Since one size positively does not fit all! All of the plastic weedguards,
and skirting materials on all jigs sold 'over-the counter', should
be trimmed before 1st use. Unless you're going to be fishing HEAVY
cover; it's always better NOT to use a guard of any kind on your
jigs. Rather, use a jig designed for the task. (That's the reason
why I make nine different styles of jigs for my clients use. NONE
with guards.) In most instances; weed-guards lose fish!
Rules of thumb for FIXING "new", over-the-counter jigs: Skirting
materials should cover the hook. No more! No less! They are intended
as bulk-builders and color-additives on the jig, nothing more. Straighten
the rubber to the rear of the hook, and using a pair of sharp scissors,
cut the rubber to within 1/16 inch PAST the back edge of the hook
bend. Anything additional left in place, hinders the action of the
jig, rather than helping it.
Plastic hook-guards come in two basic styles "multi-strand" & "Y"-guards.
ThinWire weed-guards have also reappeared on several brands of jigs
as well, so I'll cover those as well.
Both plastic & wire guards require trimming, AND corrective shaping;
to eliminate their acting as "HOOK-GUARDS" rather than weed-guards.
"Y" guards are my personal favorite, IF I "HAVE-to-HAVE" a weed-guard
at all. Simply take a sharp pocket knife, and scrape the underside
of the "Y" guard until the ends are thinner, and have curled down,
below the tip of the hook. Trim off any of the plastic that extends
past the BARB of the hook. For wire-guards; use your finger to
do the same as the "Y" guard forming a curl to the guard. Trim
off the wire that extends past the BARB of the hook. Multi-Strand
weed-guards lose more fish to "less than very-experienced fishermen"
than anything else ~~ other than dull hooks. To trim and shape
multi-strand guards; with your finger, bend the guard only enough
so that the leading filament touches the hook barb. Using sharp
scissors; cut the guard filaments parallel to the base of the
jig. (This tapers the number of, and length of the filaments,
so that there are more, and shorter ones in the front; and fewer,
longer ones at the rear.) Then form the curl on the filaments,
the same as the "Y" guard, by stroking the filaments with a sharp
pocket knife from the underside.
Shortening 'craw' trailers does very little to increase catches.
Purchase correct craw sizes to "match-the-hatch", rather than
cutting down the ones you have. You'll be much happier with the
action, and the results.
Hope this helps you a little bit! Good Fishin'!
This is a good question and needs some detailed response.
Let me begin with weedguards. Some people like them, others hate
them! Personally I don't like the way they come out of the pack,
so I usually trim off all the guard, except for three or four strands
of plastic which I "fan out" and flex so that they have more give
in them when the bass strikes.
Skirts. I like to trim the skirts level with the bend in the hook.
The plastic or pork trailer should be totally exposed and free from
possible snaging with any skirt strands.
Plastic trailers and pork trailers offer different rates of fall,
and both should be a consideration when jig fishing. Plastic need
not be trimmed, however I often cut the legs down the centre to
give the trailer four legs instead of the regular two! With the
selection now available, try your best to match the legs to the
jig color, it really can make a difference. Uncle Josh now offer
plastic and pork trailers. Give their site a visit (www.unclejosh.com)
and tell them I sent you, or go to your local tackle store for
You mentioned when you might have to cut trailers. The only time
I even remember cutting them shorter in the body (not the legs)
was when the bite was very light, and I felt sure the bass were
picking up the jig by the legs and then dropping it. I shortened
the body size by about half so that the legs were just outside
poking out from the skirt. I got my limit and a check, so I guess
it paid off that day! For regular use however, bigger is better
in my opinion.
On most jigs the weedguard has to be trimmed on them right out of
the package. I am very fortunate to be sponsored by Tight Line Anglers
Products who make my jigs and spinnerbaits. These jigs come with
a weedguard that is right on the money. One thing you want to do
when trim your weedguard is make sure it just barely covers the
As far as downsizing your plastics that depends on conditions
and the size of the crawfish in the body of water you are fishing.
Let this tell you what size to use. Keep it natural only downsize
if conditions are ultra tough or you are getting short strikes.
If you are getting short strikes remember that the fish are telling
you that something is just a little off. It could be your retrieve,
color, size, weight etc. When trying to determine that only change
one thing at a time. Never change more than one thing without
first trying it. This is just a simple elimination process until
you find the right combination. The fish will tell you what they
want. Pay attention to where the fish are hooked.
Ideally they should be hooked in the top of the mouth where the
heavy bone is. If they are not then start you process of elimination.
I hope this has helped you out.