Ned rigs can be one of the most productive presentations when the fishing's slow. They're finesse-style bass lures fished slowly along the bottom with lightweight tackle. Having the right rod and reel setup can vastly change your success fishing these baits and help you catch more bass.
When fishing ned rigs, it's best to use a light spinning rod with more sensitivity. With this in mind, you shouldn't use anything too flimsy as your rod must have some backbone to it.
This angler's guide discusses everything you need to know about ned rig fishing gear to help you find the best ned rig rod to suit your needs. We also review and compare the best rods for ned rigs on the market to help you get out on the water and start hammering fish.
Rods Reviewed (clickable)
The Ned Rig Technique
While these baits might not be the go-to choice in every region, knowing how to fish a Ned Rig is essential in places such as the western United States.
Most anglers don't know that "Ned" was actually a real person who invented this fishing style back in the 1950s. The method involves a lightweight jig head and a short, worm-style soft plastic attached to the end.
When you're fishing a Ned Rig, you want to make subtle motions with your rod, inching the bait along the bottom. It's important to have sensitive gear to help you detect bites and have some strength for pulling fish out of cover.
The best rods for ned rig fishing are 6'6" to 7' spinning rods with fast action, and medium-light to medium power.
Spinning rods and reels are much better at transferring vibrations and indicating strikes. They also make it easier to control small movements and are generally more precise than baitcasting setups.
As far as power goes, medium-light or medium ratings are what you should look for. When made by the right brands, these rods will be sensitive and lightweight but have enough backbone to pull large bass out of thick cover.
You don't want to use anything too flimsy, such as an ultra-light spinning rod made for panfish or trout fishing. While ned rigs are small lures, they still require a weighted jig head and a larger hook.
Unless you're using tiny ned rigs, ultra-light spinning rods won't give you any casting advantage. They're less versatile and will really only work in open waters away from any heavy cover.
This technique requires similar equipment that's used for other finesse techniques. Check out our guides to the best rods for soft plastics and best finesse spinning rods for additional gear information.
Ned Rig Rods
1. Dobyns Fury 703SF - Best Rod Overall
4.5 Stars | 83 Angler Reviews
Without a doubt, the best overall Ned Rig rod is the Dobyns Fury 703SF Rod. This technique-specific spinning pole is 7' long and features medium-fast action. Dobyns recommends this model for ned rigs, Texas rigs, Senko Worms, and shaky heads, so it offers plenty of finesse fishing versatility.
A soft tip is essential when fishing a ned rig, and the Fury's strong backbone provides plenty of power to achieve strong hook-sets. This is a high-quality all-purpose spinning rod that won't break the bank.
Qualities & Components
It's sensitive, light, strong, and balanced surprisingly well for the price. All Fury Series rods feature high modulus graphite blanks, Fuji reel seats, Kevlar wrapping, and premium cork grips.
The Portuguese cork grip is comfortable and transfers vibrations better than cheaper materials. We've fished this rod for hours on end without feeling fatigued at all.
The modulus graphite blank construction is phenomenal and helps Dobyns reduce the pole's diameter. What you're left with is a thin rod with a professional feel that makes the slow pace of finesse fishing much more enjoyable.
This rod performs best when paired with an 8-17lb line and can be used to fish lures weighing between 3/16 and 5/8oz. You can't go wrong with Dobyns when it comes to specialized finesse equipment.
2. Favorite Hex Rod - Best High-End Rod
Some anglers make long-term investments by buying top-tier professional-grade specialized equipment. If you're searching for the pinnacle of Ned Rig rods, the Favorite Hex Rod is the best there is. This 6'10" medium power spinning rod is super lightweight, sensitive, and expensive.
Qualities & Components
This rod's blank undergoes a layering process where carbon of different modulus and fiber patterns are stacked on each other sheet-by-sheet. The result is a rod with superb action, less weight, and all-around durability.
Kigan titanium guides, Zirconia inserts, and Portuguese cork handles speak towards this rod's astronomical price tag. Anglers wanting to experience the future of fishing will have to cough up a pretty penny for this rod.
The G-Korea reel seat is comfortable to use and secures your reel to the rod. It also does an excellent job transferring vibrations from your reel to the rod's handle.
3. Favorite Pro Series - Best Value Ned Rig Rod
The Favorite Pro Series Rod is an exceptional value, and the 6'8" medium power model is ideal for Ned Rig fishing. With fast action, you'll have no problem hooking the fish, and the soft tip helps you work the bait slowly and feel every bite.
Qualities & Components
Favorite Rod's blank is constructed from graphite and 36-ton Carbon Toray, which offer great action and durability. The brand uses its own custom guides, and they perfectly match the rod's shape.
The reel seat was custom-molded to this design. It's sleek with an aggressive look while remaining comfortable in your hand.
When a brand partners with professional anglers, you almost always see high-quality products released as a result. The Pro Series rod is an example of this, as its inspiration came from multiple record-holding bass fishermen.