Written by Andrew Schadegg
Alright, I get it. Every year some new bait or technique gets trendy and everyone talks about how you have to fish it. This is especially true with finesse techniques. It happened with the Senko, then the drop shot, then the shaky head. However, there is one thing in common with all these "trendy" techniques.
They work. All of them. Really well.
They’ve become standard in almost every skilled fisherman’s tackle box and excel at different times and in different situations.
Can I add one more?
The Ned Rig is on pace to become just as popular as those techniques mentioned above and rightly so, because it catches a crazy amount of fish when nothing else will. With the difficult winter months fast approaching, here are 3 reasons you need to start fishing the Ned Rig right now.
The Ned Rig is REALLY Simple
Maybe that’s not a big selling point for you, but it is certainly nice when you all you need is a flat, mushroom style jighead in 1/20 to 1/4 oz and a small 2.75 – 4 inch finesse bait. Of course, as with any technique, there are other ways to rig it, but this is the basics and it’s really all you need.
ZMan has been responsible for the popularization of this technique and their various ShroomZ and NedlockZ style heads are a perfect place to get started. Pair these with the Finesse TRD or some of their other small finesse options and you're all ready to go.
The Ned Rig is REALLY Effective
So, the setup is simple, but does it catch fish? The short answer is, yes…lots of them. It is actually quite amazing how a small 2.75 inch stick bait style worm on a small jighead can illicit so many bites. It is a fish-catching machine and there is hardly any movement to the bait at all. In fact, one of the best ways to fish it is to let it fall to the bottom on light line and “dead stick” it or give it very small, intermittent hops.
This is ideal for the fall and winter months, as bass get lethargic. They don’t want to chase and they don’t want a bait with a lot of movement. This is a bait that you can fish today, right now, anywhere in the country and immediately have success.
The Ned Rig is REALLY Versatile
I'm seeing some of your eyes roll. Right? You hate fishing deep finesse techniques. It’s boring. It’s slow. [Insert other protests here]. Alright, fair enough, but the Ned Rig is actually a lot more versatile than you would think. It can be fished deep or shallow. On rocks, around structure, pitched around docks. There are weedless jigheads available. You don’t have to fish it in 30 feet of water.
You can also fish it fast at times. Particularly for smallmouth, giving it violent pops off the bottom and letting it fall is a great way to illicit some big strikes. You can also try a 4 inch or even 6 inch bait, cast it out, let it fall to the bottom and then just slowly retrieve it back to you like a reaction bait. Try this around shallow cover when the bass are a little more active.
I'm definitely #SorryNotSorry to tell you that you need to make a little more space in your tackle box for the Ned Rig. It’s simple, effective and versatile and this time of year is perfect to get this fantastic technique dialed-in on your local body of water.