24 Great Metal Jigs

A buyer’s guide to fish-catching slabs of steel

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Think if you've seen one jig, you’ve seen ’em all? If so, you must not be a hard-core jig fisherman. If you’re serious about catching fish, you have to be serious about jigs. The darn hunks of various alloys have nearly universal appeal to most finny predators. Let’s be clear up front: All 24 of these jigs work; all will catch fish. But the jig style/design/size/color notwithstanding, the guy yankin’ on the rod plays a huge role in making any jig effective. Or put another way, a lousy jig in skilled hands will usually out-fish a great jig in hands that haven’t a clue. While this list includes lots of popular jigs, many more designs by many manufacturers are out there, waiting to be tied on and tried. What are your favorites? Speak up in our Readers' Favorite Jig poll at sportfishingmag.com/favoritejigs.Doug Olander
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Abyss

Williamson (williamsonlures.com)
Heavily rear weighted
Seven sizes
Nine colors
Weight: 2 to 14 ounces
Length: 5 to 9.5 inches
Hooks: Single VMC black nickel assist
Connection: 200-pound braid looped onto solid ring connected to top jig eye via split ring; heat-shrink vinyl from above hook eye to hook shank
Notable feature: Offers option to fasten assist hook to additional eye in the middle of the jig
Web price: $10 to $17
Manufacturer's tip: The Abyss can be bent just slightly to change flutter style and action.
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Butterfly Flat-Side Jigs

Shimano
(fish.shimano.com)
Slightly rear weighted
Six sizes
13 colors
Weight: 4 to 12 ounces
Length: 4.75 to 8 inches
Hooks: Single Owner Dancing Stinger assist
Connection: Braid to be looped around solid ring and connected to top jig eye via split ring
Notable feature: Butterfly jigs can take much credit for the rise in popularity of jigging
Web price: $13 to $18
Manufacturer's tip: Try counting in a rhythmic cadence to get used to "walking" the flat-side jig.
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Butterfly Shallow Water Jigs

Shimano
(fish.shimano.com)
Three models: Front or center weighted, symmetric or asymmetric, depending upon model
Six sizes
Seven colors
Weight: 2 to 5.5 ounces (approximately)
Length: 4 to 5 inches
Hooks: One assist
Connection: Braid to solid ring connected to top jig eye via split ring; heat-shrink vinyl over critical connection point
Notable feature: Three design variations: the front-weighted, asymmetric, hexahedral Slidend; the center-weighted, symmetric, rhombic Centervortex; and the center-weighted, slightly asymmetric, flat-bodied Whirligig
Web Price: $14 to $17
Manufacturer's tip: Adding a second assist can mean more structure snags; and actually discourage bites in some cases.
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Crippled Herring

Luhr Jensen
(luhrjensen.com)
Center weighted
16 colors
Six sizes (of at least 1 ounce)
Weight: 1 to 5 ounces
Length: 2.6 to 4.25 inches
Hooks: Single hook
Connection: Directly to split ring on bottom jig eye
Notable feature: Originally designed for salmon in Pacific Northwest
Web price: $4.30 to $6.80
(1 to 5 ounce)
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Darter

Bomber Saltwater Grade
(bomber­saltwatergrade.com)
Center weighted
Four sizes
Eight colors
Weight: 3 to 7 ounces
Length: 3.75 to 6 inches
Hooks: Two assists
Connection: Steel cable with heat-shrink vinyl wrap looped onto solid ring connected to top jig eye via split ring
Web price: $16 to $20
Notable feature: Cable versus braid for bite-proof connection
Manufacturer's tip: Try different jigging sequences — for example, bringing the jig up quickly 20 or 30 feet, in a ripping motion, can draw vicious strikes. Use braided line in deeper water to keep in contact with the bottom; change the rate of fall by lengthening/­shortening your mono leader ­and/­or making it heavier or lighter.
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Deep Force

Point Jude Lures
(pointjudelures.com)
Front weighted
Four sizes
Five colors
Weight: 3 to 9 ounces
Length: 4 to 5.5 inches
Hooks: One Gamakatsu HD live-bait assist
Connection: 500-pound Kevlar cord, heat-shrink-wrapped at point of connection to 450-pound Owner solid ring connected to top jig eye
Notable feature: Originally designed for bluefin tuna; built accordingly
Web price: $13 to $22
Manufacturer's tip: Designed as a speed jig for a jig-and-crank retrieve to walk the dog vertically up the water column. An alternate approach calls for big upsweeps, allowing the jig to flutter back until the slack is retrieved.
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Freestyle

Bass Pro
(basspro.com)
Center weighted
Five sizes
Five colors
Weight: 2 to 9 ounces
Length: 3.25 to 5 inches
Hooks: Two assists
Connection: Braid looped onto solid ring connected to top jig eye via split ring
Web price: $7 to $17
Manufacturer's tip: The Freestyle performs best when jigged in a tight circular motion with a 10- to 20-inch lift.
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Jager

Ocean Tackle
(oceantackle.net)
Rear weighted
Four sizes
Five colors
Weight: 3.5 to 14 ounces
Length: 4.5 to 8 inches
Hooks: Two Raptor assists
Connection: 400-pound braid looped onto solid ring connected to top jig eye via split ring
Notable feature: Glow-in-the-dark edge
Web price: $6.70 to $9
Manufacturer's tip: Try a long, sweeping motion with low-speed retrieves or quick snaps for high-speed jigging.
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Jig Fish

Sea Striker
(seastriker.com)
Front weighted
Five sizes (weighing at least 1 ounce)
Eight colors
Weight: 1 to 4 ounces
Length: 3 to 4 inches
Hooks: One Eagle Claw treble
Connection: Directly to split ring on bottom jig eye
Notable feature: Offers third hook-attachment point on belly of jig, two-thirds toward bottom
Web price: $4.50 to $7.50
Manufacturer's tip: While single treble is great for most applications, for others — such as particularly grabby bottoms — don't hesitate to remove the treble and rig up with a single assist at the top.
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Jitterbel

Ocean Tackle
(oceantackle.net)
Center weighted
Two sizes
Three colors
Weight: 8 and 11 ounces
Length: 9.5 and 11 inches
Hooks: Two Raptor assist
Connection: 400-pound braid looped onto solid ring connected to top jig eye via split ring
Notable feature: Luminous (glow) edge
Web price: $7.50 to $8.20
Manufacturer's tip: Move one of the two assist hooks from the top ring to the belly ring to increase the "hook-up zone" of the jig.
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Knife

River2Sea
(river2seausa.com)
Rear weighted
Eight sizes
Five colors
Weight: 2.9 to 10.5 ounces
Length: 4.9 to 9 inches
Hooks: River2Sea Daiichi Support (assist) Hooks — sold separately
Connection: 200- to 250-pound braid to be looped over top jig eye
Notable feature: Through-wire construction
Web price: $7 to $10
Manufacturer's tip: Try rigging the knife jig upside down and check out the action. Tying at the bottom changes the jig from rear weighed to front weighted, and offers a different flutter.
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No=Eql Hammered

Hopkins
(hopkinslures.com)
Front weighted
Six sizes (of at least 1 ounce)
Three colors ­(actually, finishes, over silver)
Weight: 1.25 to 6 ounces
Length: 3.5 to 5.5 inches
Hooks: One treble or single (plain or dressed)
Connection: Directly to bottom jig eye via split ring
Notable feature: Offers variety of finishes, prismatic tapes and hook dressings
Web price: $8 to $15
Manufacturer's tip: Pop Hammered No=Eql about two feet off the bottom, allow it to flutter back, and then sit for a few seconds before repeating.
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PK Panic

P.K. Lures
(pklures.com)
Front weighted
Three sizes (of at least 1 ounce)
Five colors
Weight: 1 to 8 ounces
Length: 4.5 to 8.75 inches
Hooks: One treble
Connection: Directly to bottom jig eye via split ring
Notable feature: Jointed body with a large blade on each side to add flutter
Web price: $5.50 to $22
Manufacturer's tip: The Panic is designed to be trolled, as well as jigged — try it on the troll; note its body wobble and blade flash.
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Raku Jig

Williamson
(williamsonlures.com)
Rear weighted
Four sizes
Six colors
Weight: 2.2 to 7 ounces
Length: 2.2 to 7 inches
Hooks: Two singles
Connection: Braid connecting plastic squid trailer (containing hooks) to solid ring within lower middle jig body
Notable feature: Attached squid tail with midbody connection point
Web price: $13 to $16 (smallest to largest)
Manufacturer's tip: Designed to be fished with a slow "lift-and-flutter" action or worked on the drift in current.
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Sacrifice Leaf

Daiwa
(daiwa.com)
Center weighted
Four sizes
Six colors
Weight: 1.6 to 4.3 ounces
Length: 3.75 to 5.25 inches
Hooks: Daiwa's Saltiga assist — sold separately
Connection: Dyneema braid over mono core to be looped over top jig eye
Web price: $9.5 to $13 (for 4.75 and 5.25 inches) *
Manufacturer's tip: Because the Leaf ­flutters so enthusiastically on the sink, feel the line constantly for pickups or a hesitation.
*Not including hooks
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Sacrifice Lightning

Daiwa
(daiwa.com)
Rear weighted
Four sizes
Five colors
Weight: 5.67 to 9 ounces
Length: 5.5 to 7.5 inches
Hooks: Daiwa's Saltiga assist — sold separately
Connection: Dyneema braid over mono core to be looped over top jig eye
Web price: Not available (Note: sold without hooks)
Manufacturer's tip: Jig (versus just reeling) on the retrieve to take advantage of the Lightning's irregular swimming action.
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Slammer

Braid
(braidproducts.com)
Front weighted
Seven sizes (of at least 1 ounce; several style variations available)
Four colors
Weight: 1 to 10.5 ounces
Length: 2.5 to 8 inches
Hooks: One 3X VMC treble
Connection: Directly to bottom jig eye via split ring
Web price: $4 to $12
Manufacturer's tip: Try dropping Slammers West Coast "slide" style — simply drop the jig in as the skipper eases the boat into the fish zone.
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Sling

Bass Pro
(basspro.com)
Center weighted
Three sizes
Eight colors
Weight: 2 to 6.75 ounces
Length: 3.25 to 5 inches
Hooks: One VMC treble
Connection: Directly to split ring on bottom jig eye
Web price: $7 to $12
Manufacturer's tip: Keep the Sling very near bottom structure as much as possible.
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Tantrum Fin Tail 200

Braid
(braidproducts.com)
Center weighted
One size
Five colors
Weight: 7 ounces
Length: 6.75 inches
Hooks: Braid's Tantrum assist (sold separately)
Connection: Braid looped onto solid ring connected to top jig eye via split ring, ­heat-shrink vinyl from ring to hook shank
Notable feature: Fins and tail intended to add realism and action
Web price: $15*
Manufacturer's tip: Try jigging up rapidly with hard jerks that cause the head to pivot.
* Not including hooks
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Turkey Slider

River2Sea
(river2seausa.com)
Center weighted
Three sizes
Eight colors
Weight: 4.6 to 7 ounces
Length: 8.4 to 10.4 inches
Hooks: River2Sea Daiichi Support (assist) — sold separately
Connection: 200- to 250-pound braid to be looped over top jig eye
Notable feature: Weight distributed evenly front to back but weighted on one side
Web price: $10 to $12*
Manufacturer's tip: Somewhat longer lifts will give the Slider space to work and avoid tangling.
*Not including hooks
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Twisty Jig

Halco
(halcotackle.com)
Center weighted
Four sizes (of at least 1 ounce)
One color
Weight: 2 to 4.5 ounces
Length: 3.5 to 4.75 inches
Hooks: One assist
Connection: Kevlar braid with heat-shrink vinyl over hook eye attached to a solid ring and connected to the top jig eye via split ring
Notable feature: Unique curved ends
Web price: $11 to $17
Manufacturer's tip: The Twisty's shape provides extra flutter on the drop, so feel closely for any stop or pause on the drop to tip off a strike.
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Vamp

Bomber Saltwater Grade
(bombersaltwatergrade.com)
Rear weighted
Four sizes
Eight colors
Weight: 3 to 7 ounces
Length: 5.75 to 8.5 inches
Hooks: Two assists
Connection: Steel cable heat-shrink-wrapped and looped onto solid ring connected to top jig eye via split ring
Notable feature: Cable versus braid for bite-proof connection
Web price: $12 to $15
Manufacturer's tip: The Vamp makes a great speed jig when dropped to or below the level of fish, even if hundreds of feet down. Then rip and wind as fast as you can — all the way back to the boat (on a good bite, you won't make it that far).
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Vibrato

Sebile
(sebileusa.com)
Bottom weighted (when fished horizontally)
Four sizes (of at least 1 ounce)
Three colors
Weight: 1 to 3 ounces
Length: 3 to 4 inches
Hooks: Two trebles
Connection: Directly to the jig eye on each end via a split ring
Notable feature: Line is tied at amidships, so lure wobbles violently even when pulled slowly
Web price: $12.75 to $15.95
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Vortex

Williamson
(williamsonlures.com)
Center weighted
Four sizes (weighing at least 1 ounce)
Four colors
Weight: 3.5 to 10.5 ounces
Length: 4.75 to 7.25 inches
Hooks: One VMC black nickel assist
Connection: 200-pound braid looped onto solid ring connected to top jig eye via split ring; heat-shrink vinyl from above hook eye to hook shank
Notable feature: Concave on one side and convex on the other with contrasting colors to maximize flash
Web price: $10 to $18
Manufacturer's tip: The Vortex falls surprisingly fast, so try a jig one size smaller to start with.