How to rig a trout worm

Updated May 23, 2018

The worm is a popular and successful bait for trout fishing. Rigging the worm is a simple process that requires attention to the position of hook point and overall length of the worm. The objective is to attract trout and have the ability to set and hook the trout when they eat the worm. Over-sized worms and poor hook placement leads to missed fish. Trout eat sections of the oversized worm without contacting the hook.

Tie the end of the line to a swivel with a clinch knot. Insert the end through the round end of the swivel and turn the swivel six times to twist the line. Insert the end of the line through the loop below the twists. Pinch the end against the swivel and pull on the line to tighten the knot. Clip the extra end section of line flush against the knot.

Pinch the swivel with your fingers to compress and open the clip. Slide the loop end of a trout leader on the swivel. Leaders are sold with a loop on one end and a bait hook attached to the other end. Pinch the swivel again to lock the clip around the leader loop.

Clamp a round piece of split shot on the centre of the leader with pliers. BB size split shot is ample for sinking the worm.

Penetrate one end of the worm with the hook point. Slide the worm body over the hook without removing the point from the worm. Continue pushing the worm over the hook eye and onto the leader. Stop with 1 inch of free worm remaining. Push the worm body over the point to penetrate and expose the point. Leave the remaining section of worm dangling off the hook bend.

Push on the button on a bobber to expose the hook. Slide the hook on the line 1 foot above the swivel. Release the button. Place your thumb against the hook on the bottom of the bobber and push on the rim of the button to expose the second hook. Slide the hook on the line and release to secure the bobber.


Cut large nightcrawler worms in half before rigging. Large worms are difficult to hold on the hook without tearing the body. The halves are mush easier to manipulate.

Things You'll Need

  • Swivel
  • Line clippers
  • Leader with bait hook
  • Split shot
  • Bobber
  • Worm
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About the Author

Zach Lazzari is a Montana based freelance outdoor writer and photographer. You can follow his work at