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Ned Rig Fishing Guide

Ned rig craw, worm, and creature baits laying on a rock with two ned head hooks

What Is the Neg Rig

The ned rig is an ultra finesse technique that involves a small soft plastic worm, craw, or creature bait rigged on a light mushroom style jig head. It was invented by outdoor writer Ned Kehde, who the technique is now named after. It continues to grow more and more popular as beginners and seasoned anglers alike consistently catch fish with it.

Why It’s So Effective

The ned rig is so effective due to it’s compact size. The small size allows it to entice bass to bite even when they aren’t looking to eat a large meal. It also allows it to be fished on very light line which helps the line remain almost invisible, even when fished very slow.

Largemouth bass caught on a pb&j color ned rig

When to Fish a Ned Rig

The great thing about the ned rig is it can be fished anytime. It’s an extremely effective and consistent bait. Where it really outshines other fishing methods though is during the winter or colder months.

When the water is cold, fish really slow down. They conserve their energy and rarely chase down bait. The slower movement gives them more time to inspect baits and decide whether they want to bite or not. This is where the light line and small hook really helps the ned rig shine.

Another great time to throw a ned rig is in super clear water. In clear water you need downsize your line and hooks in order to keep their visibility low and not scare away bites. Clear water also allows fish to see smaller baits like a ned rig from further distances.

The other time to turn to the ned rig is when you can’t get a bite with anything else. Sometimes bass are finicky and just don’t want to eat, even if you put a bait right in front of their face. The ned rig is great at triggering those finicky bass when nothing else will.

Best Time to Throw a Ned Rig

  • Winter or when the water is colder than normal
  • Clear water
  • When you can’t get bites on anything else

Where to Throw a Ned Rig

The ned rig can be fished just about anywhere and at any depth. When using a ned head with an exposed hook it’s better to stick to open water or near cover. Ned rigs are one of the few baits that work great in flat open bottoms without any cover. Their subtle action stands out in the openness without looking unnatural.

They are also great baits for targeting high percentage areas near cover that are likely to be holding bass. You can make a few casts targeting different angles of the cover and slowly work your ned rig. Once your bait is a few feet away from the cover, quickly reel it back in and cast again or move to the next high percentage area.

If you need to cast into cover, there are weedless ned heads that help reduce hangups. These work fairly well in light cover but I tend to choose other lures for heavier cover.

How to Fish a Ned Rig

The ned rig is a pretty simple technique, there aren’t many ways to do it wrong. It’s a great lure for beginners to start with. The most common mistake is fishing it too fast or over working it.

The speed of which you fish it or how aggressive you fish it depends on the temperature of the water. During the summer, when bass are more active you can fish it much faster. The colder months is when you really need to slow down.

There are two really simple ways to fish it that are very effective. The first is let it sink to bottom, and slowly drag it back by reeling in slowly and pausing every few seconds. With this method you don’t have to do much with your rod tip, the current and water movement will produce the action on the bait.

The other great way to fish a ned rig is to hop them along bottom. To hop them off the bottom give your rod tip 2-3 subtle twitches upwards, then let for your bait to fall back down to the bottom. As your bait falls back to the bottom slowly reel up some of the line slack. You want keep your line slightly slack but not too much where you wont be able to set the hook.

How to Work & Retrieve a Ned Rig

  • Drag along bottom
  • Hop it along the bottom

Gear Up for Ned Rig Fishing

Final Thoughts

The ned rig is a great consistent technique to use when you need bites. It’s great for beginners that just want to a bunch of fish and also tournament anglers who need to catch one more quick fish.

It is also great when the weather is off and the bass are being picky. It is a tried and true fish producing technique. If you aren’t throwing a ned rig then you are missing out.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you tie on a ned rig?

When tying on a ned rig I always use a palomar knot. It is super easy and quick to tie, especially on smaller lures like a ned rig.