A couple comments on the variety of weed guards for fishing HEAVY cover. All the weedless options posted in this thread do have their place. The problem with clousers is they are not weedless. They are GREAT for fishing along bottom structure. not for reeds and lilies and submerged grass fields where bass hide.
The Mono loop guard it great and I use it on my smaller hooks. It does not stand up well to the rigors and abuse of fishing heavy cover and catching fish. ive found the mono loop can get funky with abuse and no longer protect the hook point.
The wire guards that have a little bend in them and actually sit up on the hook point do provide GREAT weed protection. However, when that weed guard pops off the hook (and it does easily in the abuse of fishing heavy cover) You're no longer weedless. A high maintenance weed guard if fishing heavy cover.
I don't see the mono loop sticking straight down from the hook eye having any place in fishing heavy cover for bass. Theres just too many plant stems that will catch on the hook.
The tie I saw in one of the links above where the hook is buried in the fly fibers looked pretty neat. kinda like a senko or other soft plastic where you hide the hook point in the plastic. But I would imagine that pattern would require constant maintenance.
I like a weed guard that I don't ever need to check or even think about. Just throw it deep into cover over and over. And even after a fish, my wire guards rarely need minor adjustment. The down side to my wire guards is I wouldn't trust them on smaller hooks. You will lose the required flex in the wire as it gets too short. Most all my bass bugs are tied on TMC 8089 #2 bass hooks. When you get the hang of tying these, your weed guard will sit less than 1/8" in front of the hook point and NOTHING will stop that fly from coming out of the heaviest cover. you have to try it to believe it!
I am not Boo-hooing all these weed guards because as I said, they do have their place in lots of applications. And I have used every single one of them extensively. Ive been experimenting with bass flies for many years and have settled on the wire weedguard. When tied right, the flies are 100% weedless and 100% maintenance free. When Im fishing, I want to be casting over and over without fussing with the fly. What makes this design spectacularly weedless is when you tie subsurface flies with a cone head. The shape of the cone parts the weeds and it comes thru the thickest weeds you can imagine.
The trouble with lilies is your leader will slice into the caps and your fly can jam up in the plant at the front of the fly. But a strong yank will usually free the fly. A good reason to use a minimum of 15# mono for tippet.
Of course, no weed guard protects against tippet wrapping a limb