Gary Yamamoto of Palestine, Texas, is the proprietor of Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits of Page Arizona, and in 2016, he created the Gary's Rig Jig Head. And it has been available for anglers to purchase since the late winter of 2016-17.
A significant number of newcomers to the world of Midwest finesse fishing are uncomfortable employing a jig with an exposed hook that is devoid of a weed guard. Their discomfort stems from their desires to employ a Midwest finesse rig around the same snag-laden lairs that they plied with their power baits.
In essence, Yamamoto's jig was designed to placate the newcomers' anxieties. Thus, it is a beefed-up Midwest finesse jig that is graced with a nearly invisible weed guard that is made with a piece of stout fluorocarbon line.
It was also designed to be affixed to Yamamoto's three-inch Fat Senko, but it can be used with a variety of soft-plastic finesse baits. Of course, the Senko and other small stick-style baits lie at the heart of Midwest finesse fishing.
When Yamamoto designed this jig, he abided with one of the cardinal canons of Midwest finesse fishing, and that is a lightweight jig is more effective than a heavy one. In fact, one of the chief mantras of many veteran Midwest finesse anglers who reside in Kansas and Missouri contend that it is often better to err on the side of lightness than heaviness. The lightness factor is a critical element in creating the no-feel retrieve, which lies at the heart of Midwest finesse anglers' six basic retrieves. Therefore, these anglers will be pleased to see that Yamamoto's jig is a 1/16-ouncer, which is the primary size that Midwest finesse anglers employ for plying black bass lairs in a foot to 12 feet of water.
It is a ball-headed jig. Its collar is embellished with a pair of bait keepers, which are said to hold a three-inch Fat Senko or other soft-plastic baits "securely in place."
In the eyes of the traditional Midwest finesse anglers, the biggest shortcoming with Yamamoto's jig is that it is assembled around a 2/0 hook. And according to them, a 2/0 hook is too large. They have found that a big hook has a tendency to cause some substantial injuries to too many of the black bass that they catch, and Midwest finesse anglers catch a lot of them. In fact, there are outings when a pair of Midwest finesse anglers tangle with as many as 101 black bass in four hours, and if they utilize a jig with a big hook, there is a likelihood that some of those 101 black bass will be significantly injured, and a few of those injuries could be fatal.
One of the primary tenets of Midwest finesse fishing revolves around retrieving a Midwest finesse rig so that it exhibits a series of delicate ripples, shivers, and twists. These anglers have found that the shank of a large hook diminishes the way a soft-plastic bait, such as the three-inch Fat Senko, undulates, quivers, and gyrates as it is being retrieved. In order to create those undulations, quivers, and gyrations, these anglers contend that it is necessary that at least 2 1/4-inches of a three-inch Senko or Senko-style bait are not impaled upon the shank of the hook.
Most Midwest finesse anglers would describe Gary's Rig Jig as a power angler's rendition of a finesse jig.
It is available in black. A package of five can be purchased for $6.99.
(1) For more information about this jig, please see this YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8IX6nNkCQlM. The moderator incorrectly described it as an eighth-ounce jig.
(2) Here is the link to Yamamoto Custom Baits' website: https://store.baits.com/product.php?productid=239.
(3) Here is a link to our Midwest finesse column about the six basic Midwest finesse retrieves: https://www.in-fisherman.com/midwest-finesse/six-midwest-finesse-retrieves/. This column notes that Midwest finesse anglers, at times, use a 1/32-ounce jig and a 3/32-ounce jig.
(4) We would appreciate receiving comments from anglers who are using Gary's Rig Jig Head, telling us how, when, and where they use it.