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JIGHEAD SELECTION TIPS

By Dane Radosevic

We now live in an era where the tackle we use is advancing at a rapid pace to keep up with the ever changing trends in fishing. Fishing with soft plastics has seen incredible growth over the last decade and leading the way within the tackle industry is TT lures. With their vast range of jig heads anglers can select the appropriate type to suit any application, technique and species.

Gone are the days when there was only one style of jig head to suit all your soft plastic presentations and styles of fishing. Today we are fortunate to have access to a range of jig heads including heavy-duty heads for chasing blue water brutes, finesse heads for targeting the staple bread and butter species, custom painted heads that create a more natural and realistic presentation and a variety of weedless style heads for fishing the most rugged terrain. Purposely choosing the correct jig head is crucial for execution and can be the difference between tempting that fish of a lifetime or a missed opportunity. For that reason it pays to have an array of various styles of jig heads at your disposal and to understand the application of those jig heads in different situations.

When choosing a jig head you need to firstly understand the purpose for its design and tailor your selection for its intended application. The easiest way in determining the correct jig head is by understanding the species you are targeting, the environment you are fishing in and the gear you are using. For example if you were fishing a reef and coral trout are common to the area, medium to heavy gear would be required to prevent them from busting you off in the reef. Therefore you can automatically eliminate the option of the finesse jig head, as you require the ability to set the hook in their bony mouths and stopping power is essential. Knowing this you would opt for a jig head with a heavy duty hook such as the TT HeadlockZ HD which is ideal for that type of application. The sharp heavy wire hook allows for easy penetration whilst preventing the possibility of bending or rolling the hook point in the process and giving you the confidence that the hook won't straighten under load.

If we were to change the scenario and target yellowfin bream over shallow sand flats that are moderately open with minimal structure, lighter gear would be necessary and a change of jig head selection would see greater results. The benefits required of the heavy duty hook in the HeadlockZ HD range in the previous scenario would only obstruct the hook up opportunity in this case, costing you fish. Therefore after assessing the new scenario you would opt for a jig head with a finesse wire hook from the HeadlockZ Finesse range. The benefits of choosing to fish a lighter gauge hook would allow easier hook penetration when using lighter gear and increase the likelihood of pinning the most finicky of feeders.  

One jig head that I am most impressed with and I have had great results using is the DemonZ jig head range. This is a custom painted jig head with realistic 3D eyes, featuring a heavier wire hook and when colour coordinated to the correct soft plastic it creates the ultimate natural presentation. I have found the DemonZ heads to be proven performers in clear water or heavily pressured water scenarios. As a tournament angler I am often faced with finicky or shut down fish and to maximise my opportunities I need to be fishing the correct jig head for the situation to attract the strikes and ensure success. The painted heads are visually appealing which mentally gives me more confidence in the presentation, therefore I know I will fish the lure with greater confidence.

Stepping away from conventional jig heads we venture into the weedless style, adding another deadly arsenal to the box. This style of head allows you to cast a plastic into places where it was previously impossible to fish with ordinary jig heads. These purpose designed jig heads allow you to present your lure in the strike zone of the nastiest of terrain, allowing you to target fish tight to structure. TT lures have numerous styles of weedless jig head systems available to anglers. My two personal favourites are the ChinlockZ head, which is weightless, and the SnakelockZ head which has a purpose-designed interlocking head, which allows you to quickly and easily change weights. With the increasing popularity of this style of jig head, they are produced in both versions with a HD hook or a Finesse hook, which again allows you to correctly match the jig head to the application.

So next time you go to purchase a packet of TT jig heads keep in mind the application, technique and species you are going to be using them for as it could make all the difference.

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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2017