How to Fish a Ned Rig for Smallmouth Bass

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One of the rigs that take only seconds to set up and catches largemouth bass every time is the Ned Rig. You can also learn how to fish a Ned Rig for smallmouth bass, and it will become your go-to method at all times. 

How to Fish a Ned Rig for Smallmouth Bass

This specific setup or the Midwest finesse rig is creating waves among anglers who want to try the presentation to lure more Smallmouth Bass than before. This rig is easy, and it efficiently catches this species in all kinds of weather conditions.

A footlong freshly caught green speckled Smallmouth Bass with a silicone fishing lure in its mouth being held by someone near a lake

This small rig is easy, and it moves naturally, so anglers can try various ways of using it to mimic the action of various food sources for bass. While it is so famous, there are many anglers who are still trying to learn how it can maximize their success on the water.

What Is a Ned Rig?

This particular rig consists of a small plastic worm, crawfish, or any other kind of creature that is used with a mushroom-like jig head that helps it float easily off the floor of the lake. Due to the small size, this plastic moves subtly and falls into the water like a worm gliding in water.

While this movement is quite irresistible for bass and they come out to bite it, anglers can use any light jig head and thread it onto the line to make it move with the water. When used with the stick bait, this jig head will work to attract fish and hold it.

The hook of this rig is larger than other rigs, and that ensures that your catch will get latched, and then you will be able to enjoy the tug of war between the energetic bass and your fishing pole and reel.

The Most Suitable Equipment

Anglers can catch this fish in a short time if their fishing rod and other equipment are suitable. You should throw the rig with light to medium-action rod. A light fluorocarbon line such as the six to eight-pound test.

This setup works most suitably as there is contact with the lure, and the line is not visible either. Moreover, when the fish bites the lure and gets caught on the large hook, the light action rod can help you feel it quickly.

Using the Ned Rig

When working with the Ned Rig to attract fish, anglers can use various techniques to make the soft plastic move in the water. You can try any of these ways the next time you go fishing, and each of them will result in a successful catch.

  • Slow pop of the rod to make the worm move away from the boat first, and then move back
  • Tapping the pole to make the worm crawl on the floor of the lake and then move upwards
  • Pull the bait in a tiny bit and then wind the line, and then stop and then wind again

Whichever style you choose, the rig will work well because it looks like many kinds of food items that this fish species feeds on and enjoys. All kinds of weather conditions and water pressures welcome the use of this rig and that makes it a good pick for everyone.

A green striped Smallmouth Bass with a red fin and tail being held by a middle-aged man near the water

This Rig vs Other Finesse Fishing Techniques

There are many ways to catch bass, and anglers advocate each of them according to their personal experience and success. However, spinning, bait casting, or fly fishing use the lures that are more suitable during a particular season.

This rig is better than other fishing techniques as it gives a quick catch of the bass variation that is regarded the highest for its aggressive fight and resistance. In some places, or in some weather conditions, other fishing techniques might not work efficiently.

On the contrary, this particular setup can help anglers catch the smallmouth bass within minutes. Unlike the other bass variations, this fish is known for not falling for all kinds of lures. Moreover, the presentation has to be natural, with only the kind of bait that is present in that particular water body.

Why Is It a Successful Rig?

The reason that this rig is so successful is that the plastic worm, or whatever type of bait you are using, moves with the help of the jig head, and that gives it the natural look that sets it apart. The combination of the plastic piece and the jig head is what has become a successful rig for bass.

Why do fish come to bite the lure? Fish can come to bite the lure when it moves in a natural way. Bass is an intelligent fish, and it would not make the effort of coming after a small fish or worm unless it is convinced that it is real food!

This setup is similar to a method of fishing that the local anglers and fishermen call jig head worm fishing. This method uses a jig head to make the worm move naturally. The finesse fishing technique is similar to the old worm fishing method, and the natural presentation is the primary determinant of success.

Where to Use the Rig

This particular setup can be helpful for anglers who are looking for multiple fish species. However, this rig does not fail to catch smallmouth bass within minutes! You can use this kind of presentation in areas where this bass is more abundantly found.

This fish is not as common as the largemouth bass. However, there are numerous places where it is found in abundance. You can use this rig setup efficiently to maximize your chances of catching this bass variation. The places where this fish is caught include

  • Tennessee River
  • West Oklahoma lakes and ponds
  • Upper and middle basins of the Mississippi River
  • The Great Lakes System
  • Hudson Bay
A small light greenĀ Smallmouth Bass with a hook and clear fishing line in its mouth being held up by a hand in a forest

This kind of bass is one of the most fearsome fighters and can give anglers a tough run when they get hooked. At least this rig ensures that you get to enjoy this adventure after a quick hook-up, which gets hard for the fish to break free.

When to Use the Rig

Bass is a predator fish that attacks prey from dark, and hidden spots. However, this kind of bass feeds during the day also. It is still recommended that anglers use the rig in dim light when the fish cannot see the line attached to it and come in for a bite.

The bait that you use for this rig should be in accordance with the small fish or worms, or insects that the species feeds on in that particular water body. Moreover, in summer, the fish will feed on different creatures, whereas in spring and other seasons, their feed varies according to what is most readily available.

Within the water body, you should look for these fish species near heavy covers such as tree shelters, rocks, and vegetation patches. The much sought-after species will not come and bite a small jiggling worm if it is swimming away from the plants where it should be.

The Plastics That Work Best With This Rig

In recent years, there has been an increase in the plastics that are available for bass fishing with this rig. However, anglers must remember that when they aim to catch active smallmouth bass, which do not weigh as much as the other members of the species.

Worms, plastic tubes, crawdads, minnows, and stick bait shapes have been a good choice for this rig. The point is to make the little creature move like it is a loner, away from its group. The bass variation that you are targeting will not come near if the movement is not natural or if that particular creature is not one of the native creatures.


Suppose you want to amplify the adventure of catching a fish species that is known to give you a tough fight. Learn how to fish a Ned Rig for smallmouth bass. You will get hooked to this rig and enjoy a quick catch every time.