Trout Eye Jig Head Review (Pros, Cons, Colors, & When To Use Them)


Have you tried the Trout Eye jig heads?

These are some of my favorite jig heads to use with paddletails and in this video, I’m breaking down everything you need to know about them.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • The top pros and cons of these jig heads
  • Which colors I use
  • When to not use these jig heads
  • How to determine which size you should be using
  • And more

Check out the review in the video below!

Trout Eye Jig Head Review [VIDEO]

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When To Use The Trout Eye Jig Head

Since these jig heads are narrow, they’re hydrodynamic and dive down quickly, so they’re great for swimming paddletails through the water column.

But since they’re so narrow, they’re not ideal for letting your bait sit on the bottom for long periods of time.

If you’re slowly dragging a Gulp shrimp along the bottom, then I recommend going with a boxing glove style jig head, like the Mission Fishin jig heads.

This is because the wide body of the Mission Fishin jig head lets it sit upright on the bottom, whereas the narrow Trout Eye jig head will just roll on its side.

Pros & Cons Of This Jig Head

Although this is one of my favorite jig heads, it’s not perfect.

Here are some of the pros and cons:


  • Two-spiked keeper works with every soft plastic
  • They’re strong
  • Great for fishing with paddletails


  • Spikes can be accidentally squeezed down with pliers (they’re made of lead)
  • Not ideal for when you’re letting your bait or lure sit on the bottom

What You Need To Know About Eye Color

Many people debate about which jig head color is best, but here’s what I’ve found: the color doesn’t seem to affect how many fish I catch.

I’ve caught lots of fish with all of the colors.

So instead of deciding which jig head to use based on color, I use the colors to help stay organized.

One color represents one size, so I can quickly find which size I want to use in my tackle box.

We’ve set this up in our tackle store, too.

Using the right size jig head so you can get the lure in the strike zone is really important, so I recommend having a variety of sizes.

Here’s a rough rule of thumb I follow to decide which size jig head to use:

• 1/8th oz – great for depths of 2 to 4 ft
• 3/16th oz – great for depths of 2.5 to 5 ft
• 1/4th oz – great for depths of 4 to 8 ft


soft plastic paddletail

If you fish with paddletails on the flats, I definitely recommend giving these Trout Eye jig heads a try.

They’re strong and have a simple, yet effective design for keeping lures rigged on them properly.

Have you used them before?

Let me know what you thought in the comments below!

And if you want to grab a pack of these from our shop, click the link below:

Get the Trout Eye Jig Heads from our shop here.

Note: If they’re sold out by the time you see this, be sure to sign up for the notifications because we have more on the way!

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Chuck Daymude
10 days ago

Good assessment Luke. You’re right, eye color does not matter IMO as much as the weight and length of hook shank. I use these nearly exclusively and while they are not perfect for every application they are as close as any I have found. For bottom contact presentations I use a bass style “Shakey Head” which is a ball or football head that allows the bait to “sit up” and use various weights based on various depths. I have yet to find a better jig head for swimming paddle tails and I have tried several.

What I found was that the trout eye model is that has a shorter hook shank than the redfish eye model which I think works better as the longer hook shank introduces the risk of deep hoooking fish. Anyone in my boat is going to employ 100% catch and release on redfish if they fish with me and late hook sets by inexperienced anglers usually = deep hooked and subsequently dead fish & that’s no good. With that I only use the trout eye’s and I use them in the 1/8 or 3/16 oz sizes.

The other heads that they offer which are great is the Texas Eye and they also make a weedless version of the trout eye which are great for fishing in and around grass and other cover. These are not ideal for direct contact with oysters as they get easily pinched being so narrow quite easily and being made of lead unlike tungsten is so soft & mallable that it’s easy to get “dug in to” by the sharp oyster shells and usually ends up in a hang up or break off.

Apart from that these are ideal. They are also pricey but I find that premium tackle outperforms average tackle be that jig heads, line, reels, rods, etc and in this world of angling we quite often do get what we pay for.

Good review and thanks for sharing your point of view on these great jig heads.

10 days ago
Reply to  Chuck Daymude

I use a shaky head style jig head as well, but it’s a stand up style designed more for saltwater and larger fish, heavier hook, heavier weight. I love Bottom sweepers styles too, but they are way too expensive. They have similar homemade type versions you can buy online. I hear what your saying 100%. And I respect that. I’m almost the exact opposite of you. I prefer long shank hooks… because I’m convinced it increases my landing ratio. I can’t stand short shank hooks. I’ve never once gut hooked a fish using long shank hooks. And I’ve never released a seriously injured fish. People who are fishing with me are intending to catch-clean-cook any game fish we catch. For us, that’s the whole point. In my area of Texas, that’s reds, trout, flounder, sheepshead. The only fish we throw back are black drum. And black drum don’t seem to be in the marshes like the reds are. I normally throw a high-low rig with a heavy weight and circle hooks. And circle hooks are the best for releasing fish. But if we are talking using jigs and paddle tails, I gotta have a thick 4/0 or 5/0 long shank hook…. something that can really support a 46” bull red at random. They fight so hard, if you don’t have a solid hook set that’s a little further in, they are gonna rip the hook off of their mouths. I do love fishing as a sport… but I eat what I catch. Just like I always eat what I kill while hunting. I make sure to never over fish… and if I’ve caught my limit, we normally head home… or target a different species

larry boomer
10 days ago
Reply to  Chuck Daymude

The best jig head z man made was the jig headz with the spike. Zman says they were not selling which I am sure that is bull seeing how fast they sold out nationwide when they were discontinued. It would be nice if a outfit like salt strong would check this out and tell us the truth about what happened. I ordered these from coast to coast internet wide and got a fraction of what I ordered. 250 package ordered canceled.

10 days ago
Reply to  larry boomer

They do have the zman headlockz heavy duty versions, and they have the zman swim bait eye jig heads. The swim bait eye has the spike, and it appears to be a cross between the red eye and trout eye jigs… but has a 45 degree eyelet (which I love). Both the headlockz (gotta be HD versions) and swim bait eye are great options and can easily be found online. But the red eye, trout eye, or Texas eye… are basically the standard now.

William Hawkins
10 days ago

Good review. Thanks. I almost exclusively use these jigheads. (1/4 oz since I typically fish 6-12′ depths) The number of strikes I get on these is significantly more than the jigheads I used previously. I believe it is due to the Big Eye which makes nearly every soft plastic look like a real baitfish.

10 days ago

I use the trout eye exclusively (redfish eye shank is too long for my taste) when actively swimming or hopping a bait in the water column. [If I’m going to fish slow and have a bait rest on the bottom, I’ll use a head that facilitates the bait staying/floating upright.]

I typically pre-rig my heads/tails at home and use a micro droplet of loctite gel on the spikes…it significantly lengthens the life of the plastic tail. I can re-tie a simple loop about as fast as I can change a tail, especially considering the need to keep the tail straight on the hook and the need to keep the leader clean/fresh.

I don’t know if eye color matters much to fish (though reflectivity does vary by color) but color definitely matters to me and I fish with greater focus when I have confidence in what I’m throwing.

Jeremy Barnes
10 days ago

i agree with some of the members below. I think the 3D eye makes a difference on strikes versus just a painted eye. I exclusively use these, even caught Sheepshead with the 1/8oz the other day.

Nathan Durfee
10 days ago

Is anyone else having trouble seeing the video?

10 days ago
Reply to  Nathan Durfee


10 days ago

I love the z-man on these but it is so difficult to get them on. Is there a trick to it that really works?

Jeff Adrian
10 days ago

I’m new to salt water fishing and need to learn a lot. Does the color of the jig matter or do you use unpainted? Thanks for sharing all your knowledge.

Mike Drozdowski
10 days ago

I almost strictly use the Trout Eye jig heads, in the 1/8, 3/16 and 1/4 oz. sizes, depending on the water depth. Most of the time I’m using the 3/16 oz. size, which I prefer because of the short hook shank. The challenge I’m having is availability here in the Tampa Bay area, no doubt because of the supply chain problems caused by the pandemic. The tackle shop I usually get them at has been out of the popular sizes for most of the past 6-8 months. Luckily I haven’t run out of my current supply yet.

Mark McKinney
10 days ago

Very good info as usual. Thank you.

Phillip wade Oglesby
10 days ago

Do you tie your jig tight knot or loose loop to jig head

Jerry Dexter
10 days ago

Great News, as always, Luke

Michael Davis
10 days ago

Been using these jig heads for about 2 years or so now. For whatever reason, these seem more resistant to dulling hooks than others I have used. Work fantastic with ZMan baits. Thank you for carrying them in the fish strong shop!

Steven Free
10 days ago

I do use these jighead on occasion and they seem to work fine but the weedless eye jighead is another story while they look great and the weedless concept would seem to work i have been having problems with them snagging the grass and bottom especially when oysters are present but i still catch fish on them and yes i agree i dont think the color matters that much especially here in northeast fl where i fish i doubt they see it very much in our murky water here great report and thanks for all you do😁

Richard A. Hall III
10 days ago

Just used these today with slam shady and they work great…thanks Luke!!!

Ron Baran
9 days ago

Trout eye jigs are 80% of my jig heads. I like their keeping ability with all plastics, and the only jig especially made for Zman products. I like the fact their hooks stay sharp, and the eye’s stay intact. I fish Matrix Shad plastics, and there plastics are great, but jig heads not so great. I do try to match the hatch per say. I will use a chartreuse color with a similar color bait or a pearl color with a clear bait. I just purchased some custom jig heads that are great looking and look forward to using them this spring. They are G-Eye Jigs, check them out. Great thread Luke!

Stacey Thurman
9 days ago

Good jig head but the best are Death Grip Jig heads.

Stuart Secler
9 days ago

I’ve exclusively used the red eye jig heads and I seem to always catch something when using a paddletail.

Henry Land
9 days ago

Is there a situation where you’d use the Redfish eye (longer hook)? I use it for the 5” ZMan paddlerz.

Frank C
9 days ago

I’ve even trolled with these jig heads and a paddle tail very successfully. Especially on slow days. A slow troll along the edges of a channel can save your day from being skunked. When I troll with them, I bump up the leader size since you don’t know what will bite and use a set up with 20lb or more braid in case you start dragging a fish while still on power. I also give it plenty of run to get deeper and past the wake. Caught everything from speckled trout to Spanish mackerel trolling with them and a slam shady or other paddle tail.

Scott Falcon
9 days ago

I enjoyed this tutorial/review. Great idea on the color for identifying the weight as well. I will employ that in the future. I need to loose a few more jig heads before I can justify the purchase however. Please keep them in stock!!


Larry Fox
9 days ago

Thanks, Luke! I love the idea of keeping the colors simple as a way to help organize the tackle box.

4 days ago

GREAT IDEA using the eye for defining weight identification. How about Colored Heads? I seem to do a bit better with Red Heads


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