You've seen football jigs before, just never like these!
Football jigs are the "off-road vehicles" or "ATV's" of jig heads, meaning the wide head lets them rumble and crawl across rough bottom, gravel, rocks that would snag more streamlined jig styles. The broad-shouldered football shape is too wide to drop into small cracks or crevices. With football jigs, the hammer head shape helps keep the jig from falling into cracks or gaps between rocks that eat other jigs alive.
If a football jig does drop into a larger crevice, the head will be too wide across to fully wedge all the way deep down. The crosswise football shape does not let it get too deeply snagged, so you can usually shake or jiggle a loosely-stuck football jig out of snags.
The "T" formation (that the head and the collar make) helps the jig resist rolling over, and the "T" shape causes the jig to perch on top of rugged bottom rubble rather than wedge its nose into debris. The football jig is at its very best on hard bottoms, gravel, sand, shell, in any and all rocks (especially round "river-washed" rocks as opposed to square chunk rock). Speaking of rivers, the football shape is incredible to bounce bottom in a flowing current or tide.
Where a football jig is not best to use, a football is usually not as easy to fish as an Arkey jig in brush, standing timber, stumps, laydowns (or whatever wood), and the football jig fouls miserably in most vegetation.
The shape of the football head can look different in photos depending on the the camera angles at which photos are taken, but these are football shape jig heads with a flattened face plate. Available in three sizes: 3/8th with a stout 5/0 Mustad Ultra Point hook; 1/2 oz and 3/4 oz sizes both have a heavy 6/0 Mustad Ultra Point hook.
- Triple Cone Cut Keeper Collar. Each of three cones on the keeper collar have 360 degrees of gripping power. When a skirt is used, the first cone keeps the skirt securely in place. The second and third cones provide an additional 720 degrees of grip that will keep a soft plastic trailer bait in place better than any other collar style.
- Trimless In-Line Fiberguard. The fiberguard is precisely sized so you never need to trim it, and it is angled low, what I call an "in-line" fiberguard, so it is in line for a perfect hookset. The fish really doesn't even need to depress it. Just fan it out a bit before first using it - and you're good to go!
- Stand-Up Action. Obviously it can stand up, but the overall action due to the flat face plate is a lot more versatile than just standing. The jig only stands at rest. When the line is pulled, the "pull point" of the line tie eye lifts the head up so it crawls or glides across the bottom with a tight line. When you stop pulling the line, it noses down and stands up again. Most people refer to this tail-up standing posture as a craw in a defensive stance. Every time you stop pulling the line, it noses down on bottom and stands up again. However, this is also exactly how fish feed, by nosing down over a meal on the bottom. Even bass feed this way, by putting their noses down, their tails high up, in order to pluck a meal off the bottom. So the tight-line, sliding, gliding and then sudden stand-up action and nosing down when the line is relaxed, that's exactly how fish feed on the bottom - and if there's one thing that infuriates bass, it is to see a smaller critter brazenly feeding in front of them. It causes a pecking order instinct reaction from the bass to peck or strike the jig that's "feeding" out of turn.
- Plowing Action. Another action, due to the flat face plate, is plowing the bottom. When you drag standard football jigs across the bottom, they can really only bounce. There's no other action. Think of standard football jigs as four wheel drive trucks that can drive across rugged terrain. When you drag this football jig across the bottom, it plows and pushes. Think of that off-road truck again, but this time envision a snow plow on it. That's the difference between this versus other football jigs.
- Lifting Action. The angled face plate also causes lift, and that's a very good thing. Constant rising off bottom and settling back to bottom are what small fish, crawdads and other bottom creatures do constantly. It's their major mode of movement. Most do not just drag their carcasses across the bottom. The lifting and falling glide of this football jig mimics the most common rise-and-fall movements of all bottom creatures.
- Slamming Action. As this football jig lifts off bottom, it does not lift too far. So it will slam the flat face plate head-on into any hard objects that are raised slightly higher than the bottom. This sudden full frontal impact shock - or "slamming" action is an incredible strike trigger.
Between the triple cone cut keeper collar, the in-line fiberguard, the heavy Mustad hook, the stand-up action, nosing down on bottom in a feeding posture, the plowing action, lift-and-fall glide, and strike-triggering slamming action, it's clear that this is no ordinary football jig. That's why I say, "You've seen football jigs before, just never like these!"
Shakey Jigs Too!
If you like the flat football jig, you may like the shakey jig too.
The shakey jig is like the flat football style, except the shakey jig has a Tru-Turn HitchHiker wire coil clip to attach a soft bait, and the shakey jig comes in lighter weight sizes. The 3/16th and 1/4 shakey jigs are best used on 6 to 10 pound test spinning tackle.
The flat football jigs are best used with medium/heavy gear from 10 to 16 pound test mono or fluoro line. The hook is stout, but it is not intended for heavy flipping gear or braided line.
Left to right: 3/16, 1/4 oz Shakey jigs. 1/2, 3/4 oz Football Jigs. These all have the ability to stand up at times, even if momentarily, when they hit the bottom.
Even when they tip over, however, they perch in a "three point stance" which tends to keep the hook upright. The three points are the two tips of the sideways oblong head and the back end of the hook shank. So the hook point tends to be kept from falling over, which is how most snags happen with other jig styles that roll over and lay the point in the dirt. Then all you have is a grappling hook, and a good possibility of snagging. The three point stance on the shakey and football jigs here help prevent that.
The triple cone cut keeper collar on the footballs lets you rig a silicone skirt and a soft plastic trailer - or you may use a bulky soft bait alone as in the rigging suggestions below.
Flat football head with Gary Yamamoto Kreature.
Flat football head with Gary Yamamoto's 1) Skirt, and 2) Flappin' Hog.
Flat football jig with Gary Yamamoto Hula Grub.
Which One When? It's hard to say exactly when or why to pick which one of the three rigs shown above: 1) the Kreature, 2) the skirt and Flappin' Hog combo, and 3) the hula grub. Honestly, they're all somewhat similar. You may get a day, a week, a season when you seem to do better with one versus the others, and it may flip-flop back and forth which seems to outproduce the other, but there's really no way to say for sure. Just try 'em. Whatever seems to work best, that is the right thing to throw at that moment.
A good way to get twice as many fish from a single hula grub is to first use it on a football jig with baitcasting gear, until bass tear the legs off. Then put it on a spinning rod with a shakey jig as shown below.
Shakey jig rigged with legless reversed Gary Yamamoto Hula Grub.
Yamamoto 4" S-series Senko on shakey jig.
A good idea is to put the big bulky soft baits (with or without silicone skirts) on the flat football jigs. Put the more slender worms and Senkos on the shakey jigs.
With either one, it's "flat" out too much fun!