Category Archives: Making Your Own Jigs

Building & Tweaking Bladed Jigs

Mornings on the Water (MOtW April 2024)

Building & Tweaking Bladed Jigs

A DIY Guide for Building Lures that Catch Fish!

Creating your own bladed jig can be a lot of fun. But more importantly, it’s a surefire way to optimize your angling success. Here’s everything you need to know about making your own bladed jigs. Plus, included are some tricks & tips to fine-tune your lures to make them even more effective!

What is a Bladed Jig?

Before we delve into the specifics of component selection, let’s discuss what a bladed jig is. In essence, a bladed jig (also commonly known as a Chatterbait), is a versatile fishing lure that combines the best qualities of a spinnerbait and a jig. The defining feature of a bladed jig is its vibrating blade that mimics the motion of small fish, making it an effective tool to attract predatory species. The blade is attached to the front of the jig and wobbles back and forth as you pull the lure through the water.

Why You Should Start Making Your Own Bladed Jigs

Bladed Jigs can be an angler’s secret weapon. They’ve gained widespread popularity due to their versatility and effectiveness in a variety of fishing conditions. These lures imitate the motion and vibration of small baitfish, making them irresistible to fish seeking a quick meal. They are often used in windy conditions or when visibility is impaired. When fish can’t locate a lure by sight, they key in on the vibration the lure emits.

Bladed jigs can be spendy, often topping $10 in the stores. But the good news is that you can assemble your own at a fraction of the cost of a store bought one. And that’s not all. You can also choose your own colors and create a lethal lure you know will catch fish in your local fishery. Fish in heavily fished areas can become accustomed to common baits. Your unique bladed jig might just be the key to getting those fish to bite. The best news is that it’s very easy to assemble your own! Anyone can do it.

How to assemble your own Bladed Jig

Step 1: Grab the necessary tools. All you need is a pair of standard Long Nose Pliers and a pair of Split Ring Pliers. The Split Ring Pliers will help you load the split ring onto your blade and jig eyelet during the assembly process.

Step 2: Gather Your Materials

Here are the components you will need:

  1. Bladed Swim Jig Head: Choose the style, color, weight and hook that works best for you.
  2. Jig Dancer Shaker Blade: There are several styles and colors to choose from.
  3. Split Ring: Size 3 or Size 4 – Connects your blade to the jig head eyelet. (see tip below)
  4. Duo-Lock Snap: Size 3 – This connects to the front of the blade, where you tie your line.
  5. Silicone Skirt: A Skirt helps hide the hook, flares out in the water, and brings lure to life.
  6. Trailer: *Optional* – These enhance the action of your lure. Use 3½” to 4½” baits.

Step 3: Assemble Your Bladed Jig (See Figures 1 – 6)

  1. Add the Duo-Lock Snap to the front of the Blade: This is where you will tie your line. Fig 1-2
  2. Attach the Blade to the Jig: Use a split ring to attach the blade to the jig head’s eyelet. Ensure the convex side of the blade (if using a bent blade) faces away from the jig head to create the bladed jig’s distinctive action in the water. Fig 3-4
  3. Add the Skirt: Push the skirt over the hook and up onto the jig head collar. Make sure it flares out to mimic natural bait. Fig 5
  4. Add your Trailer: Thread your chosen soft bait trailer (craw or minnow) onto the hook. Fig 6

And voila! You have created your very own bladed jig.

 Optimizing your Bladed Jig for peak performance

Choosing the right components can significantly impact your success rate. If you’re interested in upping your game with a bladed jig, consider the following key factors when building your Bladed Jig:

BladeThe blade is the heartbeat of the bladed jig. It’s responsible for creating the vibration and flash that attracts fish. Many bladed jigs have hex-shaped blades, but they can also be oval or round. In clear water, consider a silver or gold blade. In darker, murkier water, a black or painted blade could be more effective. Flat blades can give off more vibration, whereas bent blades are a great choice for an all-around effective lure in multiple fishing conditions.

SkirtThe skirt provides the bulk of the bait’s visual appeal. Choose a color that matches the natural prey of the fish you’re targeting. For example, if you’re fishing in an area with a lot of bluegills, opt for a skirt featuring bluegill colors, like green, blue and orange. Choose a skirt that naturally flares out to give your lure a more natural profile.

Jig Head and HookThe jig head’s weight is crucial to consider, as it affects the depth and speed at which the bladed jig can be fished. Lighter weights (1/4 oz – 3/8 oz) are good for shallow water, while heavier weights (1/2 oz or more) are better for deeper waters. The hook should be sharp and strong enough to handle the fish you’re targeting.

Soft Plastic TrailerAdding a trailer, such as a crawfish or swimbait, can increase the lure’s effectiveness. The trailer adds additional movement and mimics a fish’s natural prey more accurately. Consider the color, size, and action of the trailer to match the conditions and target species. See tip below on adding trailers.

 How to fish your Bladed Jig

Now that you have built your fish-catching weapon, it’s time to put it to the test. What is the best way to fish your Bladed Jig? This lure is so effective, that by simply casting it out and retrieving it you will catch fish. But you can improve your odds even more with a few simple tips on how to vary the “retrieve”. There are likely more retrieve techniques, but these are the most popular.

Steady Retrieve – Here you simply retrieve your lure in a steady, even manner. This is the simplest way to fish a Bladed Jig. However, year in and year out it consistently fools fish.

Erratic Retrieve – This technique involves adding short pauses to your retrieve. In addition to pausing the retrieve, try speeding it up and slowing it down, so that the retrieve is not steady or even. Sudden, erratic movements often trigger fish into a strike.

Burn Retrieve – Here you are retrieving your lure as fast as you can. Fast moving lures often trigger fish that won’t fall for slow moving lures. Here you are looking for “reaction” strikes. Burning your Bladed Jig also helps your lure go into “hunt mode”, creating the often irresistible, erratic movements fish can’t ignore.

Yo-Yo Retrieve – This technique is ideal for deeper water when fish are holding near the bottom. Simply put, the Yo-Yo technique involves using your bait more like a Yo-Yo, letting fall to the bottom and then quickly reeling it up, then letting it fall to the bottom again. Fish are equally as likely to hit the lure as it flutters to the bottom as they are to hammer it when you rip it up off the bottom. Try this next time you are out, when the water temp is warming up!

Pro Tweaks for better performance!

Split Ring Size – The Split Ring is the smallest component in Bladed jig assembly but might be the most influential. The size of this small part plays a big role in the movement of your lure through the water. Using a size #4 Split Ring will allow your lure to operate in a more consistent, in-line trajectory (a steady, side to side wobble). Using a size #3 Split Ring will cause your lure to “hunt” on retrieve, with a more erratic trajectory. This becomes especially noticeable as you increase your speed of the retrieve. The faster the retrieve, the more erratic the hunting action. It’s important to note that trailer length also greatly affects the hunting action of your lures.

Flat Blade vs Bent Blade – Blade shape matters. Use the flat blades to create more aggressive blade vibration. The flat blades are great when you want to fish a slower presentation in stained / dirty water. Use the bent blades when you are employing a faster retrieve and looking for a more consistent wobble motion. Rule of thumb – Flat blades in spring and fall and mirky water. Bent blades in summer in clear water conditions.

Metallic Blade vs Painted Blade – Generally speaking, use bright painted blades (red, or white, or chartreuse) in the spring and in low-visibility conditions. Black also seems to work well in dingy or dark water. Use metallic blades (nickel, gold etc) in clear water and sunlight. We have also found that natural colors like Green Pumpkin work well in clear water. Use blade decals to diffuse overly reflective blades, enhance bait patterns or to add color and pizzazz.

Trailers Affect & Enhance Lure Action – We rarely fish a Bladed Jig without a trailer. A trailer will affect the swimming movement of your bait as much as anything else. Use trailers to your advantage. Due to the movement of the jig head, trailers tend to swim behind the lure in a very natural way, turning a good bait into a great bait. You can use swimbaits, minnows, craws or just about anything else you want. Keep in mind that longer trailers could inhibit the erratic “hunting” action of your lure. Try some of your favorites and see how they perform on the back of your Bladed Jig!

Finally – Experimentation is key!

Remember, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all Bladed Jig. The “best” Bladed Jig will depend on various factors, including the fishing conditions, the species you’re fishing for, your personal preferences and maybe most importantly, the mood of the fish you are targeting. It’s essential to experiment with different Bladed Jig components and presentation methods until you find the combination that yields the best results for you. Now go have some fun!!

 About the author

Andrew Taylor has been tinkering with fishing lures for almost 40 years. Andrew, who lives in Minnesota with his wife and 4 children, founded in 1992. About 10 years ago, he sold the company to Jim and Ron Stevens of Springfield, IL. Andrew stayed on to work with the new ownership, and currently is head of Marketing and Product Development. Through his work, he gets to spend a lot of time on the water testing products.

Mornings on the Water (MOtW) is a compilation of the experiences and insight gained over the years while on the water. He prefers early mornings when the water is still, the birds are just waking up and the fish are hungry. And most people are still in bed.

A few of the author’s Bladed Jig favorite patterns.

 Spring – 3/8oz Hot Spring Craw Pattern – #4 split ring for tighter tracking – Gold Tiger Blade – Pintail trailer.

 Summer – 1/2oz Bluegill Pattern – #3 split ring for a more erratic, hunting action – Gold Blade – Turbo-Tails Craw trailer.

 Fall – 1/2oz Natural Baitfish Pattern – #4 split ring for tighter tracking – Black or G.P. Blade – Pintail trailer.


Click here to watch a How-To video on making your own Bladed Jigs by pro angler Jim Crowley.



How To Make Ice Fishing Jigs

How To Make Ice Fishing Jigs

How To Make Ice Fishing JigsWant to learn How To Make Ice Fishing Jigs? You’ve found the right place!

When you start ice fishing regularly, you’ll realize pretty quickly that using small jigs is one of the best ways to catch fish through the ice.

Yes, some people prefer to use live bait, or maybe even dead bait. But if you prefer to be active when you ice fish, you will end up using a small jigging rod and small jigs to entice your target species into biting.

You Learn As You Go

As a kid living in Maine, I used to ice fish for big trout. We always used small, dead minnows. It wasn’t so much that I preferred this method for any specific reason. But as a kid of 10-11 years old, I didn’t really have access to live bait, so my buddy and I would walk the ice and find dead minnows that other anglers had discarded. Because it was easy, we just flowed with it.

These worked perfectly, caught lots of fish, and they were free!

Had we realized that small jigs worked so well, we probably would have opted for them, since it would have been more fun to actively jig for fish than to setup a tilt and throw snowballs at each other, or sit and shiver, as we waited for a flag on the tilts.

Once you figure out that you want to be able to learn How To Make Ice Fishing Jigs, you’ll need to gather up the basic items for doing so.

That list of items isn’t very lengthy, and we’ve included it below the video, to make it easier for you to find everything you need.

As always, be sure to pour your lead safely, using the proper protection to prevent burns and inhalation of airborne lead particles.

Enjoy, and catch lots of fish!

Items used for this project:

If you enjoyed this post, please be sure to like it and share it with your friends.

If you’d like to learn how to build an ice fishing rod, click here.

And, as always, if you need any kind of lure-making supplies, be sure to visit our website, at

How to Make a Tube Jig

How to Make a Tube Jig

How to Make a Tube JigTube baits have been around for a very long time. They’ve caught bass from coast to coast, and around the globe. They have been around so long that they are often overlooked. But don’t be fooled. They still catch a ton of bass in a wide variety of conditions. So, today, let’s learn How to Make a Tube Jig!

Making a tube jig is probably one of the easiest things to do, especially when compared to pouring weedless jigs and other baits that require multiple components or multiple steps. They are quick and easy, and they don’t require a lot of components.

What Size?

Before you get started, you’ll need to determine what size tube jigs will work best for your style of fishing.

Some people use them in shallow lakes and ponds where you won’t need anything heavier than a 1/4 oz. size. Others may fish deep, clear western lakes, where jigs up to 1 oz. may be required in order to get the bait down to the fish and keep it there, even when the wind is blowing.

Hook Sizes and Colors

The hook size you choose will vary also, based on the size of the jighead and the size of the baits you’ll be fishing with. Smaller tubes will require you to use a smaller hooks. And of course, bigger tubes will require a bigger hook.

Regarding the color of the hook you use, that will depend on what species of fish you’re targeting.

If you’re fishing for bass, bronze or black nickel hooks will do fine. But if you’re targeting panfish, like Crappie of Bluegills, a lot of anglers prefer to use a gold hook. There’s something about the shine of a gold hook that gets the attention of the panfish!

Time to Pour!

Once you’ve made the choices mentioned above, it’s time to get started with pouring!

Make sure your mold is pre-heated and smoked, so you don’t run into any problems with partial pours due to a cold mold, or with the lead sticking to the mold.

Then, just pour to your heart’s content!

The video below will show you just how easy it is to learn how to make a tube jig. And the list below the video will help you find the exact items needed for this project.

Enjoy the video, and be sure to head to the lake afterward and catch some fish on your new tube jigs!

Items used for this project:

If you enjoyed this post, please be sure to like it and share it with your friends.

If you’d like to learn how to pour two-color soft plastic baits, click here.

And, as always, if you need any kind of lure-making supplies, be sure to visit our website, at

How to Tie a Wooly Bucktail Hair Jig

How to Tie a Wooly Bucktail Hair Jig

How to Tie a Wooly Bucktail Hair JigIt’s late in the Fall season here in the USA, so the water temperatures are dropping as we move closer to Winter. Seasoned anglers know that hair jigs catch more fish in cold water than standard silicone-skirted jigs. They are especially good at catching big smallmouth bass. So sit back and learn How to Tie a Wooly Bucktail Hair Jig, so you can put more fish in the boat this late fall season!

The list of items used for the Wooly Bucktail Hair Jig is pretty short, the core of which is a small leadhead jig that’s had the lead collar cut off. We will include a complete list of the items at the end of this post.

Getting Started

After securing your jighead in your vise, you’ll need to apply a light coat of brush-on super glue to the hook shank. This helps to keep the thread from sliding down the shank when the lure is finished.

Next, you’ll apply some base wraps with your 210 Denier thread. After this, you’ll begin layering your bucktail on with your thread and bobbin. Be sure the bucktail covers the hook all the way around, not just on the top or the bottom.

Layers and More Layers

How to Tie a Wooly Bucktail Hair JigYour next step will be to use some crystal flash accents in the skirt, to give it some highlights. The Krystal Flash gets doubled over, which makes it impossible for it to be pulled out later on when fishing with it.

You’ll now be adding some deer belly hair. This gives the jig a sort of “head” that completely changes the jig’s profile. The dear hair is tied onto the jig using a zig-zag type of motion, which prevents the hair from getting flattened out as the thread is wrapped around it.

As with the initial layers of bucktail, be sure the deer hair covers all around the jig evenly. Scissors will be used to trim the deer belly hair on a taper. But be sure not to accidentally cut the bucktail when doing this.

The abundance of deer belly hair causes the jig to fall very slowly, making it very hard for the bass to ignore as it falls into its habitat. This means that the vast majority of bites you get will be as the jig drops to the bottom.

The final piece of this jig is some living rubber strands that you’ll add. Living rubber works much better in cold water than silicone skirt material. So it’s important not to use silicone for this step. You’ll be using 6 strands for this jig.

Give the rubber legs a nice collar to hold it all in place, and then whip finish it to complete the tying steps.

The final step is to apply some head cement.

There you have it! You’ve learned How to Tie a Wooly Bucktail Hair Jig! Now go catch some fish with it!

Items used for this project:

If you enjoyed this post, please be sure to like it and share it with your friends.

If you’d like to learn how to wire tie a Jig skirt, click here.

And, as always, if you need any kind of lure-making supplies, be sure to visit our website, at

How to Tie a Peanut Head Smallmouth Jig

How to Tie a Peanut Head Smallmouth Jig

How to Tie a Peanut Head Smallmouth JigAs fall moves in, Smallmouth anglers across the USA are gearing up to catch big smallies on various jigs. So we wanted to show you How to Tie a Peanut Head Smallmouth Jig so you can take advantage of this great bait.

It’s well known that smallmouth typically prefer very specific kinds of baits. This is also true when it comes to jigs.

And when you tie your own jigs, it gives you even more versatility when it comes to creating that perfect jig that’s just what the smallies in your home lake will devour.

Why a Peanut Jig?

These jigs have a smaller profile than typical jigs used for largemouth bass. They also use colors that are a bit different. And because many smallmouths inhabit areas with few or no weeds, you don’t even need to worry about a weed guard or brush guard on them.

The cool part is that this jig is actually built on a head designed for Walleye. But because jigs are versatile, this one has been tweaked to appeal to smallies. A small wire bait keeper has also been added to hold soft plastic trailers in place, without having to glue them on.

The video below will show you exactly what you need and will walk you through the entire process, showing you How to Tie a Peanut Head Smallmouth Jig.

Remember that the colors used in this video can be changed up to create the jig you think will work best on the lakes in your area.

Items used for this project:

If you enjoyed this post, please be sure to like it and share it with your friends.

If you’d like to learn how to wire tie a Jig skirt, click here.

And, as always, if you need any kind of lure-making supplies, be sure to visit our website, at