Another seemingly simple yet complicated decision. All football jigs pretty much look the same but it comes down to some fine details that set each apart. From a quick glance a football jig may not seem like much until you break down each component.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself when picking out the right jig.
Is The Hook Eye Recessed Or Protruding?
A recessed hook eye means your knot is more flush against the lead head, meaning it’s protected from excessive abrasion against rocks and other rough structure. This feature isn’t always the most important, however, it is always a bonus to have.
Is The Skirt Hand-Tied?
It’s hard to beat the quality and durability of a hand-tied skirt. You’ll definitely notice a big different between a hand-tied skirt and a conventional skirt held together with a thick rubber band. The hand-tied version will hold the skirt more tightly, helping extend the overall life of your jig.
Living Rubber Or Silicone Skirt?
If you’re not sure what a living rubber or traditional silicone skirt is, don’t worry. It’s actually very easy to tell the two apart. If you look at the ends of a living rubber skirt, you’ll see that each thread is round in shape. A traditional silicone skirt will have a more flat shape. What’s the difference? Living rubber tends to float much better in the water, helping your jig skirt spread enticingly when you hit bottom. A silicone skirt also spreads but is more prone to sinking all the way, displaying a more flat appearance.
How’s The Hook Quality?
Most jigs will offer great quality, brand-name hooks. My personal favorites are Gamakatsu and Owner hooks but Mustad, VMC and other popular brands are trustworthy as well. Try flexing the hook (slightly) with your fingers. If the hook flexes too easily then you can either find a jig with a more stout hook or be more careful when setting the hook.
Now that you know what to look for, here are some awesome jig suggestions from our team!
Sandman Custom Lures Football Jig $5.49 – $5.99
If you live in San Jose, CA, these are made by a local angler and our good friend Dan. The quality of the jig is phenomenal, but the main thing that stood out to us was the thick, hand-tied skirt. The bulky skirt contains a mix of medium-grade living rubber and living image silicone strands, making for incredible underwater action. We especially love the skirt thickness because it gives us so much creative freedom when trimming. You can either go super finesse or fish it with the thick profile, the options are all there.
Another awesome option that you won’t find with most jig companies is that the Sandman Customs jig offers tungsten! With a tungsten head you get increased sensitivity and a more finesse presentation since the jig head is physically smaller while maintaining the same weight. The hooks on the tungsten models are also upgraded, offering a stout and sticky-sharp Owner Deep Throat Hook. Though the color selection is limited, the quality sure is unbeatable.
California Reservoir Lures Football Jigs $3.39 – $3.99
If you’re looking for endless color combinations and hand-tied skirt options, the California Reservoir Lures Jigs are perfect for you. Some of the awesome skirt options include the Live Rubber Series, Live Image Series, Spider Series and more. These options give you the choice of both fine or coarse skirt strands, allowing you to fully customize your jig. If that’s not enough, you can even create your own skirt patterns and build a private collection of jigs that no one else will own.
These jigs also offer a variety of hook styles, from the 60 Degree Flat Eye Mustad Ultra-Point hooks to the “Big Hook” series boasting a 5/0-6/0 Mustad Heavy Flipping Hook. Once again, the possibilities are endless as you can always mix and match skirt and hook styles.
Revenge Football Jigs $3.79
The Revenge jigs are a prime example of a well-rounded bait. These jigs offer a recessed line tie, light-wire Mustad Ultra-Point hook and true color silicone skirt that’s purposely left longer to leave you room for plenty of trimming. The paint jobs and matching skirt patterns on these jigs are second-to-none, offering a wide array of colors that will work for any situation.
Dirty Jigs Tour Level Football Jigs $4.99
One of our personal favorites. The Tour Level Football Jigs offer a beautiful selection of skirt patterns that are perfect for any water conditions. This jig boasts a thick Mustad Ultra-Point 60-Degree Flat Eye 3X-Strong Hook that simply doesn’t bend out. The stout hook is one of the main reasons why we love the Tour Level Football Jig and we’ve had little to no issues with the quality of these hooks. The skirt collar has also been designed to adapt to a jig rattle, allowing you to easily attach the rattle of your choice.
Dirty Jigs also offers a Tour Level Finesse Football Jig which means you can enjoy the same quality jig in a more compact, bite-sized version. The skirt is left extra long so you can trim it up to your finesse standards.
Bass Patrol Football Jigs $1.99 – $2.89
If you’re looking for the perfect finesse jig, look no further. Bass Patrol jigs are almost half the size of typical football head jigs, providing the perfect finesse profile for finicky bass. The recessed line tie helps you avoid any unnecessary abrasion while the Mustad 2X Strong Ultra-Point Hook keeps the fish pinned easily.
There are two types of Bass Patrol football jigs. They offer both the silicone and round rubber skirts. We prefer the silicone in this case simply because the skirt is more filled out and gives you more room to trim, although the round rubber skirt splays in a wider, more enticing fashion. The silicone skirt also gives you a larger variety of color options so that’s always a plus. Overall, this is one of the better quality jigs that are smaller in profile, perfect for largemouth and especially spots and smallies.
Gene Larew Biffle Hardhead $4.99 – $5.99
- Okay, this really isn’t a traditional football jig but hey, it flat out catches fish! The Biffle Hardhead is actually a swinging football jig, allowing your creature bait to move in ways that a traditional jig could never reproduce. This jig will follow the contours of rock, timber and other hard structure more effectively, meaning you’ll be able to crawl over every crevice and tree branch while your creature bait swings freely. The best part about fishing the Biffle Hardhead is that it’s completely weedless! Just pick out your favorite creature, craw or even worm soft plastics and you’re ready to drag it through rock, timber, grass and just about everything else.
I hope this has helped you narrow down your football jig selection. Make sure to try other brands as well! There are so many options nowadays and that’s the pure beauty of bass fishing in the modern world. Find the jig that works for you and make it your own. Be sure to tag us in your photos on Facebook & Instagram, tight lines!