Jig Head vs. Weighted Hook: How To Rig Jerk Shads In Every Condition


Should you rig a jerk shad on a jig head or a weighted hook?

Well, it depends!

What season is it?

Are the fish lethargic or aggressive?

How deep are you fishing?

Is there structure around?

All of these answers factor into deciding the best way for you to rig a jerk shad.

In this video, we’ll discuss how to make this decision, plus I’ll show you some underwater footage of how jerk shads look rigged on these two different hooks, which will help you understand what the fish see when you’re using each one.

Check it out below.

Weighted Hook vs. Jig Head For Jerk Shads [VIDEO]

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Rigging Jerk Shads On Jig Heads

Jig heads are heavier and front-loaded, so when you rig jerk shads on them they quickly dart down to the bottom.

This is better if you’re fishing deep water (deeper than 4′) or in strong current.

It also may be slightly better in the fall and spring when fish are comfortable and aggressive because the erratic movement could trigger a reaction strike.

But here’s something I don’t like about rigging jerk shads on jig heads: when they hit the bottom, they fall right down on their side.

If you’re bouncing it quickly, that might not be such an issue, but if you’re bouncing it slowly, it’ll spend more time on it’s side, which doesn’t look natural at all.

Also, jig heads aren’t weedless, so if there’s heavy structure nearby, you’re likely to get snagged.

Yes, there are weedless jig heads, but if I need a lure to be weedless, I usually prefer to use a weighted hook.

Rigging Jerk Shads On Weighted Hooks

Most of the time I use jerk shads, I’m rigging them on a weighted hook.

They’re great for fishing water that’s 4′ or less and there’s structure around, such as grass, docks, or oyster bars.

This is because you can rig them weedless and you’ll get snagged much less.

As you can see in the video above, since weighted hooks usually weigh less and are weighted in the middle, the lure glides down to the bottom.

This allows for a slower and more natural presentation because injured baitfish glide down to the bottom, they don’t nosedive (like jerk shads do when rigged on a jig head).

Also, since weighted hooks allow for a slower presentation, they’re definitely better for summer and winter when fish are less active because of the extreme temperatures.


best summer fishing lures

Jerk shads rigged on jig heads excel when the water is deep and the fish are aggressive.

On the other hand, when the water is shallower, jerk shads rigging on weighted hooks typically do better.

This is especially if there’s structure around because they can easily be rigged weedless.

Have any questions about rigging jerk shads on jig heads vs. weighted hooks?

Do you have any different thoughts or experiences?

Let me know down in the comments!

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And if you know someone who wants to catch more fish with jerk shads, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

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Thom Ray
2 years ago

Jerkshad is my confidence bait ! We need a SlamShady Jerkshad !

2 years ago

Always nice to see how your really looks underwater as well as how to work it.
Thanks Tony

Ben S Jackson
2 years ago

Very informative and actually sparked a few memories of my past fishing excursions. I suffered a stroke a few years ago and had actually forgotten that I used to fish and have just recently gotten the urge to return to fishing. You site has given me the places to look for tackle and techniques that I had forgotten that I once practiced.
Thanks for a GREAT site.

John Cervenka
2 years ago


John Cervenka
2 years ago

Any tips on getting a twist lock into a Amanda bait

Thom Ray
2 years ago
Reply to  John Cervenka

John. Mustad Weighted Grip Pin hooks are great for ZMan baits.

Victor Gatell Jr
2 years ago

Great vid Tony, I know you guys see this stuff as repetitive, but for some of us, it’s the basics and we need to see it often. Knowing that the lure is acting properly is part of that “confidence” in the lure that is not there for us beginners.

Steve De La Vega
2 years ago

Tony, great information and thanks for the videos, would you use the same type knot (loop Knot) on both applications?

David Ulgenalp
2 years ago

I prefer a jig head over a weighted hook unless I’m getting hung up on floating grass as my hook up ratio is much higher. The shallower the water the lighter the jig head and/or the quicker the retrieve and/or the higher I’ll hold the rod tip. If I do go to a weighted hook rigged weedless, I usually go to at least a medium action rod as I need the backbone to set the hook. With a jig head, I can fish a light or medium light rod and still hook most of the fish that hit my lure.


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