If a rig rapidly becomes popular, then you know it must be doing something right. That’s just what happened with the neg rig. Though it’s relatively newly popular on the bass fishing scene, ned rigs have quickly become a go-to option for anglers, thanks to its sheer effectiveness in conditions that other rigs would struggle with. While you might hope to fish in picture-perfect conditions, we all know that we don’t always get what we want. There’ll be times when the lake conditions are just simply “bad.”
And at that time, you’ll have two options. You can either pack up and go home, or you can whip out your ned rigs and give yourself another chance at catching some bass.
Yet, while the ned rig has become extremely popular with those in the know, there are still plenty of people who aren’t yet on the ned rig train. And that’s why we’re here to help. In this article, we’ll run through everything you need to know about ned rigs, including what they are, the best ned rig setup, the correct techniques, optimal conditions, and the best lure. By the time you’ve finished, you’ll have all the information you need to go out there and catch plenty of bass!
What is a Ned Rig
Many rigs get their name from their appearance or the technique you use. The ned rig gets its name from a person. Ned Kehde came up with the rig, which is intended to be used with finesse bass fishing. And this is a guy who should know a thing or two about bass fishing; he’s had a lot of success fishing the lakes and rivers in his native Kansas City.
Ned needed something that was a little bit better than the Chuck Woods Beetle Spin, at least for the tough waters he was fishing. And thus he designed the ned rig. Part of the magic of this type of rig is the simplicity. Whereas it’s possible to have complicated, flashy rigs, they don’t have to be, as the ned rig shows. It’s just a regular mushroom head jig that is capable of holding lures of up to three inches.
The effectiveness comes from the disparity in the weight of the ned (which is heavy) and the weight of the lure (which is light). This allows the line to sink towards the bottom of the water, yet the lure will stay floating upwards. This allows for a lot of finesse fishing goodness, and so long as you follow the correct techniques, then you’ll have no problem catching plenty of bass.
Best Ned Rig Setup
A ned rig is used for finesse fishing. As such, you’ll need a rod that allows you to finesse fish! A spinning rod will do the trick, as this will allow you to find the right balance between sensitivity and strength. You need to be able to feel the line doing its thing. In terms of size, it’s best to look at a rod that’s around 6’6″ to 7’0″. If you can match it with a 10lb braid and 5-8lb fluorocarbon leader, then you’ll have an ideal set up to work with.
If you’ve got a light rod, then you can still use ned rigs. However, you might run into some difficulties. One of the key advantages of this setup is that you can use it when the going gets tough. If you only have a light rod, then you might struggle to get the bass out of the water in tough conditions, especially if it’s a fighter! It’ll work just fine in optimal conditions, however. If you’re fishing in the same spots over and over again, and you know the conditions never get too bad, then you can stick with a light rod. In general, you’ll want to select a rod that’s as light as you can realistically use. If it’s too heavy, then you’ll lack the sensitivity that you need to really control the rig.
How to Fish a Ned Rig
Now that you’ve got the right equipment, you’ll be well on your way to catching plenty of bass! But of course, while the ned rig is excellent at catching fish, you’ll need to know the right techniques.
The Slow Technique
This isn’t so much a technique as it is a state of mind. While many anglers like power fishing, that’s not the approach when you’re using a ned rig. You can cast the line and then, simply, just wait. There are some professionals who call it a sandwich lure. What’s this mean? That you can cast the line, and then eat half a sandwich. If nothing’s happened, then move it around a little, and then go back to the sandwich. Even beginners can take this approach! You will eventually catch something, if you know there’s bass in the water. If you haven’t, then it’s not as if the rig isn’t working — it’s just that you haven’t given it enough time to do its thing.
If you’re getting a little impatient, and want to provoke the bass to take a bite, then look at adding some speed to proceedings. As with most bait, if you can present it to the fish, then you’ll be more likely to find success. Sometimes, the bass aren’t that aggressive, especially if the water’s cold. At that point, they may need a bit of an incentive to feed. Speed can offer that incentive. All you need to do is zip the bait around a little, mimicking the movement of smaller fish. If you’re in an area where there’s bass, the free meal that they think has come into their space will be enough motivation to take a bite.
Letting it Dip
Bass become interested when they see something sinking towards the bottom. So let it sink until it’s around a foot away from the bottom of the water. Then pull it up sharply. If there’s no weight on the line, then that means there’s no fish on the end. At that point, you can simply repeat the process. When you do feel weight, that’s the time to start reeling in your line as fast as you can.
The Chaos Approach
As we’ve said: ned rigs are extremely effective. There’s a reason why the people that use them outfish those that don’t. If you’re in a bass-heavy area, then play around a little. The techniques that we’ve outlined above will work, but you don’t have to stick to them. You might just find that you’re able to catch plenty of bass, even if you’re inexperienced. This approach is especially recommended for young anglers; sometimes the best way to get them interested in fishing is to just let them find their own way of doing things. They won’t go too far wrong with a ned rig!
When to Fish a Ned Rig
As with all good rigs, the ned rig is versatile, which means you can use it in many different seasons, conditions, types of cover, and so on. However, while this is true, it’s not the versatility of the rig that made it so popular. That plays a factor, but it’s not the whole story. What makes the ned stand out is that it’s highly effective in difficult conditions. When the water just doesn’t seem to be playing ball, you can attach your ned rig and let it do its thing; these conditions call for a more finesse approach to fishing, rather than power, and that’s just what the ned rig allows.
Even if the bulk of the water coverage is calm, it’s possible that you’ll need to fish in areas where things are a little more chaotic. For example, in creeks or rivers, where the current is faster than in a calm lake. It’ll also work well in a variety of water temperatures, too. In recent years, anglers have been increasingly using ned rigs during the winter months.
It’s not just that, either. It’ll work well whether you need to fish shallow or deep or if there’s rocks or structures around.
Or, to put in clear terms: there really aren’t that many instances when you can’t use a ned rig, so it’s always worthwhile having one in your tackle box. When nothing else seems to be working, it’ll be this rig that you call upon!
Best Lure for Ned Rig
There’s no shortage of ned rig lures you can use. And you’ll likely have success with all of them. However, there are some that are more effective. It’s all about looking at the characteristics of the lure. If it’s durable and buoyant enough to stand up, then you’ll be on the right path.
As well as the type of lure, you should focus on the color. Bright lures do better than darker ones, and especially when the water is a little murky.
An awesome rig, every finesse fisher should have some ned rigs in their tackle box. When the going gets tough, they’ll come to your rescue and ensure you catch plenty!