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How to Fish a Ned Rig for Bass

how to fish a ned rig

​Ned rigs continue to grow in popularity as more and more anglers realize just how effective they are.

Ned rigs really excel when bass are not keen on chasing larger faster moving lures such as crankbaits and topwater lures.

The produce fish all year long. Big largemouth in deep cover or smallmouth over a gravel bed next to a drop off the Ned rig really does produce.

What you need to make a Ned rig:

  • 1/16 or 1/8 ounce mushroom style jig head
  • 2.5 inch soft plastic stick bait or worm

​Tackle tends to lighter than your average bass combo so a good Ned rig rod will need to have a light power rating and a fast action for added sensitivity. Ultralights rod are okay but can prove too light when fishing around heavy weeds.

What is a Ned Rig?

A Ned Rig is a soft plastic lure or worm that is threaded onto a mushroom shaped jig head. The jig head is weighted, whereas the material that the lure or worm is buoyant.

Ned rigs are fished mostly on the bottom with very slow movements. As they move the jig head will naturally stay down and the tail will point upwards due to its floating properties.

They are fishing on very light tackle, which is commonly referred to as finesse bass fishing.  

​Who Created the Ned Rig?

​The Ned Rig was created by Ned Kehde who was a strong advocate for finesse bass fishing in the mid west as early as the late 1950’s.

During the 1980’s Ron Linder introduced Kehde to a small mushroom shaped jig head.

Kehde originally used to cut  Z-Man’s 5 inch ZinkerZ worm in half before there were dedicated ned rig baits available.

The thing that made the Z-Man’s soft plastic so unique was that it had a natural buoyancy to it. This allowed for the tail of the lure to float upwards whilst the Ned rig hook jig head would sink.

When on the bottom the jig appeared to have it’s tail in the air and it’s head burrowing into the lake floor making it look like some kind of bottom feeding creature.

​How to Fish a Ned Rig for Bass

​In open water you fish a Ned rig by casting it out and allowing it to sink, the jig head is then slowly twitched along the bottom in a very soft and delicate manner.

There are a number of different retrieval types for the Ned rig but the one above is the most simple to master.

It is actually more difficult than you think as most bass fishermen will become impatient ad will start to twitch it too quickly.

For best results the Ned rig is fished low and slow through the water.

You are not trying to run the jig too quickly. Stubborn bass do not like quick moving lures especially once the water temperatures start to drop.

They can be fished off the bottom, simple cast towards cover and allow them to sink, more often than not bass will hit them as they slowly sink downwards.

Ned rig fishing is all about making a subtle presentation. Try to make as little splash or noise as possible.

​When most bass anglers strike to set the hook they do so with a rather violent jerk of the rod tip. This is not the way to set the hook of a small jig like a Ned rig.

Instead you should lightly lift your rod tip and reel in at the same time. This allows the hook to set without ripping it out of a bass’s mouth.

​Tackle Considerations

A finesse Ned rig setup although ideal will normally be too light for bass if you are working around or in deep weed cover.

You still need a rod with a bit of backbone but light enough to be able to use small jigs. Look for a light/medium power rating with a fast action.

You can pair that with either a size 2000 or 3000 spinning reel. Main line can be braid or fluorocarbon as both have very little stretch.

If using braid then you should tie on a fluorocarbon leader.

  • Updated October 19, 2021
  • Bass