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NMUbassin

Selecting Jig Size

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What are the deciding factors on which jig size you use while on the water?

-Depth? Wind? Water Color? Water Temp? Etc.

Do you find yourself using a particular jig size a lot more than others?

-For myself, I've never used a jig over 3/8oz. Am I selling myself short by not having a 1/2oz or bigger in my standard fishing arsenal?

What conditions warrant throwing a 1/2oz jig or bigger?

Sorry for these simple questions, I'm a relatively new jig fisherman and I'm just looking to else a thing or two from some of the more season jig anglers on the site.

Thank you!

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In curious to have answers too. I fish from the bank, and my go to size is also 3/8 oz.

i got big into jig fishing last summer, so Im still learning a lot about em.

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Stupid iphone.... It's supposed to read.

"Im just looking to *learn* a thing or two from some of the more seasoned jig anglers on the site."

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Rate Of Fall!

Who determines rate of fall?

The bass!

Now y'all can give him your personal repertoire of confusion!

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Now y'all can give him your personal repertoire of confusion!

Wow.... Really don't know what to say to that.

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I like to start with a 1/2oz a majority of the time unless I'm in shallow water or want a slow fall, then I'll go with a 1/4 or 3/8 ounce. I like the 1/2oz because of it's versatility. I can use it in shallow water, it gets through cover well, yet it heavy enough to fish out in deeper water also. The only time I really go to anything heavier is if I'm fishing it really fast and trying to get a reaction strike, or with a football jig if I'm dragging it in deeper water. A heavy jig would be warranted in heavy vegetation also but we don't have any around here. Heavy winds can make a heavier jig a valuable tool when you can't feel a lighter one. 

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When it comes to jig size, I have a starting point in mind, say for swimming or maybe flipping. That will normally be 1/2 for pitching/flipping, 3/4 for football, and  (depending on depth) 1/8-3/8 for shakey heads.  I can adjust the fall rate somewhat by the trailer I use, but if I feel I really need to increase or decrease the rate, I'll also adjust by changing the jig size.  A heavier jig is easier to maintain contact/feel with, but  sometimes isn't an option.

When first starting out, I'd suggest sticking with one weight until you can tell what your jig is doing or  what type of cover or bottom composition  you're bringing it through. You'll also get a feel for how fast or slow it falls. Often, determining a jig bite boils down to the jig just feeling different or it stops falling before it should.

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Two of the best jig fisherman in America are Denny Bauer & Gary Klein, they both throw 3/8 - 1/2 oz 90% of the time!

During the Dog Days of Summer I'll throw a 1/4 oz jig in 20-25' of water. The slow rate of fall gives the bass a long look at it & they'll usually hit on the drop.

During pre-spawn I'll throw a 1/2 - 5/8 oz in 10' of water or less, the bass are actively feeding & aint gonna look at it long.

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I usually start off with 3/8 and go from there.  If I think the bait is not staying on the bottom, or if it is windy, I will up the size and see what happens.  If I keep getting tangled in weeds, or not getting bites, I will downsize to a 1/4 or 1/8 ounce.

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3/8 oz is my favorite...shallow or deep. The only exception is one lake I fish has matted grass in the summer, so I go heavier to punch through.

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Depends..........time of year, what the bass want, cover, etc.......It's been a trial an error process for me over the last 15 years, and I don't know if I have it dialed in to what the fish want all the time............actually I highly doubt it, but I do know what I want to, or think is the right thing to do when X, Y, or Z  conditions are like this (fill in the blank) etc.....

 

I carry finesse jigs in 3/16 and 5/16 oz, flipping jigs in 3/8 -1 oz, football jigs in 1/2 and 3/4 oz, and swimjigs in 1/4 and 3/8 oz..... And they will all get used at some point during my season, for reasons not easy to describe here. I would have to say in each cat. I use the 5/16 oz finesse jig, the 1/2 oz. flipping, 1/2 oz football, and 3/8 oz. swim the most.

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3/8 and 1/2 are what i use 95% of the time with 1/2oz being my most used.

Swim jigs 95% of the time im throwing 1/4oz

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I use a lot of finesse jigs in the 1/8oz up to 7/16oz and it is hard to believe a jig is finesse when it weighs that much but all finesse really is in a jig is a compact size so they can be heavy. About 2 weeks or so after I don't see any beds, that is when I'll use the heavier jig, 1/2oz is normal for me unless I'm fishing isolated cover in less than 5' of water, also if the water has 2' of visibility, I will still use a jig but it will be either a 3/8oz or 1/4oz depending on depth which is 1' to 3' I'll use the 1/4oz and over 3' I'll use the 3/8oz. Any water with more than 2' of visibility I will use a T-rig worm or creature. When we hit mid July or when the water temp gets around 84 or 85 degrees, that is when I will use the finesse jigs, if I have to get through cover or deep water I'll use the heavier models and again, the water has to have a stain to it, the clear the water the smaller the jig.

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I use mostly 3/8-1/2.  There are many conditions that change this from wind to structure like grass.   When I fish a jig I like to feel the jig work on the bottom.  If the wind kicks up then I will have to go to a heavier jig.  There are other situations as bass heavily feeding that I will throw a heavier jig to be able to fish faster and still get that depth.  Most of the time this is when the fish are shallower around 5 fow.  It really comes down to what the fish are doing.  If its a light bite throw a small light finesse jig.  Heavy enough to feel what the jig is doing.  This is were experience, attention, and good tackle come into play. 

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1/4 oz and 5/16 for finesse jigs most of the year. Exception is a 1/2 oz heavy finesse jig in the winter to get deep quicker.

3/8 oz and 1/2 oz for flipping jigs.

1/2 oz and 3/4 for football jigs for structure fishing

3/8 oz 99% of the time on swim jigs

Wind and depth are the biggest factors in determining the weight I throw. More wind and more depth calls for a heavier jig. Generally speaking, go with the lightest possible to fish at your preferred speed and maintain good contact with the bottom / cover.

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I fish mostly 1/4 and 3/8 ounce jigs because it seems bass usually want a slow fall. But I always carry 1/2 ounce jigs too because sometimes they do want a fast fall, or when it's really windy or I'm stroking it in deep water. Heavy jigs also go through weed cover better.

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Im a bank beater. Last summer is when I got big into jig fishing. I started out with a 3/8 oz jig, and was pulling in everything from dinks, to four pound fish. I caught the majority of these fish right along the bank. Iv taken to a 5/16 oz finesse jig lately. For some reason Im just loving the smaller jig. A question for all you jig guys; during periods of the season when they are aggressively feeding, if Im catching most of them in shallow water anyway, would bigger quality bass still be interested in a jig that small?

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catt had a very good answer, and that is fall rate. depth and speed control are the two major factors in triggering strikes. when fishing during an active feeding period, speed often times is not as big of a factor, but those in-between times, speed is critical. one other thing to consider is as the jig get heavier, the profile does also. any times when bass are wanting a smaller profile, but a heavier weight is needed, i will a smaller weight jig, and add a slip sinker on the line to get the fall rate required.

bo

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The thing you would think would be accurate in bass fishing would be the weight of a jig. How hard is it to weigh a jig!! Pick up your favorite 3/8 or 1/2 jig and weigh it, chances are it's 50% heavier without a skirt than marked on the package. Amazing!

When I designed my jig back in '71, the hook was Eagle Claw # 570, 4/0, a heavy wire hook and my plain jig weighed slightly less than a 1/2 oz, with a skirt, almost 1/2 oz my target weight. Today the same jig with Gamakatsu #114, 5/0 weighs an honest 7/16 oz.

I fish anywhere from 1' to 40' with my 7/16 oz jig, deer hair skirt and pork trailer about 75% of the time because it works for me. The other 25% is using several different jig types and weights from 1/4 to 1 oz depending on wind, cover, depth and what the bass want regarding fall speed.

Why make an issue over actual jig weight and advertised jig weight, fall rate...you should know what you are fishing with because details matter.

Tom

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