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martedì 20 dicembre 2016

Jig Head Rig Guide (ENG)

The Jig Head Rig is the most famous and most used rig in the softbait fishing world.

Jig heads are very popular among fishermen, for many reasons:

_They are part of a very simple rig, it's enough in fact to tie them directly on the line, without additional weights or knots, and we are ready to cast.
_They are easily available everywhere; every single fishing shop has some jig heads in stock.
_ They are more versatile and adaptable than the other rigs, that are very specific and situational (e.g. the Dropshot Rig and the Wacky Rig). Jig heads can be used at any depth and with any retrieve speed.
_There are a lot of different jig heads, with different head shapes and different hooks. This allows us to cover a lot of situations.


Even if it is a simple rig, it's not always easy to use jig heads in the proper way.
It's not simple to choose the right jig head, thinking about the fishing spot, the lure we will use and the kind of fish we are looking for.

Substantially, the differences among jig heads are connected to the head shape, the weight and the hook (size and shape).

Head Shape: I will speak about the most common head shapes, but there are much more shapes.
_Round: the Round Jig Head is the most common one and the easiest to find. It's suitable to all applications, but it doesn't give its best with mid water retrieves and fast retrieves, because it's less hydrodynamic than the others and because the round shape does not give a particular movement while we are jerking to animate it. So it's better to use it in vertical fishing or when we need slow retrieves.
_Bullet (Darter): these bullet shape heads, or fish-head shape heads have a very hydrodynamic profile, and, like the round ones, they are very famous and easy to find. This hydrodynamics leads to a reduced water resistance and is perfect with fast retrieves. So they are the best choice with all the softbaits that imitate small fish, like Soft Jerkbaits, Shadtail Worms, ecc.
_Stand Up: these jig heads have a flat base and a facing up hook so that they can stay on the bottom in perfect balance. They are mainly used with baits that work very close to the bottom, like craws and small creatures, possibly with features that help to have the lure standing up even better, like floating pincers or appendages.
_Football: these jig heads have a head shape that resemble a football ball. They are usually quite heavy and have two main features: in mid water game with Soft Swimbaits they will swim in a very linear way, while for bottom fishing they can stand in a perfectly stable way, guaranteeing to our softbait a correct position on the bottom, and this is the reason why this head shape is widely used as bass jigs base.
_Slider: these jig heads don't have normal hooks, but offset hooks. They are substitutes of the normal Texas Rig. They are not so common but they can be used when you want to use a Texas Rig but with a very low weight.

Weight: there are jig heads of any weight, from 0,3g. to beyond 250 g. The choice of the weight must be done following some parameters:
_Fishing depth: this is the most important parameter, because a very lightweight jig head takes too much time to sink in a very deep spot, and you will have a lot of troubles in having good contact and sensitivity with the jig head itself. So, the first choice must be done thinking about the depth and I can say that 2 or 3 grams for every 5 meters of depth can be a good choice in a calm situation.
_Current (stream): the current power is very important for some of the reasons I explained in the paragraph above; with a strong current a light jig head will have a lot of troubles to sink and to stay active because it will be carried in a very fast way. This is important for the current of rivers but also with the currents that you can find in the sea, caused by the waves.
_Softbait weight: there are floating and sinking softbaits. The sinking ones are usually heavier and among the sinking ones there are some of them heavier than the others; this depends on the rubber compound. So the jig head weight choice must be done thinking about the softbait weight.
_Casting distance: obviously the cast of heavier jig heads will be longer, so if we need long casts it's better to choose heavy jig heads.
_Head material: there are lead jig heads and tungsten jig heads. The lead ones are the most common and the less expensive, but the tungsten ones have a double advantage: a higher specific weight that allows us to have heavier heads for the same volume, and a lower environmental impact, being tungsten less polluting than lead.

Hook size and shape: the hook size must be chosen in relation to the softbait we are going to use and to the fish we are going to catch. On the other hand, the hook shape is connected to three different features:
_Short Shank: the jig heads with short shank hooks are generally the most resistant and tough ones and they are made for seabreams and all the other fish with small mouth and hard palate. We will use them with short and fat softbaits.
_Long Shank: the jig heads with long shank hooks are the most common and they are suitable for every kind of fish and almost every kind of softbait, particularly with shads, straight worms and other long-shaped softbaits
_Offset: the jig heads with offset hooks are not so common and they are called “Slider Jig Heads”.

In my opinion, the best combination Jig Head-Softbait is the one that allows us to stay in the strike zone while retrieving in the slower way possible.

This thing doesn't mean that you must always choose lightweight jig heads, but the lightest possible in that particular situation. This because a too heavy bait will loose a lot in movement naturelness.

Thank you for the attention!


Marco

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