Jigheads Vs. Weighted Hooks (How They Sink & When To Use)

How do you know when you should use a jighead or a weighted hook on your soft plastic lure?

Is there a difference in presentation between the two hook styles?

Knowing what each type of hook looks like underwater can give you an advantage when presenting your lures to fish.

Check out more below!

Jigheads Vs. Weighted Hooks [VIDEO]

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There are different hooks and jigheads for a plethora of applications and lures.

If you know what each presentation looks like underwater, then you can effectively choose the proper lure and hook pairing based on the fishing conditions.

Slam Shady 2.0 Paddletail

The Slam Shady 2.0 paddletail when rigged on an Owner Weighted Twistlock Hook creates an up and down bouncing motion when jigging.

Usually with soft plastics rigged on weighted hooks, they fall at a slight 45 degree angle when going down to the bottom.

But this is not the case with the Slam Shady 2.0 as it creates a vertical action with tail kicking on the way up and down.

However, the lure pauses at the peak of coming up and the tail freezes.

That pause can make a huge difference when fishing in shallow water scenarios.

When the Slam Shady 2.0 is rigged on a Z-Man Trout Eye Jighead, the lure falls much faster when jigging up and down.

Even if both weights of the weighted hook and the jighead were equal, the orientation of the jighead weight will pull the soft plastic down at a faster speed.

The jighead is a useful hook when fishing in deeper water of 5 feet or more to make contact with the bottom and bounce up.

Alabama Leprechaun

The Alabama Leprechaun when rigged on the Owner Weighted Twistlock Hook creates excellent, natural action.

As it bounces up and down there are slight pauses at the bottom and top.

Moreover, the lure stays in the strike zone for much longer because of the split tail design.

The pause in the strike zone lasts a lot longer than other soft plastic lures.

If you are fishing in shallow water scenarios, you don’t want to make contact with the bottom very quickly.

You want the lure to waft and hover to give off an injured baitfish appeal and entice the fish to strike.

More often than not, if your lure hits the bottom too fast in shallow water it can spook the fish rather than engage the fish.

When the Alabama Leprechaun is rigged on a Z-Man Trout Eye Jighead, the action is completely different than that of the weighted hooks.

The way the lure moves up and then descends is faster and more of a vertical straight up and down fall.

If you want to fish in shallow water of 2 feet or less, the Owner Weighted Twistlock Hook will better keep the jerk shad in the strike zone and will sink much slower.

In another scenario, you may want to use this lure to fish drop-off ledges and structure which would call for a jighead style hook.

If rigged on a jighead, this lure will make contact with the bottom faster and target different types of species.

Power Prawn

The Power Prawn is an extremely versatile and realistic shrimp imitation lure.

When rigged on an Owner Weighted Twistlock Hook, the Power Prawn moves like a wavelength in the water.

It creates an up and down motion with a slow descent.

The material the Power Prawn is made of is called TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomer) which is more buoyant than traditional soft plastics.

If rigged on an Owner Weighted Twistlock Hook, just like the Alabama Leprechaun, the Power Prawn will remain in the strike zone longer and will sink slower which is perfect for shallow water fishing.

The Power Prawn moves differently on a jighead compared to the other two lures previously tested underwater.

On a jighead, the Power Prawn achieves both a pause at the bottom and top of bounces as well as gains speed moving up and down vertically.

This setup will allow you to fish deeper areas effectively.

However, if you apply resistance to the line right before it makes contact with the bottom, the Power Prawn will scope out at an angle and flatten out.

This shows the lure can be efficient in shallow water as well if rigged on a lighter jighead.

The Power Prawn is a lure you definitely want to have in your arsenal of soft plastics when you head out to fish.


By knowing the underwater action of each lure rigged on different hook styles, you will better prepare yourself to fish several water columns and various depths.

It is all about figuring out which depth and column the fish are holding in and these different lures and setups will allow you to cover the most water possible.

Remember that the type of hook your soft plastic lure is rigged on matters and can have a severe impact on your lure’s presentation!

If you want to check out any of the lures and hooks mentioned, click on any of the links here:

➡Get the Slam Shady 2.0 here

➡Check out the Alabama Leprechaun here

➡Check out the Power Prawn here

➡Click here to see the Power Prawn Jr.

➡Get Owner Weighted Twistlock Hooks here

➡Check out Z-Man Trout Eye Jighead here

➡Get Z-Man Redfish Eye Jigheads here

➡Check out Power Prawn Jigheads here

And if you know someone who wants to understand the underwater action of lures based on hook choice, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

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Mel Crissey
2 years ago

As usual for your instructional videos Justin, this was very clear and convincing regarding when to use a jig head and when to use a weighted hook. I don’t believe you mentioned the weight of each.
I’m going to much lighter 1/16th ounce, and, when I can find them the 1/32 ounce. Those lighter weights do occasionally present some challenges in certain wind conditions. Again Justin, just a really good video that is super helpful.

Steven Rackas
2 years ago

I would like to see the action of each of these lures in saltwater at 1/8 weight increments up to 3/4 oz. I am curious to see how deep these lures get on a Z-Man and Slam Shady.

2 years ago

I’d like to see the rod action techniques needed to make the bait action shown on the video.

Steven Rackas
2 years ago
Reply to  Justin Ritchey

Justin can you do a video on top water lure presentation techniques and specifically what type of rod to use when wanting to perform a specific technique (ex. walk the dog). Also show us how to move the rod in order to get a specific technique.

2 years ago

Were the jig heads and hooks the same weight for each lure?

Buddy Harrison
2 years ago

Justin, as others have said … this is a huge help in revealing just how that artificial looks underwater and the actions that an angler’s inputs makes to effectively fish each. This is why Salt Strong rocks … innovative content for all of us weekend warriors. Thanks!

Derek Cortsen
2 years ago

Outstanding video, Justin. Any thoughts on how current flow could impact the decision? Thinking specifically of the Northeast Florida screaming currents we can get at times. Thanks!

2 years ago

I really like a weightless twist lock hook when using a gulp jerk shad soft plastic, or Alabama leprechaun. Some other brands have salt content (zoom) , which increases the fall rate, and increases the casting distance. So it kinda makes up for no weight on the hook, and keeps the lure in a very horizontal position… with a slow fall rate. I almost always choose a weedless style hook compared to a jig head. Even when fishing deep, you can use twist lock hooks with heavier weights. This was an amazing video! Very insightful!

Robert Bigelow
2 years ago

Wow what a great video. Seeing the lures under water differently rigged is huge. the slight difference between each type of lure and the same lures with different rigging is eye opening. Really great post, thanks Justin!

2 years ago

Great video. Appreciate you putting this together and sharing.


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