Making Jigs for Saltwater Fishing

Making Jigs for Saltwater Fishing
Many anglers recognize how effective jigs can be in saltwater fishing. Jigs feature a weighted head that is typically painted in a bright color and finished with a variety of materials, including animal hairs. Designed to imitate a minnow, jigs are fished off the bottom in an up-and-down motion that is achieved by raising the rod tip and retrieving the jig lure. Jigs are among the easier lures to make at home.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Lead head jig hook
  • Enamel paint
  • Hobby paint brush
  • Fly tying vise
  • Cotton thread
  • Animal hairs
  • Clear nail polish
  • Scissors
Step 1
Paint the lead head of a jig-head hook, if necessary, using a hobby paint brush before you begin the tying process. Select enamel paint colors including black or white to paint the jig head. Paint eyes on the sides of the head for added realism. Allow the enamel paint to completely dry before proceeding.
Step 2
Secure the lead head jig hook in the jaws of a fly-tying vise. Place the hook in the vise so it is held by the bend, with the barb and hook point on the bottom.
Step 3
Wrap several turns of cotton thread around the molded shoulder of the jig head. Begin the wraps just below the head and work down to the flare at the bottom of the formed shoulder. Wrap the thread up to the head and repeat for two to three layers of thread.
Step 4
Cut a clump of animal hairs such as deer bucktail with a pair of scissors. Hold the cut end of the hairs up and trim them so they are as even as possible.
Step 5
Place the animal hairs evenly around the molded shoulder of the lead jig head. Wrap two or three turns of cotton thread around the shoulder and hairs to hold them in place. Spread the hairs around the hook so that there are no gaps. Wrap the thread around the shoulder and hair several times to securely hold them in place.
Step 6
Tie the cotton thread off and cut it free from the bobbin with scissors. Trim any excess hairs extending up past the thread toward the jig head. Apply a thin coat of clear nail polish to the thread to protect it from moisture and abrasion while fishing.

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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