In this article I’m going to explain different ways to enhance “Jig & Pork” combination, there are many ways to do this limited only by your imagination. With so many jig companies on the market, it’s hard to say which company puts out the best jig. Taking into consideration the head design combined with the best material money can buy, all companies favor a certain head design or material over another. They have confidence in their own products and put them on the market. This article is not about that.
I’ll start off by saying it doesn’t matter which head you are using; these tips can be done with most head designs on the market today. I’m leaving this up to you in which head you prefer and have “confidence in”. Material here is the main concern.
There are many material’s on the market today. I use both standard rubber and synthetic rubber material coupled with standard pork trailers. What I’m going to explain are ways of cutting the material’s to enhance the appearance of a jig & pork combination. There is only one required tool, and that is a pair of scissors four to six inches in length.
Most jig companies make and package their jig with extra long material. This allows the material to hang a 1/4 to 1/2 inch below the bend in the hook. Sometimes this hampers the action of the jig depending on how much material is incorporated into the jig. Most experienced jig anglers will cut the material an 1/8th to a 1/16th below the hook when hanging dry. This allows the pork trailer to function properly.
To enhance the jig appearance even more, lay the jig out on a flat surface. Fan the skirt material out with the lead head of the jig facing towards you. Take your scissors and place them anywhere from one to one and a half inches on the outside edge of the material above the head (should be a 33 to 45 degree angle to the back of the hook) and cut it. Repeat the step’s on the other side. Note: With living rubber, I can cut it, leaving an inch or more, however if you cut synthetic material to short it will kill the action. The reason being synthetic material is stiffer; if you cut the synthetic material to short it will kill the action of the outside material.
When using a two color jig, another way to enhance the jigs appearance is to cut the main color shorter than your secondary color. This will overlap into your pork but will not kill the action of your pork trailer.
A fourth way is to cut it to your desired length and thin the material out of the head to obtain the more stream line look. This is seldom done because the manufacture has the amount of material down pat in obtaining what they believe is the optimum performance in appeal.
Here again, there are many companies on the market that solely manufacture and sell pork. But, they all have one thing in common; the material is the same “Pork”. It just comes in different sizes and shapes.
Another thing in common is that they all have a “fat” section. This is what I’m going to talk about. Here, you will need a regular pocket knife or a razor. I prefer a pocket knife myself because of the thickness at the top of the blade that will spread the fat apart.
Since pork comes in many sizes, you can cut them once or as many as five times. On a standard size among the companies, three slices is adequate. Here are some of the ways I cut them.
Take a standard size piece of pork and lay it flat. Take your knife or razor and make your first cut along the width just behind where the hook will come out. The rest of the cuts there after will depend on the length and size of the fat. Even with the smallest pork, you should get at least two cuts in the fat to obtain maximum performance. This will allow it to create the bend or wave like action at the top of your lift-fall. On your cuts, cut only down to the skin of the pork. To get even more performance from your pork, you can slice it once or twice lengthwise for added flexibility. Another way is to cut a section of pork completely off just behind the hook, not normally done, but fisherman are known to do this.
A way to make an enlarged pork look more streamlined to your jig is to cut a little off the sides of the pork. Technically this is downsizing the appearance of the jig and will create a faster fall. Leaving larger pork alone creates a slower fall. You can manipulate the speed your jig will fall by simply trimming the pork trailer.
These are some of the ways I’ve learned to enhance my Jig and Pig combination that have put more and larger bass in the boat. There are many ways, but this will help jump start you as an angler mentally. Next, physically experiment with your jig and pig combinations, to get the best results for your area bass. I must warn you that experimenting with new jigs can be hazardous to your pocket book. I’d advice to first use older jigs for experimental purposes until you have achieved what you desire.
Good Luck with the Jig & Pork
Richard H. Thiel
Rich Thiel’s Guiding Service
"Let Go Fish’in"
California’s Largemouth & Smallmouth Fishing