I use the Brauer method, first clipping weed guard strands at an angle to barely cover the hook point, then clip enough whole strands out to soften it. You stop just before dragging the jig across your palm gets a snag. All weed guards come way too thick and stiff, letting you customize them. Mine typically have half the material removed. A softer guard, shorter, and none competing with the hook point guarantees more hookups. Of course, lodging that jig against a branch then yanking hard might cost you the jig, but hey, the object is to catch fish, not retain baits. Jim
Another way to fill it out is to use a fat trailer like a Horny Toad nose hooked to stand out from the hook. Use a section of a StrikeKing 3X worm slipped up the hook bend to hold the Toad from slipping down. In that case you might want to leave all the skirt. If I'm swimming it in open water I'll likely switch to an old style bucktail guardless Arkie jig, or remove the weed guard completely from a guarded jig. That gets me more and better hookups. BTW, the oldest original Arkie jigs didn't have guards like we have today. There was no such plastic guard material. We embedded a copper wire through the lead head, or use the main stem of a feather. For that you drill a hole in the lead head then glue the tip of the feather in. I'll put up a photo of it someday. Not much good at photography, though. Jim
;D Goin on 62, SONNY ;D. Been bassin since 1959. Back then everybody was poor, didn't bother going inside a bait shop except maybe to just get ideas how to make my own lures. I didn't buy a jig until about 1965, making them 20 a night to use and sell for a dime apiece. Lead came from wheel weights left around gas stations where most people got tires replaced. Hooks were catfish trot line style. Skirt was bucktail or squirrel. I stripped 12 ga copper wire out of household wiring waste left around housing projects. Until I was able to buy some Creme worms my "soft plastics" were strips of tire inner tube. I weaved mono down the middle to hold hooks along the way. No bass under 8# woud tackle those things. Jim
Things have sure changed, some for the good and some for the bad. Iv'e been tourny fishing for fourteen years and things have changed drasticly since I started. Do you still have any of those old jigs? I think they would be cool to display. Drew
I still have some old ones with brittle bucktail hairs, just for a keep sake. I still make my own, waiting for someone to bring me some tails. I bought some tails but all are dyed, not natural enough, and too stiff. I like them fresh for prime wiggle and flare in water.The natural winter oils make buck hair perfect.
As for change, I used to think the changes were drastic, but actually most all modern lures and techniques come from the oldest methods and material types. There is just more variety and higher quality of art using the same principles that have always worked. For instance, my old bucktail jigs don't have eyes and are all painted black since black paint just lasted longer and was cheap. I'll catch as many large bass as someone else using the latest $4 jig with moving eyes and rattles. Bass will bite mine as quickly because they are seeing something "new" hardly anyone uses, maybe "newer" than that modern jig.
Another for instance is what's called a "drop shot" today, considered born recently, has always been around. Instead of an artifical lure we put a cricket or worm on the hook. Eventually we tried putting Creme worms on trying to figure out how to fish the new fangled things, and that worked. Along about 1975 I put my first Rapala Minnow on a drop shot and drifted it just off bottom during a small tournament. I won first place but was disqualified when they decided I was trolling. To this day trolling is often prohibited in tournaments.
I'm thinking about doing the photo thing, just hate messing with Photobucket and all the steps involved. Jim
Thats bull man, The guys on the crappie tour are doing just what you described with little crankbaits and kicking their butts. The whole photobucket expeirence had me drinking beer, but that don't take much I don't know squat about these computers.
lol i love jigs and used to do almost all of the above modifications now i do just a few. i dont trim the weed guards at all just fan them out kinda like a V, i do bend my hooks down slightly though to get a better hook set . as for skirts i usually leave them long or trim them just a touch (but longer than the hook bend) but i do pull out about 1/4 to 1/2 of the skirt strands, and make them uneven. i want the jig to almost look beat up to begin with. as for trailers , i use several different types depending on what i'm trying to mimic (lizard, bluegill,craw,shad, etc. my fav are double tail skirted grubs) and sometimes i do superglue them but sometimes not. in my experience people classify jigs like any other bait to me, they are nothing but a hook with a built in weight that i can make look like what ever i want. just my.02
ya i always trim my weed guard horizontal with my hook. Trim my skirt to the way i like. for trailers i like to use cut off plastics. when i have a plastic rip or tear ill use it for a trailer. for example brushogs. another one of my fav is the BPS flippen craws. they have the perfect lenght of pinchers and the sweet beaver body on it makes the jig have some body profile.
What Jim could do for some hair for his jigs is go tree rat hunting when squirrel season opens and theres all the hair u need off them tails lol :lmao: