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Four Baits For Your Ned Rig That Aren’t A Stubby Worm

The Ned Rig’s hallmark is simplicity. Jig head and stubby worm form an effective finesse presentation for largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass, almost anywhere they swim. But even with a simple presentation, there are details to consider.

Beyond the jig head’s color, shape, and weight, the most significant decision you’ll make in building a Ned Rig is the soft-plastic bait that you thread on the hook. A short worm sporting a thick body and tapered tail is the choice of purists. Plenty are poured specifically for Ned Rigs, though the relatively untouched back halves of stick worms slaughtered on wacky rigs are often recycled, finding a second life on Ned Rigs.

These worms are effective because they contribute to the subtle profile and action that make Ned Rigs effective. But they aren’t your only choice. The best soft-plastic baits for Ned Rigs share three traits. First, they’re compact, usually 4-inches or less. But that doesn’t mean they have to be skinny. On the contrary, a little bulk adds to their natural profile, which is the second characteristic they share.

Ned Rig baits should create action from up and down movement. The typical presentation includes dragging and shaking along the bottom, maybe with a hop here and there. It’s slow work without much forward progress. So, baits that require horizontal movement to create action, such as a curly tail grub, swimbait or flapping craw, aren’t as effective as those that have a flat underside or tapered tail in this situation.

Even with those stipulations, many soft-plastic baits fit the bill when assembling a Ned Rig. Here are four.

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