There have been many new finesse fishing techniques
being discussed in the recent years but the one that has been ignored until
recently is the neko rig. We have all
herd of wacky rigging, drop shot and neb rigs but what is the all the fuss
about the neko rig? Sometimes you need a
technique that is very subtle and something the fish have not seen. We have used the neko rig in a few
tournaments that the weights were really down and had some great success. Let’s go into it in a little more detail.
You can also use the neko rig when fishing for hard
to catch suspended bass. Once you get
the fall timed out correctly count the fall down to the depth and work the bait
through the fish twitching as you go. They cannot resist the action and will
The neko rig is a very ingenuous idea and it is a
very modest concept. It basically comes
down to a head weighted bait with a hook that is located up the body of the
lure. When fished correctly it falls
back towards the fish and wiggles similar to the wacky rig. The advantage is it stands upright once
contacting the bottom of the lake. This is a great improvement over the wacky
rig or drop shot offering.
We have done many searches’ online and many people
have their own version of the neko rig but I have not found a better combination
than the VMC 1/0 or 2/0 Neko hook. It is one of our favorites. This hook is
Mike Iaconelli approved and also a favorite of Seth Feider that won the AOY
tournament on Mille Lacs Lake, MN in 2016.
the VMC Neko hook and VMC nail weight as it seems to be the best value and hook
that tends to privde a really good hook up ratio. The
Neko Hook features a black-nickel finish, wide gap, 3-degree offset tip,
resin-closed eye and a forged, long shank. It’s available in four sizes: 2, 1,
1/0 and 2/0.
I really like the versatility of the hook
as it can be used for Wacky rigging and drop shot rigs. This helps cut down on the amount of hooks
you need to carry onboard. The 1/0 and 2/0 sizes work with almost any size
Senko or other soft Plastic. VMC’s Neko Weight features conical ribs, which securely anchor it in place without harming your
worm. Its narrow profile allows you to change your rig’s action. They come 10
per pack in four sizes: 1/32-ounce, 1/16-ounce, 3/32-ounce and 1/8-ounce.
When you are talking gear we use the same rode you
would use for a drop shot or wacky rig. A
7’ to 7’-6 medium action spinning rod with 10-12lb braid and a 6 or 8lb fluorocarbon
leader. Keep your leader as long as
possible 10-15’ is ideal. The long
leader allows you to keep the braid far away from the fish and allows you to
retie a few times before having to apply a new leader.
Hook placement is one of the most important parts of
making this technique perform. Some people like to place the hook perpendicular
to the bait similar to wacky rigging. We prefer to place the hook parallel to the
bait about 2/3 the way up. Be sure the tip of the hook is facing towards the weight when
you first stick it through the bait. This way, when the hook comes out of the
plastic it’ll be facing away from the weight. This method helps the bait fall back towards the prey. It is best to use
a o ring especially when using Senko’s to help keep the hook from pulling through
the bait and going through many soft plastics.
If you are using a soft plastic that is more sturdy the o ring may not
When fishing the Neko rig it is best to keep some
tension on the line so the bait is presented in a more vertical
presentation. If you allow you line to
go slack the bait will simply lie on the bottom and will not trigger as many
strikes. Shaking it slightly on the
retrieve helps incise bites. The slower you can present this rig the more
strikes you will get. We like to use the
neko rig on both smallmouth and largemouth bass in any situation that you may use
a wacky, neb or drop shot rig.
This is an exposed hook rig so fishing around heavy
cover can be tricky. You need to learn the difference between contact with wood
or rocks and a bite. This rig can be
used around weeds and cover you just have to work it through carefully.
If you are fishing on a body of water or weather
conditions that are making the bite slow, try to downsize the soft plastic. This presentation mimics the effectiveness of
the Neb rig. Try using a 3” Senko or worm. You can take a 1” to 1-1/2” off a 4”
or 5” bait if smaller baits are not readily available. We like to use Senko style baits, crawfish,
and even flukes. Using a crawfish style
bait with the neko rig allows for the body to fall and the claws to be facing
up at the fish like a defensive mode.
Use the same colors you would normally use for the
lake you are fishing. Some of our
favorites are green pumpkin, browns and of course black.
The Neko Hook is the premiere hook for this technique. You
hardly lose any fish with this at all. This is a high-percentage-style hook. While
fishing the neko rig most of the bites will come on initial fall. Keep a slightly slack line to get the best
action and if you do not get bit just pick it up off the bottom and let it fall
The advantage of the Neko Rig is how simple it is to rig and
how capable it is when you fish it in the water. The action of the rig is simply
amazing. So go out and pick up some Neko hooks and weights and take some time
to learn this inexpensive and highly effective technique that you can fish
almost anywhere at any time of the year.
IT will catch them when other techniques will not.