Hook: Mustad UltraPoint. Long shank. Black Nickel.
Keeper: Clip-on wire corkscrew (clips into hook eye)
Quantity: 4-5 per pack with keeper clips
L to R: 3/16 oz (4/0). 1/4 oz (5/0). 3/8 oz (5/0). 1/2 oz (6/0).
As far as I know, these are one of the original stand up football style shakey jigs. I know this because Cast Industries, the company that molds mine, also molds many other brands on the market. This was the first they made of a shakey football style. There were fully-round and half-round (flat bottom) ball head shakey jigs at the time, but no football or flat football shakeys, to our knowledge.
One of the reasons for the flat face is for the jig head to stand up - and the Bassdozer Flat Shakey Jig does stand up better than any others I've seen. However, my flat face does much more than provide a surface to stand up. It also gives a wicked wiggle with the right worm on the fall and even a squiggle, tick or quiver on the retrieve. It just makes more surface area for water to push against, and that translates into little twitches and shimmies of action when water pushes against the flat face on the fall or on the retrieve. My flat-face is also different from all the others since it is also designed to have a "snow plow" effect when moving over the bottom and to have a "slamming" strike-triggering effect when it encounters any underwater debris. I can just look at photos of other brands of flat-faced football jig designs, and I can see where they aren't built for these features. So not all flat football shakey jigs are made the same!
Another first is that, I don't think anyone was using the free-swinging clip at the time. It's true there are many using the molded-in wire coils, molded into the back of the head - but that is not the best application of the wire coil. A shakey jig with a free-swinging wire coil has several advantages versus fixed wire coil molded in the head. The free-swinging clip on the hook eye, so simple as that sounds, is the very best option for lure flexibility in terms of self-centering, bait positioning, hooking the bait, action, durability and hooksetting. So again, not all shakey jigs are made the same!
Obviously they can stand up, but the overall action due to the flat face is a lot more versatile than just standing. The jig only stands at rest, and even then, only momentarily. 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.
As you can see by many others out on the market today, the basic idea of the flat football shakey stand-up jig has become one of the most popular designs. There are so many others like it on the market now.
Of course, shakey jigs are not rocket science but there are detailed points to making a superlative jig that really do make a difference - as simple as they look. There are a few significant features I worked on that look very, very simple on the Bassdozer Flat Shakey Jig, but a lot of others just don't have these concepts designed into them.
The design concepts, features and actions I put into the Bassdozer Flat Shakey Jig are:
- Flat-Faced Design The shakey jig you see here is a flat-faced design. The design incorporates a flat-bottomed bean shape with rounded-off edges. You can say it's a football shape, however the end tips of the jig head are rounded off more than usual for a football jig. Let's say it's more of a bean shape and flattened on the bottom, so it stands up practically straight. With the end tips rounded off, the end tips of the jig are less protrusive for easily moving back into the mouth when a bass gulps or engulfs it.
- Stand Up Action The hook shank "stands up" in order to hold the worm practically straight up off the bottom at times. Overall, the worm falls toward bottom nose-down and stands on the bottom with the tail up - at times - at least momentarily. The worm is not always in this upright position. That's often a misconception about shakey jigs, that they stand worms up on bottom. I don't think there's any shakey jig on the market that stands up all the time. However, the wide flat head here facilitates the worm being in that upright posture more often than many other shakey jig shapes out there.
- Three Point Perch Although the flat face lets this shakey jig stand flat-footed on bottom (even if just momentarily), it will eventually keel over as all shakey jigs will keel over. However, due to the oblong sideways shape, this shakey jig head resists rolling over. It won't roll over and put the worm in the dirt as easily as does a ball jig or other jig shape. It will often perch in a three point stance with the hook upright, and since the wire clip is elevated above the jig head, it keeps the worm pointing upward at a 30 degree angle. Since the entire worm is essentially elevated or raised above the jig head, the worm should not lay on bottom, but - this is key - the worm will be raised slightly, elevated above bottom. The worm won't touch dirt, making it more visible, more like a hovering critter hunkered down close to, but not dragging its belly in the dirt. The sideways oblong jig head will be in the dirt, and the shank of the hook will be in the dirt - but the worm will be elevated slightly above the dirt, with the worm tail pointing up at about a 30 degree angle.
- Levitating Act So the worm's head is raised above the jig head for starters since the worm head is screwed in above the jig head. And the worm tail is raised (by the embedded hook point) above the worm head on a 30 degree angle, even with a non-floating worm. This is something a lot of other shakey jigs can't do - this worm-elevating feat. The oblong head tends to take a three point stance (the two tips of the head and the back of the hook shank equals the three perch points). That three point stance keeps the worm elevated above the bottom even when the worm has fallen down and is not standing up on the flat jig face. The three-point stance keeps the worm elevated above the jig head and pointed upward at about a 30 degree angle. It is almost like raising the succulent worm up to offer it to a bass! Most other shakey jigs will roll on the side and lay the worm and the hook point flat on bottom in the mud and muck.
- Free-Swinging Wire Coil Clip This shakey jig has no molded-in keeper collar. A wire coil is clipped on the eye of an extra long shank wide gap Mustad hook. It has an Ultra Point, extra long shank, extra wide round bend. It is a medium diameter wire that's perfect for making solid hooksets on 6, 8 and 10 pound test. It penetrates easily on gear in that range, and it has ample strength to land large bass played properly on gear in that 6 to 10 pound test range. The 3/16th has a 4/0. The 1/4 a 5/0. The 3/8th and 1/2 oz both have 6/0 hook sizes, and the 6/0 enables use of 12 to 14 lb test tackle, if need be.
- The Swinging Tree Hammock The worm is never solidly and immovably fixed to the jig - ever. It is as if the worm is cradled in a free-swinging tree hammock. The worm is not permanently fixed to the jig - it is suspended in between the wire coil and the embedded hook point. This feature sets this shakey jig apart from other jigs that affix the worm head immovably to a permanently molded-in coil, or that affix the worm head using an immovable keeper collar on the hook shank.
- Mid-Water Gliding Action The flat face enhances gliding action and causes the jig head to react more and impart more action to the attached worm due to increased water pressure pushing against the wide surface area of the flat face as it glides forward. This increased pressure occurs on a slack line fall, a semi-slack line fall or on a tight-line glide as the jig simply pendulum swings toward the pull of the fishing line (water resistance, even against a totally slack line will pendulum a jig toward you) and the combined force of gravity until the jig encounters a mid-water obstruction or reaches bottom - or gets hit by a bass! This increased water pressure against the flat jig face also occurs on the retrieve as the line is reeled in, pulling the jig in with the fishing line, creating a built-in shake as described in the next paragraph.
- Built-In Shake What's nice about this shakey jig is it can do the shaking for you. You don't have to shake it! What could be easier? The wide-lobed flat face of this jig is remindful in one sense of the flat metal plate at the front of an Arbogast Jitterbug. If you've ever seen the Jitterbug, you know that metal plate (which looks like the flat front of this shakey jig) makes a Jitterbug wiggle and shake back and forth. Now, the shakey jigs here have nowhere near the vigorous side-to-side thrashing of a surface-crawling Jitterbug, but the wide flat front of this shakey jig does have the same sort of effect (but less pronounced) on a finesse worm. The shake starts in the head and ripples through the worm body, causing the tail to vibrate and shake as the worm falls, is lifted or retrieved. It causes a finesse worm to shake, shudder, wiggle and woggle unpredictably. The action changes constantly. The action is never the same twice. Sometimes it is just a tail shiver or shudder and next moment it's almost an S-shaped eel-like wriggle. This unpredictable, non-repetitive action is highly attractive to fish. It is more life-like than the repetitive mechanical movement most lures make. Not every worm model does this the same (get shaken by the jig), some do better than others. Try a few.
- 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 flat football jig mimics the most common rise-and-fall movements of all bottom creatures.
- Slamming Action As this flat-faced jig lifts off bottom, it does not lift too far and it will pendulum-swing toward the pull of the fishing line. So it swings forward and slams the flat face plate head-on into any hard objects that are raised slightly higher than the surrounding bottom. This sudden full frontal impact shock concussion - or "slamming" action is an incredible strike trigger.
- Climbing Action Some anglers do not like flat football jig heads as much as fully round-bottomed football jigs. They like how the standard, round-bottomed football jigs roll over rugged bottom and they feel that flat football heads lose some of that ability to roll over and therefore make it across rugged bottom. It's true that many other brands of flat football jigs drive or force the flat surface to grind constantly against the bottom, and that creates a constant struggle or difficulty to move other flat-faced jigs forward (compared to round-bottom football jigs). Quite simply, my shakey jig is designed to stand up semi-vertically when brought to rest, as it noses down. When pulled forward, it noses up, and reverts to a horizontal posture, and the angle of the flat face no longer lays flat so it doesn't grind (instead it's angled to climb) over rugged bottom. It will even climb through brush amazing swell! The flat face of my jig (and the line tie pull point) are designed so it climbs effortlessly over rugged bottom and through brushy cover.
- Knocking on the Door. Every aspect, angle and proportion of my Flat Shakey Head has been tested and tuned to make them as snag proof as possible. They can get over snags that will stop other more streamlined head shapes. This flies against logic and instinct. How can a wide-faced jig head be more snagless than a slim, pointy, needelenose jig shape? Think of the proverbial needle in the haystack. A streamlined, pointy jig head will needle right into the haystack (or a snag), get stuck and lost forever. You'll never get it out. My flat football head will knock against the haystack (or a snag) but not dig into it. As long as you drop the rod tip back, to throw slack into the line, my Flat Shakey will fall backward on the slack you've given it, away from the snag. Now just pull slowly by raising the rod tip to "knock on the door" of the snag once more. If you don't bounce up and over it, throw slack line again and let the jig drop away from the snag again. As long as you can keep knocking and dropping the jig back on slack line, you are not stuck. To the contrary, you are in the best spot possible to attract a bass. You are knocking on the cover, and letting the jig fall back time and time again. The only way you can get stuck is if you lose patience and try to pull hard to get the jig through - that will get it stuck. Otherwise, as long as you can keep knocking on the door (cover) and dropping back off it, you will eventually bounce over the snag after repeated knocks. You will be surprised how many times you can do this before you eventually bounce over the snag. It is a great action to trigger strikes. In fact, if you suddenly feel like you are snagged - it may actually be that a bass has latched onto it!
Russ Bassdozer says: "As you may realize by now, there is more to my Flat Shakey Head design than just standing up on the bottom!"
Three Point Perch: Even when they tip over, 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. The jig won't always keep in this position, and it will roll over on rugged, uneven bottom - but it rolls on its side far less than other jig shapes. Most other shakey jig shapes cannot maintain this kind of three point stance that keeps the worm and hook pointing upward and out of the dirt.
Levitating Act: This shakey jig will often remain with the hook upright, and since the worm is held levitated above the jig, it keeps the worm pointing upward, raised above the muck where it's visible and looks natural.
Swinging Hammock Action and Independence: Since it is not affixed to the jig head, the worm remains as flexible and unfettered and independent as possible on the shakey jig.
Give them a try! Most anglers who have, they tell me like them.
Importance of the Initial Fall
Most brands of finesse worms will shake and squiggle to some degree on the initial fall toward bottom. Your worm will often get belted before it even reaches bottom. When a worm does hit bottom, it is often an abrupt stop, and the tail of the worm still wants to keep going even after the head has stopped. This makes the worm act as if it's been stunned by the bottom impact. Keep in mind, since this is a broad bean shape head, it will keep your worm perched atop the bottom and out of snags that would otherwise engulf and bury ball head or other jig head shapes. Most often, the jig here will stand the worm up initially after its been stunned by the impact, and then some additional body movement tends to happen as the worm folds over in half or slowly lays down. Between the squiggling initial fall, the sudden stunned convulsion as it hits the bottom, standing up and then keeling over after a momentary pause, there's not much else you need to do here at times except set the hook and reel in the fish!
If there is no hit during the initial fall, additional lifts and drops and hops all cause finesse worms to shake and shudder and swim unpredictably, never the same way twice as they are raised a few feet up and then allowed to fall back to bottom. Even on a steady retrieve, finesse worms tend to squirm and swim when retrieved at a moderate speed on this shakey jig. On the retrieve, while the worm is swimming back to you, you can throw in jerks and pops and pauses just like you would retrieve a hard plastic lipped jerkbait, and this jig head will cause the finesse worm to act like a jerkbait does. It is the unpredictable and non-repetitive pattern of shakes and shimmies that causes this jig head to be truly great, and to fool fish into thinking the worm is alive. It does look alive. It's not a mechanical repetitive movement like a wide-wobbling crankbait. You can perhaps say it is more like a tight-swimming hard plastic lipped jerkbait, except this shakey jig starts and stops, at first a tight shudder, then suddenly more of a wiggle, and never quite the same way twice. This is exactly the unpredictable start-and-stop, fast burst then slow glide series of moves a live baitfish would make.
The description above, that is the best way to fish this shakey jig since it does the shaking for you on the initial fall and when you lift and drop it. Keep in mind, you want to maximize or facilitate this jigs ability to do the shaking for you. So how you let it drop, lift and fall or retrieve should all be aimed at getting the shakey jig to shake the worm itself. There's a little knack to getting the jig to activate that built-in shake, but with a little practice, you'll learn how to do it. Additionally, you can also use any of the tactics used with any other shakey jigs. You can shake the rod as it falls. Shake it as it's on the bottom. Drag it without shaking. You can do absolutely nothing as it falls and deadstick it on bottom for what seems like forever. You can cast out, engage the reel, and let it pendulum arc back to you through the water column. Especially to pendulum down roughly following a sloping bottom structure is an easy, surprisingly effective, yet little-used technique. We already describe swimming it back to you, throwing in an occasional rod flick, or simply swim it straight and steady. What you want is for it to squiggle unpredictably as it swims.
Overall, the biggest misconception about shakey jigs is you need to shake them. You do not. You could never shake a shakey jig even once, and still catch as many or more fish as those who shiver the spit out of them. It's the same thing often said how to fish a dropshot rig, to shake it. Yet I've never shaken a dropshot yet, and catch as many or more fish than those who shake it. Yes, shaking a shakey jig (or dropshot) will catch fish, even win tournaments, but don't feel obligated to shake it. Be versatile.
About the Clip-on Wire Corkscrew Keeper
A separate corkscrew keeper coil is used to clip to the hook eye. You screw the worm head on, and then the super sharp point of the extra long shank hook can be buried and hidden Texas-style within the worm. Now you're ready! There's really no reason to ever unclip the coil, but if you do, spread the clip loop open slightly with your thumbnail to remove it. Squeeze the clip loop closed again with your thumbnail once you clip it on again. It should never really come off (squeeze it shut) and it does not interfere with the fishing line or knot. Best of all, a worm cannot easily be pulled off the keeper coil by a fish, and the coil does not tear a worm up as much as other barbed keeper types or jig head collars. It truly is a great approach!
The free-swinging coil also helps the worm shake by itself. There is not much of the worm body that is fixed or "frozen" by this set-up. The corkscrew coil goes into the head only about 1/4" is all, yet it holds the worm more securely than most anything else. Only 1/4" of the worm is fixed, and then the small section where the hook point is buried in the worm. The entire rest of the worm body is free to squirm, not threaded on the jig hook, and since the coil itself is loosely clipped on instead of fixed immovable on the jig, the worm is really held in free-floating suspension, so it can squirm and shake more than on other types of shakey jig heads.
A Few Words on Worms
Shakey jig heads are first and foremost used with finesse worms. Long, slender worms in the 5 to 6 inch range seem to shake the best with the 1/4 and 3/8 oz size shakey jig heads. Smaller 4 inch worms can be rigged on the 3/16 oz size. The 3/16 oz size is better matched to 6 to 8 pound test and a slightly more limber rod. The 1/4 oz size is suitable for a range of 6 to 10 pound test. The 3/8 oz size fits best with 8, 10 and even 12 pound test.
Different brands and models of worms act differently. It is well worth it to experiment to see the different shakes, shimmies and squiggles that different brands, sizes and styles of worms will make on this Shakey Jig head. You should try your favorites to see how they perform.
- One particular worm that works well is Gary Yamamoto's 5" Pro Senko (9P model). The 9P Senko has a more fluid S-shaped motion on this Shakey Jig. When you hop and pop it across the bottom, it almost looks like a live worm squirming in the water. Very natural and strike-provoking!
- A second great worm for the 1/4 and 3/8 oz size shakey jig is Yamamoto's 5-3/4" Kut Tail Worm (7C model). The 7C Kut Tail has more of a tight quiver and tail ripple as it free falls, is lifted or hopped.
- A third worm is Yamamoto's 5" Kut Tail Worm (7L model). The 7L is long, slender and shakes it's tail as it falls on a slack line, is lifted and dropped.
- The 3/16 oz size shakey jig head will work with the aforementioned worms which are 5 inches or longer. The 3/16 oz head will give these worms a slower fall than the 1/4 to 3/8 oz head. Importantly, the 3/16 oz is the preferred size for smaller 4" worms such as Yamamoto's 4" Slim Senko (9J model) or 4" Kut Tail Worm (7-series) and other worms in the 4" size category using 6 to 8 pound test line.
- When other anglers are catching bass on dropshot rigs, that's one prime time to use the shakey jig. Simply use the same worm as on a dropshot, but don't be surprised if some days you catch more fish with the same worm Texas-rigged on this shakey jig.
- Now here's a good tip and one of the lesser-known secrets of shakey jig. It is considered to be a finesse worm, small, slender worm and light tackle technique. Guys take that as a given, and even top pros don't step up out of the small worm light tackle mindset with a shakey jig. Indeed, some of the top tournaments in the country have been won using light tackle (6-8 pound test), light shakey jigs and little worms. But it doesn't need to be that way. Do the math. If you use smaller worms, odds are you'll catch smaller bass. If you use bigger worms, odds are in your favor that bigger bass will bite them. It's that simple. The 1/4 and 3/8 oz shakey jigs have a stout enough 5/0 hook in order to handle thicker 6 to 7 inch plus worms on 10 to 12 pound test. Worms like Yamamoto's meaty 6-1/2" Kut Tail (7X model) are deadly this way. Not all shakey jigs on the market have the beefy hook to handle this, but the 3/8 and 1/4 oz shakey jigs here have it.
Shaking with Other Soft Plastic Shapes
Of course, the shakey jig's not just limited to worms. You can Texas rig craws, tubes, grubs, hula grubs, lizards or most any other soft baits on this Shakey Jig. See for yourself if this isn't one of the best 6 to 10 pound test range jig head applications you've ever used - bar none. And best of all, it's a jig tactic but the bait is Texas rigged to be weedless and snagless.
No matter what soft bait shape you use, the results may often be "flat" out too much fun with Bassdozer's Flat Shakey Jigs rigged with many different soft baits.
Open Hook Rigging Method. Yamamoto 4" Senko (9S-series). In open water areas, rig with hook freely exposed for best hooksets.
Tex-Exposed Rigging Method. Yamamoto 4" Swimming Senko. The hook point is nestled tightly right on top of the worm, making it relatively snag-free.
Tex-Skin Rigging Method. The hook point is tucked back in barely beneath the bait's skin. The point won't pick up weeds but it will pull out from under the plastic skin easily when a fish nips it.
Shown rigged with Berkley 4" Chigger Craw.
Shown rigged with 6" RoboWorm.