Bass Fishing 101: Choosing the Right Jig

Curtis Niedermier


The basic set is one of the most versatile baits a bass angler can have in their arsenal. It can be fished in almost any way, at any depth, and around most types of cover and structure. In some ways, however, a stencil is one of the most complex lures, as every detail can be fine-tuned to suit a variety of situations. Because of the customizable nature of the template, bass anglers have developed custom styles over time to handle specific techniques.

As you learn more about fishing tackle, you will appreciate the benefits of each of these styles.

1. Swimming gauge

How to fish it: The swimming gauge is designed for grass and wood, but can also be bitten in open water. Just don’t pull it. Swim it. Sometimes a straight retrieval is desirable, but another common technique is to shake the pole tip as it is rolled up. It can be fished right on the surface, scratching the bottom or in between.

Size selection: 3/16 to 1/2 ounce for flat presentations; 3/4 ounce and heavier for slow rolling in deep water or blowing through heavy grass.

Other details:

– Use white or silver colors when imitating shadows and combinations of green, brown, purple, and orange when imitating bluegills.
– A swimming gauge should have a reliable bait holder – either a large lead barb or metal wire – to hold the trailer in place.
– Cut the skirt so short that it doesn’t hang over the moving parts of the trailer.

2. Football device

How to fish it: Thanks to its head shape, football theory is the king of deep sea fishing. It is designed in such a way that it does not tip over if it is pulled onto the floor on ledges, points and the like. It’s also a great tool for feeling the content below. To fish it just pull the template along a little, pick up the slack and repeat the process. Before you hook the line, wind up the line. A soccer stencil can also be stroked up and down from below.

The technique: Rip it up, then let it sink back on a loose or semi-loose line. Fish usually bite in the fall.

Size selection: 1/2 to 1 ounce for most situations; 1 1/4 and 1 1/2 ounces for extreme depths.

Other details:

– If you are not fishing near brushes or wooden covers, you should thin out the weed protection. This can help improve the connection ratio.

3. Tilting device
How to fish it: The design of the flip jigs is very different. Part of this is due to the variety of types of lids that anglers flip and the fact that some devices are designed to be versatile enough for other techniques. Typically, a flip jig is a target bait for making short flips, pitches, and roll-casts for flat wood, coastal grass, deeper grass beds (in some situations), and docks. Once the bait hits its target, drop it, hop a time or two, then reel it back in for the next flip. Shoot each time for a smooth entry into the water.

Size selection: 3/8 to 3/4 ounce

Other details:

– Fall rate can be critical when turning over. Adjust the rate of fall by changing the size of the jighead, the thickness and length of the apron, and the style of the pendant. The more compact the package, the faster it will sink. Leave the rock full to slow the rate of descent.

4. Punching jig
How to fish it: A punch is a special tilting device designed to break through matted grass. It’s also a great option for turning over deep, submerged grass, a thick wooden ceiling, or when you want a really bulky, fast-sinking presentation. Sometimes it is necessary to lift the stencil in the air so that in the fall it can build up a certain speed to get through the grass. In most cases, a punch gauge should be fished with a braid that can cut through blades of grass and turn a fish into thick cover.

Size selection: 3/4 to 2 ounces

Other details:

– Some punches have double weed guards for even more deflection.
– Compact trailers without many “rickety” attachments slide through the cover more easily than bulky trailers.

5. Finesse Jig
How to fish it: The technique depends on the scenario, but a finesse template can be fished, dragged, covered or bombed over the structure. The key is to fish it very slowly, usually with soft tugs or short lifts of the rod tip.

Size selection: 3/16 to 3/8 ounce

Other details:

– Tungsten is a good choice for a finesse device.
– To cut a skirt with a spider, pull the front half of the strands over your head, hold them together, and cut the strands right in front of your head.
– In cold water, round strands of rubber skirt are sometimes preferred because they will flare up and pulsate even when the jig is barely moving.

6. Casting / structure device
How to fish it: The cast / structure jig is the basic general purpose jig that can be skipped, tilted, or flipped over. However, it is great for pulling presentations on sloping rocky banks, plains, points, and other structures of medium depth. One key is that the jig be compact enough that a bass can easily suck it off the floor. But more importantly, it needs a head design that will allow it to crawl over rocks without getting caught. Therefore most of them have a flat floor, such as B. an Arkie-style stencil or the newer structural-style head that resembles a crushed soccer ball. Some are pointed and resemble arrowheads. Using short tugs or a lift-drop technique, drag the stencil along the floor.

Size selection: 3/16 to 5/8 ounces

Other details:

– Try shortening the skirt by turning the template upside down and using scissors to cut diagonally across the strands. The result is a wide range of strand lengths and a vibrant edge.

To learn firsthand about fishing tackle and techniques from seasoned FLW anglers, visit the #ReelFun Fishing Events held at Walmart stores across the United States from June 2-4, 2017. You can find dates and times on

Curtis Niedermier is currently the Editor-in-Chief of FLW Bass Fishing Magazine

This article was originally published on

Curtis Niedermier

Curtis Niedermier

Curtis Niedermier is Editor-in-Chief of and FLW Bass Fishing Magazine. He has covered the professional fishing rounds for 10 years.

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