Two newbie questions, re jigs and furled leaders

Ike47

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Thanks in advance for any and all help and elucidation! I actually have a lot more than two questions, but they all revolve around two items: jigs and furled leaders. I'm very new to fly fishing and have learned more on this forum than anywhere else (again, thanks!). I've now spent 11 days fly casting, and am yet to get a bite, much less actually catch a fish. :) I fish for trout, primarily in the GSMNP and the tailwaters of Norris Dam (Clinch River, Tennessee). While a lot of my fishing so far has been more for practice and learning than for catching fish, I always have a fly, hopefully appropriate to the location and conditions, when I fish.

1. I always try to learn when I meet another fly angler, and several, when I ask them what flies they use and recommend, mention, in addition to various flies that I am familiar with, that they have a favorite jig they also use. I've done some searching online, but I still don't understand what is particular to a jig (nor do I know if it is properly a type of fly, or if it is an alternative to flies when fly casting). From what I have figured out, what 'defines' a jig is that it is made, in part, by melting some type of plastic onto a hook. While that may define a jig, it doesn't explain at all what makes a jig useful. It seems that jigs usually (always?) has a barbless hook, and (therefore?) is less likely to snag in the water than traditional flies. So, my questions are: in practical terms, what is a jig? Why do anglers, after naming a variety of specific fly types they use, seem always to refer to only 'a jig', with no name attached? Would a jig be useful to an inexperienced fly angler trying to catch trout? If so, in what circumstances should it be used instead of a nymph or, say, a woolly bugger? And if yes, to all the above, any recommendations on any specific jig to buy?

2. In searching info on jigs, I came across another item I hadn't heard of before, a furled leader. In this case, I was able to learn what it is and what makes it different from regular leaders. My questions here are purely practical: as a newbie at fly casting, should I consider using a furled leader, and if so, under what circumstances?

Thanks again for any insights you all can offer. My questions are awfully basic, I'm sure, but that's what you need to ask when you're a newbie. :)
 

trev

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A jig is a hook or lure that has weight built into the head, often by pouring molten lead onto the bare hook in a mold prior to attaching body and tail. like this jig.JPG Jigs are most commonly used by spinning or casting anglers from boats or docks. I consider bead head and cone head flies to be jigs, because the heavily weighted head causes them to fall head first through the water just as similar jigs do. Often micro jigs used for trout have nymph like bodies. Often I see people fishing micro jigs and head weighted flies under suspension devices. Jigs of 1/80 ounce or 1/100 ounce can be cast with a fly rod.
Trout Magnet is an example of a spin cast jig popular in our trout parks.
A thread jig such as this one has just thread for the body, presumably it is a midge imitation thread jig.JPG
 

jayr

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As one who fishes the GSMNP regularly, I can tell you that I use furled leaders and will never go back. Not only do they last a long time and cut down on the expense of buying tapered leaders, they work well there. After starting to use them about 3 years ago, my catch rate went up quite a bit. I have a couple of guys I go with that are now using them as well.

I will clarify as well, that in the GSMNP I throw primarily dry/dropper rigs. If in the event I get nothing but hits on my dry, I will clip off the dropper. Be aware that in the Park there are regulations on the length required for the dropper to be, not that any park rangers up there ever enforce or know it. 12" minimum distance between the two. You will not find this in the general regulations for the park, it is in the CFR regulations, FYI.

I have a formula so to speak on the length I use. My furled leader is roughly half the length of the rod. With a 9' rod I use a 4-4 1/2 foot long furled leader. I then use about 2-2 1/2 feet of tippet. I apply payette paste at the beginning of each trip. As we all know how thick the undergrowth is in the GSMNP and I get hung up as much as the next guy, my furled leaders have come through with little wear. Some are going on 3 years of steady use.

Now, having said that about the GSMNP, I do not use them on the Clinch. I still go with tapered leaders I build myself. On the Clinch my leaders are at a minimum of 10-12 feet long. The conditions are totally different there than the GSMNP. Not to say you can't use a furled leader on the Clinch, I have just found regular tapered leaders make a somewhat better presentation. The current is totally different here than the GSMNP as well.

There are many key differences between the Clinch and the Smokies. Trying a one size fits all for both places is not easy, if not impossible. The habitat for both is completely different as are the fish for the most part. In the Smokies it is wild fish only. That throws a big curve into it as well as the size and current of the streams.
 
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gpwhitejr

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I bought some Czech nymphs and some of them are really little jigs; one or two of them I think you could almost throw with an ultralight spinning rod. They may start to blur the definition of "fly fishing." By the way, I have also seen these tiny spoons that some people use on a fly rod, but I haven't tried that yet.

Fly Rod Spoons
 

silver creek

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Thanks in advance for any and all help and elucidation! I actually have a lot more than two questions, but they all revolve around two items: jigs and furled leaders. I'm very new to fly fishing and have learned more on this forum than anywhere else (again, thanks!). I've now spent 11 days fly casting, and am yet to get a bite, much less actually catch a fish. :) I fish for trout, primarily in the GSMNP and the tailwaters of Norris Dam (Clinch River, Tennessee). While a lot of my fishing so far has been more for practice and learning than for catching fish, I always have a fly, hopefully appropriate to the location and conditions, when I fish.

1. I always try to learn when I meet another fly angler, and several, when I ask them what flies they use and recommend, mention, in addition to various flies that I am familiar with, that they have a favorite jig they also use. I've done some searching online, but I still don't understand what is particular to a jig (nor do I know if it is properly a type of fly, or if it is an alternative to flies when fly casting). From what I have figured out, what 'defines' a jig is that it is made, in part, by melting some type of plastic onto a hook. While that may define a jig, it doesn't explain at all what makes a jig useful. It seems that jigs usually (always?) has a barbless hook, and (therefore?) is less likely to snag in the water than traditional flies. So, my questions are: in practical terms, what is a jig? Why do anglers, after naming a variety of specific fly types they use, seem always to refer to only 'a jig', with no name attached? Would a jig be useful to an inexperienced fly angler trying to catch trout? If so, in what circumstances should it be used instead of a nymph or, say, a woolly bugger? And if yes, to all the above, any recommendations on any specific jig to buy?

2. In searching info on jigs, I came across another item I hadn't heard of before, a furled leader. In this case, I was able to learn what it is and what makes it different from regular leaders. My questions here are purely practical: as a newbie at fly casting, should I consider using a furled leader, and if so, under what circumstances?

Thanks again for any insights you all can offer. My questions are awfully basic, I'm sure, but that's what you need to ask when you're a newbie. :)


For me a "jig" is a fly/lure with a weight (formed lead or metal bead) at the HEAD of the hook which is shaped to it rides HOOK POINT UP. They are designed to sink quicky. "Jig" can be a noun as in the lure/fly above or a verb as in "jigging" which implies an up/down motion of the fly/lure as it is lifted and then dropped. Most of the takes come on the "drop".



A furled leader is also made on a "jig" which in this case is a series of posts on a board in which a single piece of monofilament or thread is looped and interlaced with itself so that it forms a tapered "furled" (which means twisted) leader.



YouTube

The tapering is formed by the fact that fewer and fewer sections of the thread or mono are interlocked with each other as the leader goes from butt to tippet. The leader usually ends in a "tippet ring" that is a small metal ring to which you tied a length of "tippet." The tippet section of leader is the fine end of the leader to which to tie the fly. So with a furled leader, you can change the tippet as it is used up or change the diameter of the tippet so it will match the size of the fly.

Order your furled leaders from Cutthroat Leaders who is a sponsor here: Furled Leaders | Braided | Twisted | Fly Fishing Leader




You can read S&S's review of Cutthroat Furled Leaders on this post:

Cutthroat NYLON Furled Leader
 

TristianSutton

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I personally do not like furled leaders as I find they do not highstick well and are too limp so I build my own leaders that are roughly 18-20' foot long includingmy tippet. I tie 90% of my flies on jig hooks with slotted tungsten beads some times I use a 4mm bead on a size 16 or 18, because i refuse to use split shot, so I make my flies, my split shot, and I'm doing this in the other side of the smokies and blueridge mnts.

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
 

philly

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Can't argue with Silver's explanation of jig hooks and jigging. I tend to use larger jig hooks since my target fish aren't trout. A couple of examples.

P4040174.jpg

P4140189.jpg

P4140192.jpg

P9270309.jpg

As far as furled leaders go, I was introduced to them on another fly fishing list, 20 or so years go. Haven't tied or used knotted leaders since then. The ones I have are made from thread and range from ones than can cast a size 20 or smaller fly to trout to tossing 1/0 or 2/0 bass bugs. None of mine have tippet rings, I prefer loop to loop connections. I have a paranoia about using thread leaders in salt water. I've been playing with twisted leaders made from flurocarbon. They worked much better than I expected, and turned over my flies without many problems.
 

JoJer

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OTOH, I like the tippet rings. The ring is a tie-in point for tippet. Unlike knotless tapered leaders, you won't cut back into your furled leader so you get a lot of life out of them. Also, the combined strength of thread or mono furled leaders is considerable. If you use them, make sure your tippet will part before the rest of the tackle. I once hung a nymph in a submerged sand bag. My furled leader was attached to a loop connection to a 30lb mono loop knot which was nail knotted to the fly line. I needed to break it off right now, and doing so stripped the nail knot with the outer coating of the fly line off.
 

bigjim5589

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"Jigs" are lures and can be considered flies too when cast with fly tackle. There's really no well defined difference for many folks, and possibly taboo for others.

My company makes jigs & flies and depends on the intended use what I'll call them. Silver Creek's explanation is possibly the best you'll find.

The fact is, much of this is a personal choice how you wish to view these concoctions tied on jig hooks and how you wish to define them. You won't be wrong either way.

These are definitely Jigs. They are made by molding lead on the hook, and these examples weigh 1/2 oz & 3/16 oz, and 3/8 oz respectively. The first two are made with 3/0 size hooks, the last with 5/0, and are best cast with spin or baitcasting tackle. They would be dangerous and unsuitable to attempt casting with fly tackle typical of trout streams.
1148.jpgjig636a.jpgshadjig.jpg

The tiny "jig" you see being used for trout with fly tackle, and like the one those fellow showed you or mentioned, and that Silver Creek posted with his comments, are typically tied on size 10 and smaller hooks and of course not weighing as much as the jigs I've shown above.
 

philly

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Nice jigs, bigjim. I have to tie some up for myself and my fishing buddies for a June trip to Ontario. What type of hair/material did you use for the black one. I'll be using 1/4 oz jigs.
 

bigjim5589

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Nice jigs, bigjim. I have to tie some up for myself and my fishing buddies for a June trip to Ontario. What type of hair/material did you use for the black one. I'll be using 1/4 oz jigs.
Thank you sir! That one was tied with Arctic Fox tail hair and several strands of flash. I used Electric Blue Flashabou, and Pearl Polar Flash.

I've been tying quite a few hair jigs, primarily with fox tail or coyote tail hair. Many I tie are on lighter weight heads, 1/8, 3/16 & 1/4 oz, but get requests for heavier too. :D
 
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