There are a ton of different Ned heads on the market now, many of which are quite good. The Outkast Tackle Perfect Ned Head was designed by Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit angler Josh Douglas, and having used it pretty extensively this spring, I can wholeheartedly recommend it.
To me, differentiating between Ned heads comes down to the hook in most cases. The scheme of a lead or tungsten mushroom head and a wire keeper is pretty simple, but the range of hooks you can go with is actually pretty broad. Personally, I’ve gravitated toward the thicker-wire hooks, like the ones that come on the Perfect Ned or the Owner Block Head. There are some anglers that I really respect that like the lighter hooks, and if that’s you, know that you probably shouldn’t mess with this head. For those who do like a thicker hook, this one really nails it. Pretty much every Ned bait fits well on the 2/0 size, and the 1/0 is there for you if you want it. The hook is from Gamakatsu, and I don’t think I’ve lost a fish on it yet this spring.
Some other differences
The head of the Perfect Ned is a little more rounded than some other heads, which is supposed to help it come back to a “standing” position on the bottom. Another difference is that the keeper is longer than usual.
I can’t tell for sure how well this head stands compared to others. So far this spring I’ve mostly been fishing it about 10 or 15 feet down. However, I’m not really concerned about it. I know the fish will eat it plenty well.
There are things I like and don’t like about the keeper. I think because it is longer, sometimes it can get bent a little bit away from the shank of the hook, which means that it can effectively “stop” ElaZtech and other stretchy plastics from going all the way on. It’s a simple enough fix by pressing it down a little with your finger or threading a little more strategically. However, it seems to happen more with this keeper than with others. On the plus side, I think the stoutness of the keeper and head build are real positives. Some other keepers can get knocked loose after a while or break off because of the lightness of the wire. So far, I haven’t seen any of these heads even think about getting loose.
All told, the Perfect Ned is phenomenal in my book. The only thing that keeps it from true perfection is the price. On Tackle Warehouse, you can get them for about $2 per head, which is pretty pricey for a Ned head.
Price aside, they’re great. And, for many bass anglers, paying a tick extra for a premium product has become commonplace.
Company: Outkast Tackle
Product: Outkast Tackle Perfect Ned Head
Colors: green pumpkin and black
Hook sizes: 1/0 and 2/0
Weights: 1/16, 3/32, 1/8 and 3/16 ounce
Price: $5.99 for a three-pack