When you are out fishing, having worms as a bait option can make all the difference. But if you don’t have a supply of live worms, what are the options?
Almost every fish on the planet eats worms, and using plastic worms as a substitute for live worms can be an effective alternative.
There are so many different plastic worms or rubber worms on the market. They come in all types of shapes, sizes, brands, styles, and colors. The choices are endless!
In this review, I have narrowed down the best plastic worms which are available from each major bait company. From cost-effective choices to the highest quality these will provide you with the best options to catch a wide range of fish species – especially bass!
Why Are Plastic Worms Effective For Catching Fish?
Artificial worms are so lifelike! Fish don’t suspect it’s a fake worm and will attack the worm the same as the real worm. This means the hook is set before the fish spits out the worm.
Why Are Plastic Worms Used As Fishing Bait?
Plastic worms can be fished with multiple fishing methods and for almost every fish species.
Anglers can keep plastic worms easily, no special storage is needed
Plastic worms can be reused after catching a fish if not swallowed or bitten by the fish
Plastic worms are great to use all year round
Compared to live worms they are a much cheaper option to use
Beginners can easily use plastic worms for fishing
The selection of colors and shapes for plastic worms is endless
Top 5 Plastic Fishing Worms, Best Of Each Bait Company
So let’s get right into the reviews, based on my experience using plastic worms over multiple years of fishing.
If you are having trouble catching fish or are simply looking for better worm bait, here are my top 5 picks.
Yamamoto: Senko Fishing Hook – My Best Overall Pick!
Berkley: Powerbait Maxscent Hit Worm – My Best Individual Pick!
Tailored Tackle: Wacky Worm 5” Inch – – My Best Value For Money Pick!
Z-MAN: Big TRD
Sougayilang: Soft Plastic Fishing Baits
Yamamoto Senko Fishing Hook – My Best Overall Pick!
Multiple Options – Slim Senko and Normal Senko
Various Colors – Color range availability is dependent on the worm size/shape
Sizes Available: Slim 3” to 6.75” inch, Normal – 3” to 7” inch
Most packs carry ten worms
The original 3” to 7” Senko Fishing Worms have been around since the 1990s. Yamamoto has added multiple newer two-tone and laminate versions. The slim worm, thin, pro, and swimming Senko versions over the years and now are the leader in plastic worm baits.
The color range differs between each size and style. This can make choosing which one to buy a little overwhelming. My personal choice is always the 3″ or 4″ watermelon for sunny days and the 5″ B-bug grinder for overcast days.
Most of the original style will suit the majority of anglers but if you are facing finicky fish then the “kut tails” may help. These have tapered tails, which are ideal for drop shot methods, and come in a slightly longer range of up to 7.75” inches.
Attractive pricing, value for money
Durability is not quite as good as some others
Choosing which style and option is quite a challenge!
Berkley PowerBait Maxscent Hit Worm – My Best Individual Pick!
Various Colors –
Sizes Available: 1 3/7” to 5 1/2” inch
Most packs carry a standard 10 worms
The scent is the main selling point
The Berkley Powerbait maxscent hit worm gives off a trademarked “MaxScent”. When other worms are not getting bites, the extra scent has a very good attractor. This has always made a difference in my experience using plastic worms.
Whilst, Berkley does not have the range and options that the Yamamoto Senko has, it’s still a highly recommended worm to have in your tackle box.
Apart from the maxscent version, Berkley does have other options, but since they are more expensive to buy compared to other brands, I focus on using the maxscent hit worm.
Berkley worms tend to last longer than others, one worm can usually catch up to five fish before it needs changing.
Durable and long-lasting
Renowned company name
Fewer colors choices
Fewer shapes available
The price point is higher than most other plastic worm choices
The Tailored tackle wacky worm has an anise scent which is a known and proven fish attractor. There are only around eight colors available and a lack of size options.
While the wacky worm does catch fish, I have always had concerns about its material likeness to an original worm. The 5” bait is in the ideal range for bass, but it is not very adaptable for other smaller or different fish types.
They are also a little inconsistent with their in their sinking ability, some tend to sink slower than others even from the same pack. Some, barely sink at all! However, they are great value for money and well worth trying out if you are targeting largemouth bass.
Wacky worms tend to have less movement and are not as enticing to the fish as the Senko and Maxscent worms.
Durable and long-lasting
Larger pack size
Good price range
Fewer color choices are available
Fewer shapes available
Limited opportunities for smaller fish
A rather stiff worm, not as lifelike
Z-MAN Big TRD
Size Available: 4” inch
Six worms per pack
I love Z-Man products, their quality always seems to be very high. The Big TRD has the same great stink shape and a dimpled body as the Finesse TRD Worm. However, the Big TRD is a larger 4-inch profile. It works as a good option compared to the smaller finesse worm.
There are six baits per pack and they are made in the USA. Its buoyancy is excellent for all finesse fishing types such as drop shot and Texas rigs. The worm is made from an ElaZtech® material that lasts ten times longer than other plastic worms, which allows anglers to use the worm multiple times.
My personal choice in the range is the Green pumpkin/Orange which is slightly more expensive than some of the other colors. But these work great, and it’s a color option that is not widely available in other worms. Therefore, it’s a perfect alternative when fishing gets a little tougher, especially during the winter months.
Durable and extremely long-lasting
Small pack size for sample purchase
A wide range of colors is available
Reasonable price range
Fewer shape options are available
Sougayilang Fishing Worms for Bass (Soft Plastic)
Size Available: 5 1/2” inch
Ten worms per pack
Sougayilang is a Chinese fishing tackle manufacturer. In Asia, they are a big company with a popular following.
Their soft plastic bait range and colors are quite limited but they do have very bright-colored worms. Also, the shape and sizes are very much limited.
The 10-pack of Sougayilang soft plastic baits has 5 different colors and is well worth a purchase. It again gives another option when our usual go-to worm is not successful.
Great pack variety
A good range of colors is available
Reasonable price range
Only one range of shapes
Not a well-known company
Quality is not as good as the Berkely and Yamamoto’s.
How to Fish With Plastic Worms?
Several fishing methods or staples can be used while using plastic worms. Texas rigged, Carolina rig, or Weightless (wacky style)
The most popular rig used when fishing with plastic worms is the easy and very effective Texas rig. With or without any weight works well with any worm shape or length, it’s a very versatile method.
The Carolina rig is best for deeper water fishing. The rig can be used on any flat bottom, rocks, or bottom structure. A sweeping motion while dragging the bait tends to work well.
Plastic worms were always designed for wacky style, the method is a great favorite of mine. To make the worm last longer many companies supply o-rings and sleeves. You will need to buy a tool to attach the worm to the o ring easier.
Lastly, the drop shot rig targets fish in deep water. Primarily this rig is always best when finesse fishing. Casting, and retrieving in conjunction with an up-and-down motion is necessary to get the fish interested in taking the bait.
Tip: Many of the worms are available in economy packs or combo packs of various sizes. These are good cost-effective options if you are unsure which type or color to buy.
What Color Worm Should I Use?
Most anglers who fish with plastic worms tend to go for the standard colors. Which are as follows:
Green Pumpkin: This is the best all-around color and the most common color found in most anglers’ tackle boxes. If you are unsure which one to use then start with this first. Bass favor the green color and pumpkin can be used successfully in clear or stained water.
There are many green pumpkin variations, check out the ones with red or orange particles. These added “flakes” can give you the edge over the standard color.
Blue and Black: If you like to fish late evening or even at night then black and blue will work great in muddier water. This color combination gives off a bait profile that bass and other fish can see easily even in lower visibility situations.
Watermelon Red: When fishing near weeds and vegetation or when the water is stained any red variant is a good choice.
In summary, use a dark colored bigger worm in stained water and overcast skies, and a smaller worm with natural colors in clearer water, and brighter skies.
What Shape Worm Should I Use?
Just like the worm color choices, the worm shape is also a major factor in choosing the right worm. It is important to remember that whatever bass or fish are naturally feeding on where you are fishing will have a direct relationship to the shape.
Always think about what are the bass foraging for, are they after shads, bluegill, crawdads, etc? This will give you the best chance to match the desire of the bass.
Having a full range of plastic worms in your tackle box is a smart move for all anglers. Worms can catch almost any species and are easy to store and use.
Plastic worms are relatively inexpensive, the ones that we have reviewed in this article all will work. You will need to switch around at times, to find out what works on the day.
Steve is a seasoned angler whose lifelong passion for fishing has not only shaped his personal life but also laid the foundation for Positive Fishing—a community where he and his team of dedicated fishing enthusiasts share their love for the sport. With an impressive repertoire of skills honed over five decades, Steve has mastered both freshwater and saltwater fishing. Steve holds a special place in his heart for the mighty Carp and the elusive Tench