How to Fish a Jig for Beginners

Jigging is a fun fishing technique many anglers learn.

It involves using jig bait hooks that large fish consider prey and requires you to pop the rod tip to move the lure vertically in the water column.

Jig fishing originally started in Japan but has become a popular fishing technique worldwide.


Jig Fishing Explained

Jigging is derived from the word “jig.” The jigs (lures) used for jig fishing mimic the vertical movement of a fish going up to the surface.

As a result, jig fishing is sometimes called vertical fishing.

Jig fishing gives anglers access to various fish and is enjoyed by all age groups.

Jigs come in different shapes, colors, and sizes, and you can learn jigging with or without live bait.

Natural colors like watermelon pink and green pumpkin are excellent choices for most jig fishing.

As a rule of thumb, bright colors are used in murky waters. It also helps to match your jig color to the target fish.

Jig fishing is a popular technique for catching game fish because it creates the look of an injured fish from which they would want a bite.

The list of fish that can be caught by jigging is endless.

Some of these fish are salmon, bass, trout, and bluegill.

Jigs are ideal lures for any angler’s tackle box.

Fishing Jigs

Fishing jigs comprise a hook made of different materials and in different fish shapes and different colors.

The most popular and effective material is lead.

Hundreds of brands and manufacturers have resulted in anglers having various jigs from which to choose.

Your choice of a jig will depend on the sub-modality of jig fishing you have in mind, the sea’s depth and overall state, and the weight of the target species.

Deeper water requires heavier jigs to sink to the bottom.

There are mainly two types of jigs: soft jigs and hard jigs.

Soft jigs

These jigs consist of a large leaded head and a hook attached to a small silicone body.

Their realistic movement makes them very effective for catching slow-eating fish.

Using soft jigs in the depths is less effective due to their resistance against the water currents and their inability to go down quickly.

Hard jigs

Hards jigs can be long or short. They work well in the bottoms because they go down quickly.

A jig is useful to catch particular fish species depending on the weight distribution and the profile’s asymmetry.

The weight affects how quickly the lure falls, and it varies from model to model.

Jig Fishing Gear

Once you’ve decided to go jig fishing, it’s essential to go with the right gear.

The standard equipment for this type of fishing is a light one.

Apart from your jig, the gear comprises a reel, a rod, and a line to which the jig is attached.


Jig fishing is done from a boat, making your rod’s size very important.

Jigging rods are designed for different jig weight groups.

These rods can generally be divided into two: the parabolic action rods and the technical rods.

Manufacturers usually indicate the range of jig weights with which you can use a specific rod.

This also includes the maximum drag setting for the fishing rod.

Jig fishing rods are usually between 1.5 and 2.5 meters and have actions between 80 and 250.

You may choose a light rod with a parabolic action to facilitate the lure’s movement but strong enough to lift big fish.

Some anglers choose an extra heavy action rod to be safer.

A more powerful rod will have no problem handling larger fish.

No matter the rod you’re going for, ensure the reel seat position and grip suit you.

You’ll be stretching for the foregrip and reel if the butt length is too long for you. If it’s too short, you’ll feel cramped.


The reel you choose should have a quality brake for adjusting picking up.

Comfort and power when picking up are essential in jig fishing.

The latest jig spinning reels are designed with narrow spools and retrieve ratios.

A spool with a ratio of 4:1 or 5:1 is good enough to give the jig adequate movement.

It must be as small and light as possible but should be able to house the thread.

When going for a larger fish, seasoned anglers will usually choose a baitcasting reel, which is more accurate and reliable.

Speed is also of the essence, and a gear ratio reel of 7:1:1 will get the large fish as quickly as possible.


The best lines for mechanical jigging are braided lines made of acrylic material.

You want to use a high resistance line with little or no stretch and little friction with the water.

The line should also be thin, giving it more sensitivity.

Many anglers choose a heavy braided line of 50 pounds or more, as they will be less likely to break.

Heavier lines have no flexibility, allowing you to pull larger fish efficiently.

A heavier line will be sturdier and easier to free when stuck in vegetation.

When choosing a line, ensure the weight matches the weight class specified on your rod.

Jigging in Simple Steps

Learning how to jig can be fun and exciting.

Here are some steps you can take to jig:

  • Get your fishing rod in order. Hold your rod with your casting hand at the reel’s base. Keep the line taut while grabbing it with your index finger.
  • Aim your line on the water and cast out at your desired spot, releasing your index finger from the fishing line.
  • After casting, wait for your jig hook to hit bottom. You may feel the spoon hit bottom if you’re using heavy bait. You should note that lightweight jig hooks take a relatively long time to reach the bottom.
  • Snap and flick your wrist, snapping the rod’s tip up quickly, by a short distance. Let the jig drop back to the water body’s bottom.
  • Repeat this jigging process to catch the attention of bigger fish. Besides jigging up and down, you can also jig side to side or up and down and sideways.
  • You may use the “swimming” technique. This involves holding your rod at an angle of 60 degrees and reeling the line in slowly. The resulting motion makes the jig appear to be swimming.
  • Closely watch your line. You may not feel a bite up to your fishing rod, so keep an eye on your line. The line usually jolts at the water’s surface when there’s been a bite.
  • Hold your rod tightly. If a big fish takes the bait, they try hard to get away, putting pressure on your fishing line. We recommend lowering your rod to an angle of 45 degrees when a fish takes the bait.
  • Engage your spinning reel to pull up your catch.

Jig Fishing Tips

  • Know your fishing location well. Ask other anglers about it and get their advice if you don’t.
  • Plan adequately before setting out. Get information on the weather, and only go jig fishing when conditions are favorable.
  • As a beginner, start your jig fishing journey with lightweight jigs.
  • Your physical shape is important, especially when dealing with bigger fish. We recommend using fishing fighting belts that help hold and pull the fishing rod.

Although jig fishing is a physical method of fishing, it is not age-limiting.

Jigging can be easy and fun if you let it be. When setting out, ensure you have the proper jig fishing gear.

Don’t forget to make sure the weight of your fishing line matches the weight class indicated on your fishing rod.

In addition, use a jig whose weight suits your rod.

A jig that is too heavy or too light for the rod won’t allow the rod to impart the correct action.

It’s a good idea to buy a variety of jigs to use in different water temperatures and water bodies.

Follow the jig fishing steps above and have a great experience.