Drop shotting gives you the ability to present a soft plastic at a specific depth off the bottom. Being a finesse technique a lot of anglers can be confused as to what makes the best line for drop shot rigs.
Ultimately your line choice for most single hook rigs should be low stretch and drop shots are no different.
As a main line monofilament has too much stretch so that leaves braid and fluorocarbon.
Whether you choose braid or fluorocarbon as you main line I would strongly suggest that you always use a fluorocarbon leader.
Braid is a lot limper than fluorocarbon and you need a bit of rigidity in your line when tying through your line.
Fluoro will also knot better when tying a hook part way up your leader and in comparison to braid it is virtually invisible.
Fluoro makes is an excellent choice as a line for drop shotting as it is low stretch and pretty much invisible.
For finesse style fishing tactics that require you to set the hook quickly and need a lot of sensitivity to detect bites the fluoro is a superior choice to monofilament.
Monofilament by nature has a lot of in built stretch and a as a result of this stretch you will lose a lot of feedback through the rod.
It you are spending money on the best drop shot rod that you can afford then that money may well be going to waste if you choose to use mono as your main line.
Finesse style techniques more often that not rely on using a medium/light power rod that has a fast action.
Once you add stretch into the system then that fast action becomes a lot duller and you lose any kind of feedback that is required.
Mono will also slow down your strike due to the stretch.
When drop shotting due to the jigging nature of the technique you can end up with slack in the system on the drop.
Bass will often hit your drop shot baits as they fall so you need to have a pretty quick strike and really take up line quickly.
A stretchy line will slow your strike down and may result in lost fish so always be mindful of this.
Braid has one advantage over fluoro as a fishing line for drop shot rigs in that it is much thinner for the same rating which allows it to slice through weeds much easier.
When working a lure around or in any kind of weed cover but particularly heavy weed cover braid is always the best choice.
It slices through thin weeds easily, when you are drop shotting in heavy weed the best option is to only drop the weight directly down from the tip as you will get way less weed on your rig.
This is really limited though and you may need to cast into cover. If so you need a line that can cut through weeds with ease and braid is that line.
Always run a fluorocarbon leader as it really helps to get your final six to even feet as clear as possible.
Choosing the best jig rod means knowing what type of jigs you will be throwing and where.
Warm water bass fishing usually means targeting bass in heavy weed cover and jigs are one of the best lures that you can throw at them.
Weedless jigs make life even easier and give you ability to work them in even the thickest cover without worrying about getting caught up.
A good jig rod needs a strong backbone and a fast enough tip to sense the subtlest of bites and get a quick hook set so you can pull those bass out of cover.
A baitcasting setup is really the best option here so you can pretty much rule out spinning rods.
Graphite or a graphite blend of carbon/Kevlar is what makes the best rod blanks when choosing a rod with a fast action.
When selecting a fishing rod for jigs you need to get the power, action and length right:
Throwing any kind of lure into heavy weed cover means you need a rod that has enough backbone to haul bass out of deep cover.
You’ll most likely be running heavy braid as your main line so you need a jig rod that has a enough of a backbone to be able to handle pressuring a largemouth bass that is hell bent on diving to cover.
If you are throwing small jigs in more open water then a medium/heavy rod can be sufficient.
Action defines where on the rod blank the natural bend in the rod will start to form.
A moderate action will start to bend more towards the middle of the rod.
A fast action will start to bend much higher up towards the rod tip.
Fast action rods are the best choice to use as a jigging rod for bass as you need a lot of tip sensitivity and you also need the ability to set the hook quickly.
With a slower more moderate action the hook set will be delayed as more of the energy you put into the strike gets absorbed by the rod blank.
Longer rods have several advantages when it comes to using jigs in heavy weed.
Greater casting distances especially if you are flipping.
Longer rods will take up more line when striking. Using most single hook lure like jigs need a quick strike to set the hook.
A shorter jig rod would be slower to take up line and would delay your strike somewhat even with a fast action.
The Mojo series of rods from St Croix are some of the best baitcasting rods ever produced and have been a massive hit with bass anglers since they were introduced.
The 7’4″ with a heavy power rating and a fast action is the model to go for as a top notch jig rod.
The rod blanks are built on St Croix proprietary SC-II graphite and come with a high quality black cherry finish and an outer coating of two coats of slow-cure.
You get a rod with a lot of back bone and a really crisp tip action that is perfect for jigging.
That performance is thanks in part to a manufacturing process known as Poly Curve. Poly Curve helps to eliminate the natural transition points you will find down the length of the blank allowing for a much more uniform bend.
This means better sensitivity from tip to handle and an all round stronger rod.
They come finished with a high quality split cork grip, Kigan Master 3D line guides and a Fuji ECS reel seat.
Pair this with a high quality baitcaster and you have a really versatile rod for working in and around thick weed cover.
Dobyns have firmly established themselves as a maker of some of the best value rods out there.
The Fury range is probably the best value line available.
The Champion Extreme line is one of their higher end offerings and they are exceptional performers.
They are a massive hit on the bass tournament scene and more and more recreational anglers are switching away from more traditional brands to Dobyns.
The Champion Extreme DX 734C is a 7’3″ rod with a fast action and a medium/heavy power rating. It is rated for lures in the 1/4 to 3/4 ounce range and can be used as great all round casting rod for multiple techniques.
So if you are throwing lighter jigs in more open waters or across gravel beds then the Champion DX 734C is a great alternative to some of the heavier rated rods above.
They are equipped some very high quality hardware, Kigan guides with zirconium inserts, Fuji reel seat and AAA quality cork handle.
G. Loomis make some of the best rods ever! They are the premium rod brand on the market and have built some of the most sensitive high performance rod blanks in history.
If your intention is to throw lighter jigs and money is no object then the IM-Pro 853C is the best jig rod for bass available.
At 7’1″ it is shorter than most rods in this line up but that shorter length is all about added sensitivity.
From G. Loomis their series of rods in terms of performance goes from the E6X to IMX and then to top of the range IMX-PRO.
If you’ve ever fished a E6X rod then you’ll know just how good they feel in the hand, the IMX-PRO is like an E6X on steroids.
A super light weight high modulus tapered rod blank gives you some of the best possible feedback that any jigging rod could have.
The IMX-PRO 853C is purpose built for fishing in cover where feedback and sensitivity is required.
A fast action and well balanced rod that has lightning fast hook sets and enough back bone for trophy bass.
Rated for smaller lures in the 3/16 to 5/8 ounce range they come with a high quality cork handle and Fuji tangle-free K-frames.
The second generation Veritas casting rods from Abu Garcia are built on 30-Ton graphite blanks that use a spiral woven technique to produce a rod that is 22% stronger than the previous model.
A great jig rod with a backbone that can haul any bass out of the thickest of cover.
They come with titanium line guides with SIC inserts and a micro click reel seat hood.
The reel seat is exposed and has a double anodized screw down top that allows for a lot more feel from the rod blank into your hand.
If you are looking for a rod that can take a bit more abuse than some of the more sensitive model like the G. Loomis above then a Veritas is a solid choice.
The Daiwa Tatula XT TXT731HFB is a real work horse of a rod that can be used for several heavier bass techniques and throwing medium to large jigs into cover is where it really starts to shine.
They are built from HVF(High Volume Fiber) high modulus carbon graphite using an X45 bias construction technique that reduces twist down through the rod blank.
A split grip EVA foam handle with Fuji Aluminum oxide guides and a painted Fuji ACS reel seat to finish them out.
When throwing jigs in close quarters one of the most popular techniques will be flipping.
Most flipping rods will be 7 foot minimum but 7’4″ seems to be a really sweet spot.
That extra length will really help when flippin the jig out away from you but it also plays another important function; lifting line quickly when you strike.
A longer rod undoubtedly lifts more line than a shorter one although it does take a bit more arm/wrist power to do so.
You get the added benefit of the longer rod acting like a longer lever.
When fishing in this type of cover you will most certainly be fishing with heavy braid.
Braid needs very durable line guides. The toughest being SIC, Zirconia, Alconite and then aluminum oxide being the minimum you should shoot for when selecting line guides for use with heavy braid.
Do you need a dedicated jigging rod?
You’ll see a lot of similarities between the various types of bass fishing rods with the most popular specification being a medium/heavy power rating with a fast action at roughly 7 feet in length.
If you are only throwing jigs occasionally then you may weed not need to spend the money on a high end jig rod.
For most anglers the correct flipping and pitching setup will depend entirely on where and what type of lures they will be fishing with.
For the majority of anglers that will mean close quarters work in and around heavy weed beds or other structures like docks.
When working a lure in heavy cover then you really need a rod and line choice that can handle a bass turning it’s nose down into thick vegetation once it is hooked.
Most anglers will use a baitcasting setup, although you could in theory use a spinning outfit for flippin, definitely not for pitching though.
The rod will need to be long enough to get a decent amount of line out when flipping and have a fast action so that you can load up the tip to when pitching.
As a general rule look for a flipping rod that is at least 7’6″ in length. You need a decent length rod to be able to get your enough line out off of the spool whilst swinging the lure out in front.
Shorter rods will limit you unless you are only working in extremely short range situations.
When in and around heavy weed cover a heavy action is a must as your rod needs to able to haul bass out from thick weed mats.
A fast action is the preferred choice as it gives you the ability to load the tip when casting and also to set the hook quickly, neither of which is possible with a slower or moderate action.
When flipping the reel is more or less just a line store so you can either use a spinning reel or a baitcaster.However, you do want a high gear ratio and a baitcaster will generally be the better choice.
A baitcaster is just that little bit easier to use as you will have the reel mounted on the top of the rod making it easier to control the line with your free hand.
When using a spinning reel the bail arm position can also be a bit of a pain to get right, whereas with a casting reel there are no such issues.
When pitching a baitcaster is the only choice in town as you will be pitching the lure out in an underhand casting movement and thumbing the spool as normal to control the casting distance.
Reels with a high retrieval rate are the most popular as you may need to pull a bass out of cover as quickly as possible to prevent them from getting bedded in.
Monofilament is a poor choice and either braid or fluorocarbon are the options.
Mono has far too much in built stretch and when using close up casting techniques you will need to set the hook quickly and firmly, any stretch in your line will delay your strike.
Braid is the best line for flipping and pitching around heavy weeds as it can slice through weed much easier than the same breaking strain of fluorocarbon.
Flippin or pitching into weed beds and in and around other structures give you the ability to really target bass without spooking them.
It’s all about pin point casts with little or no splash on entry.
When it comes to tackle the best flipping rods will generally be seven and a half to eight feet long with a medium/heavy power rating and a fast action.
You need to be able to load the tip up easily and still have enough power in the rod blank to handle large bass that are hiding in thick weed beds.
Choosing the right line however is a bit more tricky and a lot of angler will swear by their favorite line regardless of how and where they are fishing..
Both braid and fluorocarbon are the stand out choices.
Monofilament however is rarely a good option.
Mono suffers from having way too much stretch in it to make it an effective line for flipping and pitching.
You need to be able to set the hook quickly when working lures over and through weed beds and lilies.
With the natural stretch that mono has it will delay that strike by a few milliseconds and may result in a missed fish.
Braid when compared to any other line of the equivalent breaking strain will slice through weed like nothing else.
It is roughly half the diameter of monofilament and as such is the best choice as a fishing line for flipping and pitching in heavy weed cover.
Braid is arguably the most visible fishing line that is commonly used. Although it has many great properties this high visibility is it’s major downfall.
When you are in clear water conditions or in very sparse weed cover then fluorocarbon is probably the better choice.
When flippin and pitching for bass into thick weeds you need a fairly heavy line to be able to a bass that decides to turn it’s head down into thick vegetation once hooked.
Don’t be afraid to go fairly heavy with the braid, 40 or 50 lb breaking strain is not uncommon and gives you a lot of confidence in your flipping and pitching setup when around thick cover.
Fluorocarbon gives you the same low stretch characteristics as braid yet is as invisible as mono.
Fluorocarbon excels in clear waters when you need a low stretch line.
Working over light cover in clear waters especially using topwater lures for bass means staying a hidden as possible and if you are to use braid that will kill any chances of your fishing line staying out of sight.
It also makes an excellent leader choice when using braid and you do not want to tie directly into the braid that is your main line.
The one pain point with fluorocarbon is when you are using it in heavy weeds.
Due to it’s shape and thickness it does not slice as easily as braid does through weed beds.
Thick weeds also need a high breaking strain and 40 lb fluorocarbon is too thick and rigid when compared to 40 lb braid.
Pairing a good spinning rod with the best spinning reel you can afford and with the highest quality line will make a huge difference in your ability to throw a lure or bait right where you want it to go.
Sure you can buy a cheap spinning setup from your local Walmart for $20, but lets face it both the quality and the performance will be terrible if you intend to do any kind of serious fishing.
Think of a good quality spinning reel as an investment.
A good spinning reel if treated correctly should last years of use and abuse.
They require very little maintenance and should reassure you that that your tackle is capable of handling that next big lunker you are in search of.
The Abu Revo SX Spinning reel strikes a perfect balance of affordability and performance.
With the Revo SX you get near Shimano Stradic performance at a lower price point. The SX is the perfect intermediate reel for those that are not looking to spend a fortune.
Where the Revo really shines is in it’s line management system. The Rocket Spool lip lets line run effortlessly off of the spool as you cast – meaning longer casts and increased accuracy.
One thing that reduces casting distances on reels is when the line is laid in an uneven manner on the spool resulting in it sticking to the previous layers. Abu have used their Everlast bail system that helps ensure line is laid evenly and flat on the spool as you retrieve.
The body is made from a carbon composite C6 whilst the frame is built from X-Craftic alloy resulting in a reel that is both light, corrosion resistant and sturdy.
A size 20 makes a really good ultra light reel and can be used with pin point accuracy for small lures.
Pflueger’s top rated spinning reel the Supreme XT strikes a great balance between high end spinning reel performance at a mid-range price point.
Although there are cheaper reels out there for the money it’s pretty hard to beat.
The make a perfect choice for those that want a super light reel that still has enough pulling power to be usable in medium sizes such as a 2500 or 3000 spinning reel.
Don’t make the mistake in thinking that the Supreme XT is just a slightly up-rated President.
Almost every component has been looked at and improved, even the handle has been swapped out for a carbon fiber one over a more traditional aluminum build.
Magnesium has been used throughout on the body, rotor and side plate. The spool comes braid ready so no need for extra backing if you are loading on braid.
With a whopping 10 stainless-steel bearing operation is silky smooth and the drag housing is fully sealed meaning less chance of dirt working it’s way into the internals.
The Shimano Stradic CI4+ is arguably the best spinning reel available to buy right now and has been for several years.
The Stradic may be a touch pricier than other spinning but it beats the competition in just about every department.
With the Stradic CI4+ you get Shimano’s legendary build quality combined with some of the best features and materials ever put into a reel.
Built using their Carbon Infused(CI) technology Shimano claim that the reel casing is one and a half times stronger whilst being some twenty percent lighter than the regular graphite Shimano normally use.
The drag housing on the CI4+ is sealed tight and is capable of maintaining smooth drag pressure even after being submerged in water for up to a minute.
The internal gearing is built from Hagene cold forged steel for maximum rigidity, resulting in less warp and more power being transferred from the reel handle to the bail arm.
If you are looking for a heavy duty spinning reel that can withstand the harsh environment of sea angling or bigger freshwater species then look no further than the Penn Spinfisher V.
Penn probably the biggest name in saltwater reels whether that is their classic conventional reel the Penn International or their highly rated lines of saltwater spinning reels such as the Battle, Conflict and Spinfsher.
The Spinfisher V is as well built a reel as you can find. It is engineered to withstand the corrosive nature of salt water and all of the component and housing are built with this is mind.
Size wise the Spinfisher V starts at a 3500 and goes all the way up to a 10500 so it’s clearly not a reel that’s aimed at very light weight rigs or lures.
However it really excels in the medium sizes, they give a great balance of weight and power.
The beauty of the Spinfisher V is that it is extremely versatile. Perfect for saltwater spinning and bait fishing. It is also sturdy enough to be used trolling on freshwater lakes for trout. And in the smaller sizes can be use as a pretty decent casting reel for medium to heavy lures.
If you need one reel to wear many hats then the Spinfisher V is surely it – the best heavy duty spinning reel available.
The Pflueger President has firmly cemented itself as one of the best budget spinning reels available.
For the money it has a high build quality and comes with a whopping 9 ball bearings.
Who is the Pflueger for ?
If you are on a budget or are just starting out fishing then the President is one of the most reliable and dependable reels built at it’s price point.
The President is available in only a small number of sizes:
The President is best suited to use on a light to medium spinning applications and if you happen to keep a spare rod in your truck or car but don’t want to keep an expensive reel in there too the President is the perfect reel to keep as a backup.
It’s also a pretty light reel too, the spool is drilled to help shave off weight and the side plates and rotors are made from carbon composite. Easily the best spinning reel under $100!
With the Stradic FK you get a lot of the same technologies and features used in the Stradic CI4+ at a discounted price.
The Stradic FK uses Hagene in both the internal gears and the body. The result is little to no warp or movement of the internal gears and body when retrieving under a heavy load.
Twisting or warping on a reel is a sure sign of a cheaply made reel built from low quality materials. Given it’s highly durable build quality the Stradic FK feels like a spinning reel double or even triple it’s price.
Sharing a lot of the same features as it’s more expensive sibling the Stradic CI4+ the major difference between the two reels is down to the body of the FK being made from Hagene whilst the Stradic CI4+ is made from a lighter Carbon Infused(CI) material.
Hugely popular with the inshore spinning crowd the Penn Clash is on the lighter side compared to say the Penn Spinfisher V however, it is considerably sturdier and more resilient that most.
Available in a range of sizes from 2000 up to 8000 it is well suited in inshore spinning, however even the lighter sized 2000 can be used on an ultralight freshwater spinning setup.
A full metal body gives lots of rigidity through the reel and CNC machined gears helps to further alleviate warping under heavy load.
There are eight stainless steel bearings and one anti-reverse bearing. The top drag washer is carbon fiber.
The spool and line lay are particularly suited to braid and the design is targeted and helping to reduce wind knots.
Most tackle setups consist of a rod, reel and line. Combining your reel with the best spinning rod you can afford will generally get the best results.
Pairing all three of these together to give a perfectly balanced rig is one of the most important considerations when it comes to choosing what tackle to buy.
There are two main types of spinning reel:
All of the reels listed above are conventional spinning reels with one single drag.
A baitrunner has the ability to set two different drag settings. One setting is to allow a fish to take a bait without it feeling too much resistance from the line/reel. Once the fisherman is confident that it is time to strike the handle is quickly turned a quarter turn and then the main drag setting comes into play.
Baitrunners as the name implies are usually used when fishing with bait rather than lures.
If the fish you are after are very easy to spook then it can be a good idea to let then run with the bait in their mouth until you are sure that the have it firmly in their jaws before you strike.
Saltwater spinning reels as the name suggests are built to be used in saltwater fishing. They have much better seals on the reel housing and drag.
Using a normal spinning reel in saltwater is possible but you need to be very careful and make sure that you rinse the reel in fresh water thoroughly after use to help avoid saltwater corrosion.
The size of reel you need is largely determined by the type of fishing you are doing and the rod that is required.
You should choose your rod depending on what type of fishing you are going to be doing. The rod will usually have a line rating on it printed on the lower section just above the grip.
Once you know what strength line your rod needs you can then choose what size reel you need.
Reel sizes can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer but thankfully the majority of big name brands all use the same or similar line rating system.
The drag on a reel is a measure of how much force the drag break can apply against a fish as it runs away from you and takes out line form the spool.
A smooth drag that will not seize up under load is crucial. With a cheap drag you may well end up with the spool stopping completely which puts you in danger of snapping you line.
A drag allows the fish to tire out as it runs against the resistance of the spool.
What a reel of built out of will have a direct on it’s durability. Plastic gears and housing is a serious no-no.
Spinning reels under load put a huge stress on the reel housing and the internal gears. Only purchase a reel that is built from the best materials.
Stainless steel ball bearings, corrosion resistant housing and super strong internal gears are the way to go. Skimping on the quality of a reel is a sure fire recipe for buying a worthless piece of junk that will either need to be replaced quickly or may seize up within the first couple of uses.
The anti-reverse feature on a spinning reel is pretty crucial. If means that once you start to turn the reel handle of a fish hits your lure then the bail arm will not reverse which in turn would turn the handle backwards.
Anti-reverse is a pretty crucial feature if you need to strike once a large fish has taken your lure or bait.
How many bearings a reel has can be a good indicator as to how smoothly it will operate.
For freshwater reels stainless steel ball bearings housed in a sealed body are usually sufficient.
However for a saltwater spinning real all of those bearings need to be shielded and sealed much more rigorously.
All of the other elements of the housing and spool mechanism also need to be sealed properly in order to help protect the bearings of the reel.
The retrieval rate of a reel is how much line a single turn of the reel handle will retrieve.
A slower retrieval rate will generally have a lower gearing. With these types of reels you get a lot more torque applied for every turn of the handle. More torque equals more power.
A fast retrieval rate will sacrifice speed of power.
For the majority of fishermen something in the middle is best. It gives a decent amount of power at the crank whilst still allowing for a decent retrieval rate.
The best spinning reels will allow you to pick up line quickly thanks to really well designed internal gearing.
Like most single hook lures chatterbaits will generally perform best with a line that has little or no stretch.
Ideally you want to get as much feedback back through your line so that you can feel how the blade is performing, which lets you fine tune your speed of retrieval.
Chatterbaits are commonly thrown in summer over the top of heavy weed.
Most chatterbait rods will have a medium/heavy power rating so you need a line of at least 14 lbs fluorocarbon or 30 lbs braid.
When working this type of water you really need a line that can handle being dragged through thick vegetation and to that end braid is usually the go to choice.
However, in open water or very clear water fluorocarbon will perform much better than braid.
If you do decide on braid then you will need a fluorocarbon leader as heavy braid direct to a lure is rarely a good idea.
Seaguar Invisx is one of the best low stretch lines available and as it’s name suggests it is also great when working clear and open water.
I have found that it casts a little bit smoother than Yo-Zuri Hybrid as is a true fluorocarbon line and it less prone to coiling on your reel that Yo-Zuri.
It has great abrasion resistance properties and can take a lot of abuse off of vegetation and other submerged structures.
The choice of best fluorocarbon line for chatterbaits is usually between Sunline FC Sniper and Seaguar Invizx above.
Sunline Siper casts extremely well and spools well on any modern baitcasting reel.
It performs really well in heavy vegetation and is considerably less visible than the equivalent braid.
One of the most popular braided fishing lines ever produced Power Pro Spectra Braid is available in a huge range of strengths and spool sizes and is very good value too.
It is a great casting braid and maintains a very uniform rounded profile even as it ages which makes it really good at slicing through thick weed cover.
Some claim that Yo-Zuri is the best line for chatterbaits and it is hard to argue against it.
My only gripe is that it is a little stiffer than most other fluorocarbon lines as it is a hybrid blend of fluoro and nylon.
Being a hybrid it does benefit from the high knot strength thanks to the nylon and a really strong abrasion resistance due to the fluorocarbon.
It can coil a bit more on your reel due to the stiffness but other than that it is an exceptional line for heavy chatterbait fishing it your are around a lot of snags.
Chatterbaits are absolutely dynamite for working over thick grass cover.
They are also referred to a bladed jigs, so you will often see the two terms used interchangeably.
A good chatterbait setup should have enough backbone through the rod blank to enable you to work your lure through thick cover and to play a bass out of thick weeds.
You will also need a reel that has a fairly high gearing to help rip them quickly through the water should you need to.
You can use the following combo as a rough guide for a decent bladed jig setup:
The above setup for chatterbaits can be used in just about any scenario. Although if you are using large chatterbaits on open water you may want a more moderate tip action to help delay the hook-set ever so slightly.
But I prefer just to allow a slight pause to allow the bass really get it’s mouth around the lure especially if using a really large trailer like a crawdad or swimbait.
Pretty much any rod that you can use for a spinnerbait you can use for a bladed jig or chatterbait.
Look for a rod of between 6’6″ and 7’3″ in length. Personally I use a seven footer as a great compromise.
When choosing a chatterbait rod you need to look at the type of water you will be fishing in regularly.
If that water is filled with heavy weed beds then you need a decent powered rod that is strong enough to haul a bass out of thick cover.
Action wise look for a fast action for almost all applications unless you are using really big lure in open water.
In this scenario a more moderate action will be better as it will delay the hook-set and give the bass an extra few milliseconds to fully engage with your lure.
Look to use a baitcaster reel that high gear ratio for quick line retrieve. A gear ratio of at least 6.3:1 should be sufficient.
Burning a chatterbait over the tops of grass is a very effective strategy.
When burning line in quickly it really makes a bladed jig cause a lot of disturbance just below the surface and in the right conditions a big bass will smash the lures as a reaction strike.
In order to quickly burn you need a decent gearing on your reel.
A baitcaster is the go to setup for chatterbaits as it makes casting all day much less of a chore than when using a spinning reel for bass.
The best line for chatterbaits will usually boil down to a choice of using either braid or fluorocarbon and this is due to the low stretch properties of both of these types of line.
Braid is great in heavy weed cover as it can slice through thick weeds much more easily due to it’s smaller diameter.
I still like to use a fluorocarbon leader though of between 4 and 6 feet in length.
Look for roughly 30 lb braid in really heavy cover and 12 lb fluorocarbon line in open water.
However, in open or clear water it is very visible and this is where fluorocarbon line will excel.
Saying that some anglers will use mono, the usually reason for this is that it floats much better than the other two and if you are working in the top foot or so of water then it might make sense.
The Ned rig is one of only a few finesse style bass fishing techniques. Getting the right Ned rig setup can make all the difference between catching all day and going home skunked.
Most bass fishermen are used to using medium/heavy power casting rods with 20 lb plus braid main line.
Ned rigs are finesse fishing. You will be using 1/16 to 1/4 ounce jig heads and a short soft plastic worm for the majority of your fishing.
Although the above specification for a Ned rig fishing setup are not hard and fast rules the general approach is to use as light as possible a setup as the type of water you are fishing will allow.
Too light and you’ll have a hard time controlling a big bass that has it’s head down in a bed of weed, too heavy and you’ll lack the sensitivity required to get the best out of the jigs.
These types of presentations require a rod with a light enough power rating to handle casting small jigs and a fast action that gives you a lot of tip sensitivity.
Ask most anglers and you’ll actually get told to go ultralight or medium/light.
Although a finesse type of rig in the trout fishing world would call for an ultralight rod only when fishing for bass you may need a little more back bone from your Ned rig setup.
In shallow waters that are free from any thick or dense cover an ultralight is actually a good choice.
Once you start fishing near any kind of cover that bass are likely to turn into once hooked the best Ned rig rods to use will have a medium/light power rating.
A bit more backbone is required to steer a bass out from thick weeds. You can still get all the sensitivity you need with a medium/light power rating once the action is fast and the rod is less than 7 feet in length.
The shorter the rod the easier it is to twitch the Ned rig jigs lightly. If you have a long rod then it is very difficult to delicately twitch the jigs.
You need to size the reel appropriately to match your rod and line.
If you choose a reel that is too big then it will throw off the balance point of the rod and make it feel awkward and unbalanced in your hand.
A size 1000 reel if you have one will handle really light lines with ease. You also get less line per turn of the handle so when slowly moving the jig through the water this can be an advantage.
A size 2000 reel is generally best. On a light setup the 2000 is ideal as it will be a few ounces lighter than the larger 3000.
With a size 3000 reel you get a good bit more line capacity.
If you already have a drop shot setup and use a 3000 sized reel then try to get another spool for it and keep that spool purely for Ned rig fishing.
Failing that a size 2000 is the best compromise between either extremes.
Every angler has their favorite line that they swear by. Some are life long monofilament devotee’s regardless of the scenario.
Others will stick with braid for everything.
The correct line choice is the type of line that matches how, what and where you are fishing.
When using a jig you want to have minimal stretch in your main line. The reason for this is that when using a jig you need to add all of the life into the lure by twitching your rod tip.
Too much stretch in your line and you won’t communicate these movements in the correct way.
That is why you should choose either braid or fluorocarbon as your main line.
Both have very little stretch. When using braid you should use a fluorocarbon leader of 4 to 6 feet in length.
Braid is thinner and lighter than fluorocarbon as a main line and it can get you slightly better casts.
The only downside to it is that at very thin diameters it can be prone to wind knotting.
Most Ned rig setups will not use anything heavier than 10 lb braid main line.
Of all of the available bass rigs the ned rig is undoubtedly suited to extremely light tackle. This type of bass fishing is generally called finesse fishing and using very light tackle in order to cast light lures.
Most bass anglers probably do not own an ultralight spinning setup and may well probably dismiss these types of rods as being too light for bass.
Ned rigs work and their popularity is growing year on year!
Without the right tackle you will not cast these light soft plastics very far.
The Best Ned Rig Rods will have a fast action, light to medium/light power rating and be roughly 6’6 to 7′ feet in length
You’ll want to pair the rod above with a size 1000 or 2000 spinning reel and braided line in the 6 to 10 pound range with a fluorocarbon leader of roughly the same strength.
Why you choose either a light or a medium/light rod for ned rigs is that if you are working bass in and around heavy cover then you will need a rod with a bit of backbone to help haul them out of the cover.
Ultralight rods such as trout spinning rods are just that little bit too weak for bass in heavy weeds.
In open water where there are no obstructions or weed beds an ultralight is fine.
Also on an ultralight you might not set the hook as easily as when using a light or a light/medium powered rod blank as a ned rig rod..
I’ve been fishing for a while and have put numerous rods to the test. But, in all my years, I’ve never used a rod that has performed as well as Dobyn’s Fury Series FR 702SF fast action spinning rod.
This is by far one of the best Ned rig fishing rods I have ever used. You can consider this a semi-high-end rod despite its low price tag, because it can easily compete with any high-end fishing rod.
Not many other rod has even come close to beating the durability and sensitivity that this rod has.
One of the factors responsible for the Dobyn’s Fury Series FR 702SF rod’s sensitivity is its incredibly low weight.
The rod is light enough for all vibrations to be transmitted with ease throughout the stick. While using this rod, you will be amazed at how well you can detect a bite!
The lightweight also makes the rod very easy to carry around, which I always find useful on my fishing trips.
The rod features high modulus graphite blanks, a Fuji reel seat, and Kevlar wrapping.
All these features combine to make the product an incredibly lightweight yet sensitive and durable rod. The AA grade cork handle with a Hypalon butt provides a fantastic grip.
There’s no point in using various sensitive techniques for fishing if you don’t have the right equipment.
No matter how favorable all other factors, such as the weather, maybe, if you don’t have the right rod, fishing can quickly get frustrating.
I can always guarantee a good fishing day when I’m taking my Dobyns Fury Series FR 702SF rod with me.
I tried a friend’s Lew’s Tournament Performance TP-1 Speed Stick Spinning Rod once to compare it to my old rod and was blown away by how well it performed!
Lew’s are mostly known a a casting rod manufacturer but they are making serious strides with their spinning rods.
My decision was made easier when I saw the price of the rod. You’d be amazed at the retail price of this rod. It is most definitely a steal. Believe it or not, this rod has proven to be one of the best Ned rig fishing rods for me. It looks great, feels great, and performs wonderfully.
Since I started using this rod, I’ve compared it to a bunch of other rods as well, to see if I could find something better. But to my amazement, no other rod has come close to giving me the same results as Lew’s Tournament Performance TP-1 rod.
I’ve caught some of my best catches with this rod, and after using it for so long, I can decipher which factors help it perform so well.
For starters, the rod comes with an American tackle microwave guide System.
This helps to eliminate wind knots and improve both casting distance and accuracy. I’ve used the rod in bad weather conditions as well and was surprised to find that the rod still retained its casting accuracy.
The rod is made from IM8 graphite blanks, which make it lightweight and sensitive yet durable.
Lew’s exclusive skeletal SoftTouch graphite reel seats are lightweight and allow transmission of vibrations as well.
A Winn’s super-comfortable Dri-Tac grip handles provide the ultimate control while casting. Even if you have wet hands, the hold that the handles of this rod provide is unparalleled.
The best part is that the rods come in a wide variety, and you can select one according to which fishing technique you use. I use Ned rigs a lot and bought the one rod especially suited for it, and so far, it has been my favorite rod for bass fishing!
Being a bass angler means that I am particular about nearly every aspect of my rod. I don’t mind being called finicky; I just want a great rod.
St Croix are known for making some of the highest quality rod blanks especially when it comes to spinning rods.
It is, therefore, safe to say that I’m not easily impressed by every rod that comes my way. However, the one rod that did manage to blow me away was St Croix’s Premier spinning rod.
This is one highest quality ned rig rods I have ever come across. I love fishing with Ned rigs, but I could never find a good rod to help me get a great catch with these rigs.
That is until I stumbled upon St Croix premier rods. These rods are simple yet powerful and tick all the right boxes when it comes to fishing with Ned rigs.
The light-to-medium rod is made with SCII graphite, which provides excellent strength, power, and durability to the rod.
Other than being rugged, the rod also manages to stay lightweight and highly sensitive.
This is because of the durable and hard aluminum-oxide guides and double-plated black chrome frames spanning the blanks individually.
The Fuji TCS reel seats on the rod are well balanced and stable. The handles are premium grade and made with top quality cork to provide a comfortable grip.
The entire rod has two coats of Flex Coat finish, which can last for up to five years!
SHIMANO Zodias rods are well known in the fishing community for their innovative nature and casting accuracy.
No other rod has come close to the performance that my SHIMANO rod gives me, especially with Ned rigs.
Therefore, I can tell you from experience that this is one of the best rods currently on the market. I have yet to find a rod that has the same balance between power, sensitivity, and weight that my Zodias rod has.
These rods are constructed especially for bass anglers and are made with advanced Hi-Power X Blanks for a more efficient and effective transfer of power.
The rod is fine-tuned to be as responsive and sensitive as possible and transfers vibrations excellently throughout its length.
SHIMANO uses Fuji SiC and Semi-Micro Alconite K Guides, which make its Zodias rods lightweight and allows smooth passing through of knots.
The rod contains a custom CI4+ reel seat, which helps to enhance the sensitivity further. The EVA handle grips are comfortable to hold and control the rod with, even while wrestling with larger fish.
Most bass anglers are unsure whether they should stick to traditional rods or go for more innovative ones. I was faced with the same dilemma as well.
Traditional rods are more trustworthy, but you can never deny how well a new-age rod works either. SHIMANO’s Zodias rods are the perfect balance between conventional and innovative rods.
I find that they have all the qualities that are generally found in traditional, old fashioned rods such as strength and durability, and new features such as improved casting accuracy and distance, and sensitivity.
If you want to try more technique sensitive fishing, then you should definitely try SHIMANO’s light-medium Zodias spinning rods. All the features on this rod are well-thought and beyond impressive, making the rod a popular choice with the bass anglers in my community.
St Croix rods are generally considered to be an all-time favorite in the fishing community. Their 6’6” light-to-medium rods are perfectly suited for use as a ned rig rod.
What I love about this rod is that it has a bit more backbone compared to other rods in the same category. Yet it is soft enough to allow light jigs to be loaded on the rod as well. The rod is quite sensitive and responsive and transfers vibrations well.
I’ve caught my best fish, a 17-inch long largemouth bass, with my 6’6” St Croix spinning rod.
The proprietary high-grade SCIII graphite, and Integrated Poly Curve technology that the rod is made of, lends it excellent strength and durability, while still allowing the rod to be lightweight and sensitive.
The Fuji Concept Guide System with black frames and Alconite rings provides exceptional smoothness to the rod.
The Fuji DPS reel seat is well balanced, and the double coat of flex-coat slow cure finish can easily last for more than five years! The handles on this rod are soft and comfortable and made with select-grade cork.
The price isn’t too high either, and the rod has a strong warranty backing it as well. Besides this, St Croix rods even look great! Not a lot of companies pay too much attention to the aesthetics of a fishing rod. However, St Croix makes sure that all of their rods not only perform well but look sleek too.
I’ve been using my 6’6” rod for a while, and it’s the best rod in my collection. I absolutely love how it gives me a great casting distance and is light enough for me to feel all vibrations and movements while fishing.
Although it’s pretty light, the rod is quite durable as well. I’m always a happy camper when I go fishing with this rod.
I’ve always loved Fenwick’s fishing rods. They’re the pioneers of graphite rods and have been continuously finding new ways to ensure that their equipment stays a class apart.
With well over 60 years of experience in the fishing industry, Fenwick really knows its stuff and is continuously improving its rods.
I’ve always loved Fenwick’s fishing rods. They’re the pioneers of graphite rods and have been continuously finding new ways to ensure that their equipment stays a class apart. With well over 60 years of experience in the fishing industry, Fenwick really knows its stuff and is continuously improving its rods.
As an avid bass angler, my favorite rod from Fenwick has to be the 7’ medium/light spinning rod. I have come across a couple of good rods for casting Ned rigs. But no rod could ever beat the performance I get from my Fenwick Eagle 7’ spinning rod.
First and foremost, let’s talk about this rod’s durability and low weight! The rod’s guides are made from premium quality stainless steel and have chromium-plated SS304 inserts. This makes the rod strong yet lightweight and corrosion-resistant.
A lot of other rods that fall into the same category are made with heavier metals, causing significant fatigue after only a few casts. Thankfully, this is not the case with Fenwick’s Eagle Spinning rods, which are lightweight enough to allow you to cast as many times as you like without feeling tired.
The reel seat is well balanced, and the burled cork handles are chip resistant and durable. Compared to foam handles, they also allow better transmission of vibrations.
You can cast very light lures to great lengths with this ultra-lightweight rod and still get good casting accuracy. A feat that very few rods have been able to master.
These 7’ medium/light rods by Fenwick are the gold standard in fishing rods when it comes to spinner rods for Ned rigs. They’re lightweight, durable, reliable, and still incredibly affordable.
I’ve been using Cashion’s Elite Series Spinning Finesse 7’6’ rod for quite a while now and am highly impressed by its performance. I have never had a rod deliver such excellent performance while casting Ned rigs before.
For me, this rod has been one of the greatest Ned rig fishing rods I have ever come across. Although the rod may not be as popular as some of its other contenders, it is a dark horse compared to other rods in the same category.
Having the right equipment makes a huge difference while fishing, especially if you’re fishing with light tackle such as a Ned rig.
Cashion’s Elite Series Spinning rods have excellent tips to improve casting accuracy. All while retaining the ability to reel in a big catch hooked by a light wire hook.
The rod has a strong yet sensitive backbone with adequate flexibility, which prevents it from snapping when wrestling big fish. It is made of uni-directional wrapped carbon-fiber blanks that transmit vibrations well, making the rod both responsive and sensitive.
This ensures that you are immediately able to detect when your lure comes into contact with a catch.
Cashion’s Elite Series Spinning rods utilize premium Fuji Micro Guides to make the rod as lightweight as possible.
The Fuji Blank Exposed Reel Seats ensure that the vibrations can be transmitted easily to your fingertips. A split carbon fiber grip handle provides maximum comfort without dampening any of the vibrations.
Although the Ned rig rod by Cashion is said to be Medium-Fast, it has specialized blanks that can handle all sizes of fishing Ned rigs ranging from 1/32 to ⅜ oz — making it extremely versatile to work with!
For years the best line for jerkbaits was monofilament, but the times they are a changing…
Flourocarbon now reigns supreme as the go to choice for jerkbait fishing line.
However, some fishermen are just plain stubborn and they will use their favorite line for just about any bass technique.
For most freshwater fishing applications there is usually a choice of four different types of fishing line, below we have ranked them in order of preference for use with jerkbaits:
Each type of fishing line has their own specific characteristics and some are suited to some applications and not others.
Flourocarbon fishing line is best for jerkbaits in the 8 lbs to 12 lbs breaking strain range.
It runs well on both spinning reels and baitcasting reels ad can cast very good distances even when using smaller jerkbaits.
The top choice for jerkbaits is flourocarbon as it beats out all others under especially in colder weathers when waters are running clear, it is low stretch, hard to detect in clear water and does not float.
Low stretch is almost a must as you need to transmit every jerk or twitch from the rod tip into the line an eventually to the lure. If there is any stretch in the line then some of the energy is lost.
Low stretch also means that you get quicker and more secure hook sets especially if you are using smaller treble hooks.
It is also slightly thinner than mono which helps make it even more invisible.
When working a jerkbait you need to allow the line to go slack on the pause. If you use mono that slack time usually means a bow in the line as it floats on the surface especially if it is windy out.
Any bow in your line will mean less power through to the lure when you strike.
Beause it is low stretch it will also cast better than monofilament and less memory.
Monofilament has just a little bit too much stretch in it for my liking when fishing with jerkbaits. The best jerkbait rods have either a fast or extra fast action and a medium power rating, meaning they are really sensitive in the tip section.
Pairing a super sensitive rod with a line that stretches makes no sense.
Mono also floats so if you are trying to work a suspended jerkbait deep down in colder weather then it will be more of a hindrance than a help on that front.
No mono is a great all round line especially on a spinning setup but it does lack sensitivity.
Braid can be used for jerkbaits as long as you are using a flourocarbon leader. The main issue with using it is that it is so visible.
Bass will generally be attacking your jerkbait from below and braided fishing line will stand out like a sore thumb when viewed from underneath.
Braid is an excellent choice as a frog fishing line as it can cut and slice through thick weeds but low visibility is the name of the game when considering what line to use for jerkbaits.
Using a flouro leader does create a problem in that you are now creating an extra weak point in your jerkbait setup – the braid to flouro knot!
More often than not you will also be fishing a jerkbait in winter which may mean windier conditions and braid can be troublesome in the wind.
You can think of copolymer as a more modern monofilament. It lies somewhere in the middle in terms of it’s characteristics and personally I’m just not a fan.