different attempts

“Arkie” style from the 1980’s to the present…

It’s taken me decades to discover this, but I have finally determined the critical issue regarding extended use of the jig–meaning the same jig. It doesn’t matter how grabby, rocky, brushy or grassy the bottom, the real secret to getting your bait back every time…is only casting to places where the fish bite it on the sink.

Maybe that’s why, despite having some very nice moments with the lead/skirt/trailer combo, the idea of bankrolling every rip-rapped briar patch with money I could spend on topwaters, limits my jig use.

Some guys say, “I’m gonna work a jig here for the next hour or so and see what happens.” I say, I gonna fish here for about 12 bucks and then I’m gonna to do something else.


Beveled head and dual nylon ‘spikes’ combine to keep point up and protected on the Nujig…

Nonetheless, even the Arkie Jig, named #2 on the list of most influential bass fishing lures, by Wired2Fish, has undergone changes, notably with regard to weed guard and subtle variations in the head shape. It was made to be “weedless” or “snagless,” but in fact, the bottom is rarely consistent and ideal casting angles that maximize the jighead properties are impossible to figure out ahead of the cast.

So we lose ’em.

Still, guys are trying–like Bo James of NewTech Lures, who makes the Nujig. He touts his jig as one with a very long life expectancy (my words) because it is so snag free. Furthermore, it was recommended to me by one Tom Young, a veteran and highly successful reservoir angler in the Castaic area.

Because I respect Tom’s views and skill (and because a jig is usually an afterthought in my arsenal) I think the bait needs a look by serious jig tossers. My experience has not been life-changing, but I admit I’m not the best test pilot.

face to face

FACE TO FACE, I’m not seeing all the distinction from an earlier era model. I think I need more testing time…

Also, I fish where most Californians fear to go–a place where clumps of 60-year old chain link have sunk to the bottom of their original steel poles. This unforgiving cover grabs lure-retrievers, boat hooks and anything else you want to sacrifice, so a good weedguard only means there is no way you can shake a jig out of the trap.

What I really suggest is you look at the Nujig website and screen a couple of  YouTube vids and see if maybe this has more merit on a reservoir than it does on the old natural across the street. It is innovative, though looking at some vintage jigs in my garage collection, it’s maybe not so “new.”

Still. If it works for you, then I’m glad I was able to help.



6 Responses to “Jigs and their life expectancy…”

If you really want to become a professional jig fisherman, and be really good at it, you cannot worry about losing a jig! I always have a ton of jigs on the boat, and I already accept that I’m going to lose some! The mindset has to be aggressive, and throw it anywhere and into anything, and not worry about getting hung up! I have learned this over the years, and it’s the only way you will become good at it. Patrick in Petaluma.

Excellent blog post. Congrats on your top 12 most read bass blogs for 2012.
After reading this blog, I can see why.
I will definitely be back

I started pouring and tying my own jigs a long time ago to get just the right size,color, look,bulk, etc. A bonus was my cost per jig made me feel more comfortable. The sweat equity that went into the construction would still motivate me to try to free a snagged bait. Cheap hooks that straighten can save a few snagged baits.

I love fishing jigs. I absolutely agree with Rich Lingor, thin wire hooks can free many a snagged jig because they straighten easier. I also bend the hook in past parallel just a bit before casting. That also helps with keeping a jig from being snagged. I really liked the post about aggressive jig fishing. I think many guys give up too quick. Once you zero in on presentation and depth, jig fishing can be extremely productive and can give you the edge in a tournament when other guys have gone to the drop shot.

I love the NuJig, its the only jig I throw nowadays. These jigs will go through anything. I have even fished flooded chain link fences and not lost a jig.

George, the “old jig” you have pictured has a “Y” guard which originates from a single point. The NuJig, has two sperated appendages. They are positioned on two seperate points, and that makes a big difference.