How To Skip Cast A Senko Wacky Rig | Dock Skipping Weightless Senkos
Nearly any angler can cast a Senko, (any other soft plastic stick work) with overhand casts, but one only the best have perfected the art of knowing how to skip a Senko under docks and other structures.
Knowing how to skip Senko on the first try may be a little difficult, but with the right information, I plan to give you’ll be skip casting Senkos in no time.
- Start with the rod tip pointing up to the 2-O’clock position, and with the Senko positioned 6-inches below the tip
- With an easy motion, swing rod tip downward.
- When your rod tip gets to the 6-o’clock position, release the line.
- Continue the cast and follow through by pointing the tip of the rod to the target.
- Avoid missing your target by casting too hard
That’s the 15-second “how to cast on how to skip a Senko” instruction…
But there is so much more to it than just that. Below I included tips and secrets to skip casting like a pro. So continue reading!
What is Skip Casting?
photo: CBS Sports
Skipping casting is the art of casting your Senko across the water (normally underhand/sidearm) that it skips and bounces off the surface, preferably many times! Think about skipping a rock.
Anglers like to skip Senkos under docks and other structures because often larger bass will set up deep in the shadows to ambush prey.
Due to their location, they are also less pressured because it takes skill and practice to skip a dock because fishermen don’t want to either lose their lure getting it hung up or having it knock into the surrounding hard structure, thus scaring the bass away.
In the end these bass are often really big and less pressured.
How To Start Skipping Your Senko
Choose The Correct Senko Rig
The best Senko skipping rigs are easily the weightless Texas rig and the Wacky rig.
Both offer their own unique presentation to the bass.
A weightless Texas rig has a great tendency to glide for a short distance then will start it subtle shimmy.
Where as a wacky rig Senko will create a lot of commotion as its skipping across the water and will immediately start the shimmy once it starts sinking.
Before The Cast…
Hold your rod at waist level with the tip pointing just above your waistline.
Your lure should be dangling 6-12-inches below the tip.
Avoid reeling the lure all the way up to the rod tip, it will not have the same accuracy once it has been cast.
Start with two hands on the rod. One hand right over the reel and the other covering the butt of the rod.
Open the bail and with your hand that is over the reel, using your pointer finger, pin the line to the rod.
Lay your finger lengthwise with the rod. This will prevent the line wrapping around your finger as it’s cast, plus it aids in accuracy of the cast.
Best Technique Skip Casting…
With an easy, smooth motion with your wrist make a circle/rolling motion with the rod tip.
Try to keep your wrist at the same level at all times.
It’s almost like you’re flicking/rolling your wrist backwards.
The smaller the circle the more accuracy you will have.
Anglers who are learning how to skip cast with a spinning reel often think the bigger and faster the circle they make the farther their lure will travel…
While that’s partially true their accuracy will be completely off!
As you gain experience, you’ll gain muscle memory and that will make you more confident to make faster, tighter circles.
Faster, tighter circles will give you the farthest casting distance with the most accuracy.
Starting The Skip Cast = Start LOW
An easy rule of thumb is to – start low, end high.
The skip cast is done in two steps…
Start Low, means as you circle the rod tip down to the low 6-o’clock position, release the line with your finger and let the Senko cast out.
Additionally, the rod tip should be a few inches above the water when you release the line.
The Follow Through = End High
Casting “follow through” means you slightly extend your arm and point the rod tip to your target
Doing this motion naturally raises the rod tip and promotes skipping.
Follow through after the cast is vital to casting accuracy. If you don’t follow through your lure is not going to end up where you want it.
Avoid “Short Arm Skipping”
Some guys you may read about will tell you to keep your elbow pinned to your side when skipping… But have you ever tried to skip a rock with your elbow pinned to your side? Yeah, it’s nearly impossible to skip even the flattest of rocks.
So in summary don’t “short arm” your cast. If your elbow stays pinned to your side and you don’t follow through, your lure won’t travel very far.
Best Rod For Skipping Senkos
Is A Spinning Rod Good For Senko Skipping?
Spinning rods are more forgiving with learning how to skip with a spinning rig. Spinning rods overall are lighter, not as stiff as a casting rod, and typically have a softer tip.
All these combined make it a great way to learn to skip your lures.
The best spinning rod for skipping should be at least 6’6” to 7’0”-feet long to give you the ultimate range.
It should have a medium-heavy backbone to give the leverage for setting the hook.
The tip of the rod should be rated “fast” to “extra fast” to allow you to start skipping senkos, jigs and other soft plastic stick baits with ease. Fishing a spinning rod with a heavy backbone is really overkill for this style of fishing. If you’re skipping a really heavy lure then you need to learn to skip cast with a spinning rod
It’s good to pair your rod with a 2000 to a 2500 size reel. Just make sure it will balance the rod in your hand and has a buttery smooth drag.
Remember an unbalanced spinning rig can prevent wrist and arm fatigue.
Can You Skip A Senko With A Bait Casting Rod?
Heck yeah you can!
While a spinning rod makes casting a soft plastic lure like a Senko really easy, it’s not ideal for muscling out a bass buried deep under a dock.
That’s why you’ll see most professional anglers use bait casting rods.
But not just any casting rod will do.
The answer is straightforward: you’ll need a skipping rod that’s flexible enough to precisely skip the lure while still being strong enough to draw the fish out of cover.
Several rod makers have produced rods expressly for this purpose to overcome this issue. And don’t worry, there’s a skipping rod to fit any budget.
Avoid My BIG Mistake!
Don't Use The Wrong Lure
Let my failure help you…
When I first got stated skipping Senkos I didn’t know which size to start out with.
So naturally, I bought several different sizes – 3″,5″, and 7″-inches.
In my opinion the easiest size to start skipping is a weightless 5-inch Senko.
A 5-inch Senko (or similar stick baits) are often heavier (due to the amount of salt they are made with), they lack appendages or odd angles to catch the water and foul the skip.
Both the 3-inch and 7-inch Senko’s were much harder to skip and often not have the distance and would cause a backlash on my bait casting reel.
A good rule of thumb if the more complicated the lure looks the harder it will be to skip.
As I started to gain confidence on skipping Senkos, I couldn’t help but think about what other soft plastic lures I could skip.
Go into any tackle shop and you’ll see endless rows of lures to choose from,.
But choosing the wrong lure it will cause even more headaches as you learn to skip cast.
What Other Baits And Lures That's Good For Skipping?
To begin, there are sooo many different lures that are great for skipping.
Fishing with soft plastic baits are much easier to control because they don’t have the flappers and appendages that are attached to the lure.
Those will create drag and drag on the water making it hard to skip. Normally soft plastic baits that are smooth and slender are ideal for skipping.
Bonus Tip #1
Correct boat position
The position of your boat or kayak can make or break your ability to skip docks…
Stealth is key with skip casting. Keep your boat about 20-30 feet back from the dock.
First, the bass can feel your boat with their lateral line, so it can make them spooked and not bite.
Secondly, you don’t want to get too close and have your boat knocking and bumping into the dock, creating a bunch of racket.
Lastly, being 20-30 feet away can give you the perfect casting angle to keep that lure nearly parallel to the water.
Bonus Tip #2
Think outside the box
If you ask a bunch of anglers about skip casting, and 9 out of 10 anglers will say target the docks. This may be sound advice, but there are a lot more locations that you could target.
Look past the obvious and find anywhere that is creating a shade canopy on the water. It can be an overhanging tree, semi-submerged brush, anything.
Once you find that off the beaten path location, target the deepest, most shaded spot. If there is a big bass in there, it will be hiding in the darkest spot.
Bonus Tip #3
Practice, practice, practice
Take a morning or afternoon and dedicate it to practicing skipping.
Yes, it will be frustrating in the beginning, but just realize that you’re not alone and that every angler has to start from the bottom.
Every angler will backlash. Every angler will at some point make a bad cast.
So don’t beat yourself up too bad… just fix your backlash, reel in your jig, and try again.
Best of all you can practice at home.
If your not convinced you can practice skipping baits at home, take a look at this…
I created this Massive Free Report “How to Practice Skipping Docks At Home (In 5 Easy Steps)” because it lays everything out for you! Check it out, click HERE to learn more.
Bonus Tip #4
Recognize when not to skip a Senko
If you’re on the water and the wind is howling and there are a lot of waves or chop on the water.
Skipping a Senko under a dock should not be on your mind.
You’ll only waste time and get yourself frustrated with fouled casts.
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Accessories You’ll Need
Rod –The popularity of fishing is growing and people are becoming much more conscious of different rods that can help them.
Fisherman want best technique specific rod for the money.
Luckily, I wrote several reports article that provides you with detailed information in order for you to make buy the rod for the money, and more importantly which rods to avoid at all costs.
Reel – Having the correct reel to match with your rod is just as important. A good reel should be light and have a buttery smooth drag. There are several great reels on the market, but I recommend the Daiwa Tatula SV/TW baitbasting reel. It’s a great reel packed with great features. So much so it could easily be priced in the mid $200 range.
Fishing Line – Having a good line is just as important as having a good rod. I recommend fishing with a good fluorocarbon line. Furthermore, it’s super sensitive because it has little to no stretch, and underwater it’s invisible to the bass! If pride or money is on the line I would use Sunline Sniper FC.
Fishing Lures – It’s pretty hard and darn near impossible trying to catch a fish without using some sort of lure or bait. More importantly these baits you should never forget at home or it could lead to a horrible day on the water
Tackle Bag – You can’t carry all your gear in your pockets, so you need a reliable tackle bag to transport it. I wrote a complete review guide, Best Tackle Bag for Fishing, check it out by clicking here. But if you don’t have the time to read the full guide then let me tell you I recommend the Lunker Bag by KastKing.
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Landing Net – As you are reeling in that monster fish, you don’t want to injure yourself or knock the fish off the hook by trying to grab it. That’s why I recommend a dependable telescopic landing net.
Fishing Weight Scale – Whether if you’re going to keep your catch or just take a photo of it and brag to your friends it’s important to have an accurate scale. I recommend a scale that has a large LED display like this one fishing scale here.
Wide Brim Fishing Hat – Nowadays, you have to protect yourself against the sun’s harmful rays. Wearing a wide brim hat not only gives you UV protection, but it also keeps you cool. I recommend the Columbia Unisex Bora Bora Booney hat. It fits any size head and it feels really comfortable.
Fishing Sun Shirt – Don’t you stop at only getting head protection, you also need to protect your chest, back, arms, and torso. According to the researchers finding skin cancers on the shoulders and forearms rank within the top-5 locations to get skin cancer*. Avoid any unnecessary UV exposure and stay cool by wearing a UV protective PFG Fishing Shirt by Columbia.
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