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G3Steve

Missing Fish On Siebert Poison Tail Swim Jig

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First off let me say that I fish "regular" jigs every time I go out.  They are my confidence bait. 

 

Last year I got into swim jigs and I was catching some nice hogs on the Dirty Jigs California swim jig, and this year I wanted to make my own.

 

So I bought some poison tail jig heads from Siebert and put together some skirts and threw on some 3.8" Keitech Swing Impact Fats.  The fish seem to like them pretty good, but so far it's only when I'm hopping and dragging the jigs.... trying to emulate feeding baitfish.

 

Now here's the problem - I'm losing every fish that bites.  I'm using the same hookset as I do with arky head jigs.  Up and over my shoulder.  With arkies, I have nearly a 100% hookup ratio.  I really don't remember the last time I lost a fish on an arky.

 

I tried with the weedguard trimmed and untrimmed, and it didn't make a diference.

 

Setup is a Dobyns DX 745C, 50lb braid.  When I feel the bite I immediately reel down and whack 'em, and I do feel them fight for a few seconds before the line goes slack.

 

As for the bait, they're definitely not biting just the tail as the bait in still in good shape.

 

I'm wondering if these poison tail jig heads need a different type of hookset?

 

Are poison tails not meant to be dragged?  All other bites I've gotten on the California swim jig were when the bait was moving.

 

Could it be Siebert jigs themselves?  They seem to be great quality and I bought a bunch of them so I want to make them work.

 

Maybe I'm setting the hook too hard with the mag heavy rod and braid?

 

What should I do?  Here's a pic of the bait for those interested.

post-27685-0-34429700-1373620773_thumb.j

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I really can't imagine what is going on for you. I have never had the issue and don't do

anything special or different.  This is my only thought: Maybe the Swing Impact Fat is

simply too big forthe  hook, I use the trailer some with a 3/8 jig without issues. Are you

rigging 1/4 oz? Try using a Menace and see if size matters.

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Mag heavy and braid? You're probably ripping the lips off the poor fish. Try a MH with fluoro.

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I use these swim jigs as well without a problem.  ONly thing I could add would be maybe too skirt eavy?  looks as if most of the skirt is on top, and kinda thick.  How many strands are you using?
 

Jeff

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I have 2 questions that will help you out, the first question is about the hook, is the hook a regular round bend or is it the EWG Mustad? The reason I ask is I make the same jig and I have some guys that love the EWG style hook and others that hate it so I use a round bend for those people. The guys that don't like it complain about losing fish like you are and the reason is the hookset. The thing about the poison tail is that it uses a 30 degree hook so you can swim it effectively but it also has a rocker head design so it is right at home on the bottom, but with the EWG style hook you want more of a sweep set, not directly vertical but off to the side. What happen with the EWG hook is the fish is hitting the trailer, when it inhales the jig it almost always rolls to the side so over the shoulder pull it out of the mouth with the hook eith skin hooking the corner of the mouth or coming out clean, just try the sideways sweep hookset and see if it helps.

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I have 2 questions that will help you out, the first question is about the hook, is the hook a regular round bend or is it the EWG Mustad? The reason I ask is I make the same jig and I have some guys that love the EWG style hook and others that hate it so I use a round bend for those people. The guys that don't like it complain about losing fish like you are and the reason is the hookset. The thing about the poison tail is that it uses a 30 degree hook so you can swim it effectively but it also has a rocker head design so it is right at home on the bottom, but with the EWG style hook you want more of a sweep set, not directly vertical but off to the side. What happen with the EWG hook is the fish is hitting the trailer, when it inhales the jig it almost always rolls to the side so over the shoulder pull it out of the mouth with the hook eith skin hooking the corner of the mouth or coming out clean, just try the sideways sweep hookset and see if it helps.

 

WOW!

 

Great reply. That's a very technical aspect that I would have never considered.

 

Thank you!

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I have 2 questions that will help you out, the first question is about the hook, is the hook a regular round bend or is it the EWG Mustad? The reason I ask is I make the same jig and I have some guys that love the EWG style hook and others that hate it so I use a round bend for those people. The guys that don't like it complain about losing fish like you are and the reason is the hookset. The thing about the poison tail is that it uses a 30 degree hook so you can swim it effectively but it also has a rocker head design so it is right at home on the bottom, but with the EWG style hook you want more of a sweep set, not directly vertical but off to the side. What happen with the EWG hook is the fish is hitting the trailer, when it inhales the jig it almost always rolls to the side so over the shoulder pull it out of the mouth with the hook eith skin hooking the corner of the mouth or coming out clean, just try the sideways sweep hookset and see if it helps.

 

 

I was going to say the same thing, you beat me to it. 

 

Tried swimming EWG poison tails a few times and it just does not work unless you adjust your fishing to suit it. Not my specialty so I went with standard round bends. The standard round bends are 5000% better for swimming IMO. 

 

If you do have round bend, then maybe the hook is too small. Looks like a 1/4 head? The hook on the 1/4 might be too small for the full skirt and big trailer, its not leaving enough gap to keep a fish buttoned up. My suggestion on that would be to have some poured with bigger hooks. 

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G3Steve,  please call me.  PM inbound.

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Thanks for all the replies so far.

 

The jig I'm using is a 3/8 oz ROUND BEND, 3 skirt tabs (which I think is 66 strands), and a 3.8" keitech.

 

RW, I was thinking of using a slimmer skirt, but wasn't entirely convinced that the skirt would hinder hookups that much.  I might try that though.  The Menace is on my shopping list.  I've tried the shellcracker, but I wish it had a bigger tail.  Are you listening Big-O?

 

CPB, this setup is my everyday jig rod (casting, flipping, pitching), so it's definitely not too heavy.  That's why I'm trying to figure out what other part of the equation I'm missing.

 

Jeff, the skirt is distributed evenly around the hook shank.  I think it's just the way the strands were laying which made it look top-heavy.  Plus these strands seem to be stiffer than other colors, which gives this one more "oomph".

 

Smalljaw and Kevin, I am using round bends.  I just have more confidence in them, both with jigs and with T rigs.  Smalljaw, so you're saying that dragging a poison tail shouldn't create a problem with hooksets?

 

Mike, I'll be calling you.

 

Steve

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Mag heavy and braid? You're probably ripping the lips off the poor fish. Try a MH with fluoro.

 

X2

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Remember, when the bass takes the jig in his mouth and you set the hook, the jig has to turn around and penetrate the bass' mouth.

 

The eye of the jig can interfere with this simple procedure.

 

So two things: As stated by CP, go a little lighter with your rod to a medium heavy and fluorocarbon line and skim down on the trailer.

 

The trailer and/or the jig eye may be causing your problems.

 

How about taking off the trailer and adding a trailer hook to your swimming jig?

 

Just food for thought.

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Try something on the next hit you get. When you feel him pop it, drop the rod tip a foot then set the hook. This should give him time to suck it in, close his mouth, and turn away from  you. That should increase your hook-ups. That goes for any bait you are dragging/swimming and having a hard time getting good hook-ups. 

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Sam, I was thinking it was the eye, due to the angle caused by my hookset and the fact that the jig is on the pond bottom.  I was thinking maybe I should try a reel set instead.  Reel down until the rod loads up, ensuring that the jig is near the fish's lips, then set the hook. Same as the hookset Zona uses for football heads.

 

Kevin, in the instances above I was just dragging the jig, and the bites came when the jig was paused.  The last bite I had I waited after the first bite, until the fish started swimming away, to set the hook.  That didn't work either.

 

Mike, I just left you a message.

 

Jeff, you were right.  Most of the skirt material was at the top.  I was trying to get the white strands to show at the bottom, so I didn't stick the hook directly into the center of the strands.  I think I have to lay the strands differently in the skirt tool.  Thanks for catching that.

 

Here's another photo of the jig showing how much of the hook is exposed above the trailer.

post-27685-0-50893800-1373666991_thumb.j

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Here is what you should do, contact the jig maker as he requested.

When casting and retrieving a jig horizontal, the traditional hook set doesn't work well if the jig is over 30' away because the rod simply doesn't move enought line. Try reel setting with a rod sweep, works great.

Next use 1/2 the amount of skirt material, 1/2 strips instead of whole strips, same colors.

Set your reel drag at no more than 6 lbs, better at 4 lbs with a scale

Good luck.

Tom

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Maybe even flare the weed guard a bit??

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Swim jigs don't need that beefy of a skirt. cut that skirt material almost in half. your line is fine. on the rare occasion i am using braid it's with a swim jig in 30#.  the rod is probably your biggest problem. I use the dx 745 as well but for pitching jigs. unless your swim jigs have a super beefy hook, the 745 is just too much rod for swim jigs. my swim jig rod is the 733c. though i am almost always using 1/4oz jigs and on an occasion 3/8. no issues at all with hook ups in grass or open water. i've use the 744 but still prefer the 733. you should have a weed guard and a very soft one. i can't see the hook in your picture but if i were to guess i think it would be along the same lines as the 3/8 brovarney swim jigs as they are both located near swim jig country. if you are dead set on the 745, while not ideal, use fluoro over braid to compensate for the rod. otherwise just downsize the power of the rod and keep using braid and you should be good to go.

 

i use siebert's jigs but not his swim jig. i would THINK, but not certain, it's based off a northern style swim jig which won't have a heavy hook like the California swim jigs you are used to.

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when you feel the first tap, don't set the hook, just keep cranking. I had the same problem, then I would just keep reeling and wait for them to load the rod.

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iabass8, I am using Siebert's poison tail jig, which uses a 4/0 heavy flipping hook.  I posted a picture of the exposed hook a couple of posts back.  I use the dx 745 as my dedicated jig rod as I also use it for pitching/flipping heavy cover.  Like I mentioned in my first post, I have no problems with hookup ratio with arky heads, so I'm thinking more and more that the problem lies with a combination of the shape of the head, angle of the eye and my hookset.

 

Tom, I don't lock down my drag, and line is played out on each hookset.  The fish are getting the jig in their mouths, that's for sure.  I'm fighting them for 6-8 seconds, keeping constant pressure before the line goes slack.  This tells me that they're holding on to the jig, but eventually (literally) spit it out mid-fight.

 

I spoke with Mike from Siebert earlier this afternoon and he doesn't have problems with hookups while dragging the poison tail.  He said that he would try duplicating my mag-heavy/braid setup tomorrow and see if he had the same results and would let me know.

 

How's that for customer service?!  I was already impressed with the quality of the jigs, but Mike is willing to give up some of his fishing time to follow up with a customer.  Awesome.  Thanks Mike, you rock.

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G3Steve,

From the picture you provided, it appears that you have shortened the weedguard about 1/2". If you did, I believe this will have the effect of stiffening the weedguard. You may have to remove some strands to soften it up  a bit.

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The difference between casting a jig horizontally verses vertically is night and day.

The Mustad 91768 Np-BN size 4/0 wire D is .054, medium heavy wire and strong enough not ot flex.

I didn't look closely at you photo for a weed gaurd, you don't need one for a swim jig.

Here is the problem in a nut sell; the wide lap hook and weed guard combination get clamped. Sideways in the basses mouth, cams over flat due to the hook design.

Your hook setting technique is; feel the strike, wind the kind while lowering the rod tip, this gives the bass time to try to split the jig but the line tension keeps the hook point against the inside lip cartilage. The bass start to fight and you rip the jig out of it's mouth with hard over hand good set. IF the bass was closer to the baot and deeper angle down, you may be successful, however the bass is out away from the baot nearly horizontal and the jig pops out of it's mouth.

To resolve this problem; when you feel the strike immediately crank the reel faster keeping the rod tip pointed at the bass. As the rod loads up make a swift sweep set. The hook will imbed into the mouth cartilage or the bass will be catapulted out of the water if weighs less than a few lbs.

Tom

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Thanks for the help Tom.  Lots of great info.  I'm not sure if it fits my case, however. 

 

I'm using a round bend hook and fishing from shore, casting to 8-12 ft.  Bites came at the end of the cast, maybe 100 ft, and as close as 30 ft.  The bass are fighting AFTER I set the hook, though the hook points are obviously not connecting.

 

 

or the bass will be catapulted out of the water if weighs less than a few lbs.

 

Hahaha..   I've had that happen with sub 1lb'ers.  Had one fly out of a floating mat and smash into the outboard.

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After all your imput it would seem that after the jig hits the bottom you are getting hit, so there are 2 things that could be happening. The first thing that could be happening is something I call soft bottom response, this will happen with any head type even those that are stand up heads and what happens is the jig falls into soft sediment and with the 30 degree hook the line tie and knot actually get covered a bit by the sediment. When that occurs the fish inhales but because the jig is in soft muck it doesn't come straight up but gets turned sideways so you end up skin hooking the fish, it happens a lot with the EWG hook for some reason but it will happen with a round bend if the bottom is soft, a sideways hook set or reel set as Zona does with a football head will help. The other thing is the trailer itself, what happens a lot especially with paddle tail swim baits is the fish eats just the trailer leaving the head outside the mouth, when you set the hook you will get just a bit of skin on the lip, and it will happen with any 30 degree hook because the pull point is very straight. This is one of the reasons 60 degree hooks are now starting to show up on the swim jig scene as more and more anglers are using it with swim baits but I still prefer the 30 degree hook. Try this, when you let the bait drop do so on a semi slack line so that you have some tension and as soon as it hits bottom lift the rod tip up and begin the retrieve again, that will keep the head from getting in any muck and it will force the fish to move while trying to eat the bait which may help in him getting it deeper. Good luck.

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The jig head, poision tail gets it's name from scorpion type tail the 91768 hook shape that stands above the jig head. By using a shorter round bend the hook point maybe to close to the jig, especeailly with all the plastic . The 32886 is a little longer round bend used for swim jigs.

Cut off the weed gaurd, it's adding to the problem. If you need weed protection, add a denture type small rubber band from the hook eye to the under the barb: run the line through the rubber band, tie on the jig, rubber band goes under the front of the hook eye and stretched to go under the barb.

You are actually fishing a small swimbait with a skirt, lots a soft plastic so the bass may hold it longer than a tradition jig bite. You might want to use a swimbait hook set, it is the same as the reel set except you give it a pause like a top water lure. This goes against everything a jig strike should be....fast, instead let the bass turn with the swimmer before hook setting.

Tom

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when you feel the first tap, don't set the hook, just keep cranking. I had the same problem, then I would just keep reeling and wait for them to load the rod.

BINGO!

 

Could be the Keitech is interfering as well. I use Cane Thumpers for a larger presentation and the regular(not fat) 3.5 Swing Impact for a smaller presentation.

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I spoke with Mike Siebert today after he got back from his trip.  His goal was to use a similar rod/line setup and see if he could duplicate my experiences with the poison tail jigs.  He used an extra heavy action rod with 30 lb braid.

 

The result?  He lost at least two fish after bringing them boatside, one of them an 8lb+ who spit the jig once came to the top.

 

I think he got tired of losing fish, so he switched back to his regular jig rod, and heavy action Loomis with 15lb fluoro.  Every fish was pinned as expected.

 

Though this was small test, I do believe that it has telling results.  The stiffer rod and no stretch line somehow prevented the hook from penetrating the fishes' mouths.  Both of us are baffled as to the exact reason why....  A heavier rod and braid would logically yield more positive hooksets.

 

One thing I did notice was that he said the fish were lost once they got to the boat, meaning that they held the jig in their mouths til they were near the surface.  I did notice the same thing happen with two of the fish I "set the hook" on.  After I whacked 'em, they shot upward, and once they got to the water's surface, they spit the hook.

 

I'm going to go back and try a lighter powered stick to see if I can finally get these jig heads to work for me.

 

I just wanted to give a shout out to Mike from Siebert Outdoors again.  He took the time to test the jig/setup/hookset for me, and even gave up a world class bass, all in the name of providing awesome customer service.  Thanks Mike!  I'll let you know how I do next time I go out with your jigs.

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