Your one stop source for Bass Tournament information!


Please Use Your Back Button to Return


Submit Your Article for Posting!

This article made possible by:

Swim Jigs, Do You Fish Them? You Should
Darin Roddick-Small


What is a Swim Jig?
The swim jig is one of the most versatile lures out there for working a wide variety of situations. The swim jig is composed of a special head design, weed guard, skirt and an ultra-sharp hook. Sounds simple doesn’t it? Well, there is a little more to it than that. In order to explain the bait to you a little better, I will use photos of Brovarney Baits Swim Jigs. I Use and recommend their lures because I have found their jigs to be of the highest quality, and they are also excellent people to work with.

The Jig
To start with, the head design is conical, like a worm weight, which allows it to slide through the thickest of weeds without hanging up. Then add a weed guard that is designed to give just enough protection to reduce hanging in the weeds and would. However, the weed guard is much thinner than the standard weed guard, which allows the fish to hook up better when they strike. The hook that Brovarney Baits uses is a custom made Gamakatsu black nickel hook. It is a light wire hook that is ultra sharp and strong. This hook almost always hooks the fish for you. New to the jig this year is a grub keeper on all of their newer jigs. This feature allows for the grub trailer to stay on longer without tearing and fouling the jigs. Another part of the jig is the skirt. Brovarney Baits hand ties all of its jigs and will create custom skirt colors for you if needed. This allows you to always have just the right color for whatever body of water you are fishing. The last part is the grub, or plastic trailer. I will talk more about those later in the article.

Color Selection
Although there are a lot of colors out there to choose from, I would recommend finding about 5-6 colors that you have confidence in. As a general rule of thumb, I would suggest a couple of dark swim jigs like The Brovarney Baits Blue Devil, Ruppe’s Craw, or Gil; a light color like the Gringo; and a shocker color like Melon Head. From there, I would just adjust the color of your jig trailers to get the proper color combination and flash. Remember, these are just recommended colors and most people will actually carry many more colors depending on the types of waters they fish.

How Do You Use Them?
The real beautiful thing about these jigs is that there is no wrong way to fish them. You can catch fish on them by just reeling the bait straight in like a spinner bait, with either a slow, or a fast retrieve. If that does not work, you can always try a form of a pulse retrieve. Normally, people will fish them with a constant retrieve, but as with any lure, you want to switch things up, so you can discover what the fish want on a particular outing.

The Straight Retrieve
This is just as it sounds, a steady constant retrieve during the whole cast. The retrieve can be either at a slow pace, or it may be where the fisherman will burn the bait back in. By burning, I mean at a high rate of speed. When you think you are going too fast crank it faster. You will not be able to reel faster than the fish can swim if it wants it. These are the most common types of retrieves that most people will use day in and day out. Although these retrieve are the most common, do not be afraid to try some of the following methods.

The Pulse
This is a style that I will use under tougher conditions. It gives the fish a different look at the bait. This technique involves jerking the lure, much like you would fish a jerk bait in the spring, but without the long pauses. With this technique I will also alternate between long strokes of the rod and a series of short, quick twitches. Again, try changing things up until you find what the fish wants that day. I would also try some long pauses in your retrieve to see if they will hit the lure on the fall.

Ripping It
This technique resembles a crawfish that is escaping on the bottom. This would consist of short ripping motions off the bottom, followed by letting the bait settle back to the bottom. Once again, experiment with the pauses and by adding multiple short twitches in your retrieve. Be careful when fishing this in certain types of rocks, as it will result in lost jigs until you gain a better feel for what the jig is doing.

Pocket Dropping
In this style, the fisherman would swim the jig up to a piece of cover, such as a rock pile, tree, or a dock and simply let the jig drop, on slack line, down into the water column. How far you let it drop again depends on the day and the fish’s mood. Some days, they may strike the bait as soon as you stop your retrieve. Other days, it may have to sink to the bottom. I have even had days where I would let the jig sit up to 15 seconds before the fish would pick it up. When you start your retrieve again, it is important to snap your rod tip to clear off the weeds from your jig and to engage the tail.

Top water Action
I like to use a swim jig anytime there are weeds present. Not just submerged weeds, but emergent weeds as well. Brovarney baits work very well through a wide variety of vegetation. They work well in milfoil, cabbage, and are awesome in pads. These baits will pull through the weeds without getting hung up, and also allow you the benefit of being able to drop the bait into pockets and yo-yo the bait in each one. A lot of times, this is when you will have the strikes, on the fall. I would also recommend snapping the rod tip to occasionally change the pace and break free any weeds from the lure.

Dressing a Swim Jig
By this I am referring to what kind of trailer you will be adding to your swim jig. The most common trailer is a single tail grub like the 5” Mag Grub that Brovarney Baits sells. Like with everything else with a swim jig, just because it is common, doesn’t mean that is the only thing to use. If you want to make the lure run a little deeper, you can use a smaller grub size to reduce the resistance on the lure. If you want it to go higher, with a lower speed, you cans witch to a larger grub like the Super Mag grub that is a little larger and have a greater profile. You could also try a twin tail grub for the same effect. I have also been experimenting with trailers like the Zoom Super Fluke and other plastics while I try different retrieves. Play around and see what works for you.

In Closing

Whatever you decide to do, I would strongly encourage you to give these lures a try. They are some of the most versatile baits out there right now and fish LOVE them. It has not been uncommon for me to go out and catch 30-40 bass in an afternoon of fishing. Remember to change things up until you find what works best for that day and you will increase your catch rates. Also, please stop by to see their whole line of hand made jigs, and tell them Darin sent you.

Good Luck and Tight Lines  

Darin Roddick-Small
Brovarney Baits Pro Staff Pro Staff
Venom Lures Pro Staff