Catch More Fish with Drop Shot, Carolina, and Ned Rigs

Catch More Fish with Drop Shot, Carolina, and Ned Rigs

What is it? Why should you use it? Types of tshirt

Key takeaways

  •  Learning the drop shot rig, Carolina rig, and Ned rig gets anglers ready for many fishing situations in 2024.
  •  Knowing how to tie knots well is important for setting up each rig right, like the Palomar knot for drop shots.
  •  Change how you rig to match your fishing style and solve any problems you have on the water.

One thing stays the same whether you fish a lot or just sometimes: To catch fish regularly, you need to adjust to different situations and make your bait as appealing as possible.

This is where the importance of using the right fishing rigs comes into play. The perfect rig can mean the difference between a slow day on the water and a memorably successful outing. But with so many options out there, it can be overwhelming to know where to start.

That's why we've put together this guide to the three essential fishing rigs you need to know for the 2024 season. We'll be looking into the drop shot rig, the Carolina rig, and the Ned rig – three setups that have proven themselves time and time again in the hands of anglers across the country.

Each of these rigs brings something unique to the table, allowing you to tackle a wide range of fishing scenarios with confidence. From finesse techniques for pressured fish to power tactics for covering water quickly, these rigs have you covered.

Table of Contents

Drop Shot Rig

The drop shot rig is a versatile and effective fishing setup that presents your bait in a natural, lifelike manner above the bottom. You'll find it particularly effective when targeting wary fish in clear or deep water, as well as bass that are suspended just off the bottom. The drop shot rig is also a popular choice when you're after catfish and various other species.

Drop shot rig


To create your own drop shot rig, start by doubling your line and passing it through the eye of the hook, making sure to leave enough of a tag end to attach your weight later. Tie an overhand knot, but don't pull it tight, allowing the hook to move freely. Next, take the loop from your overhand knot and pull it over the hook, then tighten the knot by pulling both parts of the line. By doing this, you've essentially created a Palomar knot on your hook.


To ensure that your hook sticks out at a 90-degree angle from the main line, with the shank parallel to the bottom, run your tag line back through the eye of the hook. This positioning helps prevent snags. Finally, tie your weight to the tag end of the line and add your favorite lure or plastic worm to the hook.

The unique design of the drop shot rig, with the weight below the hook, allows your bait to hover above the bottom, creating an enticing presentation for fish. By mastering this setup, you can increase your chances of success in a variety of fishing scenarios.

Carolina Rig

Carolina rigs are a versatile and effective setup for bass fishing, allowing you to present your soft plastic lure in a natural, weedless manner. The rig consists of a sliding sinker, typically an egg sinker up to 3 or 4 ounces, followed by a small plastic bead, a swivel, a leader line, and a weedless hook with your chosen soft plastic worm.

For heavier weights, you can replace the egg sinker with a fish finder slide, which is a hollow tube with an attachment point for heavier sinkers. The plastic bead between the sinker and the swivel prevents the sinker from snagging on the swivel. The beauty of this setup is that it allows the fish to pick up the bait without detecting the weight of the sinker.

Carolina rig

To rig your soft plastic worm, start by pushing the point of an offset shank worm hook into the center of the top of the worm, just a quarter-inch or so deep. Then, push the tip through the side of the worm and slide the hook through the head of the worm to the offset, twisting the point of the hook 180 degrees so it points back towards the worm.

Next, hold the worm by the head and let it hang straight down against the hook. Grab the worm where the point of the hook rests against the body, lift it slightly, and angle it to push the point of the hook completely through the body of the worm. Pinch the worm at the point of the hook and slip the point just below the skin to make it weedless.

Finally, adjust the worm at the top of the hook to ensure it lies flat and straight. If the worm is humped up or curved, try again until the body of the worm lies in a straight line for maximum effectiveness.

Ned Rig

The Ned Rig, a finesse fishing technique that has taken the bass fishing world by storm, has its roots in the Midwest region of the United States. The rig is named after Ned Kehde, a renowned angler from Lawrence, Kansas, who played a crucial role in popularizing this technique.

Ned rig

Ned Kehde grew up in Sedalia, Missouri, and spent his early years fishing the Ozark region. While pursuing his graduate studies at the University of Missouri, Kehde worked as a fishing guide at Carrington's Two Waters Resort on the Gravois arm of Lake of the Ozarks. It was there that he met Guido Hibdon, an early practitioner of what would later become known as the Ned Rig.

Kehde also crossed paths with the late Chuck Woods of Kansas City, Missouri, and the late Ray Frincke of Overland Park, Kansas, both of whom he considers the founding fathers of this finesse fishing technique. These anglers laid the groundwork for the Ned Rig, which Kehde would later refine and popularize.

The Ned Rig, in its current form, consists of a small, 3-inch soft plastic bait threaded onto a lightweight, 1/16-ounce mushroom jig head. This simple yet effective combination has proven to be irresistible to bass, particularly during the fall and winter months when the fish become lethargic and less likely to chase larger, more aggressive presentations.

To set up a Ned Rig, start by inserting the hook of the mushroom jig head into the top of the soft plastic bait, pushing it down about 1 inch through the center, and then out the side, leaving the hook point exposed. Attach the Ned Rig to a 6-foot length of 8-pound fluorocarbon leader material, and then connect the leader to your main line using a line-to-line knot, such as the Uni-to-Uni knot.

Mastering the Art of Fishing Rigs

As you gear up for the 2024 fishing season, mastering three essential rigs will equip you to tackle a wide range of situations. The drop shot rig, Carolina rig, and Ned rig each offer unique strengths and applications, allowing you to adapt your approach based on critical factors like water clarity, depth, and the behavior of your target species.

Remember, the key to success with any fishing rig is practice and experimentation. As you spend more time on the water, you'll develop a feel for when and how to use each rig to its fullest potential. Don't be afraid to try new variations and modifications to suit your personal fishing style and the specific challenges you face.

Which fishing rig will you be trying?

Stay up to date with the latest fishing techniques, news, and insider tips by visiting the Baitium blog.



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