Jig heads - bullet weights
Soft-bait jig heads (small weighted hooks to get your soft-bait down) come in a confusing range of weights and sizes, even some of the same size are different sizes! Quality jig head manufacturers use quality hooks sourced from the Japanese companies, Owner and Gamakatusu. The two finishes applied to these hooks are galvanised, and black chrome. The galv are not so sharp but have better corrosion resistance, the black chrome have a better hookup rate as they penetrate better (the point is made by a chemical process) so it is super sharp. An important factor is the lead head part of the jig head, the flutes that grip the soft-bait on. Too fat and they will split the bait, too blunt on the holding face of the lead flute and the baits slip off. So whats the best jig head? For fishing with finesse, Jig Star jig heads are good, with the finer gauge of Gamakatsu hooks. For everyday situations, Berkley Stealth with Owner hooks are best. The hooks are long so they suit 5" baits and bigger jigging grubs. And the best size for the jig head? A Jigstar 5/0 has the same sized gape (the distance between the shank and the point) as a Stealth 3/0 and a Nitro Saltwater pro 2/0 (galv), so you can fish the 5" Jerkshad on all of them. The best type of jig head for a 5" Jerkshad is all of the above: the Jigstar will have the best hook up rate, the Nitro and Stealth will be stronger and the Nitro won't rust as quickly. With weight variations from 2.2g to 110g and hooks from a tiny size 12 to 9/0 no wonder it’s boggling. So… to fish the most popular soft-bait lure (a 5" Jerkshad), you need (for Auckland on a nice day and with not to much drift) a 1/2oz or 14g jig-head on a 2/0, 3/0 or 5/0 hook (depending on which brand, as explained above). Present it on 2m of fluorocarbon trace, to fool more fish.