I placed an order the other day for some new jigs, which got me thinking about all the jigs, and blade baits I either bought or made last year. There is nothing worse than pulling a jig out of the box and realizing you cannot tie on because the eye is full of paint. Often the “eye-busters” are a hard fit around the eye, and do not get the job done. I decided Tuesday night would be my “maintenance” night. I walked up into my fishing workshop upstairs in the shop and brought down my rotary tool and drill bits.
I was going through the jigs the other night before placing my order, because I didn’t want to order something I already had a bunch of. Starting with the 3/8ths oz. box, I cleaned out every eye, and worked my way up to the 1 oz. box. I also cleaned some blade baits I had made with my Do-It Mold. Don’t be too critical of those paint jobs, still working on perfecting my technique.
I went through about 2,500 jigs in about 1.5 to two hours, and learned a couple of things during the process. First off its wise to have a few extra bits, they do wear out. Secondly, the jigs painted with vinyl paint tend to leave a ring around the bit, and last of all, even though the powder painted jigs were cured, using a rotary tool is the only way to clean out these jigs!
Although using Seal-Coat, or some other type of jig clear coat is not a must, I would regret not passing on one more tidbit of information. There are some jigs that just fit a niche application, and are specially made by one company or another. Maybe you buy a larger number of jigs from a small company to make it through a whole season. These jigs are typically spray painted for ease/quickness during the manufacturing process. They also tend to chip or dust off during high-speed travel. Ice or open water, doesn’t matter. When making a purchase like this, once they arrive or I bring them home from the store, I simply take a small brush, and give each one a quick coat of clear. Make sure you give them a chance to dry for a night at room temperature so they don’t stick together! Call it preventative maintenance or what you will, but it will protect the paint for years to come.