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RealtreeByGod

What's even so special about the Ned Rig

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I believe the mushroom head for Ned has a much smaller hook size meant for finesse hook sets. (Reel set.) It also has a flat portion next to the bait that helps prevent the worm from sliding down the hook while fishing thru rocks and sticks. You can super glue it there for even better protection. 

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The mushroom head has a flat bottom side so a small stick worm with a blunt end sits flush with the bottom side of the jig. When it sits flush it slides through sparse grass and over rocks much easier without getting pulled down as Bass Turd has already mentioned. I like using a mushroom style head for Ned rigging the small stick worms but I like using a little 2.75" creature bait called a Yabby on a 1/16oz football jig. The reason is because with the small stick worm I'm using mostly moving retrieves that the bait is either above the bottom or just touching occasionally. With the Yabby it is the opposite, I'm drag it on the bottom, small distances but it is still on the bottom so the small football head works well. I used the small stick worms with light ball head jigs as well with good results and I'd say if you don't like the mushroom style head then by all means use the ball head, the mushroom is popular because that is what was preferred by Midwest finesse anglers.

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I jumped on the bandwagon 3 years ago. The TRD finesse jig head pairs perfectly with the Zman finesse 2.75" plastic as was stated by Bass Turd in the prior post and the hook size, although relatively small, hooks and holds fish. This lure will catch just about anything that is swimming around wherever you are bass fishing.  I have found, in most cases, the fish are hooked in the front of the mouth and even when I hook a toothy critter such as a pickerel, I seldom get bit off.

Take a look at the various pictures I have posted of LMB,SMB, pickerel and lake trout that were caught on this bait.

 

I fish out of a kayak and don't have any electronics, yet I still manage to do pretty well because I use this rig whenever the conditions allow.  I went out with my neighbor last year in his canoe and he had never caught a bass in his life and he managed to catch some with this.

 

Also, the Zman plastic is indestructible and you could literally catch dozens of fish on this set up (my record is over 80 before I was bit off).  You will get bit off or hung up and break off before you will need to change out the plastic.  There are certainly many other lures to use but I am a big fan of this one.

 

Edit - Note: that even though most fish are hooked in the front of the mouth, I still crimp the barb down in case one takes it deep, so the fish can be easily unhooked.  These hooks are needle sharp and will still hold.  

I remembered this point after reading the post below by smalljaw67 - "To make it even better he pinches the barb down and still catches fish with it"

Edited by RichPenNY
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I even used it successfully this year (I know I said I wouldn't buy it after the whopper plopper fiasco). It does indeed catch fish. 

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Ball head jigs in the 1/8oz size and smaller are typically for panfish and have hooks that are too small for bass. The Z-Man mushroom heads have larger hooks. Ball head jigs also have molded in barbs that will not hold elaztech plastics like Z-Man's TRD. Small, light, ball heads can be used with other plastics and you can save money on the heads. I prefer the Z-Man plastics because they float and they will stand up when fished and because they are so durable.

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5 hours ago, RealtreeByGod said:

What does the mushroom jig head do that a regular ball head couldn't accomplish? 

Not a ton. If they made a ball head jig with a larger hook it's the same dang thing. Both bore me to tears (don't tell the Ned rig cult, they'll get me in my sleep).

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I don't do well on the Ned.  I have only used it in very muddy water. I like the concept, though.

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The mushroom head sits against the bait nicer, but a ball head works just fine too. I started out using a ballhead and caught a ton of fish with them before I started pouring my own mushroom heads. 

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10 hours ago, Scott F said:

Ball head jigs in the 1/8oz size and smaller are typically for panfish and have hooks that are too small for bass. The Z-Man mushroom heads have larger hooks. Ball head jigs also have molded in barbs that will not hold elaztech plastics like Z-Man's TRD. Small, light, ball heads can be used with other plastics and you can save money on the heads. I prefer the Z-Man plastics because they float and they will stand up when fished and because they are so durable.

The guy who the rig is named after, Ned Kehde , uses the Gopher Tackle Mushroom Heads in 1/32oz with a size #6 and a size #4 hook. To make it even better he pinches the barb down and still catches fish with it, the key is to use light line, rods and reels and a loose drag. Because small ball heads use smaller hooks doesn't really matter. If one wants a small ball head with a larger hook, well they are easy to find as a lot of custom guys make them, I pour 1/16oz ball heads with a 3/0 hook for fishing large grubs and finesse swimbaits in shallow water. I will agree that up until about 5 years ago, maybe a little longer, it was rare to see a 1/16oz ball head with anything over a size #6 hook but they are pretty common today and even with a #6 you can still catch bass pretty good as long as your tackle is light enough.

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I became a believer when I had one of my best days ever on it this Spring, even though I broke off the biggest one and one other when I got wrapped around timber. I got back to the ramp and everyone was talking about how slow the bite was.  That little light went off in my my head and I knew it was the real deal. That's also the day I decided to switch to straight braid and haven't broke off since.

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17 hours ago, RealtreeByGod said:

What does the mushroom jig head do that a regular ball head couldn't accomplish? 

Midwest Finesse (Ned rig) is part history relived and part practical application, and that's why the mushroom head jig was the original jighead used. The history part dates back to the 1970s, with Ned being given the Gopher mushroom head jigs by Ron Lindner.

 

The practical part is that "jig worming," often with a mushroom head and soft plastic was a big part of upper Midwest finesse fishing back in the 70s, 80s and even early 90s. Think of the mushroom head as a Weeble (if you're old enough). Using a light mushroom head jig and 4-7" soft plastic (ribbontail worms and Power worms were popular options) on a spinning rod and 8# line, you could fish the cabbage and coontail weedline on natural lakes with the open hook design. The light mushroom head fell weight first, followed by the plastic, and would actually sit/land on the weeds, not sink into them. The open hook would catch leaves, but could easily be snapped off and out of them, triggering bites. If no bites came, the jig landed softly further down the weedline and the process was repeated. Ned still fishes this way extensively through the winter and early spring on the mud flats of Kansas where cabbage and coontail emerge every year with the rig.

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I really got onboard with the NED rig this year as I have put a focus on finesse fishing this season. Doing most of my fishing from shore, it's a very quick to rig and effective finesse fishing tactic and it's effective in shallow water. The thin hooks allow for a very small and lightweight jighead that can be fished on 6lb test, and the flat head means the TRDs fit snug against it and as a result, a single TRD last for many fish. The flat head also helps with the action.

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Nothing, I had always had one rigged on the trip I just got back from, and caught a few fish early on in the day right after sun up when they didn’t want a big bait, but after that a menace grub on a slider head would get ten bites to one on the Ned rig. 

 

This week taught me that the Ned rig is just another tool in my box and there are many times it will be ignored by bass. I did try and really like the robo Ned worm, not the most durable, but I like the colors. Also has the bonus it can sit in the same box as my rigged up menaces. 

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I have tested in shallow water. When hopping a ned rig, the mushroom head has a better tendency to finish balanced and sticking up. This mimics baitfish feeding off of the bottom. A typical ball head will land that way, but then lay down.

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