I got out and tested the new jig out this morning. As expected, storms chased me off the lake early this afternoon, but the bite was good this morning. Today wasn't by any means, exhaustive testing, but it was enough to give me a first impression.
First, a little about how I fish. I'm usually shooting a jig (or two). Even if it's not dock fishing or some other shooting situation, I still shoot. After 50 years of heavy machine shop work, my shoulders are cratered. I've learned that by shooting, rather than casting, I can fish all day and not wake up with my shoulders hurting the next morning.
When I shoot, I grasp the jig head, with the hook straight out to the side. That accomplishes two purposes. (1) It keeps the hook away from my fingers, so I never get hooked as I shoot the jig, and (2) if I'm using a palomar knot, as I pull back the jig, it automatically moves the knot to the top of the hook eye, right where it belongs. I don't have to do that separately, or even think about it.
I did use this jig with a palomar knot this morning. I was swimming a jig 16 feet deep, so I used a split shot above the jig. That does do a nice job of letting a 1/16 oz jig swim really slowly at that depth, and I caught fish on it. I noticed as I was shooting the jig that the knot seemed to be close to the top of the eye even before I pulled the jig back, moreso than with other jigs, so my first impression is that this jig does do a good job of accomplishing its stated goal of keeping the knot where it belongs. I may switch to this type jig in all situations where I tie a palomar knot directly to the jig.
But I ended up re-tying to my favorite two jig rig, to give the jig some time there too, and it worked great. As much as I like that rig, I don't think that's going to change because of this jig, but it's nice to know that if I decide to just use this jig everywhere, it works fine on my two jig rig, too. My two jig rig consists of a double eye 1/24 oz jig on top, and (usually) a 1/16 oz jig on the bottom. I posted about how I make that double eye jig in the jig making section, if anyone is curious about it. I've switched to better swivels since that post, but other than that, the jig hasn't changed. I just tie palomar knots to both eyes of the jig. The rig, itself, keeps the knots where they need to be, and the jig level, so there's no messing with that, and this jig fouls less than any top jig I've ever used in a two jig rig.
If you are tying to both eyes of a double eye jig, there's no reason not to use different lines on the top and bottom, and I do. I use Seaguar Blue Label 12 lb test fluorocarbon leader between the jigs. For a between jig leader, Blue Label 12 lb really checks all the boxes. It's so stiff it keeps the jigs apart better and fouls less than regular line. It's even more abrasion resistant than braid. It's a big enough diameter that it will never escape through the eye gap of a jig hook like braid does, and it's stong enough that even a non-slip loop knot will usually hold up all day. And if you're fishing clear water and concerned about line visibility, even 12 lb test fluorocarbon disappears in the water.
I wasn't in a situation where I was hanging these jigs up, so seeing what happens when I do will have to wait for another day, but so far, I really like these Mustad 32900 hooks.
Here's the two jig rig I favor. Usually, that bottom jig is a pill head jig too.
This jig really got a workout today. That frayed plastic tells the tale. And as I suspected, bending the hook didn't keep it from holding up fine in my bismuth/tin jig.
Modifying a mold to accommodate these hooks is easy. Just find a drill bit the same diameter as the hook eye indention in the mold. Use a center punch to get the bit centered in the eye indention, then drill the indention a little deeper. The mold will accept either style of hook after that with no difference in performance.
On a related matter, I've ordered a Do-It Midwestern Finesse Jig mold
. Has anyone used one of those? It's intended for Ned rigging for bass, and I'll do some of that with it, but I want to try it for crappie jigs, too. It claims to accept size 2 hooks, so it's not too big for crappie. It has a wire keeper that I'd like to try out with my plastics. Ned rigging is one of the few bass fishing rigs where the users actually tie a loop knot, so these hooks might be a good alternative in that mold, too. Most bass fishermen use size 1 or 1/0 hooks for this jig, so availability of this style hook in those sizes would be nice, too.