What is a Ned Rig?

Are you familiar with the Ned Rig fishing technique? If not, you're in for a treat! The Ned Rig is a highly effective and versatile fishing technique that has gained popularity in recent years. In this ultimate guide, we'll dive into the details of this technique, its history, gear and equipment recommendations, bait selection, rigging techniques, fishing strategies, and tips and tricks to help you master the Ned Rig. So, grab your fishing gear and let's get started!

What is the Ned Rig fishing technique?

So, what exactly is the Ned Rig? The Ned Rig is a finesse fishing technique that involves using a small jig head paired with a soft plastic bait on a light line. It was developed by Ned Kehde, a renowned angler, and has quickly become a go-to method for catching bass, as well as other freshwater fish species.

Why is it an effective technique for catching fish?

The Ned Rig is incredibly effective for several reasons. Firstly, the small profile of the bait mimics natural prey, making it highly enticing to fish. Additionally, the finesse presentation and slow retrieves make it irresistible for fish, especially in tough conditions when they are less active. Lastly, the Ned Rig is highly versatile and can be used in various fishing scenarios, making it a reliable technique to have in your fishing arsenal.

Brief history of the Ned Rig technique

The Ned Rig technique was developed by Ned Kehde, a fishing enthusiast, and outdoor writer, in the 2000s. He named it after himself due to his contribution to its development and popularity. Since then, it has gained a devoted following among anglers for its effectiveness in catching fish, particularly bass. Its simplicity and versatility have made it accessible to anglers of all skill levels.

Benefits of using the Ned Rig technique

There are numerous benefits to using the Ned Rig technique. Firstly, it can be used in various fishing conditions, from clear water to stained water, and from cold water to warm water. This versatility allows anglers to adapt to changing conditions and increase their chances of success. Moreover, the finesse presentation of the Ned Rig makes it effective when fish are finicky or less active. Additionally, the Ned Rig can catch a wide range of fish species, not just bass, making it a go-to technique for targeting various freshwater species.

Gear and Equipment

Rod and reel recommendations

When it comes to choosing the right rod and reel for Ned Rig fishing, you'll want to opt for a medium-light or medium power rod. These rods provide enough sensitivity to detect subtle bites, while still having enough backbone to handle larger fish. As for the reel, a spinning reel with a high gear ratio is recommended, as it allows for quick and easy retrieves.

Fishing line choices

Choosing the right fishing line is crucial for success with the Ned Rig. Two popular options are fluorocarbon and braided line. Fluorocarbon line is virtually invisible underwater and has excellent sensitivity, making it a great choice for finesse fishing. On the other hand, braided line offers superior strength and sensitivity, but may require the use of a fluorocarbon leader to reduce visibility in clear water conditions. Line weights between 6 and 10 pounds are typically used for Ned Rig fishing, depending on the target species and fishing conditions.

Terminal Tackle

Ned Rig hooks

The choice of hooks for the Ned Rig is crucial. For most applications, a size 1 or 1/0 hook is recommended. The hook style can vary, but a straight shank hook or a mushroom-shaped jig head works well with the Ned Rig setup. Additionally, opting for weedless options, like a Ned Rig jig with a wire weed guard, can be effective when fishing in areas with heavy cover.

Ned Rig jig heads

When it comes to Ned Rig jig heads, the weight of the jig head is an important consideration. Lighter jig heads, ranging from 1/16 to 1/4 ounce, are typically used for finesse presentations, while heavier jig heads may be required in deeper or windier conditions. Additionally, selecting the appropriate hook size and style will depend on the size and type of soft plastic bait you choose.

Bait Selection

Types of soft plastic baits

There are a variety of soft plastic baits that work well with the Ned Rig. Stick worms, finesse worms, and craw imitations are some popular options. Stick worms mimic a small baitfish or worm and have a slender profile. Finesse worms are slightly thicker and typically have a curly tail, creating a more enticing action. Craw imitations replicate small crustaceans and are effective when fishing around rocky or weedy areas. Experimenting with different bait styles and colors can help you determine what the fish are biting on.

Color choices and considerations

The color of your soft plastic bait is another important factor to consider. In clear water conditions, natural colors like green pumpkin, watermelon, and smoke are often effective. In stained or murky water, brighter colors like chartreuse, orange, or white can help the bait stand out and attract fish. Additionally, matching the color of the soft plastic bait to the local forage, known as "matching the hatch," can also increase your chances of success.

Rigging the Ned Rig

How to properly rig a Ned Rig

Properly rigging a Ned Rig is fairly straightforward. Start by inserting the point of the hook into the head of the soft plastic bait, about 1/8 to 1/4 inch deep. Then thread the bait onto the hook, leaving a portion of the hook exposed. This allows for better hook penetration when a fish strikes. Make sure the bait is straight on the hook and securely rigged before casting it out.

Modifying the Ned Rig

While the Ned Rig is already highly effective on its own, you can enhance its appeal by adding scent or attractants to the bait. This can help entice fish, especially in tougher fishing conditions. Another modification you can make is adding a trailer hook to increase your hook-up ratio, especially when fish are striking short or being finicky.

Techniques and Strategies

Locating fish with the Ned Rig

To effectively locate fish with the Ned Rig, you'll want to target areas with structure and cover. Look for areas with rocks, docks, vegetation, or submerged trees, as these provide hiding spots and ambush points for fish. Pay attention to depth variations as well, as fish may be holding at different depths depending on the time of day and the prevailing conditions.

Different retrieves for the Ned Rig

The Ned Rig can be retrieved in various ways to entice fish. One popular retrieve is the slow dragging technique, where you gently drag the bait along the bottom, mimicking a small creature foraging for food. Another effective technique is the hop and pause retrieve, where you give the bait short hops off the bottom and let it sit for a moment before repeating. Lastly, dead sticking the bait can be effective, especially when fish are in a negative mood. Letting the bait sit motionless for an extended period can trigger a reaction bite.

Fishing the Ned Rig in different conditions

The Ned Rig can be productive in both clear and stained water conditions. In clear water, opt for more natural colors and finesse presentations. In stained water, brighter colors and more aggressive retrieves can be effective. Additionally, in cold water, fish often prefer a slower presentation, while in warmer water, a slightly faster retrieve may trigger more strikes. Adapting your Ned Rig techniques based on the prevailing conditions can greatly improve your success rate.

Tips and Tricks

Importance of finesse and patience

Finesse and patience are key when fishing the Ned Rig. Make slow and subtle movements with the bait, keeping it in the strike zone for longer periods. Avoid imparting too much action to the bait, as the finesse presentation is what often triggers strikes. It's also important to be patient and wait out the bites. Sometimes fish may take their time to commit to the bait, so giving them a few extra seconds can make all the difference.

Setting the hook and fighting the fish

Properly setting the hook and fighting the fish are crucial steps to master when using the Ned Rig. When you feel a bite, resist the temptation to set the hook aggressively. Instead, make a smooth sweeping motion to set the hook firmly. Once hooked, play the fish carefully, avoiding excessive force that can lead to line breaks. Keep steady pressure on the fish and allow it to tire out before attempting to land it.

Fine-tuning your Ned Rig setup

Experimentation is key when fine-tuning your Ned Rig setup. Don't be afraid to try different bait and color combinations to see what the fish are responding to. Pay attention to subtle changes in conditions and adjust your technique accordingly. Being adaptable and willing to make changes can make a world of difference in your fishing success.


Now that you have the ultimate guide to mastering the Ned Rig fishing technique, it's time to hit the water and put your newfound knowledge into action. Remember, the Ned Rig is all about finesse, patience, and adaptability. With the right gear, bait selection, rigging techniques, and strategies, you'll increase your chances of landing that trophy fish. So, go out there, have fun, and enjoy the thrill of Ned Rig fishing!

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