Past: How the Ned Rig Came to Fruition
When I put that video together, I was a young college student just trying to catch bass and write a few fishing articles when I had time to. I had been using this rig for a few years and was fascinated with its ability to produce so many bites. “Why isn’t this a bigger deal outside of the Midwest?” I constantly thought to myself…
I had met Ned a couple years prior through some mutual friends and got hooked up with his “Finesse News Network” email chain which helped me understand more about this rig and who was having success with it. I quickly noticed that everybody that was a part of that group was having success. As I got the chance to correspond with Ned more often, I learned that this was not really something he wanted to take full credit for. In fact, he gives a lot of the credit to the late Chuck Woods, inventor of the ever-popular Beetle Spin.
Long story short, Ned and a group of other Kansas anglers had spent several years fishing with, and modifying, ultra-finesse plastics until one day they got a hold of the Z-Man ZinkerZ (a stick-bait made of Z-Man’s ElaZtech formula). Rather than fish it on a Texas or Wacky rig, they would cut the bait in half, place it on a small jig head (generally 1/16 ounce) and put it to work. The folks at Z-Man started to learn about this movement which Ned was creating and wanted to help out in any way they could. That is what brings us to the Finesse TRD.
Present: The Ned Rig Floods the Market
Go to Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, or any other popular social media website and browse fishing pictures for a few minutes. It won’t take you very long to find someone who caught a fish on this rig… Heck, go to your local lake and watch other fishermen. I am willing to bet you won’t have to look far before you see a Ned Rig on the end of a spinning rod. I wish I had access to Bass Pro’s POS system so I could tell you exactly how many TRD’s have scanned through their register in the past year.
What I am getting at is the fact that this rig has absolutely blown up! Does it surprise me? Not a bit. In fact, I believe that this is just the beginning of the Ned Rig explosion – similar to how the Senko carved it’s placement in the bass fisherman’s arsenal years ago.
Now… The question I, as well as many other early adopters of the rig have that has yet to be answered, will the Ned Rig eventually lose its special sauce???
Isn’t what made it so great in the first place was that nobody else was throwing it? In my honest opinion, I don’t necessarily think it will lose its power but I do think that fish will eventually become a bit more accustomed to seeing it, especially on pressured waters. That is when the skilled fishermen will separate themselves from the average guys like me.
I do think that this is going to take several years to occur, but in an attempt to get ahead of the curve, below are some of my speculations and theories of what the future of this technique looks like…
Future: What is Next for the Ned Rig
The fishing industry is a constant whirlwind of change. New colors, new techniques, new technology, the list goes on and on. My theory is that it won’t take long before lure manufacturers start to pick up on the trend that the Ned Rig is proving out to the industry… Simplify.
The beauty of this small plastic and jig head combo is the fact that it doesn’t shake and slip and jiggle like your drunk uncle at a family wedding. To put that in fishing terms, this bait is incredibly natural underwater and can mimic a wide variety of forage. Personally, I have never seen a crayfish flap his claws while swimming like many baits on the market portray. Nor have I seen an earthworm with a ribbon tail cruising through shallow weed beds. Not to say that bass don’t like attacking those unnatural baits, because they do, but in a sport that is growing in popularity, it will continuously be more important that we have an edge over the anglers around us.
So here are a couple of my theories…
First, old-School techniques will resurface marketed in a modern way. Whether that is a Beetle Spin, Mepps Spinner, or some other old-fashioned way of catching fish, I don’t think it will be long before a current company creates a 2018 version of a lure from your grandpa’s tackle box. Honestly, it has already happened in a lot of cases…
Second, the Ned Rig will find new presentation styles. Why can’t a Ned Rig have a spinner attached to it? Why can’t there be a suspending Ned Rig with limited action? Heck, I even tried throwing a “Double Ned Rig” for fun.
I am constantly searching for new ways to fish this amazing bait – check out my series of videos here. Maybe these ideas won’t technically be the Ned Rig we are used to, but it will not surprise me if the same simple 3″ ugly shape starts to show up in new forms.
The moral of the story is that this has been and continues to be an incredible case study for the fishing industry. How can a lure that truly came to mainstream popularity within the past four years produce so many dang fish?
What else do we as anglers not know about yet?
That is the question I have… If you know the answer, feel free to reach out because quite frankly, I like having an edge.