Although some anglers have been into micro-jigging for many years, a recent surge in the popularity of this technique has created an increased demand for jigs, specific rods and rigging.
Many of the jigs currently available have light grade hooks and some do not come rigged at all. Obviously, anglers will occasionally need to replace the hook rigs on their jigs due to abrasion or the effects of the razor gang, who will often sever the light cord attaching the hooks to the jig.
This month I will show you how to make double hook rigs, sometimes referred to as butterfly rigs, which you will need when micro-jigging.
For making your own hook rigs, you will need a fairly simple list of materials. There are several good hooks around for this application with the most readily available being the Mustad Hoodlum, generally in a 1/0 size. These are exceptionally strong and sharp and you should have no trouble setting them into the mouth of common micro-jigging targets such as snapper, mulloway, threadfin, trevally and the like.
This rigging will work with many hooks and I am sure you will find a favoured pattern before long. Hooks are generally inline patterns (no offset), although I do know some anglers who prefer and have successfully used offset patterns.
Locating cord for this micro-jig rigging may be a little difficult for some. I commonly use heavy braid such as Sunline Monster Battle 100lb and 130lb as well as Daiwa Tournament Braid 100lb and 150lb. While these are relatively easy to find at a good tackle store, you will generally need to purchase a large length, probably 300m minimum, which can be rather expensive. You could split a spool with a friend, or you may know someone who has some leftover heavy braid or have a mate who is willing to take a few metres off their reel for you. Any colour will do and you can use various brands between 80lb and 200lb, depending on thickness.
There are some purpose specific micro-jigging cords available but these can be a little hard to find on the local scene as yet. Brands of these include Varivas, YGK and Owner if you want to hunt some down.
For this project you will also need some small solid rings and some quality split rings. I have opted for Owner #5 solid rings and Owner #4 Hyper Wire split rings. You will also need some good scissors and a split ring plier or pincette as well as some flexible glue (e.g. vinyl cement, flex-cement, Storm Sure or Zap-A-Gap).
Once you have all of this stuff ready, it’s time to get started.
Step 1. Pass the cord through the eye of the hook and then make a loop as shown. NOTE - The knot we are going to use is a uni knot (snell version) which will attach the cord securely to the hook shank. You do not have to put the cord through the eye if you don’t want to, however I prefer to.
Step 2. Pass the tag end of the cord around the hook shank and through the loop several times.
Step 3. Do between 5 and 10 wraps around the hook shank and through the loop (more wraps in thinner cord and fewer in thicker cord) and then hold the tag end while you tension the cord, exiting the hook eye to tighten the knot around the shank.
Step 4. Once the knot is secure, pull the main portion of cord extremely hard to bed down the knot tightly against the hook eye. Trim the tag end short and then apply a little vinyl cement to the knot to make it more durable.
Step 5. Pass the opposite end of your cord through your second hook and again form a loop. How much distance you have between the hook eyes and how large the loop is will depend on how long the completed rig becomes. After you have made a couple you will work out how long you need for your particular jigs.
Step 6. Do 6 to 8 wraps with your tag end through the loop and around the hook shank, the same as we did previously.
Step 7. Pull the rig taught to tighten the uni knot on the second hook. I often put each hook over a bar or something similar so I can apply maximum pressure to get the knots tight without risking injury. Add a little vinyl cement to the second knot.
Step 8. Do a basic clove hitch around the solid ring as shown. Generally you will want one side shorter than the other so that one hook will sit higher than the other when the rig is completed. However, some anglers like each hook at the same length as a classic butterfly rig has.
Step 9. Pull your clove tight around the solid ring. If the longer side of your rig is a little long for your liking then you can do another half hitch around the ring, as shown, to shorten it.
Step 10. With the knotting of your rig now completed, it is time to attach the new rig to the micro-jig. You will need a small pair of split ring pliers or pincettes to make the task easier. It is advisable to use a decent quality split ring although this is only used to attach the rig to the lure and won’t bear much tension.
Step 11. With the solid ring and hook rig now attached to the jig via the split ring and your main line attached to the solid ring, your jig is ready to be put into action. Attaching the main line to the solid ring and not the jig eyelet will increase the fluttering action of the jig and eliminate a possible weak spot (the split ring) from coming into play. It also creates a more direct pull on the hooked fish.
Micro jigs are yet another method that can be employed to target quality fish species, both demersal and pelagic. It is a great method when fishing faster currents as you can sink the jig into the exact strike zone easily. However, it is just one more technique that can be employed on any given day.
Having the correct rigging, rods, reels, jigs and braid can definitely improve your success. It can be tried at a basic, cruder level with many different outfits, but fine tuning your tackle, rigs and techniques will definitely increase your fishing pleasure and results. Get a few jigs, rig them up and then get a little jiggy on your next angling outing.Reads: 2382