Been in the lab the last few days, getting some of the basic colors tied up, and playing with some combinations to get a few new wrinkles added into the mix. First I poured a new batch of 3/4 ounce Ultra Minnow head jigs, using the mold from Do-It. Then it was time to haul the powder paints down from TJ’s Tackle.
If you haven’t looked into painting your own jigs, TJ’s is a great place to get started. They have the best selection of fluid beds and cups, and one of, if not the best selection of powder paints and custom mixes to be found on any website. Literally one stop shopping, and if you made it out to any of the Ultimate Fishing Shows, you saw the guys in action demonstrating the products in their booth.
I started off playing around with some jigs already painted up from the year before. Purple is great, but I think I have caught more fish the past few years while using a combination of white’s. So the next two pictures are your basic white jighead and hair combination, but with some glow lateral lines added for some extra attraction.
These glow fibers from Hareline gave off a great glow that lasted over 10 minutes with the lights off.
Sometimes you must have what the walleye want in your tackle arsenal and on Lake Erie, they love them some John Deere green hair jigs. I have found that this color combination really shines in clear water, but can be used also in that transition zone. It is kind of perchy looking!
With these two jigs, I used the classic Black with Blue Flake from TJ’s. Then while tying in the black Hareline craft fur, I infused some purple and rainbow flash in to come up with some lateral lines that highlight the dark material. This might have been my one mistake, because when I posted these pictures on Facebook, the bass folk went nuts. I had five private messages asking on how or where to get them! But, to get back to reality, I have found that black works just as good as purple hair combinations in most situations. Dark water, muddy water or that coffee with cream stained soup we sometimes have to fish in.
Sometimes you just have to have the classics tied on, but look past the yellow and white for a moment and let me share this tip with you that will save you so much time while tying up your rigs. What you will need is one extra vise, one extra bobbin and one extra spool of thread. For the less than the price of a fancy fly tying vise, you can double your production. I am using two Super AA Vise’s from Cabela’s for the whopping cost of $12.99 each. The bobbin’s are under $4 each and the thread is another $2 a spool. If you clicked on the highlighted word “thread”, you will see I am the using, for lack of a better word, 210 thickness. Its bigger than the 140 and doesn’t break off like the smaller diameters will. One helpful hint, take a sewing needle, slip the thread through the eye and drop it down the barrel of the bobbin, you might have to tap it to help it poke out the bottom. This method is so much easier than trying to eyeball the thread through the barrel.
You can tie each one up and they will look great, but then you have to wait while the head cement dries before snipping off the thread. If you have two vises rigged and ready to go, you can start your next hair jig while the cement takes a set. By time your finish wrapping your second jig, the first one is rock solid and you can snip off your thread. Why do I have the vises set up on pieces of 3/4 inch plywood? It’s just a matter of mobility and ease, I can put them on the table out in the shop after a I get all the materials laid out and basically, it just works for my setup. It also makes it a breeze to rotate the jigs as I tie them up.
There you go, my hair tying method through each step of the process. Start off with jig head that was painted with TJ’s Tackle powder paint, and cured in the oven for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. The cure process is critical and can be done in a toaster oven. Then it is fun time, get some craft fur and come up with your fish catching combinations.