Jigs are one of the most basic bass lures used by anglers all over the country to catch fish year round. Jigs are more or less a hook with a lead head and a decorative skirt attached. Although the basis for jigs remains the same, modifications have been made in order to better suit different methods of fishing jigs. We've separated the wide array of jigs into categories based on their intended use. While many jigs encompass several categories, there are specific design features which are better suited for some techniques over others.
Casting Jigs is perhaps the most ambiguous style of bass jigs considering the fact that all jigs are cast in some fashion. We define casting jigs as models that are intended for use in light cover or open water and traditionally range from 3/8-5/8oz in weight. Casting jigs offer the most versatility of any jig style and can virtually be fished with success in any manner, however, most anglers tend to use them when fishing general cover in water 10 feet of depth or less. The ideal situation would be a stretch of bank with a variety of structural items that range in depth.
Finesse Jigs are classified as models which traditionally possess a light wire hook, a smaller head and perhaps a lighter skirt. Many finesse model jigs were created for use when targeting spotted bass in the Ozark region. Heavier wire hooks require a more forceful hookset and therefore a heavier line. When targeting spotted bass in ultra clear water anglers often opt for lighter line which is not conducive to heavy wire hooks found on most jigs. Finesse jigs often feature a ball head design with a skirt that flares out over it. Anglers fishing for spotted bass will find the finesse models of jigs to be the ideal choice for open water, light brush and pitching around docks.
Flipping Jigs are the true brutes of the jig family. These jigs are intended to be presented into the thickest cover whether it be wood, grass, reeds or matted vegetation. Flipping jigs are designed with a pointed jig head which penetrates the cover and puts the jig face to face with the bass buried inside. Jigs that are categorized as flipping models distinguish themselves by their pointed jig head, typically heavier weight and a heavy wire hook. Most flipping jigs weigh 1/2oz or greater and are intended to be employed with a heavy fluorocarbon or braided line. Flipping jigs are notorious for catching big bass all over the country and continue to account for bass tournament victories on a regular basis.
Football Jigs derive the name from their football shaped head. Football jigs are traditionally used for probing deeper water structure such as points, rock piles, ledges and depth changes. The shape of the jig head lends itself to maintaining bottom contact in an upright position while remaining less susceptible to snags. Many anglers turn to football jigs when fishing a large deep water area that possesses specific targets, such as rocks or wood, which are the key to generating bites. Maintaining bottom contact ensures the jig will locate those structural elements and hopefully result in strikes.
Swim Jigs are intended to be utilized with a constant retrieve, often in sparse grass or reeds. Swim jigs, for the most part, aren't a new concept; in fact they've been a staple in bass fishing since its inception. Recent developments, however, have re-established swim jigs as a tool in most bass anglers' arsenals. Swimming a jig can be as simple as casting and retrieving or anglers can choose to impart their own action on the lure with varied retrieval speeds and rod movements. Swim jigs can be fished throughout the water column from the surface to any depth the user chooses. Often, anglers choose to use a jig trailer that matches the forage they are trying to replicate. Crayfish imitators suggest the use of a soft plastic craw trailer while bluegill or shad imitators call for swimbaits or grubs.
Jig heads are the foundation of all the other jigs. Simply put, the items in this category are hooks with lead heads poured around them. The jig heads category also encompasses shaky heads and dart heads. Among popular products in this category are the football jig heads which are often paired with spider grubs to create a soft plastic jig that appeals to all species of bass, but is especially effective when targeting spotted bass.