As part of my preparation for a steelhead fishing trip, I tie some jigs.  My skill level is beginner and my equipment is very basic, but the finished jigs look okay and they catch fish.

BestJigs.jpgI started tying to repair jigs that I had purchased and worn out catching fish.  Even the best jig looks bad after fish have pulled off all the hair or marabou.  I just wanted to add some more hair or feathers to make it look like it did when I bought it. 

Once I got proficient at adding dressing and cementing that into place on the hook, I graduated to buying painted jig heads and making my own jigs from scratch.  I have no plans to cast jigs head with molten lead, but I do buy unpainted jigs which I then powder pait.  I also purchase painted jigs in the weight and color I need. 

The tying material/dressing I use isblack, white, brown, and green marabou, black fox tail, deer tail in natural and black and squirrel tail.  I have some flash material or tinsel that I tie into the jig body too. I have black, white, red, brown, and green spools of thread and the bobbin for holding the spools, a whip finish tool, a cheap tying vise and head cement.  The whole tying kit and materials fit into a small plastic box.

JigFeathers.jpgBefore I say what comes next let me confess that I have dozens of different jigs on me while fishing. Most never get wet! I usually fish black, white, green/white and brown/white.

Steelhead jigs come in many colors, but I believe that you only need 4 color options to cover most situations. I believe that black, white, brown/white and green/white all tied on gold jig heads are all you need. The jig head weight you choose is determined by water conditions. A 1/64 ounce jig is the typical selection. Low, clear water may require a 1/80 micro option. A 1/32 ounce head will help you get down closer to the bottom in higher water with a strong flow. Adding split shot helps with depth control. In addition to marabou or bucktail dressing, all jigs need some flash. I always use red flash along the hook shank on all jigs I tie. I also add blue and gold flash to black jigs, green and sliver to white, gold and green to olive/white and brown/white.

You can tie your own jigs with a small investment for equipment, jig heads and tying materials. The following photos/video show the what and how.


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