Ned, Ned, Ned; sometimes it seems everyone is fishing the Ned rig. When bass turn finnicky, they can’t turn down the tiny soft plastic lure undulating seductively on the bottom. But what about saltwater fish? Pro fishing guide Captain Wade Harness takes Ned to Southern California and introduces him to briny bass.

Tackle Box

Rods: 8-foot, medium-heavy Shimano Teramar SE Inshore

Reels: Shimano Stradic 3000 spinning reel for light finesse. Daiwa Lexa 300 casting reel for heavier jig heads and vertical jigging.

Line: 20-pound PowerPro braid. Moss green color matches San Diego eel grass beds.

Leader: 20-pound Seaguar Premier fluorocarbon

When Should You Use a Ned Rig in Saltwater?

Some people use the Ned rig when the bite gets tough, but I use it all the time. It is productive with heavily pressured fish. The lure looks defenseless, enticing the weariest pigs to drop their guard and break bread like it’s business as usual.

The Ned rig imitates a wide variety of baitfish, but I think its similarity to a razor clam attracts spotted bay bass. When I catch a spotty, it often chokes up three or four clams. The short, wiggly jig looks like a clam coming out of its shell.

Saltwater Ned Rig Fishing Techniques

There are six basic retrieves: The drag and shake, dead stick, swim and glide, straight swim, the stroll, and the hop and bounce, which was developed by NASCAR driver Terry Bivins.

The hop and bounce is my most productive Midwest finesse retrieve. Between hops, let the mushroom-shaped jig head rest on the bottom with the buoyant tail sticking up in the current.

Lead Heads to Use

Tip: Use a drop of glue to secure the plastic to the head.

Saltwater spotted bay bass caught with a Ned rig
Don’t tell this spotted bay bass it was fooled by a largemouth lure. | Photo: Captain Wade Harness

Jigs to Use

Saltwater Tackle Tips for Ned Rigs

Braided line is key. The light head and small jig make it difficult to feel a bite. Keep the line tight and set the hook at the slightest tick.

A spotted bay bass can spit the hook as quickly as it eats. On a windy day, keep the bow into the wind and current to control the retrieve and keep the line taught.

This article was first published in the Fall 2019 issue of Kayak Angler Magazine. Subscribe to Kayak Angler Magazine’s print and digital editions, or browse the archives.

Don’t tell this spotted bay bass it was fooled by a largemouth lure. | Feature photo: Captain Wade Harness



  1. It would be really nice if you included a few pictures of the rig and or the components. I have never seen one. Of course, I can search it on the internet, but that is another step when two or three pick would really help.


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