How To Pick Out The Best Jig Heads (In A Busy Tackle Store)

By: Joseph Simonds on May 22, 2019
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best jig heads for saltwater fishing

Have you ever been shopping for jig heads?

If you have, then you’ve probably seen the endless amount of different jig head options…

Holy Jig Head Overwhelm!!!

Here are just a few of the things you’ll find in most tackle stores:

  • Different jig head brands…
  • Different jig head sizes and designs…
  • Different jig head colors…
  • Different jig head weights…
  • Different jig head hook shanks…
  • And more…

So we went down to The Tackle Center in Islamorada with Salt Strong fishing coach Capt. Mark “Hollywood” Johnson of Florida Keys Fun Fishing to show exactly how to pick out the best jig heads in a busy tackle store with tons of jig head options.

Enjoy and let us know any questions you have by leaving a comment in the comment section below.

How To Pick Out The Best Jig Heads [VIDEO]

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Conclusion

As you saw in this video with Capt. Mark, there are a bunch of different jig head options…

But it doesn’t have to be that intimidating…

His best advice is to find a jighead with quality hooks and make sure you have a worm keeper if you are using it for soft plastics (and he prefers a wider gap jig head for most of his inshore fishing).

He also confirmed that the jig head color isn’t really that important (yes that even goes for chartreuse…)

Hope that helps and please post your favorite jig head brand in the comment section below.

We’d love to hear from you!

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P.S. – What’s your favorite jig head brand and size? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

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Douglas ElyArmen KetchedjianAdam BaileyNickDavid Mikolajczyk Recent comment authors
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Douglas Ely
Member

Great video. For flounder fishing up here in NJ, the first rule of success is to be on the bottom! We never fish with anything less than 1/2 oz. and on the reef we have to go to 3-4 oz. when the wind and current are strong. Nothing else matters (color, gap size etc.) if the fish cant see your bait.

Armen Ketchedjian
Member

I agree with the other comments. It would be nice to see an expansion on the topic of jig heads, differences, uses, applications and rigs.

Armen

Adam Bailey
Member

This video barely scratches the surface and does not answer how to pick the best jighead.

Nick Strickland
Member

Hook Up jigs and Troll-Rite are the best. All I use when I can find them. Just to be everywhere but now they’re hard to find around here .
Also the best jig head for fishing live shrimp for snook…dont tell anyone though.

David Mikolajczyk
Member

What ounce jig head should I use in strong current?

Robert Wardlow
Member

I like the Mission Fishin jig head for it’s bait keeper. It holds the gulp shrimp and other soft plastics very well.

Brett Laws
Member

Just my 2 cents on this subject:
One thing that wasn’t discussed that is equally important is hook angle of the jig. In my experiences, when fishing shallow water, like 5 feet or less, there needs to be less hook angle, such as a 28 or 30 degree hook like what is in the DOA jig heads. Water 6-15 feet deep a 60 degree hook is very effective and 90 degree hooks should be used for vertical jigging or water deeper than 20. Also, the more open the hook the better the bite ratio, meaning the eye of the hook has more clearance from the barb. The weight of the jig used needs to be just heavy enough to feel it effectively for the depth and current being fished.

Gary Rankel
Member

And don’t forget about the plastic you’re going to use on the jighead. If you’re into elastech products like me, you need one specifically designed to keep them in place. The trouteye or redeye heads with Z-man plastics is all I use.

James Bradford
Member

I like to use the Salt Water Assasin jig heads mainly because the three ringed barb holds plastics to the jig head better than most of them I have tried. I mainly use 1/8 and 1/4 because I fish shallow inshore up to about 5ft deep.

Robbie Johnson
Member

Mission jigs double Barb chartreuse 3/16,1/4 oz

Robbie Johnson
Member

Mission jigs chart.1/4 oz 3/16

Gary Friedman
Member

Great video, never knew that jheads were so complicated. But I did like the difference in hook sizes per weight.

keep them coming.

Tommy Delcambre
Member

Very interesting but how do you determine which jig head weight to use? I understand that depth and current are parts of the equation but how do you come up with the correct answer?

Thomas Campbell
Member

Following!

Robert Knowles
Member

Great info. Thanks for taking the time to share.

Bill Godwin
Member

Good stuff! thanks for posting and sharing!

I haven’t fished the Keys since I worked in MIA back in the late 90s. Interesting to see see how things don’t really change.

IMHO, I’m not so sure the color of the jighead is very important in the SC Low Country waters. As a matter of fact, I would submit a raw lead jighead might be better for plastic retention while concentrating on a jighead with large eyes typical of baitfish for the area or an attractor color.

After weight, and “worm retention” design, eyes need to be considered into the jighead equation. Predator fish target the eyes. In the SC Low Country, I think LARGE Glow and Gold eyes are far more important than jighead paint; probably due to our murky water. Along with matching the color of the plastic for the sky and water conditions.

And, “worm keeper” design is critical keeping the plastic in place. IMO, the jigheads in the video would have a difficult time keeping the plastics I use in place, even for a single cast. I believe keeping the “worm keeper” paint free aides in plastic retention. Especially the newer plastic compounds that are super slick. I try to avoid jigheads with painted “worm keepers” and will on occasion scape paint or add grooved notches in a painted “worm keeper” to help aide plastic retention. I know California Proposition whatever says scraping paint off lead may cause cancer.

Jeffrey Tutan
Member

I second the Hank Brown Hook-up jig heads. Chartreuse also the color I get 90% of the time. 10% pink. Slip on a plastic shrimp tail, Gambler Ez, Exude RT slug or a live shrimp and you will catch some fish for sure.