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What Setup For Gaining Jig Confidence

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I have very little to zero confidence when it comes to fishing bottom contact baits (jigs, T-Rig, Carolina-rig). My theory is if I invest in a dedicated, quality bottom contact rod it will lead to me missing less bites and gaining confidence faster. What rod/reel combo would you recommend for someone looking to gain confidence quickly. I would like to keep the combo under $400. I've had long hard looks at St. Croix Avids and ALX Zolos. Am I on the right track? How about reels? Thanks in advance

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I was going to suggest an ALX zolo. Kistler also makes a good stick, but I have only used the older Magnesiums, but they're still a great rod. I was a Loomis IMX guy until i used my first Zolo. Now currently switching all rods over to ALX. 

 

As far as reels go, get the best one within your budget. I prefer ABU because I have small hands and they're just more comfortable for me for a fulls days fishing. An Abu ALX series can be had on ebay now for around $120. Its just as good as a reel as am MGX, and for much less money.

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No easy short cut to learning what underwater bottom lure strikes feel like. Where you fish and the type of bass your are trying to catch is more important then the rod/reel/line combo.

Within your budget you have a wide range of tackle to choose from, none offer a panacea to catching bass.

You are located in MN so both Smallmouth and LMB are possible. So what type of bass are you trying to catch and what presentations are you planning to use?

Tom

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Their is no set up for gaining confidence in jig fishing that confidence is going to have to come from you...

I’ve been bass fishing a little over ten years now, one of the first baits I started with was a jig. I remember throwing it in a pond thinking their isn’t any way a fish is going to eat this ridiculous looking lure I was using an ugly stick which probably has no bottom contact sensitivity whatsoever but I started catching them the more I threw it the more confidence I gained.

The confidence has got to start with you the rod you decide to use after is your decision.

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I used to have no confidence in jigs and to a lesser extent Texas rigged baits. Threw them a lot and now it’s my go to when times are tough. You can always catch some on a t-rig. 

 

As far as the combo. You can’t go wrong with any of St. Croixs offerings, I have a few in different ranges and have been impressed with all. Have heard great things about ALX as well so you’re on the right track. 

 

For a reel, I can’t recommend the daiwa tatula sv enough. It’s great for this kind of stuff. Really easy to throw lightly weighted and weightless t-rigs all the way up to heavier jigs. It’s just smooth and really hard to backlash. Really love mine. Have 3 and just got a zillion sv because of how much I like the tatulas. 

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Best teacher around!  😉

 

 

INFP-120200-LMOUTH-01.gif

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If you are looking to gain confidence in bottom contact, start with Texas rig.  Get a pack of trick worms, baby brush hogs, and zoom lizards.  This time of year is going to be  very tough to gain confidence in and lure IMO.  Thinking about winding up the Season myself.  

 

$400 is a nice budget.  Get an ALX Zolo Deputy and any decent 7 (preferably 8 😎 speed reel.  You can snag a Lews Tournament MB on Ebay for $100 and still have $ left over for plastics, weights, and hooks.  1/4 tungsten are my favorite, with Gamakatsu G-lock ewg hooks in 3/0 or 4/0.

 

Be prepared to fish slow.

 

 

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I use a MH/Fast AvidX for jigs,,,,,,,I would highly recommend it. 

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Can't go wrong with an Avid, I currently use one for my jig/t-rig rod.

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2 hours ago, LionHeart said:

Be prepared to fish slow.

It can also be fast so do not just get set into one thought of mind.

 

My only extra chime in here would be that Hook sets are free- I'd rather know that it wasn't a fish then regret.  I think it helps you learn as well since your not second guessing and helps your reaction time.

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OP, I am like you.  I will need all the help I can get.  That means starting with as sensitive rod as I can afford.  Why handicap yourself with an Ugly Stik?  I read good things about the ALX rods and have a Deputy that I want to try with jigs.  I HAVE also read that the new Villain 2.0 rods are very sensitive.

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12 hours ago, starkeer said:

I have very little to zero confidence when it comes to fishing bottom contact baits (jigs, T-Rig, Carolina-rig). My theory is if I invest in a dedicated, quality bottom contact rod it will lead to me missing less bites and gaining confidence faster. What rod/reel combo would you recommend for someone looking to gain confidence quickly. I would like to keep the combo under $400. I've had long hard looks at St. Croix Avids and ALX Zolos. Am I on the right track? How about reels? Thanks in advance

Sounds like an excuse... I like it😏

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2 hours ago, dgkasper58 said:

It can also be fast so do not just get set into one thought of mind.

 

My only extra chime in here would be that Hook sets are free- I'd rather know that it wasn't a fish then regret.  I think it helps you learn as well since your not second guessing and helps your reaction time.

Not to be contrary, but to clarify.  This weekend will be December, you can fish plastics fast if you want, but don't be disappointed if it doesn't go well.

 

It kills me when people say hook sets are free.  They usually cost me about 4 bucks if I'm jig fishing.  

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My guess is the majority of BR members jig fish in reserviors and the majority of bass fishing articles are written about fish in reserviors. The OP is from Minnesota where small to large natural lakes are the majority of bass lakes. The lakes closer to the Canadian boarder tend to be deeper rock structure lakes with smallmouth bass and the middle to southern areas shallower weed dominated lakes with largemouth bass, some have both species if bass, nearly all have walleye populations.

The type and size/weight of jigs depends on the type of lakes the OP fishes and type of bass affects size and style of jig being used, all this affects your specific rod and line selection.

For example if the OP plans on pitching into heavy weed cover he needs a rod and line to handle that type of cover. If the OP plans on casting and retreiving jigs for Smallnouth bass in deeper rock structure lakes he needs a rod, reel and line to cast 1/4 to 3/8 oz jigs. If the OP plans on doing both a compromise is needed and a general use MH/4 power fast action jig and worm rod, reel and line for 1/4 to 1/2 jigs would work.

ALX Deputy rod, Daiwa Tatula 100 reel with 12lb to 15 lb Big Game mono would be a good combo. Smallmouth I would drop down to 8 lb or 10 lb Big Game mono and ALX Dream rod.

Tom

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2 hours ago, LionHeart said:

Not to be contrary, but to clarify.  This weekend will be December, you can fish plastics fast if you want, but don't be disappointed if it doesn't go well.

 

It kills me when people say hook sets are free.  They usually cost me about 4 bucks if I'm jig fishing.  

Yeah, I do not live in Texas... I have about 3 inches of ice right now in Illinois and the poster living in Minn I suppose he has more ice than me. Not too much bass fishing going on right now unless your in the river but I guess I should clarify that I meant in general it may be fast or slow.

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15 hours ago, starkeer said:

My theory is if I invest in a dedicated, quality bottom contact rod it will lead to me missing less bites

It won't. That's the equivalent of buying a fast sports car cause you lack confidence in driving. You'll just end up with the fishing equivalent of wrapping it around a telephone pole...

 

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Hey, I am 2.5 hours northwest of you.  If you want to gain confidence in those techniques a sensitive rod will help some, but will only take you so far.  Time on the water will be needed to get you the rest of the way.  I would start with a small texas rigged worm or baby brush hog next spring.  The bass will be pretty shallow and most won't be far away from the shallower bays in your lakes from spawning.  The bites are usually pretty easy to detect with these and a lot of times involve multiple tell tale taps when they are sucking it in.  As you gain confidence in that then branch out into smaller jigs or bigger/different types of plastics.  A jig bite to me is usually a bit more subtle than texas rigs so that may take even more time.  As far as gear goes you really can't go wrong with the following companies from my experience: G. Loomis, Kistler, St. Croix, or Dobyns.  I have used several of each and the middle offering of any of these brands will be great for you and be in your price range.  Some good examples would be a G Loomis IMX Pro, Kistler Helium 3, St. Croix Avid, or Dobyns Champion XP.

 

For reels my preference is Shimano, but Daiwa is also a really good brand out there.  I would go with the curado k lineup or above, and with Daiwa the tatula reel lineup or above, budget permitting.  If your lake is stained at all you can get away with straight braid as that will help you out with sensitivity too until you get that confidence you are seeking.    

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MH or L-MH Kistler Helium + Daiwa Tatula SV

 

Regardless of the combo you're fishing, throw the jig/plastics in an area that you already know the bottom composition of.  If you throw the jig into an area you know has rocks or wood, that gives you a baseline for feeling bites.

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Jeepers! You almost can't go wrong with that budget. I know pros that use cheaper combos than that. Sensitivity is king. Find yourself a high quality technique specific jig/worm rod and whatever reel you like. I'd start with the ol' T rigged worm and/or craw. It's easier to master than the jig. Once you get used to the feel of the bite you'll be ready for the jig. What  did was I went from a T rigged craw to a plain weedless Arky jighead with a Berkley Chigger Craw. That gave me confidence in feeling the bite without a dropoff in number of bites. But the average fish got bigger. Then i went with the skirted jig and craw. Nothing but the jig on that rod.

 

If you're going to be using it for jigs, put some good, heavy line on it. I use 30# braid with about a 5' 15# Big Game mono leader. Tighten that drag down while using the jig around heavy cover. You'll be horsing them out. It's an addictive technique. I made the decision I was going to get better with the jig no matter what this year and I haven't tied on a T rig all year.

 

Don't forget to loosen the drag a bit when you go back to the T rig. A big'un will bend the average T rig wire hook.

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17 hours ago, WRB said:

No easy short cut to learning what underwater bottom lure strikes feel like. Where you fish and the type of bass your are trying to catch is more important then the rod/reel/line combo.

 

2 hours ago, tim_kovar said:

If you want to gain confidence in those techniques a sensitive rod will help some, but will only take you so far.  Time on the water will be needed to get you the rest of the way.

14 hours ago, Burrows said:

Their is no set up for gaining confidence in jig fishing that confidence is going to have to come from you...

 

Dear bothers, may I take a moment of your time to share with you the word of our tackle savior, the Bait Monkey? For he hath declared that there is a hope, a way that we can attain the glory of maximum sensitivity.

 

It is said to be that by wielding the highest quality rod, constructed by the mystic rod building ancients of Gaar Eloomus, one can ascend into a dimension where the powerful wielder of such a rod is said to be able to feel the breath of his quarry prior to striking. 

 

However, such a rod as glorious as this mustn't be paired with meager, plebeian nylons of peasants, a rod of such caliber requires only the finest of lines developed deep in the jungles of se-Agu-ar. The locals call it tatsu, which is believed to translate to "String of the Gods".

 

Now go, lord Starkeer, go to seek the glories of ultimate sensitivity, and land the fish of your greatest fantasies. Ignore the simple constructs of "budgets" or "stupid car payments", for they are merely barriers that draw you away from the glorious sensitivity that may one day rest in your hands. 

 

All Hail!

 

abbee56c67d7ea79e117c283081c9e40.jpg

 

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6 hours ago, reason said:

It won't. That's the equivalent of buying a fast sports car cause you lack confidence in driving. You'll just end up with the fishing equivalent of wrapping it around a telephone pole...

 

So you are saying I should use something like an original Ugly Stik that I'll be missing bites on instead of a GLX that I could feel bites on because it is dangerous to my health?  Sounds un....reason...able to me.    :rofl_red:    I could see where the GLX might spoil me for other sticks.  Of course it could be dangerous to my health if my wife found out how much I was spending on rods.  :teeth:

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2 hours ago, Looking for the big one said:

 

 

Dear bothers, may I take a moment of your time to share with you the word of our tackle savior, the Bait Monkey? For he hath declared that there is a hope, a way that we can attain the glory of maximum sensitivity.

 

It is said to be that by wielding the highest quality rod, constructed by the mystic rod building ancients of Gaar Eloomus, one can ascend into a dimension where the powerful wielder of such a rod is said to be able to feel the breath of his quarry prior to striking. 

 

However, such a rod as glorious as this mustn't be paired with meager, plebeian nylons of peasants, a rod of such caliber requires only the finest of lines developed deep in the jungles of se-Agu-ar. The locals call it tatsu, which is believed to translate to "String of the Gods".

 

Now go, lord Starkeer, go to seek the glories of ultimate sensitivity, and land the fish of your greatest fantasies. Ignore the simple constructs of "budgets" or "stupid car payments", for they are merely barriers that draw you away from the glorious sensitivity that may one day rest in your hands. 

 

All Hail!

 

abbee56c67d7ea79e117c283081c9e40.jpg

 

Classic!!!

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On 11/28/2018 at 10:58 PM, starkeer said:

I have very little to zero confidence when it comes to fishing bottom contact baits (jigs, T-Rig, Carolina-rig). My theory is if I invest in a dedicated, quality bottom contact rod it will lead to me missing less bites and gaining confidence faster. What rod/reel combo would you recommend for someone looking to gain confidence quickly. I would like to keep the combo under $400. I've had long hard looks at St. Croix Avids and ALX Zolos. Am I on the right track? How about reels? Thanks in advance

May I ask what rods you currently have in your lineup?

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Rod sensitivity can definitely be a factor, braid to leader helps too. But you learning that feeling of the bite is simple experience and conditioning. Try closing your eyes after you have casted. Slowly move the rod tip up and drag the Texas rig or jig along the bottom. It will feel amplified if you take away one of your senses, not seeing just feeling the vibration. Helps you get a better feel. 

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