July 26, 2012
The July 15 blog featured several ways that Midwest finesse anglers prevent soft-plastic baits from sliding off the collar of a jig and down the shank of the hook.
One of the methods revolved around using Loctite Super Glue Gel to affix a 2 ½-inch Z-Man ZinkerZ to the jig. Another one was Gord Pyzer's barb-wire bait keeper.
Stacey King used to glue his ZinkerZs and other soft-plastic finesse baits to his jigs. But after he saw Gord Pyzer's handiwork of removing the lead collar from the hook shank of a mushroom-style jig and replacing it with a barb-wire bait keeper, King followed suit.
King hails from Reeds Spring, Missouri. He is a veteran tournament angler who toured on the Bassmaster circuits from 1986 through 2005, and since 2005, he has competed on the FLW and Professional Anglers Association circuits. Besides being a talented power angler, King is also a skillful finesse angler, and during the past several of years, he has spent a considerable amount time wielding a ZinkerZ-and-jig combo, as well as other soft-plastic and jig combinations, when he is fishing recreationally, and occasionally he even uses it in some tournament situations.
King attaches a barb-wire bait keeper to the shank of the jig hook two different ways.
Here is how he does it:
One way is similar to Pyzer's application. Thus, King affixes the barb-wire bait keeper to the hook by using thread and a fly-tying bobbin to thoroughly wrap the straight section of the bait keeper to the shank. Then he coats the thread wrappings with super glue instead of the paint that Pyzer employs.
The second way is accomplished by using a short piece of 3/64-inch shrink tubing. He worms or threads the shrink tubing over the point and barb of the hook of the jig and pushes so one end is flush to the head of the jig. Once the shrink tubing is in place, he slips the straight-segment of the barb-wire bait keeper under the shrink tubing. Then he uses a heat gun to shrink the tubing around the hook shank and the bait keeper. Then he coats the tubing with a thin layer of super glue.
King has added another component to his finesse jigs, and it's a brush guard.
The soft-plastic-and-jig combo that Midwest finesse anglers employ features an exposed hook, which can be a problematic combo to use in the brush-filled waterways, such as Table Rock Lake, Missouri, that King often fishes. Therefore, he adds a brush guard to his jig combo. He does it by placing the jig in a fly tying vice. Then he uses a 1/16-inch drill bit to bore a hole in the head of the jig between the eye of the hook and its shank. The depth of the hole that he drills is seldom deeper than a 1/16 of an inch. After the hole is drilled, he fills it with super glue and quickly inserts six strands of fiber guard. He also puts a touch of super glue around the circumference of the hole and fiber guards. As soon as the glue dries and the fiber guard is solidly in place, King the cuts the length of the fiber guard so that they barely tip the point of the hook. When King fishes with this jig, he fans the fiber guard and creates a Y guard with three strands of fiber guard on the left side of the jig and three on the right side.