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ITO_ZILLION

Finesse Jig Fishing Tips...???

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What weights would be considered 'finesse' when it comes to jig fishing...? As 'in general' or would be mostly agreed upon by most anglers (90%) in most places in the US...? Is it 3/8oz and under or 1/4oz and under...?

 

Seems like it would be kind of dependent on the specific location/region you live in or like to fish in. But more specifically...it seems like its more a matter of the size of the different ponds/lakes you like to fish in, its ever changing ecological variables/differences and most importantly the 'size' of the specific fish your are targeting. 

 

In some ponds I fish in...the bass are small, the water is shallow and cover is non-existent so 1/4 oz and under seems like it would be 'finesse'. Than there are some bigger lakes that I like to fish in that have bigger bass, deeper water and heavier cover/structure and 'finesse' in this lake seems to be 1/2oz and under. I live in CA and we are known for 'bigger than average' fish, which would make my 'finesse' jigs lean more towards the heavier side than say someone in the North or that fishes the Great Lakes for small mouth. 

 

I fish a jig A LOT...mostly football/casting jigs in deep water and flipping jigs in shallow water/cover. I have been getting more and more into BFS/Bait Finesse type stuff and it got me interested in scaling my jig fishing down to a more 'finesse' style approach. Found a lot of good tips on youtube but figured I would also ask here in Bass Resource because I felt like some of the videos I found were lacking in information. 

 

I don't like spinning gear for jigs in general. I would like to stick to baitcasting for fishing finesse jigs if I can. Some gear questions...

 

1. Any medium rod with a fast action tip should be fine right...? Would medium light be considered too light since I live in CA and target bass that is bigger than average...?

 

2. Do I need to drop down to a BFS/Bait Finesse specific reel for finesse jigs...? Or would any reel do as long as it can cast light lures (1/4oz and under) pretty well...?
 

3. What LB line range would be considered finesse for finesse jigs...? I see some guys go as low as 6lb for finesse jigs when the lake has zero cover and the water clarity is 'super clear'. On the other hand...I see some guys go as high as 15lb for finesse type jigs when in heavy cover or very stained/dirty water.

 

I understand the old adage...'go as light as you can for the given conditions/situation'...But I still need some general guidelines and/or a basis to start from. 

 

 

 

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I can finesse a 3/4 ounce pitching jig and I can pitch/flip a 3/16 ounce "finesse" jig. But thats just me but, my main finesse jigs are 3/8 and under with a finesse cut skirt, medium wire hook, and a smaller trailer. (Chunk, baby menace, etc). I prefer 12-15lb fluoro/copoly or 30lb braid to a 12ish lb leader. 7' Medium or medium heavy moderate fast rod for me. Tatula sv for the reel because I can skip accurately with it. 

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I think “finesse” is more about the size of the skirt and trailer, along with the hook and weed guard. Unless your talking really heavy jigs for punching, the weight seems more about the depth it’s designed to fish, rather than the size of the presentation to the fish. 

 

Just my oppinion.  

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For me, finesse fishing is with 3/16oz or less. For this I use the Avocet rig with 8# mono. Whether it's Ned, Wacky, light T-Rigs, or drop-shot, I keep the weight light. Heavier than that and I move to the Trion, President or Fuego depending on weight and circumstances.

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12 minutes ago, MN Fisher said:

For me, finesse fishing is with 3/16oz or less. For this I use the Avocet rig with 8# mono. Whether it's Ned, Wacky, light T-Rigs, or drop-shot, I keep the weight light. Heavier than that and I move to the Trion, President or Fuego depending on weight and circumstances.

Same. 3/8 to me is my all around large size. Anything under 1/4 is finesse. We're both Northerners though. 

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58f8dd4d97d0e_GPjig.thumb.jpg.59d227b969831e61bbde55214e48450d.jpg5/16 90% of the time with a lions main cut skirt and medium wire hook. Fish these on 10-15lb flor with a medium to MH rod (depends on how manufacture rate it) with a 2-3" trailer. Pic is of my main finesse jig that I make and use.

 

Allen

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Strike King Bitsy Bug, or Bitsy Flip is a good smaller jig too. Slowly drag or hop retrieve 

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sD1SP0pl.jpg?1

 

I like tiny finesse jigs.  These are Sieberts' 1/8oz Arkys with a baby Rage Craw.  All in it weighs like 7/16oz and I fish them on BFS casting rods and ML-M spinning rods.  

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I drop all the way down to one of my 1/8oz micro finesse jigs sometimes, especially in spring when the little craws are everywhere. I fish them on a spinning rod and 8lb fluoro.

No photo description available.

 

Then the more standard size that folks refer to as a "finesse" jig, even though I often use them on pretty heavy gear to flip into cover and generally use for not very finesse techniques. I usually fish them on a 7' MH/F with 15lb fluoro. That combo works just fine for 1/4-1/2 ounce jigs. 

No photo description available.

I'll also tie a finesse cut skirt on a small brush jig head so I can use a heavier hook to get a small profile that I can fish on heavy gear. Usually use the 1/4oz head and fish it on 17 or 20lb fluoro or copolymer.

No photo description available.

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I consider anything less that 1/4 to be finesse.  There are a bunch of variables that go into where and when I fish this size jig over a larger weight.  The big three are wind, depth, and vegetation.  Shallow, no wind, and a lot of coontail and I will be fishing with an 1/8 jig.

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My 7/16 oz jig would be considered a finesse jig today. I use 5/0 Gamakatsu #114 jig hook with 8, 10, 12 & 14 lb mono or FC line. This is my standard jig with silicone, living rubber or hair skirts. 

Look up Old School Horizontal Jigging for a detailed explanation on how to fish a casting jig. I use this jig and presentation about 90% of the time and have caught hundreds of big bass on this jig.

Tom

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2 hours ago, WRB said:

My 7/16 oz jig would be considered a finesse jig today. I use 5/0 Gamakatsu #114 jig hook with 8, 10, 12 & 14 lb mono or FC line. This is my standard jig with silicone, living rubber or hair skirts. 

Look up Old School Horizontal Jigging for a detailed explanation on how to fish a casting jig. I use this jig and presentation about 90% of the time and have caught hundreds of big bass on this jig.

Tom

Tom- your article is an all-time classic in my book. I’ve read that old thread so many times that I’ve lost count. One of my biggest takeaways is that you use your reel to slowly (sometimes painfully slowly) retrieve jigs and never by lifting the rod. 

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17 minutes ago, Dorado said:

Tom- your article is an all-time classic in my book. I’ve read that old thread so many times that I’ve lost count. One of my biggest takeaways is that you use your reel to slowly (sometimes painfully slowly) retrieve jigs and never by lifting the rod. 

I actually use the rod to shake the jig, a combination or shaking the reel handle that shakes the rod tip giving small movements to the jig verse hops. I also lift the jig up and over obstacles using the rod.  You are right most of the retreive is turning the reel handle to move the jig. Keep in mind 1 turn of the reel handle (IPT) can move the jig a few feet depending on how far away the jig was cast. The basic retrieve is point the rod at the jig and turn the handle 1 turn and let the line go slightly slack, if it jumps set the hook by reeling quickly and sweeping the rod back.

Tom

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I think of finesse jigs as compact jigs anywhere from 1/8-3/8oz. My favorite size being 5/16oz.

They can be fished effectively many ways, from a super sloooooow crawl to active hops depending on the fish.

My favorite setups are a medium fast spinning rig with 15lb braid to a 8-12lb mono leader, or a 10-17lb m/mh casting rod with straight 12lb mono/flouro. The last few years I've been digging an old Loomis Bronzeback 6'9" casting rod for this style. I love finesse jigs! One of my favorite trailers when the fish are moving slow in an old Mann's Stingray grub.

They add a nice subtle glide movement. I don't think BFS would have any advantages.

Some jigs I like are the 5/16oz Santone brand finesse jigs, Bitsy Bug and Bitsy Flip in 1/4oz too.

19 hours ago, Bluebasser86 said:

I drop all the way down to one of my 1/8oz micro finesse jigs sometimes, especially in spring when the little craws are everywhere. I fish them on a spinning rod and 8lb fluoro.

No photo description available.

 

Then the more standard size that folks refer to as a "finesse" jig, even though I often use them on pretty heavy gear to flip into cover and generally use for not very finesse techniques. I usually fish them on a 7' MH/F with 15lb fluoro. That combo works just fine for 1/4-1/2 ounce jigs. 

No photo description available.

I'll also tie a finesse cut skirt on a small brush jig head so I can use a heavier hook to get a small profile that I can fish on heavy gear. Usually use the 1/4oz head and fish it on 17 or 20lb fluoro or copolymer.

No photo description available.

Yeah I rock the 1/8oz mini jigs a lot too. I do great with them. I bought a bunch of 1/8oz Bitsy Bug jigs and cut the rubber band off and retied them with wire and they flair our great now. Small craw or hellgrammite soft plastics for trailers are great.

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Ahhhhhh...I get it now. Its not a matter of jig weight or fish size.

 

Its more about what you would consider or define as 'finesse' in your own terms based on the bodies of water you like to fish in and the lightest tackle you can get away with given the lakes varying conditions/situations at the time. Because obviously, you can still fish a 1oz punching jig, a small trailer, a thinned out skirt with a heavy rod and some 20lb fluoro in some heavy vegetation and it would still be labeled as 'finesse' depending on the lake/pond and a host of many other variables that always play into your decisions on the water. 


Thanks for the discussion and feedback guys. 

 

I am going to try and make a dedicated setup for finesse jigs. I think 3/16oz with a light wire hook on 8lb fluoro would be about the lowest I could go for a finesse football/casting type jig.

 

Any rod recommendations...? I am looking at the Phenix K2 rods right now...
 

7'1" medium light _ 1/16-5/8oz _ 4-12LB 

7'1" medium heavy _ 3/16-3/4oz _ 6-18LB

 

I was thinking of going with the medium light since I want the full experience of trying to fish smaller jigs on light tackle. But...some of the lakes I fish in have some BIG fish and I am a little scared of getting 'broken off' so the medium heavy seems like the better choice. Although...I could just get both. Than that way I can just dedicate the medium light to smaller ponds/lakes/fish or strictly open water applications and than delegate the medium heavy to bigger ponds/lakes/fish and some light cover pitching and flipping.  

 

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5 minutes ago, ITO_ZILLION said:

 

I am going to try and make a dedicated setup for finesse jigs. I think 3/16oz with a light wire hook on 8lb fluoro would be about the lowest I could go for a finesse football/casting type jig.

 

A 3/16oz jig is going to be +/- 3/8oz once you add up the weedguard, skirt, hook, and trailer.  I fish my little jigs around that weight on a XXX Black Themis (1/8-1/2oz) with 7lb fluoro and it has been working out great, but I am very limited in terms of what kind of cover I can fish it in.  It's hoot to fish though and the tiny jigs really got me used to detecting bites and setting hooks in a hurry.  

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22 hours ago, WRB said:

I actually use the rod to shake the jig, a combination or shaking the reel handle that shakes the rod tip giving small movements to the jig verse hops. I also lift the jig up and over obstacles using the rod.  You are right most of the retreive is turning the reel handle to move the jig. Keep in mind 1 turn of the reel handle (IPT) can move the jig a few feet depending on how far away the jig was cast. The basic retrieve is point the rod at the jig and turn the handle 1 turn and let the line go slightly slack, if it jumps set the hook by reeling quickly and sweeping the rod back.

Tom

Tom, I googled your article.  Very informative.  It is the way I fish a worm, turning the handle.  It works for me, but I thought I was doing it wrong.  Thanks

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