If someone were to give you only one box of lures you could use for the rest of your life, the last thing you might want thrown in would be the relatively boring-looking Ned rig.
It’s about equivalent to tying a 3-inch oak tree branch on the end of your line and fishing with it.
It has zero action, it looks dead and it appears like it couldn’t catch a fish at Sea World.
But you’d be making a big mistake if it wasn’t included in that box. Ironically enough, the Ned rig arguably catches more numbers of fish than any other lure on a bass pro’s boat.
The rig consists of a light jighead — somewhere between 1/20th to 1/10th ounce — attached to a small stickbait.
Z-Man fishing products has all the components you need for the rig, including their own mushroom-shaped jigheads, as well as their finesse stickbaits, called the Finesse TRD. (TRD supposedly stands for “The Real Deal,” but if you sound it out, well ... you get the idea Z-Man is having a little fun with the name.) The advantage with fishing the TRD over a standard soft stickbait is the TRD floats off the bottom, giving the rig a more realistic presentation.
I’d hate to say the rig is magical, but I have had multiple experiences where I’ve fished every lure in my box, and a Ned rig was the ONLY bait they would touch.
The rig can definitely turn a skunk of a day into a slam.
December is littered with cold fronts, which makes for extremely high pressure, and largemouth like those bluebird days about as much as the average person likes SPAM.
However, the Ned rig shines when NOTHING else will work.
Just cast out and let the lure sink on slack line, where its slow fall and darting action can trigger strikes in the toughest conditions. When it gets to the bottom, it stands straight up, resembling a baitfish feeding nose-down.
This rig is definitely better for quantity than quality, but that doesn’t mean big fish won’t bite it.
The Ned rig is an open-hook presentation, and jigheads used with it have a light wire. This means if you try to rip the fish’s face off when you set the hook, your hook will come back looking like a bent up slinky.
Instead, when the fish bites, simply pull and reel — and the light wire will penetrate the fish’s mouth easily.
The best equipment to fish this on is a medium-light spinning rod with light line. Six to 10-pound fluorocarbon or monofilament gives the bait the best presentation.