Some companies include rattles on their jigs. Most are encased in hard plastic and loop around the hook shank of the jig with more hard plastic or soft rubber. Some are even fixed on with glue. These rattles tend to break off too easy and are often lost on their maiden voyage. The hard plastic breaks from minor trauma and the rubber loops simply cannot tolerate the elements well. It leaves a lingering dissatisfaction with the product in question. As you might have guessed, this was the situation I was faced with a short time ago. It sparked my search for a better jig rattle.
It was not easy finding jig rattles at any of the local stores. Most rattles on the rack I came across were designed to slide inside of plastics, specifically tubes. I found a brand of jig rattles that won't easily break or become lost and are available in two different styles to suit your jig fishing needs. If you go to www.northlandtackle.com, you can have a look at John Peterson's Double Buck-Shot Jig Rattles. They are meant to be used with jigs, but are also advertised for use with spinnerbaits and spoons. The rattle beads are lead rattles enclosed in a soft silicone chamber. A flexible silicone ring is fixed at one end allowing you to slip the rattle chambers onto the hook shank. A second option locally is to buy Arkie jig rattles. Included in the package are individual rattle enclosures in clear and black plastic and collars for sliding rattles onto whatever lure you choose to use them with.
Northland makes four different types of rattle shells. I only had the two double barrel types to choose from. The basic double barrel rattle shell is the one I went with. I have since learned a few things that might make me more apt to buy the rattle claws in the future. The shell slides over the hook easily, but moves along the hook shank more than I'd like. In other words, it doesn't stay in one place. The jigs I use have a wide lead base at the hook shank, so I am unable to slide the silicone ring up close to the skirt. The chambers slide up against my trailer resulting in more wear and tear on the soft plastic. I end up changing trailers more often than I'd like. The fix would entail placing something firm behind the rattle to hold it in place whether it be glue, some plastic, or other material. Aside from all of that, I still have questions about whether or not rattles are really necessary. I'm not convinced they make a difference, but I'm still in search of a better jig rattle. For now, the offerings from Northwood Tackle will have to do. I actually have an appreciation for its soft silicone design. I cannot justify placing an order online for just some jig rattles and other small items, so I'll settle for getting what I can at local shops.
Here's an added tip as I have yet to come across anyone suggesting it. You rarely read about anyone using rattles on a shakey head jig. Everyone is so focused on the action of the plastic sitting upright in the water that perhaps adding noise is not something they think about. Give it a try and let me know what happens.