March 11, 2021
By Pete M. Anderson
While there are plenty of quality hair jig options on the market, tying them yourself can be enjoyable and easy, and it allows you to create custom versions for your local waters and bass. The components list is short: jig heads, thread, body materials and head cement. You also will need scissors, a whip-finish tool and a basic vise that accepts large hooks.
Practice and patience will help your tying expertise, so don’t despair if your first few hair jigs look rough. You’ll be turning out refined ones soon enough.
STEP 1: Wrap the Shank
Once you've chosen a head, clamp it hook-down and with the shank parallel to the table. Hold a spool of thread—140 denier or thicker—in your hand or with a bobbin. Starting just behind the head, apply tension to the thread as you work your way down the shank and create a thin layer of thread about 3/16-inch wide. This will help secure the material.
STEP 2: Choose the Materials
Using material that's twice the length of the jig is a good rule of thumb. Hold the material next to the head to determine how much to trim. Most of a natural material's action is in its fine tips, so cut from the butt end. It's the same process for adding an attractor, such as a few strands of flash or a few rooster saddle feathers, though making them a bit longer adds appeal.
STEP 3: Tie the Materials
Place the butt end of the attractor on the thread-covered shank and make a few wraps toward the head to secure it. Then, working with small amounts (don't attempt to tie all of the material at once), secure each clump with a few wraps of thread, repeating the process around the shank. With most hair jigs, less material creates more action.
STEP 4: Finish the Wrap
Once you've added the last clump of material, continue wrapping back and forth to create a narrow collar that's about the same width as your original wraps. End with a whip-finish tool. You can tie the thread with your fingers, but this inexpensive item makes the process simple and the results secure. Finally, brush the wraps with some head cement to lock them in place. Add a second coat when the first is dry, then set the jig aside. It'll be ready to fish in a few minutes.