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How Tying Your Own Jigs Can Help You Hook More Fall Bass

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October 07, 2013

How Tying Your Own Jigs Can Help You Hook More Fall Bass

By Dave Wolak

Well, summer’s gone and ‘tis the season to sit back and watch some football or baseball playoffs. When I’m doing that, I’m usually tying up some jigs at the same time, because these baits are very potent in the fall (and you can never have enough). Of course, there are both positives and negatives to making your own jigs. In the long run it’s often cheaper than buying a bunch over the counter, but it takes time, and time is money. That said, I wouldn’t waste the effort making a bunch of run-of-the-mill jigs if a similar store-bought model will work just as well. I tie my own jigs because it allows me to fine-tune them to specs I believe make them more effective than those I find on tackle shop shelves.

For starters, making my own jigs allows me to use premium hooks, which in my opinion is one of the most important parts of a good jig. Many of the hooks used in mass-produced jigs are decent, but rarely the best of the best. That’s because manufacturers are trying to meet the price point of their competitors, and the bulk purchase of standard-quality hooks is one way to do so. Making my own jigs also lets me create colors perfectly calibrated to my specifications, which could relate to anything from specific forage in the body of water I plan to fish, to the overall color of the bottom in a particular area, to a known change in water clarity where a creek enters the lake.

When it comes to skirts, not only do I like to mix and match materials, but I’ll also layer the materials in different ways that alter the overall profile and how the colors flash. As an example, rubber skirts often come in muted or bland colors, so rather than try to create contrast with rubber on rubber, I’ll pair rubber for bulk and thin synthetic Crystal Flash for vibrant, shiny highlights. Mixing and layering skirt materials like rubber, silicone, and marabou not only alters the look of the jig at rest, but the changes the skirt’s “flow” when it’s swimming or free falling. I’ve also noticed that it’s harder to find a hair jig with a weed guard, or a rubber-skirted jig without one. It’s one more example of how tying your own jigs let’s you play Dr. Frankenstein and create exactly the bait you want for any situation. Finally, hand tying just produces a sexier jig. Wrapping materials in with fine thread allows you to hide your work smoothly instead of having to use a bulky, off-color collar with a skirt haphazardly jammed under it on the hook shank.

Comments (5)

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from santa wrote 27 weeks 3 days ago

Dave, I have tied my own buck tail jigs for over fifty years. I even molded nylon right into the lead head to make salt water speck rigs. You just put the nylon into the mold and when you pour the molten lead into the mold, it melts the nylon right into the head. Back in the day, the old Herter's Supply Catalog was almost my bible because there just were not places like Bass Pro or even Walmart where you could hunt and pick from hundreds of ready rolled. In most cases there just was not a big selection of jigs to choose from so if you wanted anything special, you pretty much had to make it yourself. Even ready roll molds were hard to get so I bought blank aluminum molds from Herter's and cut my own. There just is no more satisfying experience than when you catch a fish on tackle that you designed and built yourself. And over the years, I have designed and built everything from rods and reels to the actual hooks.

PS, I have to give credit to my jig mentor, Bill Sharpe, who had been making lures for at least twenty years before me and was kind enough to teach me how to cut molds and pour lead. He was also the person who first molded nylon skirts directly into the lead heads instead of tying the skirt on.

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from rjw wrote 27 weeks 1 day ago

Very nice touch to an already deadly color combo.

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from rjw wrote 27 weeks 1 day ago

Very nice touch to an already deadly color combo.

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from rjw wrote 27 weeks 1 day ago

This site is sloooooooooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwww

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from David Wolak wrote 27 weeks 1 day ago

Tweaking the colors and materials is both fun and addicting at the same time. Thanks

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from santa wrote 27 weeks 3 days ago

Dave, I have tied my own buck tail jigs for over fifty years. I even molded nylon right into the lead head to make salt water speck rigs. You just put the nylon into the mold and when you pour the molten lead into the mold, it melts the nylon right into the head. Back in the day, the old Herter's Supply Catalog was almost my bible because there just were not places like Bass Pro or even Walmart where you could hunt and pick from hundreds of ready rolled. In most cases there just was not a big selection of jigs to choose from so if you wanted anything special, you pretty much had to make it yourself. Even ready roll molds were hard to get so I bought blank aluminum molds from Herter's and cut my own. There just is no more satisfying experience than when you catch a fish on tackle that you designed and built yourself. And over the years, I have designed and built everything from rods and reels to the actual hooks.

PS, I have to give credit to my jig mentor, Bill Sharpe, who had been making lures for at least twenty years before me and was kind enough to teach me how to cut molds and pour lead. He was also the person who first molded nylon skirts directly into the lead heads instead of tying the skirt on.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from rjw wrote 27 weeks 1 day ago

Very nice touch to an already deadly color combo.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from rjw wrote 27 weeks 1 day ago

Very nice touch to an already deadly color combo.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from rjw wrote 27 weeks 1 day ago

This site is sloooooooooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwww

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from David Wolak wrote 27 weeks 1 day ago

Tweaking the colors and materials is both fun and addicting at the same time. Thanks

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment