Why the Ned rig’s inventor says it’s time to retire long rods
The way Kehde sees it, even long medium-light and light-action spinning rods are too heavy to properly present 1/10- to 1/30-ounce Ned rigs. And the supposed benefits of longer casts are vastly overstated, he adds, noting that some anglers say they’re casting up to 120 feet.
“We have never found that long casts help us catch more fish,” Kehde says. “Across the many decades that we have employed our Midwest finesse tactics, the bulk of the fish we’ve caught have ranged from about 30 feet away from the boat to right under it. And most of those fish were caught in water as shallow as a foot to as deep as about 13 feet.”
In order to hook the 101 bass he sets as his goal every time he launches his boat, Kehde says he only casts his Ned rig to short-range targets, then swims, glides and trembles it ever so delicately. If you use a longer rod, he notes, those movements become exaggerated and less effective.
“Two words lie at the heart of Ned rigging,” Kehde says, chuckling. “Subtle and simple. And a long rod is neither of those things. Mark my words, within two years the angling world will once again become enlightened about the many merits of short rods—and the demerits of long ones.”