Nick Smith of the InformativeFisherman shares some fresh tips on rigging and fishing the Neko rig for finicky bass. There’s loads of Neko rig tips out there. Still, Smith has some pointers around the best retrieve method for Neko rigs, how to improve your hooking and landing percentages, and how he rigs his worms with only a standard hair tie available at any Walgreens or the like.
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This filming day was marked by a 5-degree drop in water temperatures – not exactly the weather that has Florida-strain bass feeding heavily. As such, Smith reached for the tried and true Neko rig, which allows you to fish slowly on the bottom while keeping a tantalizing plastic engaged in the strike zone. Additionally, the Neko rig’s weedless properties make it an excellent candidate around cover. Now on to some overlooked Neko rig tips.
Proper rod angle may be the most overlooked tip. Smith retrieves his Neko rig like a crankbait, or at least his rod angle on the retrieve. Fire out a cast, letting the bait sink to the bottom, and then slowly reel while shaking your rod with the tip down.
With his rod in the same downward orientation, Smith picks up line by reeling into the fish in conjunction with a light sweep. Increased tension is all it takes to penetrate a light wire hook. He explains how a downward pull directs the hook point into the fish’s mouth more consistently than an upward hookset. It also keeps the bait in the strike zone should you miss the bass on the first take.
There’s been a lot of o-ring innovation on the market, such as VMC’s unique Crossover Rings, but a simple rubber hair tie gets it done just fine. You want the rubber band to fit snuggly, so double it up a few times until it holds fast on the plastic, then slide your hook under the rubber band while lightly skin-hooking the worm with the hook point up. A hook point-up orientation improves weedless performance and delivers exceptional hooking percentages.
Lastly, Smith shares a Neko rig weighting tip to determine if you’re using enough nail weight based on the worm’s behavior. Too light, and the bait wanders and fishes more like a wacky rig. You need enough for the nail-weighted section to maintain a perpendicular posture relative to the bottom.
We hope these Neko rig tips shed light on this effective finesse presentation. Check out our Neko rig channel for more in-depth content.