|Let the Jiggin begin....
Master Jig Builder
In this issue:
Jigs, Rigs & After Burner's: What's the difference? Not Much!
Similarly, outcomes from those two weeks have prompted me to once again celebrate the humble and yet very potent ability of jigs, and their hybrids, to catch a large range of fish if designed with "specific species" in mind.
These designs can be many and varied and yet must, in my view, always be focused on what species are being targeted and how best to do so. Two articles ago I wrote about the 5 main points to selecting the right jigs for the right day. When I say jigs, I also mean those that contain all forms of forward weighted heads and can include clouser type minnow flies as another distinct member of this category. They too are clearly a jig of a kind with a forward weighted head and defined tail finishes. Yet the only difference is head weight and the means used to cast them e.g. a fly rod. Purpose remains the same and presentation methods are basically trying to achieve the same outcome as well.
The sling shot technique developed here at DJ&DWL is another hybrid extension of a jig. Simply created by a slightly larger distance between the head weight and tail of choice. Ultimately you end up with a jig type rig that is highly effective and yet has the humble jig as it's source of inspiration and development. My last article covers this in far more detail if interested. In that article, I recommended the use of flies of choice as the tail finish and the runs are on the board. Based on our own experience plus feedback from a range of sources including comments posted by several anglers on the Jig Forum Board here at the Fish -Finder, this method is both simple and deadly.
My trip away also re-affirmed that flash tackle is not always the most effective. When chasing big schools of Tuna I mostly used a 2oz white Predator (minnow head) jig, big holographic eyes, dressed collar and flashing of our own design, with either a fixed single hook or a jointed and dressed (fire tail) treble. Trolling wise they were perfect and at times out gunned other forms of artificial baits. Casting wise we used simple, yet smartly dressed, 1oz HD hook versions when they frenzied and were feeding on the surface. The best we landed was a 30lb Northern Blue Fin (on 12lb line) after a very hot 3 hour session in which our arms were nearly torn from their sockets several times.
Why did I choose a jig for this action? Toughness, durability and versatility. When they disappeared we simply changed to jigging for them in the space of seconds. No need to wait for them to come up again. Go after them instead. By the way, and while not being adverse to keep a few fish to eat at times, all these Tuna were successfully released as well which for me made it an even better day.
So we have jigs and rigs, and now other forms of jig type lures evolving out of the woodwork and rightly so. Why? Because they maintain their simplicity and at the same time can be made even more effective by subtle changes to their make up. Take our new After Burner Trolling Lures for example.
Maintaining the KIS (keep it simple) principle I have made a few changes that make an often seen, and perhaps boring looking, 6" octopus skirt into a far more deadly piece of tackle. The "After Burner" is also an extension of a jig believe it or not. Yep, and it goes like this. From a jig head and hook in the beginning to an open rig (similar to that used in the SST) to a rig with a skirt covering and a few bolt on extra's with specific effects in mind and presto, another unique (c) Demon design.
For a start we have added a small rotating blade at the front. Why? Because most saltwater species, and particularly big pelagics, like flash, cavitation bubbles and a bit of noise. Inside the skirt we have left the wire loop loose so that you get better hook up rates and onto that hook I have added my own blend of materials and flashing. Why? Because it creates a moving and contrasting effect inside the skirt. At the same time, you can still cast them into the surf by asking for a larger head weight if needed or adjust your trolling depth by simply adding another weight just in front of the 165lb test wire leader when you tie them on. So versatility becomes the other big bonus when you use them under the right conditions and are targeting toothy species. Finally, the other real benefit is that of cost. Using this design we have created an effective piece of tackle and yet been able to keep the costs reasonably low (e.g. around $9-00 per unit) without compromising toughness, talent or effect.
The same also goes for either rigs or jigs. While customizing them to some extend is not cheap by comparison to the cost of standard dressed jigs, the benefits of making them species specific (where possible) is worth that bit extra. At the end of the day, they most often still cost far less than other forms of tackle.
Long live the the humble jig and all it's variations. Am I biased? You bet, because in my view the facts are plain and simple along with the extra dollars in my bill fold.
Until next month .... Burnin Thumbs!
The Jig Master