How to Fish a Jig: Tips for Setting Up a Jig

Jig fishing has been around for a long time. And yet, most anglers and fishermen say that it is one fishing method that is hard to master because it involves a lot of technique. No matter, it is still considered as one of the most effective ways to catch larger fishes like bass among others. Every angler wants to know how to fish a jig.

How to Fish a Jig

In this post, we make a rundown of the steps on how to jig and feature some tips on how to set-up jig. If this fishing method interests you at the moment, read on.

What is Jig Fishing? 

Jig fishing is a unique way to lure fish. A jig is primarily composed of a hook and a sinker (either lead or plastic) that are molded together. The body of the jig appears like a baitfish, taking the usual colors of smaller fishes and other popular baits.

What is Jig Fishing

Compared to spinnerbaits, jigs jerk vertically and more prominently to attract larger game fishes. As a matter of fact, lure fishing with jigs employs specific casting and movements for it to mimic the erratic swimming of an injured fish. This makes jigging an ideal method for lure fishing bigger fishes.

Tips on How to Fish a Jig

There are different jigs for specific types of fish. The reason for this is that they feed on different prey and have different habits under water. Some fishes have a more refined taste in their natural habitat requiring different jigging techniques for you to catch them. Here are the major jigging techniques and how to set them up.

  • Swimming Jig

This is considered as the latest jigging technique. To create a more realistic swimming pattern, it incorporates the combination of jigs and spinnerbaits. It is perfect for fishes that tend to scatter around.


Swimmer jigs have bullet-shaped heads with less weed guard. You can cast them on rocky or weedy zones. The retrieval could be slow or fast jerk (but not too fast). To prepare the swimming jig, it must meet the following specifications.

  • Rod: 6’9” – 7’0” MHMF casting rod
  • Reel: 6.8:1 reel ratio
  • Line: 30-40lbs braid
  • Flipping Jig

This is also called the Arkie jig and it is most suitable on shallow waters. This is because they are highly stable and they would not hit nor snag weeds or rocks when they are cast. A flipping jig is identified with its oversized hook, a broad weed guard, and compact lead head.

Arkie bait

This jig is most convenient for ambush style fishing. Cast it on a rock shelf or a weed bed. Give the jig a few prominent lifts to mimic a defensive crawfish. This is how you lure large rock-oriented fishes using the flipping jig. Below is the rod, reel, and line specs which you need to prepare for the flipping jig.

  • Rod: 7’2” – 7’6” fast action casting rod
  • Reel: 7.1:1 – 8.1:1 gear ratio
  • Line: 40-65lbs braid
  • Football jig

This one is the best jig especially during the difficult season. This is also for fishes with unique behavioral patterns. They are distinguished for their two tapered ends (looking like a football), with a light, thin hook.

Football bait

This type of jig best performs on rocky beds that are 10ft or deeper. It is very handy that you can use any fast action gear for this. Nonetheless, to best prepare, consider the following specs.

  • Rod: 7’5” – 8’ casting rod with moderate/fast action
  • Reel: 6.1:1 – 7.1:1 gear ratio
  • Line: 15-17lbs fluorocarbon
  • Finesse Jig

In waters where fish bites are low, the finesse jig is the best choice. By low fish bites, we mean that fishes become picky or finicky eaters. One of the reasons for low fish bites would be unstable temperatures and recent weather changes.

Finesse jigs need lightweight, yet medium power, fast action casting rod to get more bites. A lightweight setup for the reel and line should accompany the finesse jigs.

Finesse Jig

  • Rod: 7’ fast action casting rod
  • Reel: 6.1:1 – 7.1:1 gear ratio
  • Line: 12lbs fluorocarbon

You can read more: How to Fish in a Pond: Essential Tips and Techniques

Steps on How to Fish a Jig

If it is your fist time to jig, these are the four easy steps which you should master. Once you get used to jigging, the next ones should be a walk in the park.

  1. Prepare the jig, rod, reel and line. Choose the most appropriate ones including the recommended specifications for the type of fish and type of water environment.
  2. Once you are already in the location, cast out your jig hook. Let it sink to the bottom. Wait for a few seconds, and observe until the spoon hits the bottom.
  3. From here, choose your jigging motion, either up and down or sideways.
  4. Keep the line tight by reeling it down a bit in cases of strike and repeat.

FAQs on How to Fish a Jig

Here are some FAQs about jigging which might come in handy when you first set out for jig fishing.

Can live baits be used for jigging? 

While it is possible, you can fare better with using dead baits for jigging. Some anglers and fishermen even put a full fish carcass at the end of the jig’s hook and drop it down at once for big grouped fishes who swim together in schools.

You can read more: How to Catch Carp: Been So Easy With 10 Tips

Does a jig need a sinker? 

Most if not all jigs are already molded into the hook, hence, they no longer need sinkers. Nonetheless, if you are eyeing for a split shot approach just to make sure that the hook is cast at the right water column, a sinker might help.

What is the best rod length for jig fishing?

The most recommended rod length for jig fishing would be at 7-9ft. This is a versatile length for different jigging and fishing applications.

How to Fish a Jig Successfully

Jigging is a challenging fishing method if you are doing it for the first time. Nonetheless, you can master this skill. There are different jigs for different types of fishes and fishing environments. You just have to memorize which ones work best with what. Also, do not forget some of the jigging tips that we have mentioned here for a better jigging experience.

You can read more:

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How to Catch Catfish: The Best Fishing Tips

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