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Bass Jigs: Why The Jig Hook Is The Most Important Part

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I’m going to make a controversial statement.

A jig design consists of several elements.

Some jig designers focus on crafting wild, bold skirt colors. Others emphasize the importance of lifelike materials such as hair or feathers in their jig designs.

I’m not typically the kind of person that stirs the waters, but here is what I think – regardless of the color or material you use in your jig design, the most important decision you will make with your jig lies in the hook.

Why?

Why do I think the jig hook is the most important part of a jig’s design?

Welcome back to Jig Is Up Lurecraft! 

Today I am going to discuss why the jig hook is the most important part of a bass jig. Building on that, I’ll also be unveiling a few guidelines that will help you determine what hook is best for you as you create jigs and fish with them!

Why The Jig Hook Is Critically Important

As I stated a moment ago, the jig hook is the most important part of a bass jig.

There are two big reasons why I believe this.

1. The Hook Is The Direct Link To The Fish

The hook is your direct link to the fish. No matter the color or profile, the hook is what will determine if a fish is caught or not.

smallmouth caught with a jig
A good hook keeps fish hooked!

If your jig designs use cheap hooks, the odds are higher that you will experience a hook failure while battling the fish of a lifetime.

This is why I am a firm believer in fishing with the highest quality hooks that are available.

For me, this translates to building jigs with either Owner, Gamakatsu, or Victory hooks.

I am not endorsed by any of these brands, but in each case I have found that they consistently produce sticky sharp, super strong hooks.

Simply put, knowing I have a quality hook in my jig gives me more confidence to fish for bigger and better fish!

2. The Hook Determines How You Fish A Jig

No matter how many fish are lured into biting your jig, you will not be able to consistently get those fish in the boat unless you have a quality hook that pairs well with your tackle.

You can build jigs with the highest quality hair and feathers. You can craft jigs with eye-popping colors or incredibly realistic profiles.

But if the hook in your jig design is too thick or too thin for the tackle you are using, you will have a hard time landing fish.

If the hook doesn’t align with the tackle you use, you might even find that your jig is working against you!

With that said, how exactly does the jig hook impact how you fish your jig?

Jig Hook Strength And Diameter

Strength and diameter are two critical factors for selecting a jig hook. Generally speaking, you want a hook that is as thin as possible, while also being as strong as your need requires.

Simply put, thinner hooks penetrate fish’s jaws more easily.

At the same time, stronger hooks keep fish pinned better once they are hooked.

This may sound like an easy equation, but bear in mind this general fact; the thinner a hook becomes, the lesser its strength.

Tiny Terror Jig Glamor Shot
A slender hook penetrates more easily

Thus, the right hook for your design comes down to finding the right balance of hook diameter and strength for you.

Three Jig Builds Using Different Hooks

To further demonstrate how a jig hook dictates your fishing tactics, we’re going to look at three jig designs that use the same weedless ballhead jig mold, only with three different hooks.

See Related: How To Make Your Own Bass Jigs

Strong – Victory 10575BN Jig Hook

Light wire hooks, such as the Victory 10575BN, are characterized by a thin diameter and relatively low strength.

molting lava craw micro jig with a wood background

These hooks can easily penetrate a fish’s jaw with light line, such as 4 pound or 6 pound line.

Since these hooks pair best with light line, jigs with these hooks are particularly effective for targeting highly-pressured, finicky fish with spinning gear.


Because the Victory 10575 BN is a light wire hook, you can actually bend and flex the hook in your hands with ease.

Believe it or not, this is by design! Light wire hooks are built so they can flex, for a very good reason. 

If you snag your jig on a log or a rock, you can pull on the jig with enough force to bend the hook out and free it from the snag. Unfortunately, this also means that if you use enough force when fighting a fish, the hook might bend out and the fish might come unhooked.

Victory 10575 Jig Hook
Victory 10575BN Jig Hook

This is why light line and a light drag on your spinning reel are crucial when fishing with jigs built with light wire hooks.

With that said, I’ve landed many fish using this hook and have yet to bend the hook while fighting a fish.

Keep your drag light, use light line, and this hook will serve you well.

See Other Designs With This Hook: I Crafted 7 Stunning Bass Jig Colors

Stronger – Owner 5313 Jig Hook

1X strong hooks like the Owner 5313 are a step higher in both diameter and strength.

Victory 10575BN jig hook beside Owner 5313 jig hook
Victory 10575BN vs Owner 5313

Whereas the Victory 10575BN is effective with 4 to 8 pound fishing line, the Owner 5313 is best fished with 8 to 12 pound fishing line.

The Owner 5313 is actually my favorite finesse jig hook, for multiple reasons.

For one thing, this hook is scary sharp right out of the package.

Not only that, but it does not flex or bend like the Victory 10575BN does. Once a fish grabs on, this hook isn’t letting go!

pumpkinseed micro jig with a wood background
The Owner 5313 hooks on and doesn’t let go!

Since this jig is stronger, it can be fished with a medium-powered spinning or baitcasting rod, no problem. Even a medium-heavy rod can fish this jig, as long as the line isn’t any heavier than around 12 pound line.

This hook is great for all-purpose jigs. Use it for hopping on rocks, skipping under docks, or even weaving through light grass.

I highly recommend the Owner 5313 – give it a shot!

See Another Design With This Hook: Ballhead Jigs – A Complete Guide For The Everyday Angler

Strongest – Owner 5316 Jig Hook

The Owner 5316 represents the strongest hook I can put into this weedless ballhead jig mold. As a 2X strong hook, it appeals to those anglers who love to power fish using traditional medium-heavy jig rods and 15 pound line.

The Owner 5316 is, in fact, built on the same platform as the Owner 5313. It has the same dimensions and the exact same shape, only it comes with the thicker, 2X strong wire.

Owner 5313 Jig Hook
The Owner 5313 is shown here. The Owner 5316 is the same, but thicker!

With that stronger 2X wire, the Owner 5316 is more than capable of quickly pulling fish out of heavy wood or rock.

With that said, I highly recommend jig designs with this hook for anyone who loves to fish a compact jig in heavy cover situations with strong line such as 15 or 17 pound line.

Since my favorite size in this hook is out of stock on Barlow’s Tackle, I haven’t been able to get my hands on one for a jig build to show here. 

Once those 1/0 hooks come back in stock, I’ll get my hands on some and design a power-finesse jig, to show how such a jig design compares with the other designs mentioned here today. Stay tuned!

Conclusion: Bass Jigs – Why The Jig Hook Is The Most Important Part

The jig hook is the most critical component of a bass jig.

Simply put, the hook is the direct link between your gear and the fish.

If your hook isn’t designed for the conditions you’re fishing, you won’t land fish as consistently!

The hooks I’ve discussed today unveil how I choose a jig hook for the situations and tackle I fish with.

I encourage you to similarly consider what jig hook is the best for you and your fishing conditions!

In doing so, I maintain that your jig designs will do more to work for you rather than against you.

Take care, and don’t forget to get on our email list so you can be the first to read the next lurecraft article as it comes out!


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2 thoughts on “Bass Jigs: Why The Jig Hook Is The Most Important Part”

  1. Doug Christensen

    Been having some phenomenal ice fishing this year in the Black aHills of South Dakota. Big Perch, whopper bluegills, huge rainbow trout and occasional northern pike. The ice is around 3 feet thick and more cold on the way.. I just figured out the best days and times to fish are on the Solunar Fishing Calendar! It is real and it helps! But it doesn’t mean it will be a nice day weather wise, It could be -15 F and windy and snowing and the fish could be biting like crazy;or 63F and no bite at all like 2 weeks ago!! Sometimes we have to downsize to the smallest jigs in our tackle box and tease the fish to bite at all in super cold water! Will send some pictures. Thanks for the invite to your blog. I love the LORD and I love fishing! Isn’t HE Wonderful?!✝️🦅▶️

    1. Good to hear from you, sir – long time no see! Glad you’re catching fish, though I am not envious of the extreme cold you’ve been seeing. I am with you 100% – He is wonderful! Take care!

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