Mega Finesse: Ned Rig Principles on Heavier Tackle


Dave Mull reveals valuable information on fishing the popular Ned rig.

Many bass anglers agree that bass, the target of many tournaments and lots of “power fishermen” throwing baits to cover water and get those bass to react, are getting conditioned to not hit the big, brightly colored lures that have worked so well over the years. To be sure, those lures still have their days on even the most pressured reservoirs, and top competitive anglers still know the nuances that help them get strikes with these “in-yo’-face” lures. But the average fisherman might be better off, many times, to toss the lures that act more like a bass’s quiet prey.

Neds are best thrown on light spinning tackle with light-wire hooks and fairly light line. A common set-up is an 8-pound fluorocarbon leader tied to the end of 10-pound test braided line. That means they have limitations when bass are in thick weeds, under pads or ensconced in brush. Most bass will grab the little lure on light line and head back to cover. If a fish has any size at all, you will have big problems stopping the fish from burrowing in and breaking off.     That’s where heavier tackle comes in for lures big and small.

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One of the most obvious examples of a subtle lure fished on heavy tackle is the Carolina rig, consisting of a soft plastic lure fished three to six feet behind a heavy weight. The weight bumps along the bottom, possibly creating some noise that gets a bass’s attention, and along behind it comes a wiggly lizard. Consider this: “French fry” or “Centipede” type lure, neither of which has any wiggle whatsoever while sliding through the water have been among the most popular lures for Carolina rigs. Talk about a finesse lure—those flat, 4-inch lures put out zero extra action while acting like a minnow trying to be discrete.

Longtime bass fans might recall Jack Chancellor winning the 1985 Bassmaster Classic on the Arkansas River, catching most of his fish with a Do-Nothing Worm behind a heavy weight. This lure, which Chancellor designed and manufactured, was straight, 4 inches long and featured two molded-in, fairly small hooks. You cast it and simply dragged it back.

To learn more about fishing the Ned rig, look for Dave Mull’s full article in the September Issue of MidWest Outdoors magazine, available now at the newsstand or by subscribing on our website.