The Value of a Hand-Tied Lure
An Undervalued Craft
In today’s market, many companies are trying to maximize profit whilst keeping a reasonable price point. This is and always has been part of business. One of the ways this has been achieved within the bass fishing industry (namely jigs) has been through the use rubber banded or pre-made skirts. While there is nothing wrong with this (and I can understand why companies go this route), the value of hand-tied skirts seems to have disappeared in the process. In manufacturing my own jigs, this was one of the crossroads I was met with: rubber bands or tying thread. In the end, I decided on maintaining the highest quality jig I could create. Ultimately, this meant a slower production time; but a better end product.
What Exactly Is the Advantage?
The advantages of a hand-tied skirt are numerous. Below are a few reasons:
- Hand-Tied Skirts are much more resistant to wear and tear. Rubber bands are often the weakest link in maintaining a fully intact jig. While a jig may remain in good shape, the rubber band holding the skirt together will either tear or fall off completely with time. A hand-tied skirt, on the other hand, is much more resistant to abrasion and will not rot off.
- Hand tying with thread allows for the incorporation of buck tail into a jig. The use of buck tail is largely underused within the bass fishing industry. Despite this, I have found buck tail to create an extremely unique action when added onto a moving bait (like the hybrid vibe and flash vibe). The reason, I believe, that more companies are not utilizing buck tail is that it takes time to tie onto a lure and cannot be slapped on with a rubber band and must be tightly tied together.
- The tight cinch of a tightly tied lure causes the skirt to puff out. This gives the jig a larger profile and a greater “flare” within the water. When a predator (bass) attempts to ambush prey (crayfish), the natural instinct of the prey is to puff itself out and appear as large as possible. Because of this instinctual principle, the more a jig puffs out, the more it will resemble a threatened prey item to a bass.