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AndrewVT

Trimming a jig

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I want to start fishing a jig more next year, and had a couple of questions about trimming them.  The lake I fish has very little standing timber, and almost no vegetation so I was going to use mostly football head jigs and focus on points, shell beds, and rocks.

What is the ideal length for the skirt?  Does it depend on trailer size, jig head size, material (rubber vs silicon), etc.?  How about trimming the weed guard?

Basically I am looking for any tips or tricks you guys have for trimming a jig or selecting one with the correct dimensions to begin with.  Thanks for the help.

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Generally I like to trim the skirt in a "v" shape, with the strands getting shorter towards the hook. This really helps showcase the trailer. For the standard silicone skirts, I like to go about a 1/4'' beyond the hook. For living rubber skirts, were the strands flare out more, I usually let them be a bit longer.

Diffrent jigs and diffrent trailers demand diffrent setups. You also have to consider a bigger longer skirt will sink slower than a trimmed one. Sometimes you may want a smaller profile, sometimes larger. Theres a ton variables to consider, but for now keep it simple.

Get a few diffrent jigs in some earthtone or black and blue color patterns. Some trailers that match, and go fishing.

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I never trim the weed guards on the jigs I fish. Most football jigs don't have a stiff enough guard that IMO is worth trimming, plus the weed guards can help keep the fish hooked when fighting it.

    Depending on the lake and the trailer I'm using, I will occasionally trim the skirt, or sometimes the trailer if I don't want the trailer sticking out too far. I like to keep the bait relatively bulky and compact. My trailers stick roughly 1" past the skirt material most of the time.

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Personally, I believe that trimming a jig is more personal preference than anything. I've never really noticed a difference in catch rates from an untrimmed skirt versus one that I've trimmed. That being said, I prefer a short skirt. I'll cut mine just below the hook usually. I like the trailer to be the focus of the jig. Lots of times I'll thin out the skirt by removing or cutting a few strands off the outer and inner skirt. A bulkier skirt will fall slower through the water. I trim most of my jigs the same way to keep things even across the board. I can then adjust the rate of fall with difference jig weights or trailers if needed.

That is for a silicone skirt. I've never fished a skirt with the longer living rubber. Supposedly leaving those longer is the better choice. I'll leave that topic up to somebody else that is more familiar with them.

As far as the brushguards go, I'll usually trim mine just a little bit so the bristles just touch the barb of the hook. No more than that. If you shorten it too much, all you're doing is stiffening the guard up.

Trimmed on the right.  Thats actually a hair longer than I'd usually use.

IMG_0103-Copy.jpg

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If you use a trailer with twiddling action like a Paca, the longer strands of silicone can kill its action. This may or may not make a difference to you or the fish, but if I think the fish want more movement in my jig a closer trim allows the trailer to twiddle more. I also agree with lightsout in his trimming approach.  A tail cut straight across looks like nothing a bass would eat.

In cold water, the jig sink rate needs to slow down esp. when fishing less than 15 feet deep.  Use a lighter jig, heavier mono line, or more strands in your plastic trailer, or better yet, hair jig. The extent of trimming or lack of it needs to fit the conditions and fish's moods encountered. Don't be afraid to try longer and shorter skirts with different trailer types throughout the day. Darker/warmer water aggressive bass in heavy vegetation may prefer bulkier and longer length skirts generally speaking.

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Personally, I believe that trimming a jig is more personal preference than anything. I've never really noticed a difference in catch rates from an untrimmed skirt versus one that I've trimmed. That being said, I prefer a short skirt. I'll cut mine just below the hook usually. I like the trailer to be the focus of the jig. Lots of times I'll thin out the skirt by removing or cutting a few strands off the outer and inner skirt. A bulkier skirt will fall slower through the water. I trim most of my jigs the same way to keep things even across the board. I can then adjust the rate of fall with difference jig weights or trailers if needed.

That is for a silicone skirt. I've never fished a skirt with the longer living rubber. Supposedly leaving those longer is the better choice. I'll leave that topic up to somebody else that is more familiar with them.

As far as the brushguards go, I'll usually trim mine just a little bit so the bristles just touch the barb of the hook. No more than that. If you shorten it too much, all you're doing is stiffening the guard up.

Trimmed on the right. Thats actually a hair longer than I'd usually use.

IMG_0103-Copy.jpg

What kind of trailer is that?

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Gene Larew Salt Craw

My favorite is still a GYCB Fat Baby Craw.  Those are a bit price prohibitive though. The Larew Craw is a bargain.  Five or Six bucks for a 20 pack.  The Yamamoto's are like six and a half bucks for a 10 pack.

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Personally, I believe that trimming a jig is more personal preference than anything. I've never really noticed a difference in catch rates from an untrimmed skirt versus one that I've trimmed. That being said, I prefer a short skirt. I'll cut mine just below the hook usually. I like the trailer to be the focus of the jig. Lots of times I'll thin out the skirt by removing or cutting a few strands off the outer and inner skirt. A bulkier skirt will fall slower through the water. I trim most of my jigs the same way to keep things even across the board. I can then adjust the rate of fall with difference jig weights or trailers if needed.

That is for a silicone skirt. I've never fished a skirt with the longer living rubber. Supposedly leaving those longer is the better choice. I'll leave that topic up to somebody else that is more familiar with them.

As far as the brushguards go, I'll usually trim mine just a little bit so the bristles just touch the barb of the hook. No more than that. If you shorten it too much, all you're doing is stiffening the guard up.

Trimmed on the right. Thats actually a hair longer than I'd usually use.

IMG_0103-Copy.jpg

What kind of trailer is that?

Looks like a gene larew b/b to me.

EDIT: He beat me to it  ;)

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i usually trim the skirt near the hook bend to show off a little more of plastic and keep the claws moving freely.

i almost always trim the guard parallel to the hook shank, 1/8 of an inch or so above the barb.

i cut a few of the strands off of the guard when fishing in sparse cover.

if the cover is thick or im getting snagged alot, ill fan out the guard.

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Matt has some pretty good informational videos out there. This is a jig modification video.

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Matt has some pretty good informational videos out there. This is a jig modification video.

This is an informative video and basically covers all applications. The key is finding what works for you in most situations and stay with it until you prove the effects of each one and gain confidence in your choices.

Here's a photo that one of our members here, J Francho posted on an earlier topic that shows how he trimmed the weed guard and possibly left the skirt as is. A jig can fished in just about every water type and depth effectively so have some fun figuring it out!

Big O

www.ragetail.com

post-11109-130162887971_thumb.jpg

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