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How Jig Head Weight Impacts Fishing Success

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June 9, 2014
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JigWeightOptions blog
Up your odds with an assortment of weights for rounded jig heads.

A ball head jig combined with live-bait or rigged with a plastic grub, minnow or worm is a basic presentation — but it's far from simple. The weight of a jig can make a huge difference in how many fish you catch.

Jig weight influences the speed at which the bait falls. Certain days fish will only eat an extremely slow dropping jig. Here success demands going with the lightest jig head you can get away with while still maintaining a feel of the presentation. Other days it's the opposite. A heavy jig that sinks fast and crashes into bottom is the specialized action that riles-up fish and triggers reaction strikes. Using an appropriately weighted jig is also essential to staying near bottom and in the strike zone with straight-down tactics, especially when vertically jigging in river current or when wind drifting a lake.

Jig weight is just one variable influencing how quickly the bait sinks. Streamlined jig heads plummet faster than bulky ones, and the weight, size and shape of the bait also influences drop speed. Plus, the thinner the line diameter, the less the drag, and the quicker the dive; vice versa with thicker string. The list goes on.

No matter the species of fish you target with a jig, buy some extras that are in weights you currently don't own. Then try them with your favorite tactics this season. Odds are you'll experience a few scenarios where going a little lighter or a touch heavier will catch you more fish.

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Tim Allard

Tim Allard hails from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. He's a full-time outdoor journalist and author and photographer of the multi-award winning book, "Ice Fishing - The Ultimate Guide" (2010), which is also available in French under the title, "Pêche sur glace". Tim regularly contributs to numerous North American print and online publications. For more information visit

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