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Jig Skirts, What Do You Think The Skirt Use Is?

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Reading several threads on this site the replies about bass jigs regarding skirts the commits related to skirts are interesting bad differ widely, so what you thinks a jig skirt does to cause a bass to strike?

We know a skirt adds color, size and movement, but why would a bass prefer a silicone, living rubber, deer hair, or features?

What was also interesting to me is how many replies stated that they use hair jigs without trailers!

A jig without a skirt is nothing more than a weighted hook, what do you believe the skirts adds?

Tom

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i think the skirt just adds a bigger profile and more action. For instance, if a jig with a rubber skirt is sitting still on the bottom with the trailer in the defensive craw position and the rubber is flared out. That craw looks bigger. I dont know the exact answer, only bass do. I think you could also make an argument that when your throwing a jig to mimic a craw. That skirt makes your craw imitation look different than a normal live craw. I dont throw the A Rig, but guys say that if you have 4 baits of the same color and 1 a different color, they more often than not hit the 1 color thats different from the rest.

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alters the fall rate, creates the illusion of addtional size, adds additional movement, usually adds additional color or flash, changes the water displacement "signature" of the bait

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Maybe we can hear from a few jig makers why they make their jigs with a specific skirt. The history is jig skirt materials is interesting, here are a few;

Deer hair, feathers, natural rubber, vinyl, monkey hair, synthetic hair, living rubber, Mylar, micro rubber frog hair, silicone strips, etc.

Tom

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Very little response to this thread.

The jig skirt is a major component and well over 50% of the anglers, who purchase jigs, make their decision based on what they hear or read someone said or reported they cuaght the bass on. When you considered the vast majority of bass anglers never tell the truth in regards to what they actually catch the bass, making a decision based on what another angler said is questionable. A pro bass angler is a promotional angler, his or her job is selling you lures and tackle and that should be another consideration when choosing lures.

When you look at the simple jig, a weighted hook, the number 1 selling jig skirt is silicone skirt material in black with blue highlights, number 2 is silicone skirt in green pumpkin with red flakes. Silicone skirts have the least water resistance and movement of the top skirt materials in regards to catching big bass; living rubber and hair out perform silicone in the number of big bass per hour fished. The color black is also a low color choice for soft plastics fished during the day time and the color combination black with blue highlights doesn't match the hatch across the country in regards to the color do crayfish, outside brackish water ways. The color green pumpkin has some merit when considering matching crayfish and some baitfish.

What I believe a jig skirt does for a jig is creates life like movement and contributes somewhat to the shape or profile of the jig or what is referred to as bulk. A good jig skirt should be capable of attracting the bass to the lure and inducing a strike .....without a trailer! A good trailer should also be capable of doing the same as a good skirt....catch bass without the jig skirt. The combination of both elements are a very effective skirt and trailer is the jig you should be fishing. If you believe you must have a trailer to catch bass on the jig you are fishing with or the triler must be combined with a skirt to catch bass, you should reconsidered both.

I believe the #1 color combination black and blue works across the country because of the number of man hours this jig is fished and is a low % color combination in normal light conditions.

My most productive skirt color is based on brown with highlights of purple and black. This color combination is also very good when combined with trailer that are one of the colors. Green can be substituted for black; brown, purple and green and this is my second choice or first depending on water clarity and seasonal periods.

My top choice for skirt materials is deer hair and second is living rubber. Both are low in popularity because they are drab and don't contain colorful flakes or stripes....which help sell the jig.

Tom

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alters the fall rate, creates the illusion of addtional size, adds additional movement, usually adds additional color or flash, changes the water displacement "signature" of the bait

This seems like a pretty comprehensive response to me.

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I really look at the jig skirt to adress three variables:

1. Action

2. Color

3. Size

I left out fall rate because that is something best done by switching to a different jig weight. Trying to determine the fall rate of every jig in my boxes based on the skirt material, length, diameter, etc is nearly impossible and cumbersome. Yes, a larger skirted jig will fall slower than a thin skirted jig, but sink rate is most accurately adjusted by swapping to a different jig weight. If I want a slower or faster fall rate, I swap jigs, not skirts.

Action: The amount of action a jig gives can be largely affected by the skirt. Silicon vs hair, round vs flat. If I want a lot of action I prefer silicon, but in colder months I will use hair to minimize the action.

Color: The color of the skirt is something that I take a close look at and try to mimick the substrate of the surface I'll be fishing instead of focusing only on the color of the craw. For instance, if I am throwing jigs on a sandy bottom, I'll make sure the the skirt has strands that are as close to the color of the sand as possible. I feel that the sand colored strands moving around while the jig is at rest looks like the creature is trying to dig around in the dirt to hide or make a stand, much like a crawfish might. Also, if I know i am fishing a jig in sporadic grass, I'll have multiple colors of green strands in the trailer to make it look like the creature is moving the grass around him in his defense pose when I have the jig sitting on the bottom. Its something I put a lotof emphasis on but I dont know if it helps much, more of a confidence thing if anything at all I suppose.

Size: Skirts obviously can affect the profile size of the lure. Longer, round strands with hair offer a thicker/larger profile (Hippy Jig), while flat strands of a lower count offer a thinner profile. Simply match what size bait you believe the fish to be snacking on.

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here are some of my thoughts about skirts, and what they are made out of. silicone is the most popular because of all the colors that can be produced that can not be done with rubber. i like to use slip on skirts, whether rubber or silicone, just from the standpoint of being more versatile in doing so. my jigs last long enough that the skirt will be eaten off long before it is lost is another reason. i am not against hand tied jigs at all. a better flare can be obtained with rubber material, unless they skirt is tied with the skirt material itself. then, it has the same function as hand tied, but can be changed. either way from a manufacturing standpoint, both are more labor intensive to do and add to the cost of the product. hair of course must be tied. because of labor costs, many manufactures just do not offer it anymore, and marketing has made it become less desireable to the fisherman, not the fish. i use all three materials, and i do so based on what the bass are eating, and whether they want a fuller profile bait or a more slender one. i still use hair jigs that i tie for my own use. the amount of hair that you use will also have an effect on the profile of your jig. the number of big bass that i have caught over the years is probably pretty even between rubber and hair. silicone lags way behind. i am pretty much f the opinion that the jig head could be lead without paint. i just need the basic color to come out with my skirt and trailer. the vast array of colors we have now is much more to catch fisherman than it is the fish. i sell jigs and am telling honestly about colors. we have to sell the consumer first. for me, i would be worried a lot more about the performance of my jig than the colors. does it actually hook accurately, or is it hooking all over the mouth?? is it really snagproof, or does it take at least 6 jigs or more to fish an outing. just some of my thoughts about jigs and skirts.

bo

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