The Texas rig is the most popular way to rig plastics and it consists of a conical weight put on the line with the hook tied behind it. The most common way it is rigged with the weight allowed to move up and down the line most of the time so that if a fish takes the worm or plastic bait it doesn't feel the angler when slack lining a bait. This rig can be used with all kinds of different plastics based on what you want to represent or profile you want to display. Early in the year or when I want a subtle presentation I will use a small worm or finesse worm. In the spring I will use a craw worm or creature bait to represent a crawfish. Also, I may use a lizard particulary during the spawn. A tube makes a great flipping bait as it comes thru cover very well and has a spiral fall that seems to work very well in high pressure situations. Pegging the weight when flipping into heavy cover helps keep the bait from tangling in heavy cover and aids in keeping contact with the bait so you can feel the fish faster keeping them from wrapping around any more cover than needed. Punch weights have really become popular in this type of rig and we will discuss that further as well.
The weight is the integral part of this equation. They come in many different materials that have their own inherint benefits. Lead is the most common and is the least expensive thus if you lose them it doesn't cost that much. Brass is another material when used with glass bead and brass tickers can produce noise and attract fish to the bait. Tungsten is a newer material that is heavier in mass and provides a smaller weight in size though they are considerably more expensive I feel they are worth it. The weight used should be determined by two factors primarily. What size weight allows you to get to the bottom or penetrate the cover and still allow you to feel the bait? Also, what rate of fall do the fish want to see? So, chose accordingly based on what you are trying to accomplish and by judging from the bites and way the fish hit and go from there. I typically will rig two or three rods with varying size weights to use as the day goes and will experiment until I find the right size and style of rig for the day.
Unpegged rigs I use when casting to far off objects or pitching around stumps, light cover or sporadic grass patches. It allows you to slack line a bait and the bass will not feel the weight as quickly. I base the weight size on how deep I am fishing or how much it takes to maintain contact with the bait in wind, distance or current to effective fish the depth or cover I am around. Lighter weights I use in the spring before the water warms well while fish are more sluggish or in grass so the bait can sit on top of the grass and not settle into it causing it to foul or not be seen. I use heavier weights as the water warms trying to draw reflex strikes around stumps or on ledges going as heavy as a 1/2 or 3/4 oz weight in deeper water or in current. Most commonly I use worms, lizards, and creature baits with this rig with colors and sizes based on season and water color. This is the most common rig and a standard in bass fishing everyone knows.
Pegged weights come in to different styles with their own applications. Standard pegged flipping weights in the 1/4 through 1/2oz sizes I use when pitching into bushes, reeds, lily pads, and other cover that could cause the weight and bait to become seperated. (Flipping a tube around stumps, trees, and bushes I may use an 1/16 to 3/16oz weight to get a slower fall) If the weight is on one side of a branch and the bait is on the other it reduces your feel as well as the likelihood of a good hookset due to slack that causes in the line. They can be pegged using many different materials such as toothpicks, stoppers, or plastic strands or pegs but I typically use the smart peg stoppers like we sell with Tungsten weights on primarytackle.com designed specifically for our weights. Most commonly I use creature baits, tubes, or bulkier baits without appendages to tangle in the cover. In heavier cover situations I use punch weights or flipping weights in the 1oz to 2oz range (most commonly 1 to 1-1/4oz) in a couple of variations that can be pushed through matted milfoil, hyancinth, or other grasses that baits will settle on top of the cover. Once you punch the bait through a lot of times the fish will grab it as soon as it goes through the mat so be ready. If you don't immediately get a hit drop the bait to the bottom and let it settle then lift it to the top of the mat and jig it up and down a couple of times. If you are very confident there are fish in the area make the next flip be close (within 24" or so) as the caverns may have walls where the fish just a foot or so away may not have even seen the bait. On a recent trip to Guntersville I got 5 bites in an area no bigger than your coffee table. If you want to make your bait bulkier peg a cutdown jig skirt between the hook and weight to give a bulkier presentation to your rig. You can also use a jig in these situations but I think this is an easier cleaner method to punching mats than a jig.
Hope some of these hints and ideas help you and feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions.