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Jig Man

Jigmaking, Step by Step

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Well, Pasurfer had a great idea a few weeks back with doing a step by step in the 10 x 10 tradition icon14.gif For the next installment, something near and dear to my heart: jig making biggrin.gif I'll start this with the leadhead already cast as pouring lead and taking photos at the same time is a recipe for disaster cwm24.gif I appologize in advance for some of the photos, not always easy doing this stuff with one hand and taking pictures with the other. Anyway...

 

Step 1, Painting: Heat the jig head. I use a toaster oven (note that this is never used for cooking food) for this, but a number of other heating methods could be used: propane torch, cigarette lighter, candle, etc. Once the jig head is hot (I use pliers to hold mine), swirl it through the powder paint for a couple of seconds, remove, and tap on side of container a couple of times to remove the excess powder.

 

jm_step1.jpg

 

Note that I am using a small fluid bed in this example. This simply keeps the powder fluffy. If you are dipping direct into the powder, you will need to fluff it from time to time. Also, a larger container may be needed to handle larger jig heads.

 

To add a second color, right after swirling through the first color, take a small paint brush (the cheap testors ones work fine), dip it into the paint, then slap this onto the jig.

 

jm_step2.jpg

 

Several colors can be done this way (I've done up to 5 on one jig). The important thing is that the jig must remain hot for the whole time the powder is being applied. If it begins to cool before you are done with painting, carefully hold it in a flame for a couple of seconds then continue to add paint. It is ok if the paint appears to be "fuzzy" on the jig at this point as long as it is sticking. Hang the jig on a rack to cool.

 

Step 2: Cure the jig. Once the jig is cool, you will need to heat it in an oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. The toaster oven you used above can be used for this too. You can make a curing rack for the oven with an aluminum bread pan and a section of wire. The wire goes through the eye of the jig hook and through both sides of the pan. Like so:

 

jm_step3.jpg

 

You can do a number at one time this way. Just make sure that the jigs never touch while they are hot. If they do, they stick together and things will not be pleasant. Ya might even say a bad word or two icon25.gif Put the pan in the oven and bake at 350 for 15 minutes. I leave the jigs in the oven until the whole lot is cool to the touch.

 

 

 

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Step 3: Add eyes. Eyes can be added with vinyl paint. Take a nail and insert into a small dowel. Different size nails can be used to make various eye sizes or to do an iris and a pupil.

 

jm_step4.jpg

 

Step 4: Tie bucktail. Start with the jig in the vice and wrap the thread around the collar several times, then back over itself:

 

jm_step5.jpg

 

Note that I am using rod wrapping thread for this. Kevlar thread will also work, however, it has a tendency to cut the bucktail. Rod thread does not do this. Next, take a section of bucktail, lay it on the collar and wrap the thread several times:

 

jm_step6.jpg

 

At this point, the thread wraps should be slightly loose. Not so loose that they do not hold the tail in place, but loose enough that you can still move the bucktail around.

 

jm_step7.jpg

 

Now, take your thumb and finger and gently squeeze the bucktail so that it forms an even layer around the collar.

 

jm_step8.jpg

 

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We'll be adding a second color next, so the bucktail will only go 2/3 of the way around. Make a couple more thread wraps, this time make them tight to hold the bucktail in place.

 

jm_step9.jpg

 

Next, take another section of bucktail and lay it on the open space on the jig collar.

 

jm_step10.jpg

 

Make a few thread wraps and squeeze the bucktail into place as above. Make a few tight thread wraps. Note that the jig we are using here is a 1 oz jig. On jigs this size, you can add the tail in one step if you are using only one color. Just squeeze the bucktail around the jig the whole way. On larger jigs, or until you have practiced a few times, you can use the multi layer as we did here to add the tail in sections. Finish up with a couple of half hitches (sorry, could not show that and take photos at the same time), and cut the thread. Remove the jig from the vice and trim the excess bucktail from the collar. I use a razor blade for this:

 

jm_step11.jpg

 

Note that you will cut the bucktail at a slight angle. Place the jig back in the vice and attach the thread again. Make several wraps to insure that the thread is secure.

 

jm_step12.jpg

 

Add a couple of drops of Zap-a-gap (CA, it's the one with the pink label) to the threads:

 

jm_step13.jpg

 

 

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Let the zap-a-gap soak in for a few seconds, then start wrapping the thread tightly. On larger jigs, you may have to rotate the jig in the vice and add a drop or two from the other side too. The glue will penetrate to the collar of the jig and also coat the threads as you wrap. Be careful not to touch the wraps as you add thread. Fingers sticking to jigs is not much fun, at least that's what they tell me rolleyes.gif Continue wrapping the thread until all of the bucktail is securely attached, the threads are even, and no glue is showing. Do a couple of half hitches and cut the thread. Add a couple of drops of head cement and smooth around the threads.

 

jm_step15.jpg

 

Jig is now ready for fishing biggrin.gif

 

jm_step16.jpg

 

Hope that helps a few people. Once you get the hang of it, you can tie them up pretty quick. Like I did up two more while the photos were downloading from my camera to the computer and still had time to take a sip or two from my beer. Happy tying biggrin.gif

 

Jigman

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great instructions Jig Man was wondering what a'fluid bath is that you put the powder paint in is. the one problem i have with larger heads,like 2and 3oz smilin bills is that the lips fill up with powder when iplunge them in enough to cover the head.

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The fluid bed shown here is basically a large cup that sits in the bed. Air is forced through the bed and a motor keeps it vibrating. This keeps the powder fluffed up at all times. Have done 3 oz Bills and 4 oz Shadheads with no problems with the fluid bed. If you are doing a lot of jigs, it is the way to go. Much nicer finish than you can get with dipping into the jar.

 

Jigman

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Jigman, nice jigs man!icon14.gif Did you build that fluid bed or buy it? If so where?What's the best powder paint? Also what do you think about those vinyl jig paints? I tried some and the bottom rubbed right off on my last jigging trip at the Ditch...

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Chum,

 

Component systems powder paints are what I use: http://www.csipaint.com/ (order from Janns or Stamina, etc.) they also make the fluid bed. Mine is the FB3. I've seen a few other powder paints around, but have not used them. The Component systems stuff does not have harmful vapors like some of the other paints, so I stick with it. Have had good luck with it for a number of years. Used the vinyl paints (also by Comp Systems) before that. Once I got my first batch of powder paint, I never went back to vinyl except for eyes. You can get a real hard finish that will hold up well with the powder. Much better than the vinyl in my opinion. Just make sure you cure it to get the real hard finish.

 

Jigman

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hey Jigman:

we should try and jig tying derby or somethin' ya know? then we can have a swap with all the other plugs this winter??? Or does that already take place????

 

Luis T

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Thanks guzz.

 

Luis, probably could do it in conjunction with a plug building GTG. Would not be hard to pack up some of my jig making stuff for a road trip. May be a jig swap later this year.

 

Jigman

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Great job Jig Man!smile.gif

Thanks for taking the time to share your jig-making expertise with your fellow SOLers!

 

------------------

tight lines,

BASSHOLL

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View PostJigman, nice jigs man!icon14.gif Did you build that fluid bed or buy it? If so where?What's the best powder paint? Also what do you think about those vinyl jig paints? I tried some and the bottom rubbed right off on my last jigging trip at the Ditch...

 

 

Chum - i used those vinyl jig paints for years, they worked well in moriches bay bay with a sandy bottom, however, you bounce them off some rocks and its not worth the effort to paint them.

 

Billy

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