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William Rossi

"True" NED Rig

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I know what a NED rig is but lets see how others feel about this.

The original "True" NED rig is a light (1/16 or so) mushroom head light wire hook with a Zman TRD.

What if the bait is changed to lets say, a 2.5-3" tail portion of a stick bait.

Or a regular ball head jig is used.

Or both. Is it still considered a NED rig?

I know it's not branded or trademarked but would this be similar to calling a generic soft stickbait a Senko?

 

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An actual "true" Ned rig is about half of a Zman ZinkerZ or Strike King Zero. The TRD is a very new bait on the scene and was only introduced to capitalize on the Ned rig rush. 

I've spoken with Ned on several occasions as we fish many of the same waters. A basic definition to him is a light mushroom head jighead (no larger than 3/32oz), with a small, lightwire hook, with a small soft plastic, no larger than 4" in length. So with that basic definition, any small soft plastic on a light mushroom head would be considered a Ned rig.

I've used a ball head on many occasions in my early Ned rig ventures as well as half of a soft plastic stick worm or 3" Senko. It works, but it's not nearly as efficient or "frugal", which is another main aspect of Midwest Finesse, because you go through so many baits versus the Zman baits. Ned often talks about and tries other soft plastics in his blog, but none have ever replaced the Zman baits for that main reason. 

To me, it's no longer a "true" Ned rig once you start getting heavy heads, (it's a no feel technique). Large, heavy wire hooks are a no-no (it kills the action of the baits and makes hooking fish on light tackle more difficult). Changing the rigging (such as on a small shakyhead or T-rig), also kills the subtle action of the bait and can't be fished correctly for many of the Midwest Finesse retrieves. None of this means you can't still be effective with these changes, it's just no longer a Ned rig in my eyes. I look at it as bass fishermen being unable to wrap their heads around the concept of the rig and technique. We always have to feel everything, detect every bite ASAP, and hammer the hook home, none of which fits into the Midwest Finesse frame of mind. The unwillingness to adapt really kills the effectiveness of the bait and technique for a lot of people who think it's just a jigworm or shakyhead. I'm alright with that frame of mind though, just leaves more fish for me when I'm fishing it :) 

 

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I will add to the whole lack of feel that Blubasser86 points out because in my eyes, that is one true separation point in finesse fishing.  I took my nephew fishing yesterday and we were using a 1/15 oz head and a Hulastickz with about a 1/2 ripped off of it to make it shorter.  I knew that we would be pushing our luck trying to get fish on a day without a cloud in the sky in the middle of the afternoon right after a high pressure system hit.  We caught 11 small bass and one crappie.  We only felt a bite on the crappie and one bass.  The rest of the bass were caught by watching the line move, and it was subtle movement at that.  Finesse fishing certainly isn't frog in the pads fishing. 

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9 hours ago, William Rossi said:

I know what a NED rig is but lets see how others feel about this.

The original "True" NED rig is a light (1/16 or so) mushroom head light wire hook with a Zman TRD.

What if the bait is changed to lets say, a 2.5-3" tail portion of a stick bait.

Or a regular ball head jig is used.

Or both. Is it still considered a NED rig?

I know it's not branded or trademarked but would this be similar to calling a generic soft stickbait a Senko?

 

The bait can change, but Elaztech is preferred for the reasons Clayton mentioned. I have seen various other baits used, but I  currently have 8 different Elaztech baits that I rig on a Ned. They are all 4" or less and get shortened to about 3", except the Finesse ShadZ. I run a jig no heavier than 1/15, but prefer 1/16 and yes, I can tell the difference. My Ned rod is currently holding a TRD in New Money on a Do-It 1/16 jig. This rig has caught 25+ fish now and shows no signs of stopping, a little Pro Cure will be rubbed on when I go out next.

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9 hours ago, Bluebasser86 said:

An actual "true" Ned rig is about half of a Zman ZinkerZ or Strike King Zero. The TRD is a very new bait on the scene and was only introduced to capitalize on the Ned rig rush. 

I've spoken with Ned on several occasions as we fish many of the same waters. A basic definition to him is a light mushroom head jighead (no larger than 3/32oz), with a small, lightwire hook, with a small soft plastic, no larger than 4" in length. So with that basic definition, any small soft plastic on a light mushroom head would be considered a Ned rig.

I've used a ball head on many occasions in my early Ned rig ventures as well as half of a soft plastic stick worm or 3" Senko. It works, but it's not nearly as efficient or "frugal", which is another main aspect of Midwest Finesse, because you go through so many baits versus the Zman baits. Ned often talks about and tries other soft plastics in his blog, but none have ever replaced the Zman baits for that main reason. 

To me, it's no longer a "true" Ned rig once you start getting heavy heads, (it's a no feel technique). Large, heavy wire hooks are a no-no (it kills the action of the baits and makes hooking fish on light tackle more difficult). Changing the rigging (such as on a small shakyhead or T-rig), also kills the subtle action of the bait and can't be fished correctly for many of the Midwest Finesse retrieves. None of this means you can't still be effective with these changes, it's just no longer a Ned rig in my eyes. I look at it as bass fishermen being unable to wrap their heads around the concept of the rig and technique. We always have to feel everything, detect every bite ASAP, and hammer the hook home, none of which fits into the Midwest Finesse frame of mind. The unwillingness to adapt really kills the effectiveness of the bait and technique for a lot of people who think it's just a jigworm or shakyhead. I'm alright with that frame of mind though, just leaves more fish for me when I'm fishing it :) 

 

This.  The original "ned rig" was half of a Zinkerz or half of a Zero (they are the same bait, both are made by z-man but the zero is sold by strike king) on either a 1/32 ounce mushroom jig with a #6 hook, a 1/16 ounce mushroom head on a #4 hook, or occasionally a 3/32 ounce mushroom head on a #2 hook.  Many of the new comers to Ned rigging are now using a trd instead of half of a zinkerz, but I still almost exclusively use zinkerz's because they are much softer and have a better wiggle than a TRD.  You also get twelve half's of zinkerz's for the same price as eight trd's, so they are also cheaper in addition to being more effective.

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Thanks for the insight on the origin and the tips. 

Here is what I use. These are 1/16 with a #1 hook. I inject my own plastics so use the 5" stickbait mold with plain soft plastic and no sinking additive. 

DSCN3403_zpsweuqre0h.jpg

We do really well with it and it skips great under docks.

I call it a NED rig but that is not correct terminology I guess. My buddy calls it the "Turd" rig, so maybe that's what it will be called LOL

I dont understand why the mushroom head is so important or different.

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3 hours ago, William Rossi said:

Thanks for the insight on the origin and the tips. 

Here is what I use. These are 1/16 with a #1 hook. I inject my own plastics so use the 5" stickbait mold with plain soft plastic and no sinking additive. 

DSCN3403_zpsweuqre0h.jpg

We do really well with it and it skips great under docks.

I call it a NED rig but that is not correct terminology I guess. My buddy calls it the "Turd" rig, so maybe that's what it will be called LOL

I dont understand why the mushroom head is so important or different.

Haha, got to love the Turd Rig! The flat head on the mushroom jigheads allows the different baits to sit flush against against the jighead. All of Z-Man's finesse baits are made with this flat head for this reason. Using ElaZtech is also key due to its buoyancy. Z-Man's baits stand up off the bottom and do an awesome job of looking like a crawfish in defense.

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15 hours ago, Bluebasser86 said:

Changing the rigging (such as on a small shakyhead or T-rig), also kills the subtle action of the bait and can't be fished correctly for many of the Midwest Finesse retrieves.

I agree with everything else but this.  I had a ton of luck this last season with small (1/16oz - 1/0) shakyhead jigs and short plastics, fished with most of the Midwest Finesse retrieves.   The Keitech Sexy Impact/Keitech shakyhead combo was the real standout, it has almost as good a hook up ration as an exposed hook Ned and seem to get bit about as often.

eLyAvFml.jpg

Where it fails hard is the "frugality" of the MWF system.  I get maybe two fish per plastic and I feel every lost jighead in my heart. 

I keep trying to work out a "perfect" weedless Ned, but the elaztec works against this.  It is so stretchy, especially a worn-in zlinker, that the hook has trouble popping out.  The Owner Ultra Heads work very well, but still have a noticeably lower hook up ratio.  

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7 hours ago, William Rossi said:

Thanks for the insight on the origin and the tips. 

Here is what I use. These are 1/16 with a #1 hook. I inject my own plastics so use the 5" stickbait mold with plain soft plastic and no sinking additive. 

DSCN3403_zpsweuqre0h.jpg

We do really well with it and it skips great under docks.

I call it a NED rig but that is not correct terminology I guess. My buddy calls it the "Turd" rig, so maybe that's what it will be called LOL

I dont understand why the mushroom head is so important or different.

Like @LikeDaBass said, one of the three main reasons is that it is easier to glue the bait onto a mushroom head jig because of the increased surface area.  Also another reason is that a mushroom jig has a slightly slower fall than a ball head jig, its not a lot but it does make a difference.  And finally, it snags less than ball head jigs because it is less apt to fall into small crevices in rocks where the ned rig is often fished.

While i'm sure that rig catches plenty of bass, I would highly recommend giving half of a zinker-z on a 1/15 or 1/20 ounce shroom-z jig head a chance.  I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how many more bass it catches than your current rig, elaz-tech is much softer and more boyant than plastisol so it has a shimmy in the water like no other plastic.  You will also find that you have to replace the bait much less frequently than with regular plastics, I average roughly 50-75 bass per half of a zinker-z and my record is 108 bass on a single 2.5 inch piece of a zinker.

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Personally I have come to like the Northland 1/16 fireball jig better than a mushroom head because of the short shank wide gap hook. Also the short shank allows the bait to wiggle more than the longer shank mushroom head. In the picture it is the jig on the bottom.

As for plastics, I use Zinkerz and TRDs when fish are feeding on craws since it stands up. I go with skinnier salted standard plastics when they are targeting baitfish. There is a place for both in my box. 

image.jpeg

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4 hours ago, cgolf said:

Personally I have come to like the Northland 1/16 fireball jig better than a mushroom head because of the short shank wide gap hook. Also the short shank allows the bait to wiggle more than the longer shank mushroom head. In the picture it is the jig on the bottom.

As for plastics, I use Zinkerz and TRDs when fish are feeding on craws since it stands up. I go with skinnier salted standard plastics when they are targeting baitfish. There is a place for both in my box. 

image.jpeg

The downside to a wide gap hook with a Ned rig is it has a tendency to snag much more often. The Zman baits are almost like a tube that collapses when a fish strikes, allowing the hook to clear the plastic. I've not fished a Fireball jighead in years but it's listed as a 1/0 hook, but the short shank may be much shorter than a typical 1/0. The standard mushroom head has no larger than a #2 hook and down to a #6, which would be much smaller. I'm not sure which mushroom heads you've used, The Zman Shroomz head has a pretty large hook on them it seems to me. So if those are the ones that you've tried, you might want to find someone that pours their own or find another brand with a smaller hook and give them a try. Siebert just got the new MIdwest Finesse mold if you ever order from him. No gluing and no baits sliding down the hook with the keepers on those heads.  

 

The reason for the mushroom head is basically like others have said. It sits more flush with the bait, which will affect the fall rate and movement of the bait. Also, lots of the lakes in NE KS that Ned fishes often have sparse vegetation. The mushroom head sitting flush to the bait makes it a little less likely to pick up weeds because they can't wrap in the space left under the head between the bait. The flat head is nice for gluing, but Ned does not glue any of his baits, so that was not originally a reason for the flat head. The Gopher heads the Ned uses were also one of the best options for a light weight head that came with a better quality hook than most light weight ball heads. 

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Bluebasser86 is obviously a master of this and I agree with him 100%. 25 years ago we fished a rig similar in the Susquehanna and Juniata rivers, it was a 1/16oz ball head jig with a small light wire hook with either a 3" Kalins grub with most of the tail cut off or 1/2 of a 5" Senko. We used it when the fish were really off and it would be the best way to pick up fish but it is a slow way to fish. The NED rig is a better version as it is more refined than what we did but when I hear guys saying they are bending hooks out, well you are hurting yourself because the tackle you are using is too heavy. It is just like guys wanting a head with a weed guard, if your head is digging into weeds and bottom hard enough for a weed guard, you aren't fishing a NED rig but  more like a jig worm and there is a difference. I had a person tell me they needed a super stout hook to bring a fish in fast because he was fishing tournaments, well the NED rig isn't what I would call a tournament technique, it falls through the water column slow, almost suspending slow, and when it hits the bottom you move it slow, anything faster than a slow crawl and the jig gets too high in the water. So for me, the anything with a heavy hook or any jig over 1/8oz is basically a jig worm or shaky head, and after trying a few different presentations I can honestly say, the lighter the better. I use a 1/8oz head only if I'm in water that is deeper than 15' and then it is only when there is enough wind that it keeps a 3/32oz from ever reaching the bottom. All you need to do is put a heavy hook jig in a worm and watch how it falls and then use the same weight with a light wire hook and you'll notice how much of a difference there is in the fall rate and with the light wire hook you will get a small amount of tail movement, nothing with a heavy wire hook or with a hook that is too long, it is a very specific type of rig.

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10 hours ago, Bluebasser86 said:

The downside to a wide gap hook with a Ned rig is it has a tendency to snag much more often. The Zman baits are almost like a tube that collapses when a fish strikes, allowing the hook to clear the plastic. I've not fished a Fireball jighead in years but it's listed as a 1/0 hook, but the short shank may be much shorter than a typical 1/0. The standard mushroom head has no larger than a #2 hook and down to a #6, which would be much smaller. I'm not sure which mushroom heads you've used, The Zman Shroomz head has a pretty large hook on them it seems to me. So if those are the ones that you've tried, you might want to find someone that pours their own or find another brand with a smaller hook and give them a try. Siebert just got the new MIdwest Finesse mold if you ever order from him. No gluing and no baits sliding down the hook with the keepers on those heads.  

 

The reason for the mushroom head is basically like others have said. It sits more flush with the bait, which will affect the fall rate and movement of the bait. Also, lots of the lakes in NE KS that Ned fishes often have sparse vegetation. The mushroom head sitting flush to the bait makes it a little less likely to pick up weeds because they can't wrap in the space left under the head between the bait. The flat head is nice for gluing, but Ned does not glue any of his baits, so that was not originally a reason for the flat head. The Gopher heads the Ned uses were also one of the best options for a light weight head that came with a better quality hook than most light weight ball heads. 

I will post a picture tonight, but comparing the 1/16 mushroom to 1/16 fireball I am 90% sure the fireball has a shorter shank, maybe the same. It for sure is a stouter hook. 90% of my Ned rig fishing is on moving water with rocks and flat water around reeds. If I am fishing weeds, I use a light slider jig which has served me very well around docks. I do have a lot of gopher mushroom heads, I just end up trying a lot of different stuff and some works and some don't.

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