How To Tie Your Own Bucktail Jig for Snook, Redfish, & Trout [VIDEO]


Ever caught a nice fish on a lure you made by yourself?

There’s nothing more rewarding than landing a slob of a fish on a homemade lure.

Do you want to learn the simple steps to be able to tell your friends you caught a monster snook, redfish, or trout on a jig that you made yourself!

And this post will help you tie one of the most universal lures of all…

The Bucktail Jig.

Bucktails have been successfully used for years to catch an enormous variety of fish species.  The style you’ll learn in this post is focused specifically for snook, redfish, trout, and flounder.

Best of all, you’ll be shocked by how easy it is to tie your own bucktail jig!

And hopefully, you will be shocked at easy it is for you to catch a nice fish on your own custom bucktail like I was when I finally gave it a try years ago.

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 Bucktail Jig Materials

how to tie a bucktail jig

First, we need to talk about the materials you’ll need to tie your own bucktail jigs. Some are required while others are optional to put some added flair to your bucktail.

The video below will cover the entire list so you can see exactly how it all comes together.

Required bucktail jig materials

  • Jig head (pretty much any jig head can work, but I usually use a 1/4 to 3/8 oz DOA C.A.L red jig head… strong hooks with nice paint job and good eyes)
  • Bucktail hair (I get this at any fly shop or online)
  • Thread (in this video I use spare 10lb PowerPro braided line)
  • White fingernail polish (to paint the thread so it matches the white ducktail)

Optional bucktail jig materials

  • Fly tying Vice to hold the bucktail jig in place
  • Bobbin (for fly tying – helps you spin the thread around the jig)
  • Feathers – White Hen Neck Hackle
  • Silver Flashabou to give that bucktail some flair

How to Tie A Bucktail Jig [Video]

Tying a bucktail jig is not nearly as hard as most people think… and it sure is fun to try out different styles/sizes over time to see what works best for your particular area.

Check out this step-by-step video on how to tie a bucktail jig like a pro.

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how to tie a bucktail jig

Learning how to tie a bucktail jig is just like learning how to tie your shoelaces… except you can catch fish with your bucktail…

At first, it might seem tough, but once you know the sequence and tried it a couple times, you’ll be able to do it in your sleep.

And I can assure you that once you catch your first snook, redfish, or trout on your own bucktail, you will be hooked (pun intended) like I was.

Any questions on tying this bucktail lure or any other lures?

Let me know in the comments.

Related Post: 7 Essential Saltwater Fishing Lures That Will Catch Fish Pretty Much Anywhere (see it here now)

Want to catch more inshore fish and be part of a tight-knit fishing club that guarantees your success?

Then apply to join the Salt Strong Insider Fishing Club here.

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Don Wilcox
8 months ago

Just began tying my own Bucktail jigs, have most of the tools you recommend. Did not catch the name of the feathers or where to get them. Really like the way that made them look! I have made about 10 and cut most of them off kind of shapely and even at the back at this point. Also was using black or red thread to tie them onto a powder coated white Jig, Was wondering if that was a mistake? Thank you, video was excellent!

Michael Ennis
3 months ago
Reply to  Don Wilcox

The feathers are sold as saddle hackle at most fly tackle supply stores. Neck hackle would be too slender for the effect you want.
Because of the taper of the hair you would be better off measuring the length when you tie in the hair so that you do not have to trim the ends. But they will catch fish either way. Red thread is often used on white bucktail jigs. He paints his since he is using a dark green thread. Can us a color that blends into the hair or stands out from the hair, depends on your preference or the preference of those you are making the jigs for.

Steven Thomas
1 year ago

Any thought on best action/type of rod for fishing a bucktail? Assuming slow dragging and hop across the bottom.

Raleigh Thomas
1 year ago

GREAT video on tying jigs, especially for those new to tying jigs! Very good visual ‘tying 101’ for ‘visual learners’ like me, and excellent explanation narrative, very understandable! Another suggestion if you don’t have scrap/used power pro lying around, is using rod-wrapping thread. It is a lot stronger than most fly tying thread, comes on bigger, cheaper spools ( bobbins), and is available in a rainbow of colors. I also get nail polish in red, and clear, and ( COOL TIP -> ) clear with glitter polish ????

Jesse King
1 year ago

I think I have more than enough lures, hooks, ect. The reason I don’t catch anything on them is because I cant find the fish. Do you know any good spots for Snook, tarpon, and red fish that I can fish without a boat? I’m really desperate to get my hand on a decent fish for a change.

Max James
1 year ago

Having some issues finding bucktail sand the feathers you show. Can you point me in the right direction.?

Raleigh Thomas
1 year ago
Reply to  Max James

There are a number of mail order companies that sell fly-tying materials online, as well as ‘big box’ places like Bass Pro Shops that sell materials in person or online. A lot of local tackle shops sell fly tying materials also, that you could check out.

Jason Dean
3 years ago

In the northeast, we will typically add an extra scent and action enticement to the bucktail jigs. They work for a multitude of game fish including fluke so I would imagine they would work equally well for southern inshore gamefish.

Squid strip, pork rind strips, Gulp curly tail grub, etc can be used for casting bucktail jigs. Last year I tried Otter lure tails and have found them to be the most resilient in terms of duration and multiple toothy attacks. They are actually difficult to get off the hook after use. Like the gulps, they can be re-scented and reused.

Allan Horton
4 years ago

Great demo. I’ve made my own jigs before and you’re right – there’s nothing quite like catching a good red or snook on a jig you’ve made (I did mine at the kitchen table; my most important accessory was the vise. I really like the tip of using white nail polish; I used white airplane dope, but it’s too brittle and probably dries a lot slower. Also, many times it requires a touch-up between fishing trips.On Sarasota Bay near where I live in Florida, a yellow-dyed bucktail also can be really effective, particularly for spotted weakfish (trout), and particularly in the southern part of the bay in Sarasota County where I normally fish.

4 years ago
Reply to  Allan Horton

Thanks for leaving the helpful comment Allan! Glad to see that you enjoy tying bucktails too for inshore fishing. Fish On!

Fred Brillo
4 years ago

Ok great…now we know how to make one….. now tell us how to fish one!

4 years ago
Reply to  Fred Brillo

There are multiple ways to fish bucktail jigs, but I’ve done best with bouncing them along the bottom. Here’s a video showing the two twitch technique that I like best for fishing all types of jigs (example is for targeting flounder):

4 years ago

What brand of vise are you using? Where did you get it and for how much?

4 years ago
Reply to  matt

Thanks for showing interest in the vise. I’m sorry to report that I don’t even know what brand it is… just the cheapest one that I could find in a fly shop I was visiting when living in Upstate NY. I believe that it was around $20.
There are a ton of brands which has all sorts of bells and whistles, but I tie only for my personal use and don’t feel that the fancy extras are worth the cost… if it holds the hook/jig in place, then it’s good enough for me:)

Shaye Hobby
5 years ago

I have a bucktail jig. Used it a couple of times been eyeballin’ it lately. Just never caught anything on it. Guess will bring it back out and tie it on and hope somethin’ happens. Looks like I will make one to. Thanks for video.

5 years ago
Reply to  Shaye Hobby

Yes, a bucktail jig bounced along the bottom can catch a huge variety of fish… certainly worth giving it a shot.

Eddie Pope
5 years ago

Can you tie them, where a paddle tail or fluke could be used with the buck-tail?

5 years ago
Reply to  Eddie Pope

Hey Eddie, great question! Although I have not tried tying specifically to add a paddle tail or fluke, it certainly is possible. The way I would tie it for a fluke is to skip the part where the feathers and flash are added further down the shank of the hook and just put the bucktail material (and maybe some flash) towards the top so there’s room to slide the soft plastic tail up toward the jig. Please let me know if you give it a shot… I’m curious to hear how you do with it.P.S. – The reason why I haven’t tied ducktail jigs for the soft plastic paddle tail or fluke is because I most often use soft plastics on either a hook or jig head and switch over the bucktails when junk fish tear up my soft plastics too quickly. The soft plastics behind the bucktail will certainly work, but it will require upkeep as you keep catch fish… I guess that’s a good problem to have though.Thanks for leaving your comment. We hope to hear from you again soon. 

Raleigh Thomas
1 year ago
Reply to  Luke Simonds

Yep, the big advantage of the DOA head is the double set of barbs on the shank. I would tie the Flash Mylar and bucktail in front of the first set of barbs, and leave as much room as possible for the trailer plastic to be threaded on past the rear set of barbs, for a good bite on the plastic. Slim white curly-tail worms work great, and you can trim the front section of the worm to adjust how far the tail protrudes past the bucktail material. You could also use a curly tail grub plastic, to have it present a bulkier look to imitate a shad or pinfish shape.
Standard/popular setup for striper fishing in the Northeast US. You can also use different colors of bucktail and worm trailer to customize the look any way you want. Black and black is a killer in full moon/night fishing. ????????

1 year ago
Reply to  Raleigh Thomas

Thanks for making time to leave the helpful info for tying custom bucktail jigs!

Raleigh Thomas
1 year ago
Reply to  Luke Simonds

Any time Luke! I’ve tied my own flies for a long time, and tying bucktails was a natural progression. I Snook fish a lot, and making my own is a lot cheaper when you lose a bunch to bottom junk! Plus you can make any ‘custom’ colors or combo’s, and different shapes to imitate threadfins ( add iridescent green peacock herl feathers on the back ) or pinfish ( bulky tied, and use more nylon material, with stripes added with magic-marker). Basically making saltwater flies tied on jigheads.

5 years ago

If I had to choose one lure to use, it would be the buck tail. Great video on how to recycle jig heads and braid into a new creation.

5 years ago
Reply to  nic

Thanks for the nice comment, Nic! I completely agree with you about the importance of having a bucktail in your arsenal at all times. Hopefully this video helps at least one passionate inshore angler catch a good fish on personally created jig… I certainly was absolutely thrilled when I caught my first keeper snook with one that I tied!

Ira Cohen
5 years ago
Reply to  Luke Simonds

Great video Luke; what about upgrading hooks & split rings with better quality ones on hard lures? I read about it somewhere but don’t know if it’s worth it?

5 years ago
Reply to  Ira Cohen

Hey Ira, great question… my theory is that most of the time the hooks and rings that come with the lures are sufficient. The only time I ever change them is when I’m only targeting really big fish in heavy current (for me it was 40+ inch reds in Sebastian Inlet). Otherwise, I always use the standard hooks for inshore fishing.


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