May 24, 2019
By Ned Kehde
Lunker City Fishing of Meriden, Connecticut, has been the purveyor of finesse rigs that Midwest finesse anglers and readers of In-Fisherman’s publications have employed for scores of years.
Initially, it was the words and astute insights that Rich Zaleski of Stevenson, Connecticut, penned that prompted these anglers to wield Lunker City’s finesse rigs.
Recently, a Finesse News Network member and contributor alerted us to Lunker City’s recent creation, which they call the Ned Head Jig. He suggested that we publish a gear guide about it, and we immediately agreed with his suggestion.
As we began working on this gear guide about Lunker City’s new Midwest finesse jig, we were thunderstruck by the fact that we had failed to use and write about Lunker City’s Pudgie. Upon working with Alex Wetherell, who is Lunker City’s sales and marketing manager, he informed us that the Pudgie has been part of their repertoire since 2000.
As we examined the Pudgie and Ned Head Jig on Lunker City’s website, we concluded that the Pudgie was an ideal soft-plastic finesse bait to affix to the Ned Head Jig.
Thus, to somewhat compensate for our 19-year failure to inform Midwest finesse anglers about the Pudgie, we decided to publish a gear guide that features the Ned Head Jig and Pudgie.
To help us in this endeavor, Wetherell sent us some samples to examine, work with, and photograph.
Upon thoroughly scrutinizing the Pudgie and Ned Head Jig, here is what we discovered:
In essence, the Pudgie is a beaver-style bait. It is devoid of the appendages and odd features that emblazon many of the newfangled creature-style baits. Its simpleness is a virtue in the eyes of many Midwest finesse anglers.
It is 3 7/16 inches long, and it consists of a head, torso, and tail.
Its head is dome shaped with a smooth epidermis. It is three-sixteenths of an inch long. Near the head’s junction with the torso, it is three-eighths of an inch wide with a circumference of about 1 3/16 inches. The tip of the dome possesses a circular-shaped cavity that has a diameter of three-sixteenths of an inch, and this is the spot where anglers will insert the hook and collar of the Ned Head Jig. There is no differentiation of the head’s dorsal and ventral areas.
The torso is 1 9/16 inches long. Its epidermis is smooth.
The torso’s dorsal and ventral areas are flat and not segmented. Except for the words Lunker City that are embossed upon one of these flat areas, there is no differentiation of the torso’s dorsal and ventral areas. Therefore, the jig’s hook can emerge from either one of them. And when one of these flat areas become tattered from enduring donnybrooks with an array of black bass, an angler can merely rig it so that the untattered area becomes the dorsal area, which is where the hook emerges, and the tattered one becomes the ventral area.
The sides of the torso are rounded and segmented. There are seven segments. Each segment is three-sixteenth of an inch long. The first segment, which is adjacent to the torso’s junction with the head, is one-half of an inch wide with a circumference of about 1 7/16 inches. The largest segment is the second one, and it possesses a width of nine-sixteenths of an inch and a circumference of about 1 5/8 inches. As the torso approaches its junction with the tail, its dimensions decrease to the point that the seventh segment, which is adjacent to its junction with the tail, is about five-sixteenths of an inch wide at its widest spot with a circumference of about 1 1/16 inches.
The tail is 1 11/16 inches long. It is flat and similar to the shape of a beaver’s tail. It is one-eighth of an inch thick. Near its junction with the torso, the tail is three-sixteenths of an inch wide. It is one-half of an inch wide at its widest spot, which is situated about 1 3/16 of an inch from the tail’s junction with the torso.
Midwest finesse anglers are inveterate customizers of soft-plastic baits, and the Pudgie is an easy and delightful to customize.
It is available in the following hues: Blue Persuasion, Cinnamon Twist, Green Pumpkin and Smoke Pumpkin Frost.
It is buoyant and not impregnated with salt and scent.
A package of 10 costs $3.89.
The Pudgie fits perfectly on Lunker City’s 1/16-ounce Ned Head Jig.
The Ned Head Jig has a pill- or aspirin-shaped head rather than the mushroom-shaped jigs that most Midwest finesse anglers have employed. It is, however, radically different than the traditional aspirin-head jig that the late and great Billy Westmoreland of Celina, Tennessee, made famous. Unlike Westmoreland’s jig, the Lunker City’s pill-shaped head is perpendicular to the shank of the hook.
The flat head of the 1/16-ounce Ned Head Jig has a diameter of five-sixteenths of an inch. It is one-sixteenth of an inch thick. It is endowed with a bait keeper, which consists of a series of eight cones, and it extends from the back of the flat head and encompasses five-eighths of an inch of the shank of the hook. It is called a Lunker Grip. A Lunker City’s press release notes that it “holds soft plastics in place much more efficiently than any other keeper system on the market,” Nine other Lunker City jigs are endowed with this bait keeper, and a patent application for it has been submitted to the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
It sports a 2/0 Mustad Ultra Point jig hook with a 90-degree bend. This is a stouter and larger hook than the ones that Midwest finesse anglers have traditionally used. From the tip of its lead head to the bend of the hook, it is 1 7/16 inches long.
According to Lunker City’s press release, the flat head will allow the Pudgie and other buoyant soft-plastic finesse baits to stand “perfectly straight up on the bottom, which entices pressured and wary fish into striking.”
It is available in two colors: Black and Green Pumpkin.
A package of four costs $4.99.
The flatness of the Pudgie’s torso and the flat head of the Ned Head Jig will facilitate the gliding phase of the swim-glide-and-shake presentation that Midwest finesse anglers often employ. Midwest finesse anglers can also employ this rig with the other five Midwest finesse retrieves or slight variations of those retrieves.
Lunker City also makes a 1/8- and 3 /16-ounce Ned Head Jig.
- Here are two links to Lunker City’s website: https://lunkercity.com/products/3-5-pudgie?variant=33181682694; https://lunkercity.com/products/ned-head?variant=19225813319742.
- Here are links to our gear guides about Lunker City’s Monkey Grub and Hellgie: https://www.in-fisherman.com/editorial/lunker-citys-monkey-grub/154469; https://www.in-fisherman.com/editorial/lunker-city-fishings-hellgie/154764.
- Here is a link to the Midwest Column that explains how to employ the six standard Midwest finesse retrieves: https://www.in-fisherman.com/editorial/six-midwest-finesse-retrieves/153946.