Jig heads, what a headache! It was exactly what I heard once as I was showing someone my box of jig heads... It was suddenly obvious that loads of other anglers must think the same, and that perhaps an article on the subject might help one or two.
The GUNKI range of jig heads covers almost every style and shape thanks to the G'ROUND, G'FISH, G'SLIDE, G'TEX, G’FLIP, G'FOOT and other models. Each one is available in a variety of weights and hook sizes. If I was to present the specificities and uses of each model I would need to write a book! GUNKI is inspired by the European fishing scene and is constantly adapting its range to fit its fans' requests. What might work in the south of France or in Spain might not in Sweden, but even so, the logic behind choosing a jig head simply stems from observation and logic.
A nice perch caught on a JUNGLE rigged on a G'SLIDE head.
We have come a long way from the "round" jig head and "twist" grub we used in the 90's. Since then anglers and fishing brands have perfected them in order to make things easier and to enable you to catch more fish. Do not get me wrong, the good old round head is not out of fashion, this year the G'ROUND has even added a new member to its family, the G'ROUND PIKE!
Knowing which jig head to use is just as important as choosing the right lure. Gliding action, rolling action, tipping action, water resistance... are just a few key factors that should guide your choice. Selecting such or such jig head must be based on 4 core principles. Principles that may seem obvious, but that I feel we tend to forget every now and then :
- The species of fish targeted.
- The type of lure and its length.
- The spot to be fished.
- The technique to be used : cast & retrieve, vertical, with or without animation...
1/ The species of fish targeted.
You select a lure mainly on the basis of the fish that you are trying to catch. So trying to catch a specimen pike on a 3 cm lure may not be the most productive strategy! Check what is happening under the surface : what are the fish potentially feeding on, what is the average size of the prey, do I have the right gear...
2/ The type of lure and its length.
Make sure that the length of the hook is in keeping with the length of the lure. I usually work on the basis of 1/3 & 2/3. The hook exits at 1/3 of the lure's length from the head, leaving the last 2/3 free. Even by doing so, you may still need a little extra help to hook the fish! And stinger hook can work magic, especially on long lures like the V'RIGGLE when rigged on a 12g 3/0 hook G'FISH head. On most days, rigged simply on the jig head it will work fine, but when the fish are picky you need to add a stinger. Here is a short video where Frédéric explains how to rig such a lure with a special finesse stinger, perfect for when the fishing is really hard! Check it out:
Frédéric Jullian's finesse stinger hook rig.
Another little tip; do not use overweight non articulated heads on small lures. It tends to kill their natural swimming action. Go by the rule that the association jig head + lure has to look proportional.
3/ The spot to be fished.
Be it a sandy beach, a drop-off, a rocky point, underwater structures... you have to adapt the jig head you are going to use. If there is a lot of current a hydrodynamic head like the G'SLIDE will be much better than the G'FOOT. Just as you do not want to fish submerged trees with a G'SLIDE, a G'TEX will be just perfect, unless you really love your tackle dealer!
The G'TEX, the all terrain jig head.
4/ The technique to be used.
The technique that you choose to use will orientate the type of head you will select. For vertical applications I like the G'VERTI as it is perfect for hugging the bottom, the G'FOOT gives extra rolling action and the G'SLIDE is ideal when the current is strong as it offers less resistance. For linear style applications, the stability of the G'FISH is great, the G'FOOT again for the extra kick it gives...this could go on for pages and pages! Each head has its own specific technical features. Most of which you will find in your catalogue, check it out here : GUNKI catalogue.
There are 3 heads from the range that I would like to present in greater detail as they are the ones I use the most when fishing for my favourite fish: perch and zander!
The G'SLIDE :
This hydrodynamic head with a flat "bottom" offers very little resistance. The flat bottom and pointy shape enables it to have a great gliding action. With a weight ranging from 5 to 25 g and hook size from 2/0 to 4/0, it is perfect for cast & retrieve style fishing on beaches and drop-offs. As it sinks or as you reel in, twitch it and it will dart from side to side. If rigged on a fineness style lure (without a paddle tail) you will have a deadly combination when targeting perch!
The dart effect of the G'SLIDE, perch cannot resist!
For zander I like to rig a shad like the PEPS of the G'BUMP on the G’SLIDE. Here is a little tip when fishing from a boat: position the boat in order to drift slowly and parallel to the bank. If you consider the perpendicular to the bank as being "12 o'clock", cast to "10 o'clock" if you are drifting left or "2 o'clock" if you are drifting right. Like this your lure will always have an optimal trajectory.
G'SLIDE + G'BUMP = a perfect take!
G'SLIDE + G'BUMP = zander in the boat!
The G'FISH :
This is one of the first GUNKI heads I used. Stable and balanced I like to use it for two specific applications:
Slow cast & retrieve along the bottom, rigged with a GRUBBY SHAD or a G'BUMP for example. Available from 7 to 12 g, it is great to use when fishing for zander that are feeding on beaches. Thanks to its specific shape, 9 times out of 10 if it meets a branch or a rock, it will just tip over it!
A nice zander caught on a G'FISH and GUBBY SHAD.
Slow, "do nothing" shallow vertical style with a V'RIGGLE, just above the bottom.
Ideal vertical combo, G'FISH and V'RIGGLE
This head has great "tipping" action, which combined with its impressive stability, makes it ideal when the bottom is dodgy. As the tip of the head comes into contact with an obstacle, the whole rig tips upwards and forwards, and flips over it. With a bit of experience it dead easy to do!
The G'VERTI :
Thanks to its angular shape and slightly convex base, when fished vertical style, it looks just like a fish nosing around the bottom in search of food. Combined with a tipping action it is simply irresistible. An easy, unsuspecting meal for any nearby predator. Available from 10 to 28 g, I mainly use it vertical style during the winter, but it is also great at the beginning of the season. It is also a great jig head to fish at long distances when you want to glide just above the bottom.
G'VERTI & PEPS Brown Shinner 3.5 ‘’.
G'VERTI & Fire Tiger G'BUMP.
I hope this info on these different jig heads has helped and that things are hopefully a bit clearer. May you have a great season and loads of fish. See you soon!
Marc & Christophe