Thursday, December 10, 2009

Recent Ties

Some recent hair jig ties.  Used ball heads listed at 1/8 and 1/16 of an ounce with craft fur.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My Favorite Threads

Which do you like to use?  These are the ones that I use most often.
  • UTC Ultra Thread - A very good flat-waxed, nylon thread.  Like the situation where a well-fitting suit makes a person look good, it makes a good tyer an even better one and an average tyer seem pretty good.  Best for collared jigs in my opinion.
  • Round Nylon - I purchased a box of several spools of old Gudebrod Gude-Wind Nylon thread which I like a lot.  I use it on jigs without collars weighing 1/8 of an ounce or more.
  • Trilobal Polyester -  The 40-wt embroidery threads work well for applications involving jigs without collars.  Their color selections rival those of the fly tying thread manufacturers.  Coats & Clark makes very good ones.
  • Nylon or Polyester Monofilament - I really don't know why I like it so much.  Monofilament has memory that can sometimes spring its wraps away from a hook shank.  Maintain its tension and it will stay controllable.  I like the clear and smoke-colored ones measuring  0.004 of an inch in diameter.  Coats & Clark makes both types which are readily available at most fabric, craft, and department stores.
  • Rayon is used in decorative sewing thread.  It seems weak to me, so I stay away from it.  Be sure to read the spool's label when choosing a sewing thread to tie jigs. 

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Hair Jigs: Jig Swap Submission

Painted some heads and used them to tie these for a crappie jig swap in progress at

I call each of them a Fireball "Half & Half".  Each measures approximately 2" long.

  • 1/16-oz. ball head (collared) with a #4 rounded-bend hook.
  • White and black acrylic paint for basecoat and eyes.
  • Plasti-Kote B27 Orange Glow Enamel.
  • Devcon 2T Epoxy for topcoats.
  • UTC Ultra Thread (gray brown) - 70 denier.
  • White and fawn-colored (cream) craft fur.
  • Silver holographic tinsel.
This type of jig might work for Float-N-Fly fishing smallmouth bass if it doesn't work well for crappie.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Plan B Jig & Nothing Fancy Jigs

Tied this one over the weekend. Attempted a chenille body that wasn't going to work, so I broke out some Holoshimmer to finish up.  Here's my "Plan B" jig.

  • 1/16-oz. minnow head jig with #4 hook.
  • Turkey feathers - bright yellow.
  • UTC Ultra Thread (olive) - 140 denier.
  • Sulky Holoshimmer - sliver metallic.
  • White acrylic paint for eyes and basecoat.
  • Black acrylic paint for eyes.
  • Maybelline Nail Polish for head paint - Go Go Green.
  • Devcon 2T Epoxy for topcoat.
  • Flymasters (Wapsi) Flashabou Accent - fluorescent chartreuse/pearl.
I've seen so many good-looking jigs being tied lately, that I thought I'd post a couple of dull ones. :) These are my "Nothing Fancy" jigs.

I think that the one to the left might be worth trying on dark, cloudy days. The one to the right might be a little bit too "rusty" (as in...rusty crayfish). Maybe, a brown bass getter?

Both do have a bit of flash in the back end and each weighs 1/16 of an ounce. Hook size is #4.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Insert Heads - Not just for tube baits anymore...

Thought I'd tie up a hair jig for walleye (and largemouth bass) last night.

The pattern requires an orange head, purple/violet nylon thread, and violet over orange craft hair. Tied on a 1/4-oz. insert head with 2/0 hook.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Bit O' Everything

Bit O' Everything

  • 1/16-oz. ball head jig (collared) with #6 hook.
  • Fluorescent yellow and lavender craft fur.
  • UTC Ultra Thread (70 denier) - red.
  • Flymasters (Wapsi) Flashabou Accent - red.
  • Revlon Nail Enamel for head paint - deep berry.
  • Black and yellow acrylic craft paints for eyes.
  • Devcon 2T Epoxy for topcoat.
I catch a little bit of everything on this one.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Jig Swaps

An entertaining way to improve your tying skills and view what others are tying around the country.  Jig swaps are available at many fishing web sites.

I'm currently involved in one with the jig tyers at

Monday, September 28, 2009

Looking to buy a vise?

Check out this review first. It's the best review that I've seen with regard to selecting a fly tying vise.

Fly Fish Ohio's Vise Review

Friday, September 25, 2009

Tie a Simple Crappie Jig

Try to tie a crappie jig sometime. Really, it's pretty simple. There's no feeling quite like the one you'll get when catching crappie on a jig that you've made.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Monday, September 14, 2009

Pair of Hair

Pair of Hair


Top Jig

  • One-sixteenth ounce darter head jig (collared) with #4 hook.

  • White/black acrylic paint for eyes and base coat.

  • Bone-colored nail polish.

  • Orange/fawn craft fur.

  • Gold Krystal Flash.

  • UTC Ultra Thread (flo. orange) - 140 denier.

  • Devcon 2T Epoxy for topcoat.

  • Bottom Jig

  • One-sixteenth ounce minnow head jig (collared) with #4 hook.

  • White/black acrylic paint for eyes and base coat.

  • Gold-colored nail polish.

  • White craft fur.

  • Olive Polar Fiber.

  • Gold Krystal Flash.

  • UTC Ultra Thread (olive) - 140 denier.

  • Devcon 2T Epoxy for topcoat.
  • Saturday, September 12, 2009

    Odd Stuff (?)

    Stuffed Bristle Jig


  • One-sixteenth ounce darter head jig (collared) with #4 gold hook.

  • Orange nail polish.

  • Devcon 2T Epoxy for topcoat.

  • Black/white acrylic paint for base coat and eyes.

  • Coats polyester monofilament thread #9900 (clear, 0.004-in. diameter).

  • Orange marabou feathers.

  • Blond nylon bristles.

  • Thin tinsel (assorted dark colors).
  • Pup's Jig-N-Minna

    Patterned similarly to the Falls Bait Co. Jig-N-Minnow, a fine crappie jig.


  • One-sixteenth ounce darter head jigs (collared) with #4 gold hooks.

  • Greyish-silver craft fur.

  • Silver Mylar tinsel (holographic).

  • Coats Polyester Monofilament #9950 (0.004-in. diameter, smoke).

  • Orange-colored nail polish.

  • White and black acrylic paint for eyes and base coat.

  • Devcon 2T Epoxy for topcoat.
  • Monday, September 7, 2009

    Approximating a Hawg Catcher

    It's tough for me to do, particularly when I design with a lighter-weight head and shorter hook shank than the original. I want to create a jig of my own, not simply copy another one. Let me show you what I'm typing about.

    The top jig is my 1/4-ounce version of a swimming jig for big bass. It's made of red and white craft fur and incorporates white saddle hackles for tail feathers. Its purpose is to catch big largemouth bass in situations where shad are schooling and the bass are feeding on them. The bottom jig is a Mann's Preacher Jig that I'd estimate to weigh 3/4 of an ounce and has a 3/0 hook. This is a very bulky deer hair jig. Its tail feathers appear, to me, to be comprised of thin, white saddle hackles or coque. It serves as my model.

    I believe that I'm getting better at tying these. The Mocha Shake Jig (previous article) is one other version. My red and white jig is tied with 0.005-in. diameter monofilament (clear), which differs from the Mocha's 40-wt. trilobal polyester (embroidery thread).

    I must field test one of these very soon.

    Sunday, August 30, 2009

    Mocha Shake Jig

    A hair jig that I tied today for largemouth bass. It's made of brown and white craft fur, white saddle hackles, and a 1/4-ounce lead head with a 2/0 hook. The head is epoxy-coated over a brown finish.

    Think about swimming your hair jigs sometime soon. ;)

    Friday, August 28, 2009

    The Whip Finish By Hand

    As a fly-tying youngster, my finishing knot consisted of a series of half hitches. It wasn't until I started tying jigs, years later, that I taught myself to tie a whip finish by hand. I tried reading the many descriptions and illustrations available in fly tying books and was unable to train myself to perform it properly. Finally, I found the following link which made tying the whip finish second nature to me. Much like shifting a manual transmission or riding a bicycle, I rarely think about what it takes to tie this knot.

    Whip Finish by Hand

    It's pretty neat because I don't need any specialized whip finishing tool other than a fine-point punch or dubbing needle. Even one of those isn't absolutely necessary.

    Friday, August 14, 2009

    Conair Fishing Tackle?

    Get a load of this plug.

    Made from a Conair hair brush handle. The bristles were used to make crab and shrimp eyes on saltwater flies. That's being pretty resourceful, I think.

    Do fish like Conair products? ;)

    Wednesday, August 12, 2009

    Simple Pink Jigs

    Here are three jigs that I tied last evening. Simple jigs in reddish-pink colors. Might work for trout and walleye in a pinch.


    • One-sixteenth ounce darter head jig with #4 gold hook.

    • UTC Ultra Thread (white) - 140 denier.

    • Caron Glimmer chenille (carnation).

    • Lion Suede chenille (rose).

    • Pink marabou feathers.

    • Reddish-pink nail polish.

    • Craft acrylic paint (black, white).

    • Clear nail polish.

    • Devcon 2T epoxy for topcoat.

    • Pink craft fur.

    • Mylar tinsel (silver holographic).