Weed guards for small jigs aren't practical. Bass jigs yes; small jigs no way. But more important than making a jig weedless, is making it less branch and stump snagging. I routinely fish stumps and close to submerged branches of fallen limbs over deeper water (4-6'). But almost 1/2 my cast end up snagged such that I have to troll over and free the lure using my rod tip. It's time consuming, frustrating and spooks fish in the area. So... here's something I came up with yesterday, that not foolproof, does work a majority of time. I call it my ram horn
wire design in that the wire is shaped line a curved ram's horn.
The first consideration of any weedless option is to make sure the hook gap is adequate between the hook shank and weed guard tip. The brush guard for bass jigs must depress easily when a basses jaws clamp down, but there can be no brush guard for pan fish because the feel of the resistance to bending down, makes them let go immediately. I use a very thin wire I attach to the jig hook shank and then form the guard as seen below:
wire holds the lure in place; the ram guard deflects wood and most weeds standing off bottom while at the same time allowing enough gap for fish to clamp down. As I said, it's not
foolproof - occasionally snags happened and the wire must be adjusted high enough to deflect snags, but most times it worked!!! It sure as heck did well yesterday even in open water.
Here are three of the dozen fish caught yesterday using the ram guard:
I found that using thinner lures worked best by allowing more hook gap between the lure body and hook point.
Fishing was tough because of an algae kill and stagnant water due to a drought, but once fish were found in an area of open water or under trees with branches and stumps, fish became aggressive enough to clamp down - many attacking the lures a few times on the same or next retrieve.
As you can see, I've rigged the guard on different jigs having different hook size and weights 1/32 and 1/16 oz. This covers lure speeds: crawl to medium. Once I got the hang of it, adding the guard didn't take much time, but regardless - well worth it![i][/i]