June 13, 2018
A veteran and ardent Midwest finesse angler, who occasionally uses a wacky rig and a neko rig, alerted the Finesse News Network to the Bass Pro Shops' Wacky Stik-O. He suggested that our Midwest Finesse column should publish a gear guide about it, and we agreed with that idea.
Here is what we found out about the Wacky Stik-O:
In essence, it is a soft-plastic stick-style bait that is 4 5/8 inches long. It is a sibling of Bass Pro Shops' Stik-O, which is similar to the classic Senko.
It consists of three sections.
The front section is 2 1/16 inches long. It possesses a flat nose, which allows a Neko weight to be easily inserted. It is encircled with 27 ribs. The circumference of the largest part of this section is 1 3/16 inches.
The middle section is smooth skinned. Some anglers might call it an egg sack or a clitellum. It is where the hook is affixed on either a wacky or a neko rigging. It is nine-sixteenths of an inch long with a circumference of an inch and a diameter of five-sixteenths of an inch.
The third section is 2 1/16 inches long, which is encompassed with 26 ribs. The end of this section is pointed, exhibiting the shape of a sharpened pencil.
The ribs are said to radiate air bubbles, and anglers are fond of saying that air bubbles attract largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and spotted bass. According to the folks at Bass Pro Shops, the ribs were designed to catch water, which provokes vibrations and slows the rate of Wacky Stik-O's fall as it plummets towards the bottom.
It can be affixed to either a wacky-style jig, such as Bass Pro Shops' Weedless Wacky Jighead, or a weightless wacky hook, such as Kitana Hooks' Neko Hook.
Besides wacky and neko rigging it, the folks at Bass Pro Shops say that it works well when it is affixed Texas-style to a worm hook and employed on a Carolina rig or a split-shot rig or a slip-sinker rig. Midwest finesse anglers, however, will shorten it and affix it to a small mushroom-style jig, such as Bass Pro Shops' 1/16-ounce Shroom Head jig, with an exposed hook. When it is affixed to a mushroom-style jig, it will allow anglers to employ it with all six of the standard Midwest finesse retrieves. (See endnote No. 2.)
It is impregnated with salt and 8Up scent.
It is available in these colors: Black/Blue, Green Pumpkin, Green Pumpkin Magic, Houdini, June Bug, Pearl Silver Flake, and Watermelon/Red Flake.
A package of 16 cost $5.99.
(1) The Midwest finesse angler who introduced us to the Wacky Stik-O noted that anglers should save them when they become too tattered to stay affixed on a wacky rig. These tattered ones can be cut and customized and affixed to a mushroom-style jig.
(2) To read about the six Midwest finesse retrieves that anglers can use when the customized or shortened Wacky Stik-O is affixed to a mushroom-style jig, please see the Midwest Finesse column at this link: https://www.in-fisherman.com/midwest-finesse/six-midwest-finesse-retrieves/.
(3) Here is a link to a Midwest finesse column that features a short history of the Neko rig: https://www.in-fisherman.com/midwest-finesse/the-neko-rig/.