The ned rig is probably the most popular bait to hit the market since the chatterbait. For good reason too, it catches fish when nothing else does. Much like a senko, it is one of those baits that just produces great numbers in any situation.
But a lot of people aren’t fishing the right line to get the best value from this versatile bait. The best option to fish with a NED rig is six pound fluorocarbon and there aren’t really any better options. Below we will go into why it’s the best option and why you shouldn’t use anything else.
Why fluorocarbon is best with a ned rig
There are many reasons that you should be using six pound fluorocarbon line, like my favorite Sunline Sniper FC, with your NED rig setup.
First, fluorocarbon is nearly invisible to fish. When you are fishing a NED rig you are fishing it very slowly. This means the fish has a good chance to inspect everything from the bait, to the hook, to the line coming off of it. If it gets any sense that a line is attached to the bait – it’s not going to bite.
So you want to go with the least visible line possible – which is fluorocarbon hands down.
But why the six pound test? Well the same reason. The higher the pound test of any line the thicker the line becomes. And this makes sense. Have you ever tried to break a stump over your knee? Doesn’t work so great. But you can break a twig with just your hands.
The larger the diameter, the harder it is to break. Every fishing line works this way. But also the larger the diameter, the easier it is to see. And the goal with a ned rig is making sure your line is next to invisible.
So it’s worth giving up a little bit of strength to ensure you’re catching every fish possible. You don’t want any fish getting skittish because they can see the line when you work the lure.
A ned rig is also one of those baits that you throw when nothing else works. It’s extremely finesse, the type of technique that works when fish are very tight lipped. Any little thing that spooks a fish is going to close their mouths.
So the six pound test, which is nearly invisible underwater, is necessary to match these conditions.
Why can't I used braided line for ned rigs?
Simply put, you can easily see braid underwater and is not good for any finesse technique but especially NED rigs.
You can see even down to 2 pound braid underwater pretty easily. This is because its made of actual fiber instead of plastic. It’s not at all see-through. It’s an actual color.
If you’re fishing really murky waters you can sometimes get away with this, but honestly a ned rig isn’t great in muddy waters anyways. It has very little action and nothing that makes a fish pay attention to it, so is better left for stained to clear water conditions.
And in those conditions, most bass are going to be able to see the line coming off from the jig head. And as soon as they see that line – your chance of catching a fish go to 0. So don’t use braid straight to you ned jighead.
What about a braid to fluoro leader for ned rigs?
A lot of anglers get around the visibility of braided line by tying a fluorocarbon leader to it. This is a viable technique, but I don’t recommend it.
Your line is only as strong as its weakest point. The fish only needs to break one point in your line to get away. So if you’re using a fluorocarbon leader you introduce two fault points. Where the lines tie together, and the fluorocarbon leader itself.
The point of using braided line to a fluorocarbon leader is that the braided line is stronger. But there are still several feet of fluorocarbon line that the fish can break off on. You aren’t really limiting the chances of breakoffs when using a leader.
Instead, you’re introducing a new place for the line to break – where you tie the two lines together. While an alberto knot is the best I’ve found to tie to lines together (video below), it’s still a place where the two lines can come apart easily. Especially with a light line like six pound fluorocarbon, a breakage at the knot point can happen very easily.
So why are you going to put two new break points into play when you can just use a straight 6 pound fluorocarbon line the whole way? You don’t have to worry about your main line to leader knot coming loose. Plus you would have to worry about the leader line breaking anyways!
The only reason a braid to leader makes sense is that it’s slightly more cost effective. Fluorocarbon is expensive, but well worth the cost for most finesse techniques. You can use braided line for several years and just continue to re-tie small sections of fluoro leader. Whereas fluorocarbon line all the way requires replacement almost every year.
So I can understand the braid to leader mentality, and I do it on several rods, but I think it’s worth the few extra dollars to outfit your ned rig rod with straight fluorocarbon. It will amount to more fish and less breakoffs where the lines come together.
Is monofilament an option for ned rigs?
Many anglers prefer monofilament line because it is cheaper than fluorocarbon and less visible than braided line. But it isn’t what I recommend for ned rig fishing.
This is because while it is less visible than braid, it’s not as invisible as fluorocarbon. So while you’re getting the benefit of being less visible, why not go the whole way and go as invisible as possible?
Plus monofilament has stretch, fluorocarbon does not. So when you’re using fluorocarbon and you set the hook you have no stretch playing with your hookset. With mono, you have tons of stretch that may result in a lost fish because you aren’t setting the hook properly.
So you are using a line that is not as invisible, has more stretch, why would you use it instead of fluoro? Simply put, it’s much cheaper than fluorocarbon.
But you get what you pay for. There are times where I think the cost effectiveness of mono outweighs fluoro. Like crankbaits and topwater baits. But ned rigs? That’s one where its worth buying the more expensive fluorocarbon for all it’s advantages.
If’ you’ve made it to the end of this article, hopefully you’ve found that six pound test fluorocarbon is the best line that you can use for a ned rig. It’s the most invisible line which will lead to more bites and more fish in the boat (or shore) in the toughest of conditions. You can use a braid to flouro leader or even a mono line, but you are going to be leaving fish in the lake. So it’s worth the few extra dollars you’ll pay to make sure you’re catching fish on days when no other angler is catching a thing.