How To Tie Your Own Jigs
Learn how to tie your own jigs in this instructional video from professional guide Gene Jensen!
Hi, guys. This is Gene Jensen from BassResource.com. Today I'm going to show you how I hand-tie my jigs. The equipment that I use is, started out with a pretty good fly tying vise. You don't need a good one. I had dirt cheap one for years when I was first getting started. I upped to a nice one because I started back to tying flies and doing a whole bunch of fancy things with some streamers and things like that. This vise made it a little bit easier.
Anyway, back to tying jigs. The tools are a set of needle-nose pliers, a pair of scissors and a set of wire cutters. These are surgical, but any wire cutters will do. The jig I use is a rocker head with a Gamakatsu wide gap hook on it. The jig heads that I prefer, whether it's a rocker head or an Arky head or anything else, to me they've got to have that little collar on it with the flat back, reason being is that it makes your skirt flare out a lot better when you hand tie and when you pull it tight. Every one of my heads that I tie has that collar.
The rule of thumb with the skirt material is anywhere between 45 and 55, sometimes 60 strands of skirt material is needed. I try to keep mine somewhere around 50. If you go any higher and you tend to get a really bulky skirt, especially with the living rubber. Some of the living rubber skirts that you find out on the market have way too many strands of living rubber and not enough silicone color or anything else in them for my personal preference. That's the main reason why I started tying my own jigs, because I couldn't find something out there that I liked, and I couldn't find something out there that I felt like the bass would bite better than what I could make.
I start out with 14 strands of living rubber and then to keep it somewhere within that ballpark of 45 to 55, I try to keep my silicone dat down to 44 strands or two tabs. Each tab has 22 strands. I get my silicone from FishingSkirts.com. It has the best selection and dang good prices. Anyway, I keep it down to 44 strands. No matter what color or how many colors I use, I try to cut and divide and try to keep it down to 44 strands of silicone.
Let's go ahead and make one of my favorite jigs. I put it in my vice with the hook down. I tighten the vice down and make a little loop in my wire and at the same time wrapping it around the hook. Pull it down and just let it hang there, just like that. Then I take one tab of living rubber, one tab of green pumpkin, one of banana, or half a tab of banana and half a tab of orange. This is my most popular color. This is a color I actually got the idea for from Charlie Harley when he was doing so well in the Classic in '08. I had the opportunity of interviewing him and at the same time he let me take pictures of the jig he was doing so well with. I really liked the colors. I said well, I've got to start making that color.
Anyway, you take and you slide your silicone down through the loop and squeeze your loop tight. Now what I used to do on my old cheap vice is I had a mark on it with a Sharpie where I pulled the skirt material down to get me the right length. Here, when it butts up against that bar it's the right length.
Pull your wire tight, wrap it over once more and grab your pliers. What you do here is you pull it snug, but you don't pull it so snug that it cuts your silicone material. You pull it until it just starts to squish it down up against the jig head. Wrap around once and that locks it into place. With your hand, while pulling the wires, wrap it four or five more times. Take your wire cutters and snip it off. Don't forget - sometimes I forget to do this – to bend this tab down with your pliers. Once again, you don't have to squeeze it tight. All you're doing is bending it down.
One at a time, pull your tabs to where they start to stretch and cut them off. All the material just pops right out into place. I do them one at a time. A lot of people do them all at a time. When you're doing the living rubber skirt you don't really need to have the silicone all the same length. I do this mainly to get the most out of the silicone.
With my living rubber you could do the same thing. You could just pull it and cut it and it would pop right out. I like to do it. When you tie several hundred of these a year it saves on living rubber, so I do it by hand. If you listen carefully while you're popping these, you'll be able to hear when you leave a double or a triple and you can go back and pull them right. Then you loosen it up, spread your skirt around the collar, and there's your finished jig.
That's all there is to it. This has been a lot of fun for me. I've enjoyed making jigs. I do sell them online every once in a while. You just have to get lucky and be on BassResource when I sell them. I do them just to basically cover the cost of the materials that I use.
But like I always say, visit BassResource.com for all the answers to your questions about bass fishing. Don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel. Click that little button up there and subscribe, and if you like any of my videos, click the Like button down at the bottom. It helps me out and helps more people find my videos. Take care and have a great day.