Reins Fishing is a much-lauded Japanese tackle manufacturer, and in years past, we have published Midwest Finesse gear guides about four of their soft-plastic finesse baits. On May 8, 2014, we published one about its three-, four-, and five-inch Bubbling Shaker. On May 28, 2014, we published one about their Bubbling Shad. We published one about its Craw Tube on Oct. 20, 2014. We published the fourth gear guide on Aug. 28, 2016, which featured its 3 1/2-inch Bubbling Shaker.
In 2019, Reins Fishing introduced three more soft-plastic finesse baits that have caught the eyes of scores of Midwest finesse anglers. We contacted the folks at Reins Fishing and Optimum Bait Company in Temecula, California. And straightaway, Matt Paino, who is the chief executive officer of Optimum Bait Company, sent us some samples of the Mister Ned, 3 1/4-inch RND Fat Worm, two-inch G-Tail Twin, and three-inch G-Tail Twin for us to work with, examine, and thoroughly describe.
Here is what we discovered about the Mister Ned.
It is a state-of-the-art stick-style bait that is 3 1/8 inches long. And like all stick-style baits, it is an abstract rendition of many of the aquatic creatures that abide in the waterways all around the world. Some anglers say it abstractly replicates an array of aquatic invertebrates. Others say it imitates a variety of small fish.
The folks at Reins Fishing describe the Mister Ned as possessing a swamp-style shape.
Except for the last three-eighths of an inch of its posterior section, which includes its anus, it is cylinder-shaped.
Its head is dome-shaped. In the vernacular of an anatomist, this area would be called a prostomium. The center of the head has a small indentation, like the mouth of an earthworm, and it is where Midwest finesse anglers will insert the hook and collar of a mushroom-style jig. The head’s diameter is a quarter of an inch with a circumference of about 1 1/16 inches. Except for the indentation, its epidermis is smooth.
Its anterior section is 1 1/8 inches long. It is encircled with scores of minute ribs. It is a quarter of an inch wide with a circumference of about 1 1/16 inches.
Its clitellum is a half of an inch long with a width of five-sixteenths of an inch and a circumference of 1 1/8 inches. It is devoid of minute ribs, and its epidermis is smooth.
The posterior section is about 1 5/8 inches long. Adjacent to its junction with its clitellum, it has a width of slightly more than a quarter of an inch, and its circumference is slightly more than 1 1/16 inches. Seven-eighths of an inch of the posterior is encompassed with a mass of minor ribs, and the rest of the posterior section is devoid of these ribs, which creates a smooth epidermis.
The shape of the final three-eighths of an inch of the posterior section is difficult to describe. A few folks say it exhibits the shape of an ovate leaf, a few others describe it as having the shape of a spatulate leaf, and many cannot find the nomenclature to describe it. At its widest spot, it is about five-sixteenths of an inch wide with a circumference of about 1 1/8 of an inch. Near the tip or anus, it is slightly less than a quarter of an inch wide with a circumference of about three-eighths of an inch. The flatness of this area will accentuate the torso’s ability to vibrate, quiver, undulate, and glide.
In the eyes of a few veteran Midwest finesse anglers, the shape of the Mister Ned reminds them somewhat of the three-inch Reapers that they affixed to a small jig for pursing largemouth bass and spotted bass at the Lake of the Ozarks in the 1960s and 1970s.
It is manufactured with a highly buoyant soft-plastic that is surprisingly durable.
It is available in the following hues: 392 Mimizu, Baitfish SP, Blue gill, Green Pumpkin, Kito Kito Shad, and Watermelon Seed.
It is impregnated with a shrimp scent. To preserve the potency of the scent, it is recommended that anglers keep the Mister Ned tightly enclosed in the original package.
It is not impregnated with salt, which delights scores of Midwest finesse anglers.
Besides affixing it to a mushroom-style jig, the folks at Reins Fishing found it to be effective when it is used on a Carolina rig, drop-shot rig, split-shot rig, small Texas rig, and shaky-head jig.
A package of 10 costs $6.99.
(1) Here is the link to Reins Fishing’s website: https://www.reinsfishing.com/product/mister-ned/,
(2) Here is a link to previous Midwest Finesse gear guides about other soft-plastics baits that Reins Fishing manufactures:
(3) Midwest finesse anglers will affix the Mister Ned to a small mushroom-style jig, and they will employ it with all six of the standard Midwest finesse retrieves. And the primary focus of these retrieves revolves around what is called a no-feel presentation.
Many newcomers to the world of Midwest finesse fishing will affix the Mister Ned to a 1/8-, 3/16-, or 1/4-ounce jig that is adorned with a big hook. And they will present it to their black bass quarries by hopping and dragging and deadsticking it on the bottom. Those jigs and presentations will catch largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and spotted bass, but most of the time they are not the most effective way to use the Mister Ned or any small stick-style rig.
Across many years of employing Midwest finesse tactics at the waterways that are situated within a geographical triangle that stretches from Grand Lake, Oklahoma, to the Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri, to Milford Lake, Kansas, we have found that it is more fruitful to use small jigs with small hooks. In fact, the late Guido Hibdon used to lecture us, saying “fishermen tend to use too much weight. And, with too much weight, the baits don’t work right.” Most of the veteran Midwest finesse anglers who fish these waterways are ardent recreational anglers rather than tournament anglers. Unlike Guido Hibdon, most tournament anglers are wedded to big hooks and jigs, and recreational anglers who ape the professional anglers are also wedded to big hooks and jigs. But veteran Midwest finesse anglers from the Hibdon school have discovered that 1/32-, 1/20-, 1/16-, and 3/32-ounce jigs with either a number four or number two hook will allow the Mister Ned to vibrate, quiver, and glide a lot more than a jig that is endowed with a heavy head and big hook. These smaller jigs will allow an angler to employ the Mister Ned more ways and more alluringly than can be achieved with a bigger jig. Not only will the smaller jig and hook allow Midwest finesse anglers to inveigle more black bass, but it will also do less harm to them. What’s more, these anglers will use it in shallow water, ranging in depth from one to 12 feet, throughout the calendar year. And catching them in shallow water prevents the black bass from suffering the dastardly effects of barotrauma.
Here is a link to the Midwest Finesse column that explains how to employ the six standard Midwest finesse retrieves: https://www.in-fisherman.com/editorial/six-midwest-finesse-retrieves/153946.
(4) We prefer to rig the Mister Ned on a mushroom-style jig with its tail flat or parallel to the bottom, which accentuates the gliding motif when we employ the swim-glide-and-shake presentation.
We ask Michael Murphy of Gilbert, South Carolina, who is Reins Fishing Sales and Marketing Manager and a tournament angler, if the designers at Rein Fishing prefer the tail to be flat and parallel with the bottom or vertical like the caudal fin of a minnow.
In an Oct. 15, 2019, email he told us how he and others associated with Reins Fishing rig the Mister Ned on a jig.
He wrote: “From my personal experiences and with feedback from staff, both ways are effective depending on the desired action. Rigging the tail flat for popping off the bottom will allow it to glide down. Rigging the tail up and down gives it a more erratic fall, also in a technique where you would constantly reel it across the bottom, it will give it a more erratic action as it deflects off of debris and rocks on the bottom. What you don’t want to do is rig it off center or slightly downward and not completely up and down. It could generate a spiraling effect, creating line twists over time.”
Of course, Midwest finesse anglers were taught by Guido Hibdon back in the 1980s that a spiraling tube was an effective tactic for inveigling largemouth bass, spotted bass, and smallmouth bass.
(5) In the days to come, we will publish gears guides about Reins Fishing’s 3 1/4-inch RND Fat Worm, two-inch G-Tail Twin, and three-inch G-Tail Twin.