December 13, 2019
By Ned Kehde
On May 20, 2019, we published a 1,426-word gear guide about the 1/8-ounce Five Fish Lures' Ultimate Ned Jig. At that time, it was manufactured in three sizes: 1/8-ounce, 3/16-ounce, and 1/4-ounce.
In that gear guide, it was noted that Midwest finesse anglers would possess a hankering for a 1/16-ounce Ultimate Ned Jig because it would facilitate their need to employ a no-feel motif to their retrieves. And Pete Wenners of Galena, Missouri, who is one of three designers of the Ultimate Ned Jig, said that a 1/16-ounce Ultimate Ned Jig was in the offing.
Ultimately, the1/16-ouncer came to fruition on Nov. 17, and straightaway, Wenners sent us some to work with and thoroughly examine.
Here is what we discovered about the 1/16-ounce Ultimate Ned Jig.
Its head and collar are affixed to a black-nickel 1/0 Mustad 32786 with a 60-degree bend and cross-eye hook.
The head possesses what Wenners describes as a pyramid-shape. It is a shape that prevents Midwest finesse rigs from becoming snagged in the crevices of the rocks and boulders and in the limbs of the submerged trees and piles of brush.
As Wenners field-tested various prototypes of the Ultimate Ned Jig, he found that the pyramid-shaped head was a stellar one for plying the rock-boulder-timber-and-brush-laden terrains of Table Rock Lake, which lies along the border of Arkansas and Missouri. (Wenners, by the way, is a renowned fishing guide on Table Rock Lake and a knowledgeable black bass angler.)
From the tip of the 1/16-ounce Ultimate Ned Jig’s head to the bend of the hook, the Ultimate Ned Jig is about 1 1/4 inches long.
Its head is three-sixteenths of an inch long. The back of the head is flat and slightly less than a quarter of an inch wide with a circumference of about five-eighths of an inch. The tip of the head has a width of slightly more than one-sixteenth of an inch and a circumference of about nine-sixteenths of an inch.
At the top of the head, the eye of the hook emerges about three-sixteenths of an inch from the back of the head and about one-sixteenth of an inch from the tip of the head. A soft-wire weed guard is situated about one-eighth of an inch behind the eye of the hook.
This weed guard is fifteen-sixteenths of an inch long. Wenners notes that this wire weed guard will not unravel, which is a problem that afflicts many wire weed guards. What’s more, it can be easily removed by employing diagonal cutting pliers, and those pliers can also be used to shorten it a tad. For years, Wenners never used a weed guard on the standard Midwest finesse rig, but nowadays he is using it more often than he used to use it.
The collar of the 1/16-ounce Ultimate Ned Jig is a quarter of an inch long, and it is graced with a cone-shaped bait keeper.
Wenners favorite Midwest finesse rig consists of a 2 1/2-inch Strike King Lure Company’s Zero that is affixed to an Ultimate Ned Jig. The Zero is five inches long, and Wenners makes it 2 1/2-inches long by cutting it in half. The Zero is made with a substance called ElaZtech, which is a very durable substance. In fact, it is so durable that Wenners will affix those baits to the jig’s collar by using a drop of super-style glue, which will allow it to stay affixed on the Ultimate Ned Jig for a day or two and withstand the abuse that scores and scores of largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and spotted bass can administer to it.
The head and collar of the jig are painted with a hue that Wenners describes as crustacean brown.
A package of 1/16-ounce Ultimate Ned Jigs costs $9.49. They can be purchased by calling Sportsman Factory Outlet in Springfield, Missouri, at 417-881-1635.