As a bass fisherman or fisherwoman exploring the lakes of the United States, a good understanding of different baits and lures is an essential step to maximizing your hopes of a good day’s haul. Jigs will feature prominently and casting jigs are certainly a contender for the most frequently used style.
By the end of this guide, you’ll have some clarity over the following issues;
- What are casting jigs?
- When should casting jigs be used?
- How to use casting jigs for bass fishing?
- What bass fishing setup should be used?
Your future bass fishing adventures will produce more quality and quantity. It will leave you wanting to dance a jig.
What are Casting Jigs?
Casting jigs are a type of fishing lure that can be used to attract strikes from a variety of predatory fish but are most commonly used to target smallmouth bass and spotted bass. Like most jigs, they feature a head and skirted body that fans out in the water to engage active fish and create a large strike zone.
This type of jig has been used by fisherman and fisherwomen across the United States for several decades and is one of the more traditional varieties. They are characterized by their round, Arkie style, or flat-bottom heads while they typically weigh between 3/8oz and 0.5oz.
A plethora of manufacturers produces them, meaning there are hundreds of colors and skirt styles to choose from. Casting jigs can additionally be found with internal rattles to create added vibration, although many products do not include this feature and rely on the visual elements and natural disruptions caused to the water.
Like many other jigs, casting jigs were traditionally manufactured from lead. While this material is still used for the heads, tungsten has established itself as a very popular alternative in the last decade. Tungsten is denser, meaning the jigs can be made smaller without losing their weight and natural movement through the water.
Casting jigs are also referred to as structure jigs. While they regularly make an appearance in professional tournaments, they are equally suited to beginners due to their all-purpose capabilities.
Best Casting Jigs Setup
Casting jigs can be fished with different techniques (see below), which means you may adjust your setup according to your choices. In truth, though, the contrasts in equipment are minimal regardless of which method is utilized meaning the right setup should serve you well on any occasion.
Rods that work well with casting jigs
Casting jigs aren’t as heavy as some of the other jigs on the market, but they are still heavier than a lot of baits. Meanwhile, you will want to give yourself enough room for the retrieval. Therefore, choosing a long rod that is at least 7’ to 7.5’ is advised as this will allow for the long casts required.
A medium-heavy action rod should suffice, especially when you are not focusing on bigmouth bass. Moderate to fast action will deliver the right level of sensitivity when a bass strikes and throughout the subsequent battle.
Reels that work well with casting jigs
Because you will want to employ a long cast, reels that can handle a deep spool. When opting for a slop retrieval, a casting reel with a slower ratio of around 6.1:1 should work well. When opting for speed jigging, you can probably use any reel. However, opting for a high-speed reel of 7.1:1 or higher will reduce your workload.
While casting reels have long been considered the only option to take, due to the sensitivity of motion seen when jigging, modern spinning reels can now offer great control. When combined with the weight, many fishermen and women prefer them due to the lifting involved.
Lines that work well with casting jigs
Choosing a line for your casting jigs is somewhat a matter of preference. For novice fishermen and women in the United States, a 12lb to 20lb fluorocarbon line is a great choice. It’s durable enough for this type of jig while you’ll be able to feel it when you hit the bottom of the lake too.
More experienced anglers may opt for a braided line in the region of 40lb to 50lb. However, even a large number of professional anglers will stick to the fluorocarbon solution. Where possible, you should seek a smaller diameter line, especially if fishing in cover.
How to Fish Casting Jigs
When using a casting jig, the design of the head and line eyelet placement means that the jig will stand upright in the water. It will subsequently bounce off the hard-bottomed floor. Therefore, the basic process of fishing in this style is as follows:
- Make a long cast and allow the lure to drop to the bottom.
- Take in the slack just until you can feel that the lure is standing vertically.
- As it keeps bouncing, the movement of fanning colored skirts attracts attention.
- The predatory and inquisitive bass will take the grub or trailer added to the hook.
- The fishermen or women strike to hook the fish and then reel it in.
Casting jigs are small enough to be sucked up by a bass while the head design should prevent snagging. therefore, you can implement a variety of retrieval methods.
A bomb and drag is quite popular. This method starts with a long cast followed by slow dragging for a few feet to create the bobbing effect along the lake bed. Stopping for a few seconds gives the bass time to strike, although it’s common for them to do it during the drag.
When dragging the lure across the bottom of the lake, you can use short and sharp tugs or a lift and drop strategy in which you use the slackline to your advantage. You can try out different speeds until you find one that’s working on any given day. Meanwhile, a slow and sensitive option can be great for coaxing fish out from heavy vegetation.
Although it’s not as frequently deployed, another strategy is to use a slow and steady retrieval just a couple of feet under the water surface. AS well as being skipped, they can be pitched or flipped with great results.
When to Use Casting Jigs
Casting jigs are pretty versatile in the fact that they can be used in virtually all seasons. However, there are several conditions in which it can be considered even more effective. Some of the key factors to consider are:
- Cold and clean waters are particularly well suited to bass fishing with casting jigs.
- Dense weed guards and compact sizes make them great for fishing in weeds and heavy cover.
- The bouncing motion of casting jigs make them great for sloped lake beds and targeting areas where cold and warm water meet.
- Because they imitate crawfish, it makes sense to fish them in areas heavily populated by crawdads.
- When fishing deep with casting jigs, you might see less activity when there has been a lot of surface disruption due to rain.
So, while you can use casting jigs at pretty much any time, a lot of fishermen and women prefer them in calm summer months or cold but dry winters. Crucially, the colors need to stand out to catch the attention of fish in the strike zone. This takes on an added importance when fishing in heavy cover.
They are easy to set up and tie to the line while grubs and trailers can be added with ease too. So, they are a particularly good option when an experienced angler is taking a novice out on the waters for the first time.
On a side note, casting jigs can be modified by trimming the skirt. This will result in having different strand lengths, which can help them fan out to attract surrounding bass with even greater impacts.
Best Casting Jigs
Used effectively, casting jigs can take your bass fishing game to the next level, but only when the right products are selected. Here are five that will work wonders for your future exploits.
Googan Squad Juicee Casting Jigs
The half-ounce jigs are perfectly weighted while they measure just under 4” in length, which supports their visibility well. The head design and line angle will prevent snagging while the vast array of skirt color choices should help you avoid getting lost in the vegetation. It is a classic.
Missile Baits Ike’s Mini
This mini jig is just 1” long, making it perfect for navigating weeds and coaxing a smallmouth bass out of the cover. The durable head is matched by an equally durable hook while the mini casting jig is well balanced too. Its Barmer craw color is good for the summer and winter seasons.
Bassdash STIX Casting Jig
A long body gives the Bassdash casting jig the look of a real baitfish, although it does still feature a small skirt to the rear. The small 0.7oz version is probably best for bass fishing on a medium-heavy action rod. There are three in a pack and they bob with a slow vertical movement.
Reaction Tackle Tungsten Heads
While you will need to find skirts to be attached to these heads, the tungsten material makes these heads tournament-grade products. Likewise, the hooks on each of the five heads are very reliable. So, while the set is incomplete without the plastic or silicone skirt, these are a great addition.
YZD Bass Fishing Jigs
The tungsten fishing jigs might not look too attractive in your hand, but the grey color will stand out in clear waters or among the cover, making them a versatile option. They are weighted to the front, allowing you to tell when you reach the bottom. Once you start the retrieval, they will move in the vertical position.