Jigs, Weights and Confidence Baits

From time to time the issue of exact jig weight measurement comes up. I have to admit, my impulse to research has lead me to examine the exact weights and measurements of the jig products that we buy. At the end of the day I believe the answer will be the same though… We fish with the tackle that instills the most confidence in us.

The jig making process lends itself to a certain amount of creativity. Style and functionality is what makes a new design desirable then the weight gets factored in. A complex design like a rattle jig can raise many questions. Was the weight of the rattle factored into the design? Was an allowance made for the weight of the hook?

Different hook styles do present variations in weight distribution however. In production, the same mold may accommodate many hooks. What we have then is a base lead design that can be applied over and over again to meet the market demand. This is efficient, and for all practical purposes, state-of-the-art. It allows for the greatest flexibility to respond to the core of the consumer demand, style and function.

Loosing fish is probably the top reason to go shopping for a new hook design. It has happened to me. When I was loosing smallies with a weedless tube presentation using a standard offset worm style hook with an O’Shaunessy bend, I knew something had to change. By examining the way the tube laid along the hook shank I concluded that there wasn’t enough travel between the body of the tube and the wire. The Gamakatsu EWG has a wide gap which solved the problem. Even though this wasn’t a jig presentation, the path from problem to solution is the same.

The best overall approach to selecting a jig design that meets your needs is personal on-the-water experience. Once we decide to purchase a model which piques our interest, the weight or weights that we select get put to the test. As we apply the new tool we discover performance characteristics that were both anticipated and some that were not. Here is where the real work is done in determining a proper weight.

A similar jig design can also vary in weight per manufacturer. Even subtle design features can be a determining factor. For instance, one jig may leave the eyelet more exposed thus easier to tie on once it penetrates the wall of a tube.

In my work with anglers who require a high level of performance to compete, I encourage a focus on maintaining a level of confidence in hook style or design. What works for you is what works. Sometimes that means sticking with a jig design from a certain manufacturer where the hook style, body style and weight distribution meet your expectations.

The fish and the environment are full of surprises. Taking the guesswork out of factors that we can control puts the odds in our favor.

Find jigs and more at the Xtreme Bass Tackle Ebay Store

(c) 2010 Wayne Carpenter

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3 Responses to “Jigs, Weights and Confidence Baits”

  1. Craig Says:

    just a quick question about the jigs and the length of the hook shank. I recently purchased a number of your 5″ tubes (mainly for the St. Clair River), but I’m concerned that the normal length of a 4/0 hook is too short and I’ll miss fish if i don’t go to a longer shank length. Do you have any thoughts on this?



  2. Wayne Carpenter Says:

    Excellent question Craig. I do highly recommend 5″ tubes for Lake St. Clair and the river and throw them myself first and foremost.

    The first thing I do is to not mess with an angler’s confidence and that’s why I don’t push the bigger 6/0 hook for the 5″ tube at first. The most common tube jig hook size it 4/0 and most of the time I’m using a 4/0 hook to rig my 5″ tubes.

    What I do is work the tube jighead into the 5″ tube and let the longer tube work its way along and curl up around the bend of the hook. Once I have the head of the tube jig where I want it I’ll stretch the tube slightly at the end and penetrate the hook point at the spot in the tube where it allows it to lay down properly. What I don’t do is tear the tube up to the hook which will wreck the action and cause the tube to deteriorate much faster.

    A 6/0 hook fits perfectly into the 5″ tube with the bend of the hook sitting right where its supposed to be. I use these during tournaments. If you haven’t used a 6/0 hook before it can take some getting used to. Yes, it hooks the bass and doesn’t miss but it also hooks everything else including every rock, piece of wood and weed.

    As good as the 6/0 hook is for hookups, I’m still not convinced a significant amount of bass are being lost with the 4/0 hook. I say this after even a decade of use. Even so, the proof is in the pudding and when money is on the line a 6/0 hook it is.

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