How To Fish a Ned Rig: Rigging & Fishing Tutorial

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How to fish a ned rig

This complete guide on how to fish a ned rig will show you everything you need to know, from setting it up to utilizing it on the water effectively. The Ned rig is simple to set up and very efficient at catching fish, particularly for bass fishing.

The Ned rig is a great choice to fish for multiple species; largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and spotted bass.

The Basics of Fishing a Ned Rig

As I said before, the Ned rig is simple to set up and is incredibly popular within the fishing community. It all comes down to a soft plastic bait, usually a short worm or craw, on a jig head hook.

You may hear the term, “ned heads” and this just means a jighead made for ned rigging. Ned rig baits, which are typically short stick baits, are designed to look like the natural movement of something hopping, or perhaps pecking for food along the bottom, which is enticing to bass.

The Best Ned Rig Rods and Reels

Choosing the right equipment is the key to maximizing the potential of Ned Rig fishing. I would opt for a medium light power spinning rod with a fast to extra-fast action. This will give you enough sensitivity to detect bites and enough backbone for a strong hookset.

Pair this with a smaller spinning reel, in the video below I am using a Lew’s size 30 with 6-pound fluorocarbon. The weight of the jighead will depend on water depth and current.

The jighead for a Ned rig will range from 1/16 to 1/4 oz. Shallow, calm water will call for lighter weight, while deeper water with a current will call for heavier weight.

Ned Rig Setup for Bass Fishing

Setting up a ned rig to catch bass involves a few easy steps.

ned rig supplies, z man jigheads

Step One: Gather your supplies

neg rigging a stick bait

Step 2: Thread your ned head through the fatter end of the bait opposite of the tail end

completed senko ned rigged

Step 3: Bring your hook through the bait so that the hook is straight

In this video, I am using a stick bait that I cut in half to a smaller profile for finesse presentations

Techniques and strategies

Ned rigging gives you several options in terms of how you fish for bass with it. The best option is to experiment with your presentation to see what the fish prefer.

  • Shake and Pause: Give the rod a little shake, then pause, then shake again, and repeat this process. Good for light line fishing.

  • Bounce: As you can see in the video below, you can bounce your rig off the bottom as you reel in with small quick lifts of your rod.

  • Dragging: Drag your ned rig along the bottom, then pause and let it sit, then drag again, repeating the process as you reel in. This is good for deep water

  • Seasonal Adjustments: As we covered in our cold water baits article, slow down your ned rig retrieve as bass become lethargic during the winter. During warmer seasons, a more active retrieve can be more productive.

When to use a ned rig

Ned Rigs are effective in clear to moderately stained water. If you’re fishing in water with low visibility this might not be the best option. Remember, this rig is very subtle with a low profile. They work best in waters where bass are less responsive to aggressive baits.

They’re easier to use in calm conditions without wind, however, by using a heavier jighead you can work this rig in windy and tough conditions as well.

You can fish a ned rig with an open hook, or you can use weedless versions if you intend to fish denser cover.

Ned Rigs are great for soft plastic bait in finesse situations, especially in pressured waters where bass are not hitting more flashy and active baits.

However, in situations where more active presentations are needed to get bites, such as in heavy cover or during aggressive feeding periods, other soft plastic rigs may be more effective.

Finesse Fishing Variations

Most anglers use a flat-top mushroom-style jighead to fish this rig because it makes the bait stand up vertically and hop along the bottom, thus giving a good presentation. This comes down to preference, there is also nothing wrong with using a different style jig head.

Additionally, you can fish with a variety of plastic baits, such as craws and baby shad baits.

Time To Fish Your New Rig

To sum it all up, fishing the Ned Rig is unbelievably simple, yet effective. It’s great for low-profile finesse fishing where fish may be a little more finicky and uninterested in active flashy baits. This is especially effective to fish in the winter or during the spawn near bass beds.