Depth Guide for Rigging Soft Plastics By Depth Range [Cheat Sheet PDF]


Soft plastic lures are becoming more and more popular for inshore saltwater fishermen who are targeting redfish, seatrout, snook, flounder, and a variety of other species.

This growth in popularity has been due to the fact they can work exceptionally well in a wide variety of situations.

The key to success is to be able to match the right rigging hook or jighead to the proper depth for getting strikes with a hook size/type that enables good hooksets even when rigged weedless.

This step is a big struggle for many fishermen, so we put together this lure rigging cheat sheet to take the guesswork out of it.

Rigging Soft Plastic Lures Guide

Sign up for FREE to receive the latest saltwater fishing videos, tutorials, product reviews, and fishing product discounts!

➡ Download Depth Chart

For each of the lures in the chart, the green section indicates the optimal scenario for using that lure. And yellow indicates that it still works but is not used best in that particular scenario.

This rigging guide allows you to cut down the time it takes to figure out which type of weight and hook to choose for a soft plastic lure based on if you need to be weedless or non-weedless.

Weedless Jigs & Weighted Hooks

  • Best for fishing tight to structure (rocks, oysters, seagrass, pilings, etc.)
  • Will save you a ton of time and hassle due to low risk of getting snagged on the bottom
  • Allows you to fish very close to structure where most of the feeding takes place

Non-Weedless (Traditional) Rigging Options

  • Best for fishing areas without snags since it has a higher hook-up ratio
  • Often used for covering open water situations

Get the full Depth Chart Cheat Sheet here!


This depth chart cheat sheet allows you to clearly see which hook and soft plastic pairing will work best given the depth or environment you are fishing

Traditional jig heads are best for open water of lower depths to cover more ground and explore the bottom of the water column.

Weedless and weighted jig heads are ideal for fishing near any type of structure, but they have a lower hookup ratio.

If you know of any other lures or jig heads that are not listed here and you want to know more information about them, let me know down in the comments!

Get the full Depth Chart Cheat Sheet here

Related Articles:

Finding The Fish Help

In order to help make sure that you are targeting the right areas based on the latest feeding trends and upcoming weather forecasts, make sure to use the following 3 resources because they will save you a ton of time.

1. Weekend Game Plans (updated weekly)

These regional game plans will show you exactly what types of spots to target in under 10 minutes… just click the video to start, and you’ll be informed on what to do on your next trip.

➡ Weekend Game Plan Lessons

2. Smart Fishing Spots Platform (updated every 15 minutes)

This exclusive software literally shows you where the most fish are likely to be feeding based on exactly when you’ll be fishing. It factors in the tides, wind, and weather to help you quickly see which areas to target throughout the day.

➡ Smart Fishing Spots App

3. Community Reports (live feed)

The Insider Community platform is what you can use to see what is biting near you, and you can get to know other members who fish in your area. Plus, you can use it to keep a log of your catches so you can use past trips to help predict future catches.

➡ Community Platform 

Related categories:

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Steven Free
6 minutes ago

Yes Luke I definatly noticed a significant difference in weight differences from this chart versus the old for example the hoss helix weedless football jighead in the quarter ounce size changed from the old depth of about 6 to 12ft now from 5 to 10ft a few feet decrease and the half once went from 8 to 20ft in the old guide now to 10 to 25ft so an increase in depth of 5 ft I imagine these are just estimates because I remember Tony doing a report on fishing deep by docks and ledges a few weeks ago and he was using the quarter ounce weedless football jighead in 20 ft of water?! I asked him and his answer was because the tide and current never runs very strong in the Indian lagoon that smaller weights work fine and that would make sence but in my waters here in jax fl where the tide and current are alot stronger I imagine your new chart is probably more accurate because obviously the more ride and current strength the more weight is needed to keep a lure or bait on the bottom anyways the only real question I have is I noticed a lure in the guide called a PC tweeker? Is this a typo and were you really ment to say the new saltstrong twich lure? Just saying what I read thanks for the updated guide and all you do😀👍

Ahmad Aghar
3 days ago

Thanks Luke!

Kris Jachim
3 days ago

A scented, weedless crab lure for sheepshead would be a nice addition to the Salt Strong lineup.

A Rollins
3 days ago

I was wondering if you would think about adding smaller baits to you line of products. In the winter, fish seem to want small baits. Could 2″ Prawn 2″ Tweaker and 2″ Slam Shady with comparable jig heads and weighted hooks be possibility in SALTSTRONG’s future?

Chuck Schroeder
2 minutes ago
Reply to  A Rollins

I’ve thought the same thing, but from a bass fishing perspective. I know I’m not the target audience, but as. Wisconsin guy going after smallies, the Keitech Fat Swing Impact in 2.8” is popular but horribly soft (super gluing the head is a must; futher, it hangs up on rocks). One of the reasons I love the slam shady 2.0 is that it rigs like a dream and is weedless on a Hoss 3/0. That got me thinking about a smaller version on 1/0 or 2/0 twist lock.

On the subject of nubs, that’s great advice. Shake the rod and call it a damiki rig.

A Rollins
3 days ago

Thank you for the depth guide.

4 days ago

This will help with planing trips in area that I fish often.

Donald Baxter
5 days ago

Do you have a hard copy of the chart we can purchase I don’t have a computer or a copier only have a smartphone

Gustavo Bueno-Cesare
5 days ago

Thank you for the guide! My follow-up question is, how do these weights change when you add current? Is there any rule of thumb to know? I’ve noticed when I throw anything under 1/2oz with some current, my lure gets swept like paper

Bill Saunders
5 days ago

Luke, your taking the time and effort to produce these very helpful charts is very much appreciated. One suggestion, though. As you have put these out over the years I download them. The lures described in the various iterations have changed, which is understandable. However, without a direct comparison I am not sure if any of the recommendations for hook size/weight have changed. It would be helpful if you would date these charts so one can be sure one is using the most recent version.

Matt Bloch
5 days ago

If you are fishing in a brackish pond or canal way, how do you find the depth? Where I fish down in Hilton Head, those areas are not on the fish finder app (which is pretty cool). Thanks for your help on this.


Do what the “SMART ANGLERS” are doing and join the Insider Club.

Here’s what you’ll receive today when you join:

Other Fishing Tips You May Like :

Finding Fish In Warm Water After Crazy Low Tide Swing

Water levels were insane after a crazy low tide swing threw us for a loop a couple of weeks ago. But that often can be a great time to...
See Full post

How To Repair Cracks & Holes In Your Kayak Using Plastic Welding

Got a hole in your kayak? There are several ways to fix it, but using plastic welding is the cheapest and most durable way. See how to...
See Full post
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x

Get Instant Access To “The Inshore Fishing Manifesto” PDF Now

You’ll automatically be emailed a private link to download your PDF, plus you’ll be added to the Salt Strong Newsletter.
(Please double-check your email below to ensure delivery.)