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Finesse fishing was forever changed when Midwest angler Ned Kehde introduced a little do-nothing looking bait to bass hunters a few years earlier. The ned rig, labeled after its inventor, quickly rose to the top of the finesse fishing world and hasn’t looked back, firmly establishing itself alongside other finesse fishing staples such as the shaky head, drop shot, and wacky rig.

The Evolution Of The Components Of Ned Rig Over Time

The jig head, or Ned’s head, is an essential part of the component. A flat surface on Ned’s head allows the bait to stick up when pulled across the bottom at a 90-degree angle to the hook shaft. From there, there are a plethora of soft plastic options to choose from to go with Ned’s head.

Cutting a standard-size soft plastic stick bait, like the Strike King Ocho, in half and then using the tail end to complete the Ned rig was perhaps the most common thing to do in the initial periods of the Ned rig. This small thing proved to be a very effective tiny bait for catching fish. Because it doesn’t look like much, it appears to be a little bit of everything. Its size, after all, makes it so successful. It’s not a fearsome bait for bass but rather a simple morsel to scoop up from the bottom. 

The traditional Ned rig has an open hook, making it the polar opposite of weedless. Interestingly, the bait still manages to get through stones and other small covers with ease. The structure of the bait’s head and the hook’s orientation is up and away from the cover. However, to get a little deeper into the covers, companies now offer Ned tops with weed guards, which allows you to fish deeper and provides heavier coverage.

Ned Rig As The Victor In Bass Fishing

A Ned rig is highly adaptable and used all year long. The Ned rig is a simple bait; its presentation at the core. It is the most effective fish catcher to date. The Ned rig outscored its competition by three bites to one in a head-to-head rivalry game with a shaky head. For a Ned rig, spinning gear is the best option. That’s not to say you can’t use one on a bait caster, especially some of the newer, larger models.

A Ned rig is one of the simplest baits to use, generating bites by simply dragging them along the bottom. It makes it an excellent beginner’s bait. Its effectiveness, however, makes it indispensable for tournament anglers and other seasoned bass fishermen. With the numerous boats on the water these days, all anglers can benefit from a convenient bite getter like this.

It’s crucial to choose the appropriate equipment. You’ll have most of what you need with a good spinning setup and a braid to a fluorocarbon leader. For your specific conditions, choose an open hook or weedless Ned head, and then pick your plastic. You can go old school and just cut a chunk off a regular size bait to make something work. You can also experiment with the dozens of soft plastics, specifically designed for a Ned rig that is now available. The possibilities are nearly endless, but one must stay prepared to get bitten while throwing a Ned rig.


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