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NED RIG STRUGGLES w landing big small-mouth


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Hey everyone,

Fished the Ned Rig last year with lots of success, numbers caught were very high once i learned the basics.

My problem was when i would hook into a big 5lb-->6lb++ smallmouth, i would lose prob 70% of them, It seemed repetitive and frustrating. I would always have a little battle before watching them come unhooked. Anything smaller (below 4lb), i could land no problem. (eastern End Lake ontario)

I land 95% of the big ones on the drop shot or any other technique which makes this a nice challenge.

 

I tried lighter hook set vs Heavier hook set, more drag vs less drag. I couldn't find anything that would work, different hooks and baits.

My thoughts are: Trying a different rod power? trying a medium rod with a fast taper.? thoughts?

DO big small mouth maybe over power the ned sometimes or the big ones have harder mouths to penetrate?

My set-up

St Croix Advid X-6'9 Medium Lite, Extra Fast.(spinning)

Shimano Nasci FC 2500-Spinning Reel

15lb braid to 8lb Flourcarbon leader.

Any input?

36.jpg

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I'd say your rig looks solid enough.

If you're getting the hook past the barb on the initial hookset, 

then it becomes all about keeping enough pressure on the fish to keep her pinned without over stressing any aspect of your gear.

I use a 7'6" ML for ned rigs.

Casts them well, has plenty of power to sink the steel

and is sweetly parabolic to keep them pinned up.

This was a decent ned rig fish . . .

https://youtu.be/3OXnPQs0bqQ?t=61

:smiley:

A-Jay

 

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Back reel 

 

granted, most people want to hear their drag so that’s probably not an option. Those bigs make a living coming unhooked 

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6 minutes ago, T-Billy said:

Longer, slower taper ML rod and straight mono. I lose WAY more fish on the ned with braid.

 

 

 

 

 

But mono is cheap so it can’t be good…….

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These jigs for me were a big difference maker for larger smallies... in fact, they are almost a PIA to remove at times. Fish stay pinned: 

 

https://shur-set.com/t/ned-jig

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58 minutes ago, gimruis said:

What mushroom jig head do you use @Dingaling man?

Reins Tungsten Ned Rig Jig Head 1/4oz when deeper then 15ft

and

 mostly Z Man Ned Lockz HD Jig Head 1/10 or lighter.

1 hour ago, A-Jay said:

I'd say your rig looks solid enough.

If you're getting the hook past the barb on the initial hookset, 

then it becomes all about keeping enough pressure on the fish to keep her pinned without over stressing any aspect of your gear.

I use a 7'6" ML for ned rigs.

Casts them well, has plenty of power to sink the steel

and is sweetly parabolic to keep them pinned up.

This was a decent ned rig fish . . .

https://youtu.be/3OXnPQs0bqQ?t=61

:smiley:

A-Jay

 

what a gorgeous fish!!nice one.

i thinking on picking up a rod thats a little more parabolic, maybe the big ones rip a little hole with the harder head shakes vs sticking them. ive tried softer hook sets and reel sets with no luck.

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47 minutes ago, T-Billy said:

Longer, slower taper ML rod and straight mono. I lose WAY more fish on the ned with braid.

 

 

 

 

 

a little more stretch could help with keeping them pinned vs them tearing a little bigger hole, 

1 minute ago, gimruis said:

That's the one I use too

they chew up that ned head up so much, i may try a different rod or try a different line size or mono. Its been a challenge so far, couple good ideas so far.

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18 minutes ago, Dingaling man said:

they chew up that ned head up so much

You're right it does get beat up.  I like it because the plastic stays on better with those "teeth" instead of a wire holder like on most others though.

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I backreel with a Ned, and all spinning gear for that matter. Your setup sounds fine, pretty similar to what I use. Shouldn't take a hard hookset to bury the hook as long as it's small like it should be. In deeper water, you may try a straight fluorocarbon instead of braid. Braid floats, so when you're fishing it on the bottom in deep water on a cast, it's not really a direct connection. With flouro sinking, you get a little better direct connection. Bad thing is you lose some hook setting ability so it may be a wash. I catch a lot of big largemouth on Ned rigs and it's very rare to lose one, can't imagine a big smallmouth being that much different. 

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I don't consider It a hook set with 1/16 Ned's, just pick up rod tip and reel.

That little hook should sink and ideally not tear.

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2 hours ago, Bluebasser86 said:

I backreel with a Ned, and all spinning gear for that matter. Your setup sounds fine, pretty similar to what I use. Shouldn't take a hard hookset to bury the hook as long as it's small like it should be. In deeper water, you may try a straight fluorocarbon instead of braid. Braid floats, so when you're fishing it on the bottom in deep water on a cast, it's not really a direct connection. With flouro sinking, you get a little better direct connection. Bad thing is you lose some hook setting ability so it may be a wash. I catch a lot of big largemouth on Ned rigs and it's very rare to lose one, can't imagine a big smallmouth being that much different. 

Good point with going straight flourcarbon. I do fish a lot of 15ft to 25ft. I've had better luck landing large mouth but there smaller around here. The big ones fight very similar but the smallies seem to dive harder but get much bigger up here then the large mouth. The back reeling sounds like somthing I may have to try out. 

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You don't need to back reel, just set your drag a little lighter and let it do the job.  Less chance for error.  When you feel the fish, give a little slack, then sharp jerk up to set the hook.  Not a really super heavy jerk, just a sharp, fast, moderately powerful jerk.  Then be patient, keep the bend in the rod all the time, and let them tire out.  You don't have messy water, so they have nowhere to go to tangle you.  Most of my smallie problems come when I get too aggressive.  I also fish open water like you have.   I have gone to other jigs with a little heavier wire than the Z man jigs.  Z mans are just too fragile, and a little on the small size for hook size, IMHO.

 

FC or mono will be more forgiving than braid, but I use braid with 14 pound FC leader, about 4 feet, and I land most fish that bite.  You will gain from some stretch, but feeling bites and setting hooks will be more challenging.  

 

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18 minutes ago, MickD said:

You don't need to back reel, just set your drag a little lighter and let it do the job.  Less chance for error.  When you feel the fish, give a little slack, then sharp jerk up to set the hook.  Not a really super heavy jerk, just a sharp, fast, moderately powerful jerk.  Then be patient, keep the bend in the rod all the time, and let them tire out.  You don't have messy water, so they have nowhere to go to tangle you.  Most of my smallie problems come when I get too aggressive.  I also fish open water like you have.   I have gone to other jigs with a little heavier wire than the Z man jigs.  Z mans are just too fragile, and a little on the small size for hook size, IMHO.

 

FC or mono will be more forgiving than braid, but I use braid with 14 pound FC leader, about 4 feet, and I land most fish that bite.  You will gain from some stretch, but feeling bites and setting hooks will be more challenging.  

 

I was thinking about that zman hook, they are pretty small. Any suggestions for a different brand or size? I usually reel set the hook and then loosen the drag after. Maybe I'm not loosening it enough. ? I've tried a soft hook set vs a harder hook set and still seemed to loose them. It's always seems near the boat when they serge. I couldn't figure it out last year. 

32 minutes ago, Bird said:

I don't consider It a hook set with 1/16 Ned's, just pick up rod tip and reel.

That little hook should sink and ideally not tear.

I tried a reel set vs a soft set vs a harder set. Same results, which has me stumped. I might be doing something wrong else wrong. 

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5 hours ago, TnRiver46 said:

But mono is cheap so it can’t be good…….

? LOL. I even use cheap mono. XT and Big Game flat get it done for me.

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13 minutes ago, Dingaling man said:

It's always seems near the boat when they serge.

If this is true, it is not a case of not keeping tension on them, it may be the hook is tearing out.  No need to adjust drag during the fight, set it right and live with it.  Try a heavier hook.  I don't remember right now the brand of jig that I use, but it's a little bigger, heavier, and a heavier hook than Z man.  But not a major difference.  I think you are being too aggressive with them.  Lighter drag setting, drop the rod as they surge, but keep a bend in it.  

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That surge near the boat is exactly why I use backreel.  Why use something “set” like a drag when the fish pulls at different levels of strength/speed throughout the fight? I prefer to be just as dynamic as the fish 

 

too many times in the past during a deep dive next to the boat I was trying to bend down, give the fish line, loosen the drag……… and they pulled loose. When you can reel backwards, you don’t even have to move your feet to play the fish out. No dancing all over the boat pulling out line with your off hand 

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45 minutes ago, MickD said:

If this is true, it is not a case of not keeping tension on them, it may be the hook is tearing out.  No need to adjust drag during the fight, set it right and live with it.  Try a heavier hook.  I don't remember right now the brand of jig that I use, but it's a little bigger, heavier, and a heavier hook than Z man.  But not a major difference.  I think you are being too aggressive with them.  Lighter drag setting, drop the rod as they surge, but keep a bend in it.  

It's always when I get them near the boat. I'll fight with them initially only to loose them near the boat which makes it frustrating since I get to see the size of these big lunkers.  I catch a bunch of the big ones on drop shot or any other technique with ease. It's this ned game that's got me stumped but it's so effective with numbers. 

49 minutes ago, TnRiver46 said:

That surge near the boat is exactly why I use backreel.  Why use something “set” like a drag when the fish pulls at different levels of strength/speed throughout the fight? I prefer to be just as dynamic as the fish 

 

too many times in the past during a deep dive next to the boat I was trying to bend down, give the fish line, loosen the drag……… and they pulled loose. When you can reel backwards, you don’t even have to move your feet to play the fish out. No dancing all over the boat pulling out line with your off hand 

This back reel sounds like somthing I'm gonna have to try out. I've heard and read lots about it. 

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12 minutes ago, Dingaling man said:

It's always when I get them near the boat. I'll fight with them initially only to loose them near the boat which makes it frustrating since I get to see the size of these big lunkers.  I catch a bunch of the big ones on drop shot or any other technique with ease. It's this ned game that's got me stumped but it's so effective with numbers. 

This back reel sounds like somthing I'm gonna have to try out. I've heard and read lots about it. 

There are lots of threads on here about it, the search function might turn up several. They usually get heated and shut down haha. At any rate, the boat side surge from smallmouth is a fun problem  to deal with 

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1 hour ago, MickD said:

don't remember right now the brand of jig that I use, but it's a little bigger, heavier, and a heavier hook than Z man.

Just to be clear, are you referring to the  Zman nedlockz jig heads or the original versions? The original ones are junk. They are light wire hooks and bend out. The nedlockz ones are much heavier gauge and have teeth that hold the plastic on.

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21 minutes ago, gimruis said:

Just to be clear, are you referring to the  Zman nedlockz jig heads or the original versions? The original ones are junk. They are light wire hooks and bend out. The nedlockz ones are much heavier gauge and have teeth that hold the plastic on.

The newer ned lockz , they have the teeth ribs on the hook to hold the bait on.  I used those all last year but also the reins ned lock since they had Tungsten for deeper water. I never used the old style of zman ned but sounds like the bait keeper sucked.

28 minutes ago, Bird said:

A fish that gets off feet from the boat counts as landed. Lol

 

Haha, close enough eh lol. The worse part was seeing a few monsters get off and swim away, I swear they were 10 pound smallies lol. 

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I do atleast half of my fishing with a ned.I use just a gentle reel set to hook them and most of the time it’s almost a pain to get them unhooked.

 

 I use a cheap Fenwick eagle ml fast,  but it seems to have a slower action than advertised. 8lb hi vis braid and a 6lb Fluoro leader.  The jigs I use are the lead free 1/16 #4 hook Jades Jigs. You can find em on eBay or by googling them. 
 

I don’t really care much for the heavy duty hooks on a ned rig. I’ve never had one bend out on a fish, but maybe I’m just not catching enough big ones haha. 

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