How to Use a Jig Head With Swim Baits

How to Use a Jig Head With Swim BaitsJig heads and swim baits are two terms every serious bass fisherman should know. Don't recognize these terms? A jig head is essentially a hook with a chunk of lead attached on the shank just below the eye. The lead weight may be round, elongated or oval. A swim bait is typically a soft-body plastic with a segmented body that allows the bait to take on a natural swimming motion in the water. When combined, jig heads and swim baits are capable of landing large bass.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

How to:

Things You’ll Need:
  • Snips
Step 1
Select a jig head to match the swim bait being used. The size and corresponding weight of the jig head is important. If the jig is too heavy, the bait will sink too quickly and will not produce a good action in the water. If the jig is too light, you may not be able to get the bait down to where fish are holding in the water. A good starting point is a 1/2-oz. bullet-shaped jig head.
Step 2
Hold the swim bait in one hand and the jig in the other. The jig should be positioned so that it is level with the swim bait and the hook point is above the shank. Position the tip of the hook so that it is located at the front of the bait at a position where the mouth would be.
Step 3
Insert the point of the hook into the front of the swim bait. Push the point straight into the soft plastic for about 3/4 inch or so. Keep in mind that there will typically be a flex joint near the head of the bait. Be careful that the hook is not inserted through the joint as this will prevent the bait from swimming.
Step 4
Turn the point downward and push it through the bottom of the bait just back from the jaw area. Adjust the swim bait on the jig head so that the front of the bait is positioned next to the lead weight. There may also be a small keeper barb designed to hold the bait in place while fishing. Make sure the bait is pushed up to the point where the barb is inside the bait.
Step 5
Attach the rigged bait to your fishing line with an improved clinch knot. Use a pair of snips to remove any excess line from the knot.

Tips & Warnings

Cast the jig head and swim bait rig. If the rig seems to settle too quickly, remove the jig head and replace with a lighter weight jig. Remember that the speed at which the line is retrieved will determine the swim rate, as well as how quickly the bait may rise to the surface.

Article Written By Keith Dooley

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.

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