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Glaucus

Another SMB question

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So, I'm getting more into the river SMB scene rather than being exclusively a pond and lake LMB guy. I mostly throw Topwaters and small Spinnerbaits. I inquired about inline spinners. Now the Ned Rig... is a 1/10oz head enough to keep bottom contact in a moderately fast flowing river? I'm not fishing in white water rapids, but it also isn't still. The river just moves as a river does. Do I need to get some 1/5oz heads? The river also isn't big. 

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The essence of midwest finesse fishing (ned rigging) is not bottom contact but rather a slow almost drifting retrieve.  I use primarily the smaller (1/15-1/16) heads when stream fishing.  Heavy current may call for slightly heavier.  @Team9ninewill hopefully chime in as he is an authority on this.

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From the sounds of it, it might be too heavy. A lot depends on the depth of water, the amount of current, and how rocky or snaggy the bottom is. Usually a 1/16, 1/20 or 1/32 oz head works best for smallies in small rivers. You typically want your bait to drift and swim just above the bottom much of the time. The type and size of plastics will also play into this. Start with what you have, but don't be surprised if you end up having to go lighter.

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The water is muddy and moves so I got some 1/10oz heads and Junebug color in the 2.5in size. We don't see monster bass. Went with what I thought would be light enough and yet heavy enough, small enough, not huge, and a color good for the water.

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What the guys above posted is exactly right. Keep some of each weight on hand so you can adjust. I also keep some weedless heads around. Fallen trees are prime spots for smallies. You can throw the weedless heads into the branches without snagging. Z-Man only sells weedless heads in 1/10 oz so you may have to look around for lighter ones. I've yet to find that color has made any difference for me.

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19 hours ago, Scott F said:

What the guys above posted is exactly right. Keep some of each weight on hand so you can adjust. I also keep some weedless heads around. Fallen trees are prime spots for smallies. You can throw the weedless heads into the branches without snagging. Z-Man only sells weedless heads in 1/10 oz so you may have to look around for lighter ones. I've yet to find that color has made any difference for me.

1/6 and 1/5 too. The 1/10 is the lightest they have in weedless. So that makes sense. My local little mom and pop farming and outdoors store only had the 1/10oz and 1/5oz, period, and both weedless. These must be what the other locals are using because they take input from the customers on what to stock. I have to have weedless in my river. Lots of wood and things to snag on. Looks like the 1/10 will suit me fine for now. Good to know I don't have to use that heavier size.

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Depending upon the fish activity, flow, depth, and conditions, regardless of whether it's a Ned rig or similar grub/jighead, etc, the weight I'll use can vary from 1/16 to 1/4 oz for a drifting presentation.  Something that helps is to understand that upstream casts and peeling additional slack line will allow the bait to fall freely to the bottom because the biggest part of what's dragging it up in the water column is the tension of your line.  For these types of presentations, I cannot stress enough the value of braid with a FC or copolymer leader.  The braid will allow you to see takes, mend your line to match the current speed to keep your drift closer to the bottom and and keep a more natural presentation.  The best resources you can find on fishing this style are generally fly fishing videos.  Go to youtube and search for topics like "drag free drifting nymphs", "basic nymphing", and "mending fly line".

 

Good luck!

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I use the Ned Rig A LOT in the Detroit River... not a small stream but subject to the same dynamic of a flowing water fishery.  You want just enough weight to keep your bait bumping along bottom; too heavy will invite snags. You can always use a knife to shave off some lead if you're too heavy.

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Bout to head out with the Ned. Side note: threading these TRD plastics is the worst.

Going light. Taking 2 rigged up Neds and 2 3/16oz Spinnerbaits. 

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I've returned. No luck at the river today. It is high, too high for a kayak, and I couldn't get to any good spots. Moves fast. Found a few decent spots where the water was still, but the fish weren't there. Still a good trip because I got to experiment with the Ned Rig and learned a lot about how it works. Eventually I gave up on fishing and watched the way the Ned Rig works in the water with different techniques. 

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On 4/21/2018 at 5:12 PM, Glaucus said:

I've returned. No luck at the river today. It is high, too high for a kayak, and I couldn't get to any good spots. Moves fast. Found a few decent spots where the water was still, but the fish weren't there. Still a good trip because I got to experiment with the Ned Rig and learned a lot about how it works. Eventually I gave up on fishing and watched the way the Ned Rig works in the water with different techniques. 

 

Obviously, safety first, but this can be a really good time to find concentrated fish and hit current seams if you can find a protected spot to position out of the current.  If the water is dirty and high, you can present bigger, louder baits with the same drag free drift technique.  

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I catch a lot of smallmouth on the Potomac River with a TRD rigged on the Owner Ultrahead Finesse Ball Head. The 1/16oz Hook Size 1. I find that presentation tumbles well in current without getting hung up. On light line that will get to the bottom quickly as there is little drag to slow the descent.

 

Owner TRD.jpg

 

As far as dealing with flooded river conditions, check out the approach in this YouTube video.

 

 

 

 

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11 minutes ago, Turtle135 said:

I catch a lot of smallmouth on the Potomac River with a TRD rigged on the Owner Ultrahead Finesse Ball Head. The 1/16oz Hook Size 1. I find that presentation tumbles well in current without getting hung up. On light line that will get to the bottom quickly as there is little drag to slow the descent.

I, too, love that Owner head/hook in current.  Has been best for me, by far, as far as not getting hung up and for getting good hooksets.  And with the wide gap, the plastics you can use on it are endless.

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On 4/24/2018 at 11:46 AM, Turtle135 said:

I catch a lot of smallmouth on the Potomac River with a TRD rigged on the Owner Ultrahead Finesse Ball Head. The 1/16oz Hook Size 1. I find that presentation tumbles well in current without getting hung up. On light line that will get to the bottom quickly as there is little drag to slow the descent.

 

Owner TRD.jpg

 

As far as dealing with flooded river conditions, check out the approach in this YouTube video.

 

 

 

 

I do the same set up but with their darter head. 

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