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Picking Da Jig
Posted by mmagnone, 1/11/2021 03:56:52 PM
 Matt Magnone
Staff Member at Last Chance
While I tend to put a lot of emphasis on throwing oversized swimbaits for GIANT bass, without a doubt one of my favorite conventional techniques is throwing the jig. There's nothing better than grinding down a chunk rock bank, zoning out as you creep the jig over and through boulders, gravel or mud only to feel a fish suck up the jig sending shockwaves through your rod like a bolt of lightning. It's most definitely an adrenailne rush I can't live without! That single moment in time when you rear back and set the hook on the fish only to be thrust into a split second "tug of war" is one of the best highs an angler can feel on the water. 
When referring to the jig, a lot of anglers immediately think in terms of the common skirted Football Jig that litter tackle shop pegs across the nation. While this jig style has it's individual time and place, there are many head configurations that suit better in varying situations. Hopefully this series of installments will help in picking the right jig head, size, color, trailer and skirt material to help you gain immediate confidence in whats an absolutely radical crossover technique for not only giant bass but 
also for numbers.
Types of Jig configurations-
Football Head Jig-

The Football Head is without a doubt "Ol' Faithfull" in my bag of tricks year round! The elongated football shaped head allows the 
jig to be drug across the bottom creating a sense of deflection allowingthe jig to rock and roll over hard cover without finding its way wedged in a snag. With the line tie almost always at 60-90 degrees, As you lift and drop the rod tip, the angle of line in relation to angler, puts emphasis on the meaty part of the head ensuring in proper deflection on oversized obstacles. This is a head design I fish when I'm dealing with mainly rock and mud bottom as opposed to areas with vegetation. 
Arky Head Jig-

The Arky Head is a popular head design when anglers are faced with "combination" type cover. Lets say you're going down a rip rap 
bank with isolated grass, rock and wood. As the Football Head design works along the contour of the bottom, the wide profiled head has a tendency to collect bottom composition more-so than a stream lined head design like the Arky. By nature, the Arky Head's slimmer design allows the bait to be pulled through cover a lot easier than the Football Head. With a line tie at generally 60 degrees, while the Football Head is my go-to head design, I find myself reaching into my jig box when dealt with sparse soft cover. With it's typical "Mushroom" style head, suitable for, as stated above,"combination" type cover, the wider bellied head still has 
enough mass to properly allow your jig to stand up putting your trailer in a defense stance. It's a proven head design that can't be 
Round Ball Jig-

When it comes down to the Round Ball Head, this head design doesn't get as much play as the Football or the Arky. This actually puts shame on the angler and not the head. The fact of the matter is that the Round Ball is the most compact, natural, head in the bunch. When finesse applications come to a head in either the extreme heat or the extreme cold, an angler may be forced to downsize in not only size, but weight, to get those key bites. The Round Ball head offers an angler the best of both worlds as opposed to the Football or Arky. When you think about it, you're basically taking two of the best head designs and incorporating them into one. The deflection values of the Football Head and the compact cover boasting features of the Arky Head. I find myself reaching for this head design more frequently in the dead of Winter when I'm faced with colder water temps. I often pair a 3/16oz-1/4oz Round Ball head paired with a jig skirt cut down in the Eikens form. This trick has put me on the board many trips while a traditional jig has left me high and dry.
Darter Head Jig-

The Darter Head, just as the name suggests, has a stream lined appearance making it perfect for a finesse presentation we utilize 
greatly on the West Coast. In terms of hydrodynamics, as water passes around the head, being that it's streamlined, there's less 
resistance on the jig allowing it to fall at quicker speeds due to the lack of drag. With that being said, this head design paired with a small profiled bait makes for an incredible "match the hatch" fin bait replicator. Although this head is greatly used in combination with a grub, ringworm or fluke style bait imitating smaller fin baits, there's a lot of history behind the Darter Head in terms of using it on smaller 4"-6" straight tailed plastics. Whatever the case may be, this head design works great when times get tough and you need to scale down. 
Swim Jig-

In the Summer months, when you find yourself in a situation where you're favorite stretch of bank is covered with isolated grass but 
the fish are telling you they want a moving bait, it's often frustrating when you simply can't get a bait in the zone without being "fouled up". This is a common occurence on shallower bodies of water or when fish move up onto shallow water flats to feed. This scenario is perfect for the Swim Jig. The Swim Jig has a line tie generally at 30 degrees and employs an inline eye allowing the bait to be pulled through soft cover with minimal hang up. More often times than not the Swim Jig utilizes a longer, streamlined head  to reduce not only drag through the water, but to prevent weeds or other debris from collecting on the head or line tie. This is a go-to jig head when fishing shallower weed filled water or through brush.  
To Be Continued...
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