The first step to tying your own bass jig is laying in the skirt materials and securing them with thread or wire. I like heavy thread but sometimes use light guage wire. I use wire to secure the rattle as you will see in step 5 of tying your own bass jig. Tying your own bass jig requires at least some basic fly tying tools and knowledge to tie a quality jig and a jig that will hold up under heavy fishing. This is where you will lay in strands of flashabou or tinsel if you want. Secure your custom bass jig skirt wraps with epoxy or fly head cement. There are many other glues that work and a quick google search will give you those options for tying your bass jigs.
The second step to tying your own bass jig is to trim your skirt if you use a pre-made skirt for your jig. To seperate the rubber or silicone fibers pull the strands tight before trimming the skirt end. You can use single strand to build a more custom mixture of fibers. I usually add flashabou and tinsel to add custom colors to my bass jig. You can also use pre-made jig skirts if you wish and just add a couple different skirt colors to mix the colors for your bass jig. With pre-made jig skirts, using the end tab on the skirt, pull the strands tight then trim the jig skirt end tab off using scissors. You can trim your jig skirt at this point to the desired length but I leave the jig skirt full length until I'm on the water unless I'm tying the jig for a particular tournament or day on the water.
Tying Jig Step 2
At this point, in the jig tying process, you should decide if you want a rattle or not. I tie a rattle in all my bass jigs unless it is a hair jig for which I use in clear and/or cold water. When the water is clear or cold I want my presentation to be as finesse as possible and a rattle might be a bit too much for this situation. If you do decide to tie a rattle to your bass jig there is two places you could tie in your rattle and that is either up on the head collar or below the jig skirt down on the trailer keeper. I like to tie my rattles using NORTHLAND FISHING TACKLE strap rattles. These rattles have a strap that is perfect for tying onto your bass jigs and still has eough strap left to allow the rattle to really wiggle and create the sound it was meant to.
I use wire to tie the jig skirt forward and out of the way so I can tie the NORTHLAND TACKLE strap rattle into the jig. I always use wire to tie the rattle. I finally lost one too many rattles with other techniques and rattle bands it is wire for my rattle from here on out. You can see in the photo to the right that I leave a little of the trailer keeper barb exposed so if I want to I can add a trailer to my bass jig. I use chunks now probably 95% of the time because I hate when the trailer slides down on my hook shank and believe me if you fish your jig as aggressively as I do through thick cover the trailer will slide down and all that plastic on the hook shank will impede hook penetration and that is not what you want when you hook a five pounder in a tree top with your bass jig.
Light wire to tie your bass jig adds durability to your bass jig
Tie in your rattle for durability photo by Ken McBroom
Finished Bass Jig
This is a finished football head jig. I use football head jigs most of the time because they work great in rock, gravel and wood. Football head jigs are usually used for deep rocky areas offshore. The football head jig tends to stick to wood as you pull it up and out of thick shallow cover. While this is why many anglers don't use the football head jig this is exactly why I like the football head jig for heavy shallow wood cover when flipping. I like to purposely bang the football head on wood cover to entice reaction strikes from highly pressured bass. Works for me so I throw the football head jig most of the time.