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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

• Strike Works Finesse Jig

In the world of jig fishing, the finesse jig is perhaps the least appreciated. The jig market is largely dominated by 1/2oz to 1oz jigs with varying head designs and bulky skirts. There is nothing wrong with those jigs. They do catch some very nice bass. There are still situations when those big jigs are simply too much for bass in no mood to joke around. Local bass tend to be heavily pressured and shy away from intimidating lures. Using a finesse jig puts me at a slight advantage. A finesse jig allows me to fish the same way with a lure that has a much smaller profile.

Among finesse jigs, there is some variation in design, but only a handful of companies make them. Even fewer companies ship them out to major retailers. Most finesse jigs have a small round leadhead with a flat line tie. The skirt runs up under the collar and short strands fan out around the head. They can weigh anywhere from 3/16 to 1/4oz. Other finesse jigs are nothing more than small versions of their larger counterparts. The only thing finesse about them is their size. Then there are heavy finesse jigs that weigh 1/2 to 3/4oz. I prefer using finesse jigs from the first category that weigh 1/4oz or less. The narrow skirts that wrap around the round jighead appeal to me more than the others. The very first finesse jig I added to my arsenal might be to blame for why I'm so particular. That jig was made by Strike Works Tackle.

The Back Story
I won a 5/16oz Strike Works finesse jig in a contest and never bothered using it until April of this year. The spawn was winding down from what I could tell, but the weather was erratic and larger baits were not producing for me. Instead of switching to plastics, I pulled out the finesse jig and put on a V&M Baby V chunk craw trailer. I ended up picking up on a solid pattern over many days, an accomplishment rarely achieved on Cross Lake.

The Real World Experience
My approach was not all that subtle. Actually, it became more of a power fishing technique for me. Most of my casts were focused around the base of cypress trees in shallow water. Sometimes the bass hit the jig on the fall. Other times I had to coax the bite out of them by letting it sit for a moment. Best fish was 3lb 15oz, but I caught a number of solid bass in the 2lb and 3lb range. A few threw the hook, but I really couldn't complain. It was a ton of fun. That jig took a beating, so at some point during one trip, I switched to an Eakins Jig with a similar design.

About The Jig
The Strike Works finesse jig is available in 3/16, 5/16, and 1/4oz sizes and features a flat eye line tie, a light wire Mustad Ultra Point hook, and comes in a variety of interesting color combinations. Twin black rattle chambers are also attached to the neck of the jig that contain two steel ball rattles for that extra bite enticing click. The weed guard sits high above the hook point and might need to be trimmed, but for the most part, the jig is easy to work through the weeds without getting hung up. Photo

I rigged it using 12-15lb P-Line Halo (and 15lb Vicious Fluorocarbon later on) on my medium-light finesse rig and tied to the eye using my favorite loop knot. For a trailer, I decided to use a black V&M Baby V Chunk. I also posted a review of the Baby V Chunk.

Complaints
There was another reason why this jig did not get used for more than a year. Upon opening the package, I noticed the lure smelled a lot like cigarette smoke. At the time, other people were making similar observations, but they came to the conclusion that it had to do with the silicone composition of the skirt. I was not convinced, so the jig was set aside to air out.

The skirt collar was not very heat resistant. When I grabbed the jig for the first time, the collar had disintegrated and the skirt strands fell off. I had to tie them back on. Needless to say, I gradually lost skirt strands over time. The jig rattles eventually fell off and had to be replaced after only a few bites. The paint on the jighead wore down to the bare lead, so if you are rough on jigs, expect to chip the paint.

The Final Say
Although the lure fell apart piece by piece, it produces. I am a huge fan of the flat line tie and I wish other jigs used them instead. The skirt is not too menacing and perfect for finesse fishing. Great jig despite the problems.

Strike Works
www.strikeworkstackle.com

Strike Works finesse jig
www.strikeworks.com/store/store_product_detail.cfm?Product_ID=2

Color Chart
www.strikeworks.com/store/components/skirt_color_chart.cfm

Related Posts:
Eakins Finesse Jig
Off The Pier 4-1-2009
Fishing Report 4-3
Fishing Report 4-8
Fishing Report 4-14/4-15
Fishing Report 4-21
Jig Rattles

3 comments:

MDtolic said...

I'm wondering how you attach your trailer? I decided to learn more about jigs this summer as well and I've been experimenting quite a bit. Nothing has produced for me but, like I said, I'm learning. Trailers have me a bit confused too. I see the V&M here has that little indentation in the center of the body. Do you pierce the craw once, right through that dent, so it just hangs on the hook? Or do you thread the plastic down the hook? Do you choose one method or the other in different situations? Thanks!

BassFishingDem said...

I always thread my trailers onto the hook, even with my LFT Pig Claws on larger jigs. It turns out that the trailer tends to rest on the hook bend more than the shank and positions the claws in a defensive posture. When rigged that way, the trailer stays on a lot better. I noticed that if I rig a trailer by piercing it once straight up through the middle, I end up going through a lot more trailers. Whether or not my way is more productive is anyone's guess, but I've seen a difference.

I have a post here about rigging jig trailers. I need to add some more photos to it. I wrote that entry while I was away from all of my gear, so I couldn't provide any good illustrations.
Rigging a jig trailer

Jon | Fish Pittsburgh said...

I love jig fishing and I have been making my own jigs for a while, but never really got into making small 1/8 or 1/4 oz until last year. Now it's one of my go to jigs during the cold water season. Green pumpkin 1/4 jig with some super pork does the job for me.