It has come to my attention that I have been remiss in covering a very simple yet essential lure that should be in every tackle box in the world. The Ball Head Jig. For those of you who read my blog …
It has come to my attention that I have been remiss in covering a very simple yet essential lure that should be in every tackle box in the world. The Ball Head Jig.
For those of you who read my blog every week you will know that I have talked about the jig head in reviews of such lures as the Grub by Kalin, the swimbait by Keitech, and technically the Whipworm by Berkley Powerbait. But I want to take the time to give the jig its credit since we have finally gotten into ice fishing season and jigging is about the only thing you can do besides using live bait.
The ball head jig is one of my favorite types of jigs because it is a well balanced design that has been around longer than most others. The body is simple and they can be used over and over for years unless you find yourself breaking off on log fish too often. They come in a variety of sizes and colors but the shape is largely the same between manufacturers. They are inexpensive and pair with a myriad of soft plastic baits. Their versatility between ice fishing and open water fishing rivals any other duel season lure out there. They are as much a piece of hardware as they are an independent lure. They can be used bare and they can be used with live worms, or as I said before, with soft plastic baits. They can be used to troll, cast, jig, and pretty much any other method to fish.
So what are they? The ball head jig is, at its core, a simple J hook. Half way up the hook however begins the molded lead sinker head that uses the metal of the hook as a spine. At the head the molded lead forms a sphere, centered on the hook so as not to swim or fall or lead the lure to the side. Underneath the ball head is more molded lead that forms a basic cylinder, adding girth to the shaft of the hook before it stops and the hook protrudes as described. Back on the ball head of the jig, the tie circle of metal sticks out of the jig in line with the sharpened end of the hook. The significance of this location is that it prevents snagging since the hook will often be upturned due to the balance of the weight on the hook. At the bottom of the cylinder of molded lead there is a small peg that points out from the body and up towards the tie on. This is to hold soft plastics in place once they are affixed to the hook. Otherwise they would be prone to falling off of the hook every other cast or so.
The color of ball head jigs varies and between different brands you can almost always find the color you want for the environment you are fishing. Seen in the pictures here I have some assorted colors by eagle claw, featuring a wide painted eye. As you can see, some jigs are painted in a single base color with the addition of a contrasting eye color combination, and others still have split color schemes that highlight the variation of a color pallet from shades of say light yellow to a near shade of green. Check out the pictures for anexample of this by Eagle Claw in a 1/8 oz. size.
Ice fishing is a great time to play with ball head jigs, and when the water opens up again I highly suggest grabbing a pack to try with different style grubs and swimbaits. Just keep in mind that the size matters and you will need to adjust the size of the jig according to your plastic bait. But by all means try some live worms on there as well.
*If you have any luck with the lure of the week, feel free to email your pictures to email@example.com for an opportunity to share them on our website. If you have a favorite kind of lure we haven’t reviewed yet, feel free to send that lure to our office at PO box 150 Narrowsburg, NY 12764. We will add it to our weekly reviews and share the results. Check back each week on Fridays to see the new lure of the week!