Jigs: Traditional and Non-Traditional

Posted on May 20, 2003

One item all smallmouth enthusiasts have in their tackle box are jigs. We use them in tubes, thread various plastics on them and even use them for live-bait once in a while. I’ve used many types of jigs over the years, usually the cheapest ones I could find. I came to the conclusion a couple of years ago, that like the rest of my equipment and tackle, I needed to find higher quality jigs that did a better job of meeting my needs. The jigs I use today are from Laketown Manufacturing in Jenison, Michgan ( and Bait Rigs Tackle in Madison, WI ( I would consider Laketown jigs to be more traditional and Bait Rigs jigs to be a little non-traditional.

Bait Rigs is owned by a couple of walleye enthusiasts, Joe and Tony Pucci. Their Slo-Poke Grubmaster jigs were designed for walleye fishing, but work super when fishing plastics for smallies. Grubmasters are particularly effective in tubes and grubs. As you can see from the attached photos, the Grubmaster has a weight-centered head design that is somewhat non-traditional for jigs. This weight-centered design allows the jig to sink slowly and horizontally, instead of plunging headfirst and wedging into structure. When fitted into a grub or tube, the Grubmaster has a unique swimming action all its own that imparts a tantalizing wobble as it drops.

Along with its unique design, all Bait Rig jigs come with Mustad Accu-Point Knife Edge Hooks. These hooks are 30% stronger and require 2.5 times less penetration force than conventional jig hooks. I’ve been using Grubmaster jigs for a couple of years with great success.

Joe Rummelt owns Laketown Manufacturing and has two goals when it comes to the multitude of jigs his company produces. He wants to produce an outstanding product and he wants to accommodate his customer’s needs. Based on my experience, he’s meeting his goals. When looking at traditional jigs, my problem has been that many companies have the “one-size” fits all philosophy. This has left me only somewhat satisfied, and always wanting something more. For the first time last year, using Laketown jigs, I was totally satisfied. Laketown manufactures a wide variety of head-sizes and shapes with various size hooks. This is very important as sometimes I may want a 1/0 in that 1/8th ounce jig, but another situation calls for a 3/0 hook. Laketown will customize your jigs just the way you want them. As with Bait Rigs, Laketown uses top-of-the-line hooks. In their case it’s Gamakatsu.

On this site, the topic of hair jigs comes up on a regular basis. Look no further than Laketown. They make a tremendous, high-end hair jig. I’ve seen the pictures of the monster smallies Joe and his wife have caught on their hair jigs and I’ve had my own luck with them.

Jigs are a staple for all of us and I would highly recommend that you take a look at the web sites for both Bait Rigs and Laketown. Like me, you may stop shopping around for your jig needs.

by Bill Schultz

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