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ned rig 101: the best ned rigging tips on the internet

Ned Rig 101: The Best Ned Rigging Tips On The Internet

The ultimate ned rig fishing guide for learning proper ned rigging tips.

The Ned Rig has been around for some time but has become very popular in recent years. Often you will hear bass fishermen refer to them as the Midwest finesse rig. This new finesse fishing setup is taking bass industries by storm and breathing new life into the meaning of finesse fishing. Bass anglers all over the world are making ned heads their go-to fishing bait when fishing in rough conditions. No matter how bad things become on the lake or how pressured the largemouth bass are, ned rigs always answer the call. This is often contributed to its amazing action in the water and its sleek small profile perfect for allowing anglers to fish it in ways that mimic nearby food sources. With any excellent bass lure comes the many questions that fishermen have for the proper way for how it should be fished.  These questions need to be answered before anglers will add the bass jig to their fishing tackle box.

We will start with the ned rig basics to get beginner and experienced pros all on the same page.

What Is A Ned Rig?

What is a ned rig

Different Styles of finesse jigs for fishing.

To better understand this type of fishing rig, it is best to start at the beginning as to where it originated.  Ned Kehde is the founder and godfather of this type of finesse bass fishing. He was very successful when fishing the waters throughout Kansas City. The Ned Rig was born from the Chuck Woods Beetle spin, another iconic bass lure, without the spinner arm. This modified lure was created to hold small plastic Senko worms. He never dreamed it would catch as many fish as it does. The Ned jig head was designed to be simple. Often as bass anglers, we think complicated and flashy will catch more fish. That usually is not the case. The ned rig is a simple mushroom head jig that is relatively light weights. They usually range from 3/32oz all the way up to 1/4oz. The shroom jig head is made to hold a small soft plastic usually no bigger than three inches. Over time there have been some modifications to the hooks. The original neds featured a light wire hook while new age ned rigs have an EWG hook perfect for making the rig weedless. Other than that there is not much to it. Simple is better when it comes to the ned rig.

The movement they make in the water attracts fish to the setup. The ned allows for movement of your soft plastic while providing one of a kind action in the water. Do not be a doubter on this type of finesse fishing. They truly work! Keep it light and keep it simple when ned rig fishing. Fish it confidently for largemouth bass and smallmouth bass.  


How To Rig A Ned Rig?

How to rig our shroom EWG weedless ned to catch bass.

Before you can fish ned style jig heads you have to know how to rig it. The simplicity of the rig makes it an easy set up. Simply tie your ned jig head to your line. Pick the appropriate weight you want for the type of fishing you will be doing. Thread the soft plastic over the shank of the hook and you are ready to go fishing. It is that simple yet effective for catching bass. This is a very lightweight set up so you want to have the proper fishing gear. Do not use your catfish fishing rod with a 30lb test on it. It's too big to fish the neds. Have a separate pole and dedicate it to being your finesse rod. Your ned rig setup will be a medium-light action rod with a spinning reel with monofilament line or fluorocarbon that is 4 to 6-pound test. You want to be able to feel every bump on the bottom or nibble of a fish. Going lightweight will ensure you have total feel over your setup. 

Compies have jumped on the bandwagon and have developed products that are specifically made for finesse bass fishing. Their lines of soft plastics and jig heads are made for the ned technique and will help you catch more fish. Zman is a company that comes to mind who has done well with the Zman ned style of fishing. They came out with the "man finesse shroomz" jigheads as well as the "Finesse TRD" stick baits. Pairing these together makes for deadly moving baits combination anglers love to fish. There are many companies jumping on the ned rig bandwagon and offering great products bass anglers have grown to love. New ideas have sparked variations to the traditional rig. Crafting a jig head with weed guards is one of those. Weedless ned rigs are a great jig for fishing in grassy situations. At Hunting and Fishing Depot we have taken the original concept and have made it better with our shroom EWG Ned jigheads. Our one of a kind jig heads features a VMC hook with an extra-wide gap that will improve your hook up ratios and catch you more fish. They come in over 15+ of the best ned rig colors ensuring there is a color to pair with any of your soft plastics. There are many other companies that have soft plastics to pair like Lunkerhunt, Strike King, Yamamoto, and more.

How To Fish Ned Rig?

ned rig catching largemouth bass

Find success with bass fishing by knowing how to fish ned rigs.

One of the most common questions I am asked when talking to bass fishermen is, "What is the proper way to fish the ned rig?" Because it is such a simple fishing rig it is also a very easy rig to fish. A beginner angler can fish it successfully and catch fish. All you have to do is cast it out into the water. Let the ned rig fall completely to the bottom. From there, with a slow retrieval, bump it along the bottom and attract nearby bass to strike with a reaction strike. The movement of the plastic as your retrieve it will do all the work.

The soft plastic baits being used with the ned rig are made to float. No your bait will not float up to the top of the water column. This means that the free-floating parts will float up off the bottom. This gives it a more realistic look in the water. Crawfish will look like they are in a defensive position, gobies will look like they are sitting in a hole looking out, worms will look like the are wiggling out of the bottom, it is these presentations that bass will love when bottom feeding.

how to fish a ned rig in certain water conditions

Knowing how to fish a ned rig in certain water conditions yields bass

Another great feature of ned rigs is they can be fished anywhere. No matter the type of bottom you are bass fishing, neds will produce fish. A rocky bottom seems to be the most commonplace to use them. Bumping them along the rocks is guaranteed to attract fish to your rig. Another thing you often hear with ned fishermen is when the fish are shut down, fish a ned rig. Often times when the bass is not hitting on anything else you are throwing, they will hit a ned. This is what makes this finesse rig so popular. They are the go-to bass lure for tough conditions like cold winter water when the bass are shut down. 

Another thing an angler must consider when fishing a ned rig is the hook set. If you are using a light wire finesse hook then you must baby the hookset. Do not set the hook hard like your life depends on it. You will lose a monster bass every single time. Many of your hookups will come on the fall after casting your bait. Simply start reeling the retrieval in for hookup or use a sideways sweeping motion to set the hook. When finesse fishing you have to coax the bass in for the retrieval. Give a little and let him wear itself out while keeping constant pressure on the line to avoid a hook popping loose. There is nothing worse than having a monster bass hooked and it spits the lure. Make the ned your new favorite power fishing technique and master it to become a better bass angler.  

There are several great techniques as for how you should be fishing a ned rig according to Ned Kehde:

bass fishing ned technique swim and glide

Bass fishing technique: swim and glide.

1) Swim, Glide, and Shake Technique: This is the perfect method for when fish are feeding more aggressively. This is the most common way to fish the traditional ned rigs. Cast out the rig, let it sink to the bottom, and simply retrieve it by reeling it in. I am sure you are wondering where the shaking comes into the method. According to the finesse fishing godfather, shake the rod when the bait is falling to the bottom. This will give the bait more action in the water attracting more fish. When starting the retrieval shake the rod lightly to give the bottom bump more movement.

straight swim ned fish technique

Ned Rig Fishing Technique: Straight Swim 

2) Straight Swim Technique: This method is as simple as it sounds. Use a ned rig soft plastic that has some sort of tail like action. Cast out the lure, keep your rod tip down and retrieve at a slow pace. This is the perfect method for fishing around aquatic vegetation and grass beds.


ned fishing rig drag and shake

Ned fishing rig technique: drag and shake.

3) Drag and Shake Technique: Ned Kehde has deemed this method for when fishing is tougher than normal due to unfavorable conditions. This is another simple yet effective method. Simply cast it our and slow retrieval it across the bottom. Shake the tip of your rod to give it more motion in the water. This is another effective way of fishing the ned rig. 

fishing ned rig drag and deadstick

Fishing ned rig technique: Drag and Deadstick

4) Drag and Deadstick Technique: When bass are lethargic and lack normal movement patterns, the drag and sit method is one all anglers should incorporate. On a rocky or muddy bottom simply drag the ned rig and let it sit for 10 seconds. Often time the bass will see the movement and come eat it on the sit. When you start reeling again you will have a fish on the line. Another great time to use this technique is when the waters cool down. The fish will be slower so using a slower retrieval will work.

fishing a ned rig hop and bounce

Fishing a ned rig with the hop and bounce method.

5) Hop and Bounce Technique:


This method is the perfect way to fish the ned rig when there are a lot of crawfish around. By using a craw soft plastic you can mimic the movements they make on the bottom. It will resemble a freeing crayfish to nearby bass. This method is pretty simple. Simply cast out and let the bass lure settle onto the bottom. Once it has sat for a few seconds, reel it a couple of times and let it settle back onto the bottom. This fleeing motion will entice nearby fish resulting in more hookups when they are feeding on aquatic crustaceans.

how to fish a ned rig for bass

Bass Fishing with the stroll technique.

6) Stroll Technique: The stroll is a modified way of trolling with your trolling motor. This is one of Ned Kehde's favorite was of covering large flats when fishing for bass. All you do is cast out your bass bait, and let it settle to the bottom. Allow for the trolling motor to pull it along the bottom until it is directly behind the boat. Repeat this over and over to cover bass beds on flats.

As you can see there are a ton of great ways to fish it, whichever you chose will result in fish being caught. Try each ned technique and figure out what works best for you. 

What Weight Jig Head To Use For Ned Rig?

best jig head weight for your weedless ned rig

The best jig head weight for your weedless ned rig

Ned heads are made to be lightweight and provide the right moves in the water. You will never see a really heavy jig head when fishing this kind of rig. The most common weights you will see anglers use are 3/32oz, 1/8oz, 5/32oz, 3/16oz, and 1/4oz. The deeper you are fishing, the heavier the weights they will require. Getting your rigs to sink quickly to the bottom will allow you to feel every little thing. Casting into the wind on a windy day may also be another reason anglers opt for a heavier ned. 

Bass and Small Mouth Bass often will pick your bait up off the bottom. If you are using a lightweight jig sometimes you can miss this. When you lose contact with the bottom while ned fishing, start reeling because a fish has it in its mouth. No matter which size you choose will be angler preference. Have a go-to weight for different conditions and master the art of fishing with a ned rig.

What Size Hook For Ned Rig?

Ned Rig Hooks

Ned Hooks size matters for landing your next monster bass.

When it comes to ned rigs the hooks are often small. They could be called crappie jigs with how small they are in comparison to bass jigs. Common light wire hook sizes are #1 and #2 which are found in traditional Neds. Using finesse baits, you will get more bites using a light wire hook and will be more effective when bass fishing. The way the bait stands up in the water is imperative for how well the jig works. If the hook is too big it can weigh it down and not allow for it to stand up properly. There is a balance to the rig and having a smaller hook keeps it looking natural in the water. If you want to be impressed with a small hook, the ned rig founder Ned Kehde uses a tiny size 6 hook.

shroom ewg ned rig jig heads

Best ned jig head on the market for weedless bass fishing.

When it came to our shroom EWG neds we chose a 2/0 VMC hook. Its small size is perfect for any type of bass fishing and holds up well with the biggest bass. Its wide gap allows for a perfect hook set every time and makes it a weedless ned rig. They are perfectly balanced and provide anglers with the best bait action and lift for any bass jigs on the market.

What Rod Do I Use For A Ned Rig?

Ned Rig Rod

The ned rod every angler should be fishing with.

One of the most expensive parts of fishing is the rod and reel. This style of finesse fishing requires your setup to have ultimate sensitivity. You want to be able to feel everything that happens on the bottom with your rig. A general rule is you want an all-around good finesse set up that is a med-light sensitivity. A good size rod is the 6'6" to 7'0" with a 1000 to 2000 size reel. If your budget doesn't matter than the ultimate ned rod would be one of the Loomis MagLight/XFast spinning rods or a Lews ned rod. We know most anglers fish on a budget so we have our favorite budget rod too. The Shakespeare Ugly Stik Lite Pro Spinning Rod or something similar is the perfect bass fishing rod that is affordable to all anglers. If you want to pair a one of a kind spinning reel onto your new rod then get a Canyon Reels 2000 Backwater. If you have any additional rod or reel concerns, feel free to check out our fishing rod guides and our fishing reel buying guide.

Ned Rig Worms

Ned worms paired with your weedless rig is a deadly combination.

You want to be fishing with the best-made bass jigs on the market. This is why you should only be buying American made fishing products. This is why at Hunting and Fishing Depot we are changing the finesse fishing world one jig at a time. The finesse rig is a rigging type that all bass anglers should be able to use effectively. They catch fish no matter the conditions. If you have any questions or concerns, then leave a comment below or email us at Maybe you have other ned rig tips; please share them with the community by commenting below. Send us all your bass fishing or ned rig pictures to be featured on our social media pages. We hope this ultimate ned rig fishing guide will answer all your questions and give you the needed tips to help you catch your next monster bass. 

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Bob Dye - June 10, 2023

Frist timer never used it but want 2 learn how?

Arthur Ament - June 10, 2023

Great article. Spot on. Been fishing ned rig for a couple of years. Caught my biggest smallie on it. 5.5lbs.

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