Z-Man Finesse TRD

photo 1 (1)“That looks like a crappie bait, I will stick to the shaky head.”

“You won’t catch any size on a bait like that!”

“Haha, that thing looks like a piece of…” Well you know where I am going.

As long as my fellow bass fishermen think this way about the small “Ned Rig”, I will continue to throw it and catch the fish they are leaving behind. Us bass anglers often over-think what we are doing on the water. At the end of the day, it is fishing. How much is there to know? Sometimes, you just need to keep it simple, and go back to the basics.

The Ned Rig is something I feel very confident in, as I have been using it for over two and a half years with much luck. For those of you who don’t know what it is yet, it is simply a small jighead (usually 1/16oz.) paired with a small 2-4″ plastic. Simple.. Yet effective.

Not a large bass, but one of the many I caught that day on the TRD.

Not a large bass, but one of the many I caught that day on the TRD.

About three weeks ago (July 11, 2014), I went fishing with the creator of this rig, Ned Kehde. About halfway through the outing, he handed me a new prototype bait that Z-Man was going to release at the upcoming ICAST show. I quickly rigged it up, and he informed me it was going to be called “The Real Deal” (hence the TRD in the name). 

A few casts in, I was already hooked up with a bass. “Hmm, I kind of like this little thing…” I thought to myself. After a couple more hours and countless more fish (bass, sunfish, catfish, saugeye, and more), I not only “kind of liked” the Z-Man Finesse TRD, I loved it! And here is why…


As I mentioned, I caught a lot of fish that day. Obviously, a smaller bait will likely bring you more numbers than a large bait. When you are looking to catch a lot of fish, this is a great choice for it. Most would assume that it will only catch dinks, but that’s not always the case. I have caught numerous fish over the years in the 3-4lb. range on this rig. That particular day, we didn’t catch any “giants”, but we did manage several quality fish that could easily help in tournament situations.

photo (1)

Ned Kehde, creator and long-time user of the Ned Rig.


The life of each bait is phenomenal. The ElaZtech formula that Z-Man uses for their lineup of baits is like no other-it doesn’t tear, it stretches. With that formula, you can easily throw one bait all day, catch countless fish, and not have to constantly re-rig a bait. What is also nice is that when you do finally wear out one side of yourFinesse TRD, you can turn it around and rig it the other way. The 8 baits that come in one pack could easily last you 600 fish. That seems ridiculous. $4.00 for 600 fish? It is the truth. Test it for yourself. I guarantee you will lose more to breaking off than to the bait actually wearing out. I would consider this bait the most cost-efficient plastic on the market.


Like all baits on a Ned Rig, the action is simple. There is no real action, just a subtle fall. That is what makes it work. I feel they nailed the salt content on this bait, to make it sink at the right speed paired with a light jighead. On a swimming retrieve, you can make it dart back and forth with small twitches of the rod.

Great Choice for Co Anglers:

Owning this website, the ultimate reason I like it is because it is such a dynamite tool for Co Anglers who are fishing less than 10 feet of water (that isn’t full of heavy cover). As a Co, there are numerous times where you are put in a situation that it is difficult to draw a strike. This bait is such a “numbers bait” that you can catch fish behind your boater almost regardless of what they are throwing. You can swim it, you can drag it, you can dead-stick it, the list goes on. It is also easy to present at an angle behind the back of the boat. Because it is so light, you don’t need to worry about constantly hanging up.

At the end of the day, this bait is obviously worth a try for all anglers. Learning how to use it in addition to all of the other baits and presentations you already use will make you a more well-rounded angler, and it might just help you someday when the bite is tough. When I fish tournaments, I rely heavily on my larger baits, as they generally catch better fish, but I always have a Ned Rig tied on somewhere in my boat.

See more about this bait from ICAST 2014
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JutyblNdukU]


Length: 2.75 inches

Quantity per pack: 8

Available Colors: 8