Jig Making, Not As Hard As You Think
By: Bobby Booth & Dylan Smith ~ D & B Ice Adventures
So most of us know what jigs work and of course we all have our favorite jigs. Sometimes they can be hard to find in the shops, so why not make them? This is how I make my soldered jigs that I use for Crappie, Bluegills and Perch.
What You'll Need:
Paint Brushes and Paint
I buy most of my supplies from Janns Netcraft,but you may find them in many number of reputable jig making suppliers. They'll have everything you need to get started. Remember, you do not need much to get started with the basics. Pick the style of blades you want to use and make sure you pick a hook that is big enough for the blade. I like to use the teardrop and rocker style jigs.
The hardest part of making these is the soldering. I am lucky enough to have come across a jig solder device that allows you to set the hook and blade in a jig that holds them both in place while you solder them.
The best way to solder these is to press you solder gun to the middle of the hook shank and wait till the hook and blade heat up enough to melt the solder. The nice thing about this is that you can determine how much solder you use, add more solder for more weight or less if you wish. Once the solder has hardened I paint them white. Now, you can buy the paint specifically for painting lures or go to a craft store and buy the small packages of neon colors for 2 dollars. I actually prefer the small cheap paint over the jig paint, the colors are a lot more vibrant and easier to work with since they are water based. The reason I paint all the new jigs white is so I get a better color coat when I choose which color I'm making. I hand paint all my jigs - I don't air brush or dip them, this is an effective way of conserving money and gaining a quality custom product. I started by dipping them but it was a pain in the arse to open all the eyelets after you dipped them. A small pack of brushes from your local department store will work fine. Once they are painted white you simply decide what colors you want and what small details to put on them. I usually paint an eye and stripes on mine. Bright colors seem to work best. Once all the painting is done you need to put a clear coat to protect your paint. There are two things to use, the cheapest is your mother's or wife's clear nail polish, yep, works great. The second option is to buy a clear coat from Netcraft. I use the the clear coat from Netcraft because I think it sets up a little harder. I once again brush this product on. It takes a couple hours for them to really set up but it's nothing to make 20-30 jigs in a couple hours. It'll save you a lot of money in the long run. Make sure you come up with some way to dry your jigs. As you can see below, I took a piece of wire and strung it between two posts where I can hang them by their hook.
It takes a little getting use to, but it's a great way to save money, have some fun, and pass time on between seasons. Once your comfortable with your product, start experimenting. Have fun!
Here are some jigs that are completed.
Hopefully this has take off some of the intimidation of jig making for you and brings a new level of enjoyment to your fishing adventures. Catching fish on you own custom creation.