Tying Hair Jigs for Bass
Play Now in HD
Play Now in SD

Basic Intro to Tying Hair Jigs

Kevin and Bryan provide a basic introduction to tying hair jigs for largemouth and smallmouth bass. The goal of this video is to show anglers who are unfamiliar with tying tools and techniques, that the process is quite simple. You'll learn how to paint your own jigheads, what hairs and materials are effective, and great tips and tricks that make hair tying easier. Visit bassfishin.com/hairjigs/ for more resources.

Click Here for links and resources on the equipment and materials found in the video

How To Watch in Full Screen
Having Difficulty Viewing the Videos?

Let me introduce you to a great friend and colleague, Bryan Lewis. Bryan is joining us today to share with us techniques for tying hair jigs. Glad you could join us.

Glad to be here.

So we're here with all of our hair tying materials and the good news is, that everything you see here is very affordable. You can easily find everything you need for under $100.

And this is quality stuff too, the materials here are exactly what you need to create quality jigs.

Now there's a lot of places where you can buy this equipment, but there's one store in particular that we recommend because of their prices and selection and that's Jann's Netcraft. They do have a store in Ohio, but you can order online at www.jannsnetcraft.com. They have a great reputation and through the years and both me and Bryan have found them to be the best resource for lure making supplies.

And they sell everything from hair to paint to jigs and so on. If you need a certain material, chances are Jann's Netcraft has it, and that's why we like them so much.

We've created a page at www.bassfishin.com/hairjigs/ where you can view a list of all the equipment and materials we will be using, with links to each product on Jann's Netcraft's website so you can learn more and get started on your own.

Bryan, I know there a lot of different hairs and feathers one can incorporate into their jig depending on the look their going for, but there's some tools that everyone will need to have to tie any kind of jig, right?

Yea, a vise is probably the first thing we should mention. All it does is hold your jig in place while you're tying.

Now, I look online at some of these places that sell Vises and I'm shocked to see that many of them are well over $100.. with some even being as much as $700 or more. Is that really needed?

Absolutely. No, there's no reason why the average jig tier would need to spend that much. You can easily find a quality vise for under $100.

How much is this vise here?

This one is just over $20 bucks and it does everything we need.

The next tool you're going to need is what's called a Bobbin. This is going to hold your thread and keep tension as you're tying.

Also, a good pair of small scissors for trimming the hair and cutting the thread.

Now before we get started, here are some examples of hair jigs that you can tie using what we have here. These are jigs Bryan has tied for me recently and as you can see there's a lot of different ways you can mix materials to get different looks.

Now let's talk about the jigheads that we'll be using. What are the most popular types of jig heads for hair jigs?

Now you can use any style of jighead, but the ball head and the darter head are probably the most widely used because of their versatility.

Do a lot of people pour their own jigheads?

Yea, but I choose to buy pre-made ones because it's just easier.

Now the first thing you'll need to do is paint your jig, and powder paint has made it very easy for anglers to get a quick and professional coat.

Go ahead and grab the toaster there... we're going to heat up the jigheads to get them hot enough to dip into the paint. You need to heat them to 350.

How do you set the jigheads in the toaster? Can you just set them on a metal tray or what?

You're going to want to hang them. You can either use the rack that's already in the toaster or fashion something on your own that will allow you to hang them.

And that's so the paint doesn't touch anything, right?


I think they've hit 350, so at this point, take them out one at a time and simply dip them into the powder paint.

Now here's the important part of this step, you gotta clear the paint out of the line tie. After that, put them back into the oven at 350 for 15 minutes.

If the jighead is painted already, what's the reason we're putting them back in the oven?

It just cures the paint so it doesn't chip as easily.

It really makes that big of a difference?

Yea, it makes a big difference.

We just finished baking our jigheads and now we're ready to start tying.

Got the jighead in the vise here. For demonstration purposes, we're going to start with a simple bucktail pattern. Just because it's simple doesn't mean it's not effective, bucktail has probably caught more bass than any other type hair jig.

I'm going to clip the barb off the jighead because it tends to just get in the way.

Don't just start throwing hair on it right away. You want to start with a base layer of thread on the collar.

What's the purpose of that base layer?

This will prevent the hair from spinning as you're tying it down.

Something I like to do is put a drop of PRO's Soft Bait Glue on the threads to lock them down.

So now is the time to start laying hair on the jig. I'm going to grab the deer tail here.

I'm going to cut just a pinch of hair from the top half of the tail. The hair from the top of the tail is preferred because it's softer, thinner, has better action and is generally easier to work with.

When placing the hair on the jighead, just do a little at a time. It's much easier than grabbing a big handful of hair and trying to do it all at once.

I see you're placing the hair around the collar of the jig, you're wrapping thread around the hair to keep it in place, do you need to wrap it tight?

Yea. You'll want to wrap it around a few times and crank it down pretty good. Now use your fingers to spread the hair around the collar evenly. If you want to continue adding hair to the jig, just do it now with the same technique.

So if you want to add some other colored hair to the jig, you'd use the same procedure?

Right. For instance, I'll take an olive-colored deer tail and use some of this hair on the top of the jig because nearly every fish that swims has a lighter colored belly and a darker back.

At this point I'm liking the profile of this jig.

I know one of the things you've taught me is that most people tie entirely too much hair on their jigs, and usually it is more effective to use less to get that smaller profile.


Now's a good time to add a bit of flash. There's all kinds of flashy material that you can use, but I'm going to use a product called Flashabou for this one.

You don't need to use much, just cut a few strands that match the length of your bucktail and start wrapping them on the jighead just like we did with the bucktail.

Right now, I'm pretty happy with this jig so now I'm going to finish wrapping it.

Now that I'm done wrapping, I'm going to secure it with whip finish.

What is whip finish?

It's just basically a knot that secures the thread. You can do it by hand, but this tool called a whip finisher makes it easy.

The last thing we're going to do is lock the threads in place with a drop of Pro's Soft Bait Glue. Now Listen up, because this is very important. When you go to put the glue on, make sure the head is angled downward so the glue doesn't run back into the hair.

And that Pro's Soft Bait Glue dries in 5-10 seconds, so this jig is pretty much ready to fish, huh?

Yup, it's just about ready.

Well now that we have a good understanding of the technique for tying hair jigs, let's move on and talk about some of the other materials and jig patterns that have been successful for you and the many creative applications they have within hair jig fishing.

Sure, there's a ton of stuff in the hair tying world that can enhance your jig, but I'll brush upon some of my favorites.

One item I often like to add to my jigs a rabbit zonker strip. It's basically just a strip of skin with some hair on it and it acts like a tiny little trailer and gives your lure some movement.

You tie the zonker strip first before the hair, right?

Exactly. And you can do the same thing with hackle feathers. Hackle feathers are just another option.

What about these Marabou feathers?

Marabou is one of my favorite materials. In can be used in place of hair. It's got great action, really good baitfish imitator.

Same with this craft fur, it's a synthetic that tends to have more action than natural hair. It's real popular in areas like Tennessee, especially with the smallmouth anglers.

What other hairs have you had success with it that our anglers might like to try?

I like Black and Brown Bear hair, which is these right here. Fox is good hair. Some other ones are possum and squirrel.

Now you know I'm a big proponent to having eyes on my lures, is that something you like to add to your hair jigs?

Definitely. I like to epoxy some eyes on my jigs.

Well Bryan, I think you've shared some great insight into the techniques and materials for tying quality hair jigs.

Glad I could help.

I should mention again that we have setup a page at www.bassfishin.com/hairjigs/ that will have a list of the materials we've shown you here in this video so you can get started. We like Jann's Netcraft, a great online store that carries pretty much everything you need at good prices. They've got a great reputation in the lure craft industry, so check them out at www.jannsnetcraft.com.

Thank you Bryan.

seperator seperator