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Alternatives To Mushroom Jig For Ned Rig?

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While I have some gopher tackle mushroom heads coming for Christmas I can't source them locally so they are a slight pain to get. I have been trying some other head styles in the meantime to see what works.

Tried some crappie minnow head jigs which kind of worked but the hooks were very brittle and on the small side. Regular ball head jigs seem ok, but the Zman plastic hair the keeper, I will probably try the live bait version in the future and just glue them on.

I did find a jig I really like, but need to catch a fish on it to be all in on it. The northland fireball jig has a short shank wide gapped hook that seems to work pretty good. I fished it for an hour today on the river and it came free of snags pretty well and I didn't lose one, did have to bend the hook back a couple of times after a snag. I did mis a fish on a tail grab, but the water temp was 38 so not hooking up was more the bite style and not the jig.

The only downside is the smallest size is 1/16 oz and when weighed was actually 1/10 oz. I have started to weigh some jigs and found the weights vary quite a bit so I wasn't surprised by this. In the picture it should be the jig on the top with the trailer hook attachment.

What other styles of jigs for the Ned rig has everyone had success with other than a mushroom head?

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That was a good read, but was looking for different jigs styles that some have used successfully in place of the mushroom head style. The fireball fits it and works well so far, interested in other head styles that have been used that have wider availability. For some reason WI shops don't carry Zman (chatter baits only) or the gopher tackle products, and TW doesn't carry gopher tackle either.

When I run out of stuff like jigs I like to try to give the local shops some buisness instead of ordering everything online

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If you need to get the zman heads in wi, cabelas carries them in the summer time. Not a local business but they usually have them.

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I ran into this problem a lot this year. My local BPS and other stores don't carry a mushroom jig head. Like the OP, I thought the crappie jig heads would do the trick and they were dirt cheap. I cannot street enough that those cheap war eagle jighwads fro mwalmart/dicks are not unstable to bass fishing. The hook breaks right before the bend when fighting fish or when simply bending the hook in/out. I would never use those jighwads again and as such when organizing my terminal tackle box a few weeks ago I threw them all away. Get the original zmanheads from TW, they work better and you aren't going to lose a fish. No one wants to fish all day for one bite and then have that one bite break off bc of an inferior hook. 

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Before I heard of the Ned rig I would cut my torn senkos in half and put it on a small darter jig head, worked it in open water with a slow twitch pause retrieve, the smallies hammered them.

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I thought the purpose of the mushroom head was so that the bait would stand up on the bottom.  Yes? No? 

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I thought the purpose of the mushroom head was so that the bait would stand up on the bottom.  Yes? No? 

With most Midwest Finesse retrieves, the bait never hits the bottom, the only exception would be deadsticking it. I fish a Ned a lot and it rarely touches the bottom. Of all the times I've been on the water the same time as Mr. Kehde, I rarely see him stop moving the bait long enough for it to have a chance to settle to the bottom either.

 

I believe the main reason for the mushroom head is that it fits flush with the bait best, and also is one of the few lightweight, shorter shank jigheads that is suitable for bass fishing (as the OP is discovering). 

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I use a 1/16 football head quite a lot and it works well. I think the mushroom is handy because it gives you a good large surface to glue the bait to. Other than that I don't think it fishes particularly differently to a ball head or football head. I use a 1/16 football head, because I have a mould for it and my mushroom jig mould only goes down to 3/32.

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 my mushroom jig mould only goes down to 3/32.

Just FYI, there's a worm nose mold that goes down to 1/16oz that doesn't have a collar (even easier to glue it to the head). It's the mold I use to pour mine. Just leave out the screw lock, or keep it on if you don't use Zman plastics.

http://store.do-itmolds.com/Worm-Nose-Jig-wScrew-Locbr116-18-316-14-516-38_p_559.html

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Thank you, I hadn't seen that mould before. 

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For years we've been using a small ball head jig with 1/2 Senko or other stick worm threaded on. This was long before we even heard of the ned rig, it was a popular river smallmouth tactic and as Bluebasser86 has stated, it would rarely hit the bottom, actually ours would bounce off the bottom occasionally.  I use a double barb mushroom head, it is actually the Do-it worm nose head and it starts at 3/32oz which is my favorite weight, a little more than 1/16oz but not quite 1/8oz. Anyway, if I need to go with a 1/16 or 1/32 I'll use a ball head and if I need some help with snags I'll make the small 1/16oz ball head with a small weed guard but I think the mushroom head just gives it a seamless look with a large surface area to glue the bait should you need or want to do it.

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I thought the purpose of the mushroom head was so that the bait would stand up on the bottom.  Yes? No?

When I got the Zinker fireball combo close to shore and out of the current it stood on its nose just like a mushroom head. I think there is so much flotation in the plastic that it will float any light jig head.

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With most Midwest Finesse retrieves, the bait never hits the bottom, the only exception would be deadsticking it. I fish a Ned a lot and it rarely touches the bottom. Of all the times I've been on the water the same time as Mr. Kehde, I rarely see him stop moving the bait long enough for it to have a chance to settle to the bottom either.

 

I believe the main reason for the mushroom head is that it fits flush with the bait best, and also is one of the few lightweight, shorter shank jigheads that is suitable for bass fishing (as the OP is discovering).

Thanks for the retrieve tip when I take this thing to the lake, I would have bottom hopped it otherwise. Right now when I fish reasonably fast water that runs 2-3 feet deep I am always bouncing bottom, snagging a lot but catching a lot of smallies and trout.

The only jig I So far that I have tried that may be an option is the fireball jig. With the super short shank the tail of the Zinker had a side to side swim like a swim bait. Also the hook gap is wider than any mushroom heads I have owned. We will see, I will do a comparison between the two next year. I should have a good supply of gopher heads under the in laws Christmas tree

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Another consideration and one I have had good success with would be the Stamina or Lure Parts On Line Barbarian Hook bullet nose jig. I like the hooks and I believe you can get the jigs down to 1/8 ounce. The price is good and the jigs are tough.

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Anybody try these on a swinging football jig with light wire hook? Pretty sure the TRD's from ZMan will float a light hook. 

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dcales, interesting question. I just looked at some swinging jigs I have like you mention. Might be interesting but I think the ones I have are too heavy and the hook is to heavy to make it work. Guess I could hook one up and try it in the sink as I have tried other baits. I will post the results if I do.

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I have been experimenting with the Ned Rig for about a year now, and I have tried many different heads & I am starting to think that the Mushroom style jigheads fit the bait perfectly, the light wire hooks & Light weights of Jighead are what make this bait different when paired with a saltless or broken in Zinkerz cut in half. The TRD is probably the best buy only because they float tail up for most part out of the package and the colors stay vibrant. The half Zinker seems to work better if you soak it in gulp overnight, and then stretch it to break it in. I have found that I do just as well with a few other Jigheads & Modifcations since the Zman jigheads even with a weedguard are not all that weedless here in Florida.

Here are a few rigs I now throw on my medium & medium light spinning real...Both have 15lb Daiwa Samurai Braid (2lb) Diamater in Yellow for watching your line. Quick interesting fact (Half a Zinker without salt will float on the surface with a 1/0 Lightwire Worm Hook, and 8lb Mono leader. (I find I get more strikes in clear water or tanic with 8lb/10lb Triple Fish mono Camo line) Just don't let your knot get near the reel. 6 foot leader is about what I use.

I view the Ned Rig as a concept, Any Elaztach bait seems to catch more fish than if I use a Slider worm and jig side by side. Key is making sure hook is small, light, & tail stays upright. You need some Megastrike gel at all times when your bait is saltless as fish seem to hold it less, but Megastrike fixes that issue & the sponge texture holds it longer than any other brand of scent. Gulp is gone in one cast.

Lazer Trokar Makes a Boxer jighead in 1/16 oz with a #2 hook that is more sturdy but you have a long enough hook shank to texas rig it and use glue. 1/8 oz. are good for Deeper water/faster fall. super glue is a must for texas rigging. I also use small worm hooks offset #4-#1/0 or Gamakatsu Split shot hooks and NEKO rig the Worm with a Nail in the end, and weedless hook in front. It stands 90%.

any Jighead with a hook under 1/0 or #1 lighter wire even a simple ballhead walleye jig head works well. kalins makes a 1/32 & 1/16 Darter head jig which is deadly on the Finesse Shads for suspended fish in brush. they have a weedguard as well. 

I probably now use a 1/32 & 1/16 Bullshot Split shot crimped flush to the bait with a Split shot hook, or Small light wire worm hook most often, & a light nail weight in the end for it to stand. You can slow the rate of fall by adding Silicone Fly Fishing spray on your line, & I get more fish texas rigging a TRD with a really small Worm hook, and 1/32 bullshot flush, or 6" in front for covering water. When the worm is right, without the shot, it will float almost any bare hook like a small zara spook on top. 

The problem with most shaky rigs is the hooks are all 3/0 and larger, but this bait will stand any ballhead jig, Oldham wire guard Tube hook, or even on a darter head it still does the job. I am still experimenting as I have been impressed with all the ZMAN baits which fish rarely see since I doubt most companies like this rig or even hearing about the Turbo Craws as a punch bait since 1 pack lasts forever. If you like to wacky rig a senko, I would encourage anyone to spend $4 and get a pack of 5" Zinkers and simply wacky rig with your favorite hook & I think you will be surprised. If you like to Flip or even Punch a Stick Worm (Popular in heavy weeds)1/16-1/2 Tungsten & Zinker worm broken in will kill em in the cold water if you shake & soak the bait after getting through the weeds after a cold front. 

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3 hours ago, Jim Drinkwater said:

dcales, interesting question. I just looked at some swinging jigs I have like you mention. Might be interesting but I think the ones I have are too heavy and the hook is to heavy to make it work. Guess I could hook one up and try it in the sink as I have tried other baits. I will post the results if I do.

On TWs site I think I saw just the swinging jig head sold separately allowing you to use any hook you want. I am guessing the ones you have don't allow you to change out the hook?

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On 1/16/2016 at 7:59 PM, DCales84 said:

Anybody try these on a swinging football jig with light wire hook? Pretty sure the TRD's from ZMan will float a light hook. 

I did it with a 1/8oz swinging football head with an Owner 2/0 short shank EWG hook, it works.

 

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Owner ultra head round jig head. I'm a hook snob though. Love me some Owners 

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The VMC rugby jigs came to mind after I posted about the swinging football idea. I've used the rugby heads on ZMan finesse worms and they sit straight up. Assuming the TRD's may be able to float them as well. Will have to drop on in the sink to test it out. 

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On Sunday, December 06, 2015 at 1:28 AM, Bluebasser86 said:

With most Midwest Finesse retrieves, the bait never hits the bottom, the only exception would be deadsticking it. I fish a Ned a lot and it rarely touches the bottom. Of all the times I've been on the water the same time as Mr. Kehde, I rarely see him stop moving the bait long enough for it to have a chance to settle to the bottom either.

 

I believe the main reason for the mushroom head is that it fits flush with the bait best, and also is one of the few lightweight, shorter shank jigheads that is suitable for bass fishing (as the OP is discovering).

The best place to find Ned rig jigs is in the KC , Missouri area !

If you don't live there just order the Z-Man Ned Rig Jigs from BPS or similar stores .

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Just now, ChrisD46 said:

The best place to find Ned rig jigs is in the KC , Missouri area !

If you don't live there just order the Z-Man Ned Rig Jigs from BPS or similar stores .

Lots of guys are discovering how cheaply these heads can be made if they already pour baits. They're a pain to pour and even more of a pain to paint, but since the only thing I have to buy is the hooks, they cost me about $.04 apiece to make when I buy my hooks in 1,000 packs. Problem is, you can go through them very quickly and I only like to use the 1/16oz size, which there is only 1 cavity for in the mold, so I sing the Johnny Cash song as I'm pouring them "One Ned at a time". 

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Swing head or small biffle head works good with a cream scounger worm. Floats up and flutters off the bottom beautifully. Caught many fish allready this year including a d.d.

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