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Updated Jan 30, 2023 2:13 PM
The best senko worms make up some of the most effective bass rigs of all time. Senkos are a go-to for many anglers simply because they work time and again. Learning to fish a Senko is one of the easiest ways to improve your skills and catch more bass. The tactics aren’t overly difficult, but you do need to know when and where to break one out. Other than technique, size, color, and style factor into a successful rig and more fish in the boat. Here is what to look for in the best Senko worms and when and where to fish them.
How We Made Our Picks
Widely considered the best bass lure ever made, there is an abundance of Senko variations on the market. Although many of them look the same, there are subtle differences that separate each bait. Different plastics will alter how the bait fishes and holds up against strikes. Some anglers find one brand of Senkos and stick with it, but I am a firm believer in having a variety of offerings. As you fish Senkos more, you’ll make your own assertions as to what works the best. Here are some things to consider when choosing the best Senko worms:
- Durability: How well does the bait hold up against strikes from fish?
- Scent: Is the bait scented, and does this result in more strikes and hookups?
- Cost: How cost-effective are they, and how many do you get?
- Size: What sizes are offered?
- Color: Does the Senko come in a variety of colors and patterns?
- Design: Are there any special design features that give this bait an advantage?
The Best Senko Worms: Reviews & Recommendations
Best Overall: Gary Yamamoto 5-Inch Senko
- Size: 5 inches
- Count: 10
- Popular Colors: Watermelon, Black, Green Pumpkin, Bubble Gum
- Casts well
- Great scent
- Wide range of color options
- Not as durable as other baits
Not much has changed since the creation of the classic Senko. The Gary Yamamoto Senko is known by virtually every bass angler out there. There are many anglers that refuse to buy anything but the original, and for good reason. Yamamoto baits have a unique combination of salt and plastic for a perfectly waited worm that attracts fish. I like the 5-inch Senko for its medium size and versatility in different situations. For a soft plastic, this bait cast well, even when rigged weightless. You can also rig it wacky style for a slower presentation or Texas rigged to cover more water.
Best Large Senko: Gary Yamamoto 7” Senko
- Size: 7 inches
- Count: 5
- Popular Colors: Watermelon/Black Red Flake, Black/Blue Flake, Green Pumpkin /Black Flake
- Perfect for imitating bigger baits
- Great action
- Excellent casting distance
- Few color options
- Only 5 per pack
This 7-inch Senko is a larger take on the original bait. It is salt impregnated, and it casts beautifully. Even with the bigger profile, the 7-inch still retains its unique movement. On water bodies known for trophy bass, I always make sure I have a few. While the color options are limited, the ones available cover a wide range of water conditions. Just like the 5-inch version, the 7-inch Senko is a top choice among bassmasters everywhere. With a 7-inch Senko, you never know what will bite, and the few muskies I’ve caught on this Senko are proof of that.
Best Kit: XFISHMAN Senko Worms
- Size: 4-, 5-, and 6-inch worms
- Count: 80 pieces
- Colors: Black, White, Red, Green/Brown, Green
- Complete with hooks and weights
- Plenty of baits
- Comes with a small tackle box for organization
- Not Yamamoto quality
- Baits tear easily
Buying your baits in bulk is never a bad option, and this kit is a great choice. This 80-piece kit comes with four different colors and three different sizes. Having a variety of sizes gives you options for when bass are keying in on a particular bait. In addition, this kit comes ready with hooks and weights to fish in different scenarios. This 80-pack kit should last you plenty of trips out on the water, and it comes with a small tackle box for easy organization.
Best Swimming: Gary Yamamoto Swimming Senko
- Size: 4-, 5-, 5.5-inch
- Count: 10
- Popular Colors: Black, Green Pumpkin, Watermelon/Black Red Flake
- Good swimming action
- Can be fished in a variety of ways
- Several size options
- Few baitfish colors
If I had to choose one bait to do it all, the swimming Senko is it. This bait combines the best features of swimbaits and Senkos. The small paddle tail swims like a traditional swimbait, while the overall profile resembles a Senko. A popular technique amongst tournament anglers is to switch out moving baits for Senkos. Anglers cover water with a moving bait, and if a bass misses the strike, they throw a Senko back in for a follow-up. Rigged Texas style, anglers can swim this bait, stop it, let it drop, and fish it like a Senko. A single bait that does the job of two minimizes follow-up casts and capitalizes on a fish’s interest.
Best Budget: YUM Dinger
- Size: 3-, 4-, 5-, and 6-inch
- Count: 6-12 depending on the size
- Popular Colors: Watermelon Candy, June Bug, Carolina Pumpkin/Chartreuse
- Very affordable
- Variety of color and size options
- Infused with scent attractant
- Tear easily
- Doesn’t cast as far as Yamamoto Senkos
At half the price of Yamamoto Senkos, plenty of anglers swear by YUM Dingers. They range in size from 3 to 6 inches and are a great budget bait for a variety of rigs. When I first started fishing them, I was pleased to find some unique color options offered by YUM. My staples quickly became California Craw, Watermelon Candy, and the Ozark Shadow for dirty water. At just over three bucks a pack, it’s easy to experiment with different colors and sizes. The three-inch baits fish well on Ned rigs, while the larger sizes are perfect for a wacky or Texas rig. My only gripe with these baits is they do tear easily. That being said, at this price point, I’ll buy two packs and never run out of baits.
Things to Consider Before Buying the Best Senko Worms
Senkos are one of the most versatile fishing baits out there. They can be rigged in many different ways and fished using various tactics and techniques. It is why there’s a good chance you’ll find some in almost every bass angler’s box. But given the endless amount of options, finding the best Senko worms may take a little more time and experience. Think of matching the hatch when deciding on what Senkos to fish. Here are some things to consider:
Senkos come in a variety of different sizes, but it is important to dial in what size works best for whatever particular body of water you are fishing. The best way to accomplish this is to be prepared with various sizes of Senkos. Have everything from a typical 5-inch worm to a smaller 3-inch Senko for ned rigs and all the way up to your jumbo 7-inch plus Senkos.
Having a variety of colors may be the most important consideration when buying Senkos or any bait, for that matter. You want the color of your worm or lure to match the pattern of the bait fish are feeding on. If you know what bait is around, then match it the best you can. As a rule of thumb, use a darker-colored Senko when fishing dirtier water and a natural color when fishing clear water.
Anglers don’t have many options in Senko designs. You are often limited to a typical worm that doesn’t have any appendages. Usually, this is all you need. But it is always smart to have a paddle tail bait like the Gary Yamamoto Swimming Senko to increase movement and produce reaction strikes when the bite is slow.
Q: How do you fish a Senko wacky style?
Hold the Senko with your thumb and index finger to find the center. Once you find the worm’s center point of gravity, push the hook through, leaving it exposed. This will create a flutter-type motion in the water that drives fish crazy.
Q: What color Senko works best?
Green pumpkin tends to be the most popular and productive color. However, color selection is often based on water clarity. Darker and murky water should be fished with a dark color Senko like black and blue. On sunny days and in clear water, use a more natural-looking color such as green pumpkin.
Q: What does a Senko imitate?
Senkos imitate many different things like worms, leeches, and craws. The idea to present something edible to entice bass to strike. You can retrieve the bait in a particular way to imitate certain creatures. But the Senko mimics all different types of worms and creatures bass like to feed on.
Final Thoughts on the Best Senko Worms
Senkos are a staple of the bass fishing community and continue to be one of the best fishing lures of all time. The versatility of Senkos is what makes this fishing lure so effective. With a simple alteration of rigging, you can be flipping docks one minute and casting them into weeds the next. Experiment with your colors, sizes, and retrieves until you dial it in. My last bit of advice is less is more. Don’t be afraid to let this bait sit; more bass than I can remember have come after picking out a bird’s nest from my reel.