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Bartableman7

Bass Jig Weedguards - Help Me Understand,

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Does the mouth of a bass compress the guard passed the point?  I always remove the fiber guard. I have a "slips out of their mouth" phobia.  Explain...

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The fiber bundle type weed gaurd is intended to protect the hook point from snagging onto wood or brush branches and aquatic vegetation. Fiber weed guards are availble in about 3 different stiffness, light, medium and heavy, most off the shelf jig have medium.

The theory being when a bass bites down, the fiber gaurd is compressed down exposing the hook point.

What can happen is the weed gaurd rolls to one side and the hook rolls over with it, if the fiber gaurd is too stiff.

I hate weed guards and tend to think of them as fish guards, using a gaurd only when needed for heavy cover presentations. What I use is a spring (Hitchhiker or CPS) to attached a soft plastic worm section onto the jig hook eye and cover the hook point like a very short weedless rigged worm.

It really depends on how heavy the cover you fish is to reduce snagging

Tom

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I tend to use medium weed guards and then snip a few strands out. I can do that because I make my own jigs but I found that you can walk a jig with a light weed guard through some nasty stuff but a medium seems that I can really get it through heavy cover. I totally understand your phobia but what you have to understand is that if a fish just "mouths" your bait, it can spit it out even with an exposed hook but when a fish is trying to kill or eat a bait, it crushes down on it with a lot more force than what it takes to push the weed guard down and it is something that you just have to believe until you catch enough fish and see how they are hooked to fully realize this. There are times it can hinder hook ups but most of the time I've encountered it is when the bite was really light but all in all, weed guard help more often than hurt and the hook up and landing percentage with jigs with weed guard is really high so it makes total sense to use them but I still like to use medium stiff guards just to ease that part of me where a little doubt still exists.

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  Fish it , make sure you give a solid hook set and you will catch most fish but will never achieve a 100 per cent hookup rate . You cant fish woody cover without it .. I like the ones with a forked plastic weedguard . One of the early Bass Pros {cant recall which one} use to manufacture ones with the forked weedguard , he put them in plastic sacs and staplde them to a card by the dozen . I use to buy a card at a time . Had a pretty good  hookup ratio using those .

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Modify your brush weed guards by dividing them in half left to right with your finger. Press down between the two halves so they stay separated with the hook visible between them. Problem solved.

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If ya missing fish on a jig the weed guard aint the problem!

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If ya missing fish on a jig the weed guard aint the problem!

I agree.  

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Just to debate this topic, would you use a dart head that doesn't have a weed gaurd, or a football head without weed guard and a exposed hook? Fishing deep structured reserviors with very sparse cover and few stick ups, snagging these jigs rarely occurs. Fishing a jig with a weed gaurd isn't needed most of the places where I fish for example because there few things to snag, the exposed hook contacts the basses mouth tissue without weed gaurd resistance.

If the cover is causing snags and losing jigs, or heavy cover then a weed gaurd is needed. I believe what Catt is saying, your setting technique and timing is good that should over come the weed gaurd.

Tom

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I enjoy the confidence of fishing open hooks, but it just isn't feasible most of the places I fish.  I cross my fingers and dip a ned rig every once in a while.  And last weekend, I fished an exposed shakey head.  Immediately caught a LMB....and but lost the jighead only minutes later.  With little wood or weeds, I'd fish exposed hooks a LOT more.

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  If you feel something funny, set the hook right away, HARD, like you mean it!  Hard enough to snap your rod hookset will drive that hook into a big hogs top mouth, and she wont come off!   You may get a few snags first starting out or lose a few jigs, but that is jig fishing.  You have to get a feel for whats going on if you want to become good.  It takes time and patience, and a little line watching sometimes, but mostly feel.  I couldn't throw a jig without a weed guard in 99% of the places I use a jig that I catch bass.  It can go places where no other lure can, and that is because of the weed guard, and for some reason a jig catches big fish too.  I really like jig fishing, and have really started doing it this year.  I have caught more and bigger bass on it than I can hardly imagine.  I always used to use texas rig in these situations where there was heavy cover, but once I got the hang of the jig, it is all I need in most cover situations, especially wood or rocks, depending on design of jig.  While it seems like a simple thing, there are many many factors to consider when selecting a jig.  But don't be afraid of the weed guard, just give it a little extra juice when you set the hook, and you will be amazed.  

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I was concerned about weedguards as well when I first started fishing jigs, but I don't worry about it. If you clamp down on the jig with your fingers, it doesn't take much to poke yourself through the weedguard. As long as you set the hook well, it shouldn't be a problem.

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If your so worried about a weedguard, just get someone to make you the jigs you want with a light weedguard, now you have the best of both worlds.  I have a small business selling jigs and I've never received a single order for a jig without a weedguard, but I have had many order for a jig with the stiffest weedguard I could find.  

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I remember looking at a weedless bass jig many years ago and wondering how a person could actually catch a fish on something with a weed guard that thick and stiff, and a hook that large.  :)

 

When I first started fishing jigs, I fished them right out of the package.  Now, I tend to flex/spread/soften the weed guard a bit before I tie one on.  I really don't know if it helps my hook-up ratio... could just be a psychological crutch or confidence builder.

 

Using the appropriate rod and line, along with a hook set "like you mean it" will soon dispel your worries!

 

Tight lines,

Bob

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I understand what you mean. I don't fish jigs very much, (yeah bass fishing sinner here) but I have trimmed the weed guards on my jigs from the same fear. I always do it using my finger pressure to gauge how it will work in the fishes mouth and how snag less it will be.

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I tend to thin and spread my guards a hair but never shorten them (unless they're excessively long but that is rare).

 

Thinning them opens you up to snagging wood more often, and likely causing a slight increase in lost jigs, but to me, having more lost jigs is better than poor hook ups.

 

As always, with stout hooks and/or weedguards, set the hook like you mean it.

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You can't depend on the fish to depress the weedguard,

that's the angler's responsibility during the hook-set.

 

Roger

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I tend to thin and spread my guards a hair but never shorten them (unless they're excessively long but that is rare).

 

 

That's probably good.....I admit to having failed Statics 101, however, I'm pretty sure that shortening them will have the opposite of desired effect.

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I tend to thin and spread my guards a hair but never shorten them (unless they're excessively long but that is rare).

 

That's probably good.....I admit to having failed Statics 101, however, I'm pretty sure that shortening them will have the opposite of desired effect.

 

I'm not sure if you were agreeing with me or thought I said to shorten?

 

Yea, shortening makes them stiffer for sure!

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