For The Hottest Soft Plastic Bait Presentation In Bass Fishing

Tokyo Rig is the new bass fishing rig that is taking the industry by storm. This kind of fishing is nothing new to bass fishermen. It has been around for years in other forms like punch shot rig in Japan. Over the last few years that have been several companies that have released their versions of the Tokyo fishing rig that have helped it gain traction in the United States.

Several reasons it works great is because they can be fished in almost any type of cover, depth, or any time of the year. We have compiled the research as to why the Tokyo rig catches fish and why you should be fishing them, next time you are on the lake. This complete Tokyo rig guide will answer all the popular questions have about this fishing rig and, hopefully, give you the confidence to go out there and try it. Let's jump right and take a more in-depth look at the Tokyo Rig.

What is a Tokyo rig in fishing?

The Tokyo rig captures parts of the drop shot rig with traditional aspects of the flipping and pitching setup. They are crafted in a unique way that makes them perfect for keeping your soft plastic bait up off the bottom. They come with only a few components but pack a big punch for punching through weeds or being fished around debris. Each Tokyo rig is outfitted with an extra-wide gap hook that will give you a perfect hook set each time. Attached to the hook is a split ring with a swivel and a wire attached to a dropper weight. These dropper weights can be made from lead or tungsten, depending on the angler's preference. The dropper weights come in a variety of sizes, from the smallest 1/8oz up to a 1.5oz weight. The heavier the weight, the better it will keep your soft plastic bait to the bottom. The Tokyo rig provides a more natural movement to your plastics than the traditional bass swing jigs. Often the drop weight will be fixed on a wire that allows them to be changed out fast to adjust the weight you want according to the depth you are fishing. It is this feature that makes the Tokyo rig the favorite of many bass anglers over the traditional Jika rig. If you are a fisherman who loves to flip and pitch with a punch rig, then the Tokyo rig is one that you must try.

How to fish Tokyo rig

There are several different methods for fishing the Tokyo rig. It ultimately depends on the types of water you are fishing. Let's look at different ways to catch more Tokyo rig bass successfully.

1) Tokyo Swim: 

Tokyo Swim

Tokyo Swim Technique For How To Fish A Tokyo Rig

Certain times of the year, smallmouth and largemouth bass will help up in deeper water holes of hard bottom. This is one of the areas that the Tokyo rig excels. Anglers use them because they can cover a lot of water more quickly and have precise casting abilities. This method is relatively easy to fish because you cast it with a swimbait attached and simply retrieve it back over the hard bottom. The drop weight of the Tokyo rig will bounce over the structure on the bottom and generate the necessary sounds to attract more bass to your bait.

2) Tokyo Punch:

Tokyo Punch

Tokyo Punch To Fish Tokyo Rig In And Around Grass Mats

Fishing the Tokyo rig in and around lily pads and matted weeds is a successful way for catching largemouth bass. The weight from the fishing rig allows for it to punch through it and get to the bottom where the fish will be sitting. Performing the Tokyo punch is easy, simply cast a Tokyo rigged worm it into these areas and slowly hop it along the bottom. Pause periodically and shake it in place. The Tokyo punch is a successful way of fishing the Tokyo rig when bass fishing.

3) Tokyo Rock:

Tokyo Rock

Tokyo Rock technique for fishing the Tokyo rig on rocky bottom.

Another excellent way for fishing the Tokyo rig is with the Tokyo rock technique. I am sure you're wondering what the Tokyo rock is; it the best method for fishing the Tokyo fishing rig in and around rocks. Fish your favorite Tokyo rigged worm or soft plastic craw around the shallow water rocks by bumping it along the bottom in and off rocks and logs. It is this slow-motion along the bottom that will entice nearby bass to strike.


Where to fish Tokyo rig

Now that you know how to fish the Tokyo rig, you need to know the best areas to target with them. The best three areas many bass anglers will fish the rig is grass lines, punching grass mats, and flipping around docks. When fishing grass lines, you want to fish the Tokyo rig like a drop shot rig. Simply drag it up the grass lines keeping the weight on the bottom and your bait floating above it. Shake it as you slowly pull it, giving your soft plastic bait life in the water. If you are fishing areas that need punching, then fish is like a traditional punch rig. You will find the smaller slim profile of the Tokyo rig to punch grass mattes and lily pads easier than a regular punch rig. The last area to target is around docks. Fishing for bass around docks can yield big fish and is a fun way to catch them. Flipping your Tokyo rig up under docks and dragging it through the silty bottom along the dock posts will entice reaction strike. If you ever find yourself fishing these areas, then its a good idea to try your luck with a Tokyo rig. 

What to put on Tokyo rig?

The Tokyo rig is a fun way to catch bass. It is the perfect bass fishing rig for using your favorite soft plastic baits. One of the best baits to use with your Tokyo fishing rig is a swimbait. Paddle tail swimbaits are a go-to soft plastic of many bass anglers. Pair it with the Tokyo rig, and you have one deadly combination. Often there is a size limit on your swimbaits for the type of jig head you are using. When using a Tokyo rig, you can use pretty much any size, and the motion the rig provides will bring it to life in the water. Fishing the swimbait in open, deeper waters, you may want to get it down quickly. This will require higher weight on your rig to help aid in getting it down. Another great type of plastic to use with your rig is a craw or creature bait. These are the perfect bait to drag in and around rocks, fallen timber, or debris. The Tokyo rig will generate a sound when bumping off the rocks attracting more fish. It gives your crawfish a natural presentation on the bottom. It will result in more strikes for hungry bass. It will work with your favorite soft plastic bait and provide the versatility needed to catch bass.


Tokyo Rig Vs Jika Rig

Tokyo Rig Vs Jika Rig

Tokyo Rig Vs Jika Rig

The Tokyo rig and Jika rig are very similar in many ways but have different applications on when to be used when bass fishing. Depending on how your Tokyo rig is made, the weight can be changed quickly compared to the Jika rig. The dropshot weight on a Jika rig is fixed to a split ring making it more difficult to change on the fly. The Tokyo rig features a long wire with the weight. This is to help you drag it along the bottom to generate the noises you want, all while keeping your bait up off the bottom. This type of presentation will work better when fishing in different areas for bass. If the bottom has a lot of debris or muck, then you want your soft plastic up off the bottom for the fish to see. Both rigs work great and, when used correctly, will generate a ton of fish. Try your luck and see which fishing rig you prefer on your next bass fishing trip and end the Tokyo rig vs Jika rig debate.

Tokyo Rig Vs Dropshot Rig

Tokyo Rig Vs Dropshot Rig

Tokyo Rig Vs Dropshot Rig

The Tokyo rig was initially called the punchshot rig in japan and was effective for fishing dense vegetation. One thing when it comes to the dropshot rig is you can not fish it with a heavyweight. Anything over 1/2oz is not practical, whereas the Tokyo rig can handle the heavyweight and keep your fishing rig presentation exactly how you want it. Many anglers will only fish a dropshot rig because that's what they have done for the last ten years. If it's not broke, don't fix it. Bass anglers are skeptical of change and trying new bass rigs. The Tokyo rig is a new type of fishing in the united states and has only gained traction in the last two years. It is a fishing style that every fisherman needs in their tackle box and should be used when the conditions are right. Try each of the rigs and see for yourself what is a better rig for the type of fishing you are doing and end the Tokyo rig vs dropshot rig debate.

Tokyo Rig Vs Texas Rig 

Tokyo Rig Vs Texas Rig

Tokyo Rig Vs Texas Rig

The Texas rig has been the go-to rig for many bass fishermen over the years. The Tokyo rig vs texas rig has many pros and cons, but the pros weigh in favor of the Tokyo rig. The Tokyo rig is preferred because it keeps your bait off the bottom. This allows for fish to see your bait when fishing in different situations. The movement of your soft plastic on the Tokyo rig is better because it's free-floating on the rig. This allows for an angler to be able to let it sit and shake it to give it more movement. It is superior for punching through the grass and can be fished in and out of cover easily because of how the wight is positioned on the wire. Since the weight is on the wire and away from your hook, it never interferes with a hook set. This allows for the Tokyo rig to have a higher hookup percentage giving it the ultimate advantage over the texas rig.

How to make a Tokyo rig

I know a lot of anglers who swear by making their own lures or jig heads. There is something about catching bass on something that you have made. All you need is the right terminal tackle to make. The Tokyo rig is made up of an EWG hook, usually in a size of 3/0, 4/0, or 5/0 depending on angler preference. It also has a split ring, barrel swivel, wire, and a weight of some sort. Simply attach your hook to a split ring, from there add a barrel swivel and piece of wire preferably in the length of 6". On the piece of wire, you can add a lead weight or tungsten weight depending on the depth you are fishing. Add your favorite soft plastic to the hook, then tie your line to the other end of the barrel swivel. You are ready to go catch some fish. Maybe you don't like making your own rigs and just want to buy a cheap Tokyo rig to try out. We got you covered at Hunting and Fishing Depot.

After reading this ultimate Tokyo rig guide we are confident you will gain the knowledge to effectively the Tokyo fishing rig and possess the ability to fish in various water conditions. The Tokyo rig ability to be fished in dense aquatic vegetation makes them the go-to fishing rig of many anglers. If you have any questions or concerns about Tokyo rig, then leave a comment below or email us at If you love to fish for bass using a Tokyo rig, please share your stories with the community and comment below. Send us all your bass fishing pictures while using a Tokyo rig to be featured on our social media page. Don't forget to check out all of our other great bass jig fishing items and check out bass university for other amazing bass blogs to help you become a better angler. If you love bass fishing and have not tried the Tokyo fishing rig then make it a priority and start fishing a Tokyo rig today. 

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George - January 27, 2021

Great !. Can’t wait to try.

Graham Parkins - November 9, 2020

Great info on the Tokyo, I am going to give it a go this winter here in the UK fishing for Perch.



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