One of the biggest myths in bass fishing is that modifying a jig's weedguard increases hook up ratios. I am going to discuss why I never alter or modify my jig skirts, and then I’ll talk about how to do it correctly, if you still want to modify it.
This whole conversation boils down to leverage. The shorter the weedguard the more stiff the weedguard is going to be. You can test this yourself. Push on the end of a weedguard at the furthest point away from its base. Do this on a weedguard that is NOT modified and see how stiff it is. Now push on the weedguard in a location closer to the base and see how its now more stiff. This is due to their being less leverage placed on the weedgaurd when the pressure is placed closer to the base. This leverage concept is the biggest factor people make when it comes to modifying a weedguard. Most people think just cutting it shorter is the key, but it's not.
How to Do It Right
Now let's talk about how to do it correctly. We still need to take this leverage concept into account. If we simply cut the weedguard shorter, we aren’t really helping improve our hook ups. We are actually more than likely hurting ourselves. In my opinion, the best way to modify a weedguard is to remove strands rather than cutting it. Removing the strand completely allows for maximum leverage, but makes the entire weedguard softer, and bends easier.
The other way to remove strands is to cut them from the top side of the weedguard at the base of the weedguard. This has to be done on the top side of the weedguard, not the bottom or else you may make the weedguard more stiff.
The final way to cut the weedguard shorter while allowing for maximum leverage is to cut at an angle where the stands closest to the hook are longest. And the strands at the top side, opposite of the hook, are shortest. You want this to be done at the longest angle possible to allow for as much leverage to be placed on the end of the weedguard as possible.
I almost never modify a weedguard on a jig. I don’t feel the standard weedguard impacts my hook up ratio at all. I think having the right hookset along with the right rod, reel, and line will make much more of a difference.
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