In the world of Midwest finesse fishing, the first generation of the soft-plastic stick-style bait stretches back to 1964. That was when Bass Buster Lure Company of Amsterdam, Missouri, began manufacturing the Beetle, which was the creation of Chuck Woods of Kansas City, Missouri, who began handcrafting them in the late 1950s.
The second generation occurred about four decades after Woods created his first Beetle. Midwest finesse anglers got wind of this new generation in 2003 and 2004, and they began affixing a Yamamoto Bait Company’s Senko and a YUM’s Dinger to a small mushroom-style jig. Then it was in the fall and winter of 2006 when these anglers began cutting a Strike King Lure Company’s five-inch Zero in half and affixing a 2 1/2-inch Zero to a small mushroom-style jig, and these anglers were amazed by the durability, flexibility, and buoyancy of the Zero.
For the next 11 years, more tackle companies and anglers created various manifestations of the Beetle, Dinger, Senko, and Zero.
In 2018 and 2019, veteran Midwest finesse anglers began to notice that the third generation of soft-plastic stick-style baits was beginning to unfold, and YUM’s Ned Dinger is playing a role in this transformation.
Chad Warner of Fort Smith, Arkansas, who is the brand manager for BOOYAH Bait Co., YUM and Bandit Lures, generously sent some packages of this new creation for us to work with and thoroughly examine. We also exchanged several emails with him in our quest to create this gear guide.
Here is what we discovered:
It is cylinder-shaped and 2 7/8 inches long.
Its head is flat with a diameter of three-eighths of an inch and a circumference of 1 5/16 inches. Its epidermis is relatively smooth, and in the center of it, there is a significant indentation, which is where a Midwest finesse angler will insert the hook and collar of a mushroom-style jig.
The anterior section of its torso is five-eighths of an inch long. Its epidermis is encircled with 16 small ribs. It is three-eighths of an inch wide with a circumference of 1 5/16 inches.
The clitellum, which is five-eighths of an inch long, adjoins the rear section of the Ned Dinger’s anterior. It possesses a width of three-eighths of an inch and a circumference of 1 5/16 of an inch. Its epidermis is silky smooth.
At the spot where the clitellum joins the posterior section, the torso has a width of three-eighths of an inch and circumference of 1 5/16 inches. The posterior section is 1 11/16 inches long. The circumference and width of the posterior section diminish as it approaches its anus, and about halfway to the end of the posterior section, the width of the torso is five-sixteenths of an inch with a circumference of 1 3/16 inches. The epidermis of the first 1 3/8 inches of the posterior section is encircled with more than three dozen small ribs.
The final three-eighths of an inch of the posterior section is hollow. It has a width of about five-sixteenths of an inch and a circumference of about 1 1/16 inches. The epidermis is embellished with 56 tiny indentations.
The tail, tip, or anus of the posterior section is flat and round with a diameter of five-sixteenths of an inch and a circumference of about 1 1/16 inches. At the center of this flat tail, there is a hole that has a diameter of about one-eighth of an inch. This hole provides access to the hollow portion of the Ned Dinger’s posterior. According to Warner, the hollow section and the hole were designed to create an air pocket, which will release air bubbles during various presentations that Midwest finesse anglers employ in their pursuits of largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and spotted bass. Even though the Ned Dinger is impregnated with “a blend of enzymes and natural attractants,” it is likely that some Midwest finesse anglers will fill the hollow section with a scent. The air pocket also accentuates the buoyancy of the Ned Dinger.
Warner notes that the Ned Dinger possesses the same shape as the traditional Dinger, but it has a stockier profile. What’s more, it is made from “an extra soft plastic” that contains a buoyancy additive.
It is available in the following hues: Amber Green Flake, RS Brown, Soft Black Blue Flake, Soft Green Pumpkin, Soft Watermelon Blue Flake, Soft Watermelon Pearl, and Soft Watermelon Red Flake.
It is not impregnated with salt.
A package of eight costs $2.99.
(1) Here is a link to YUM’s website: https://www.yumbaits.com/yum-ned-dinger.
(2) Here are the links to two websites that feature Micah Frazier of Newnan, Georgia , who won the Berkley Bassmaster Elite tournament at the St. Lawrence River, Waddington, New York, on Aug. 18, 2019, by employing the Ned Dinger: https://www.bassmaster.com/news/frazier-wins-st-lawrence; http://www.bassfan.com/news_article/9705/frazier-rallies-from-10th-place-to-win-at-st-lawrence#.XWqilUd7kdU.
(3) Here is the link to a Midwest Finesse column that explains how Midwest finesse anglers will present the Ned Dinger to largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and spotted bass: https://www.in-fisherman.com/editorial/six-midwest-finesse-retrieves/153946.