Best Walleye Jigs
Although jigs are pretty simple lures, choosing the best walleye jigs for any given location, weather scenario or season is not always as simple as it first seems.
A jig is nothing more than a hook with a weighted head.
There are thousands of possible variations once you account for the different types of walleye jig head shapes, sizes, floating, stand up and weedless plus dressed jigs, soft plastics, dead bait, live bait, etc……..
And that’s before you even choose a color!
Learning the basics of what type of jig head does what will give you a solid grounding in how and what to choose.
Sure, you can tie on any old jig for walleye and hope for the best but if you want to increase your hook up rate then a little bit of knowledge goes a long way.
There are generally two types of eyes used with walleye fishing jigs, the traditional 90 degree tie which is used primarily for vertical jigging and the forward tie which is better suited to bottom jigging.
Different types of walleye jigs:
- Round Head – the traditional round head is the most popular and will lie flat on the bottom and will be less prone to snagging on a rocky bottom due to it’s shape.
- Stand Up – stand up jig heads have a flat shaped jig head on the opposite side to the tie point and the gap of the hook that allows the jig to “stand” on the bottom with the hook pointing upwards.
- Floating – floating jig heads are designed to float or suspend off of the bottom assuming that you don’t add too much weight to the jig when you dress it or add bait/soft plastic that is too heavy.
- Underspins/Blades – underspin jig heads have a small willow shaped spinner blade that is attached to the head, blade type jig heads feature a double bladed prop that spins on the shank of the hook, the classic Northland Whistler Jig is a great example.
Ultimately the style of walleye jig head you choose should be determined on where in the water column you are targeting walleye.
Best Walleye Jigs
The all time best jig ? Certainly the most popular!
The Northland Fire-Ball is responsible for many trophy walleye and is sure to be seen in just about every walleye anglers tackle box.
They come in a decent range of colors and in a range of sizes from 1/16 oz to 1/4 oz jig weights.
One key design aspect of the Fire-Ball jig is the second eyelet behind the jig head. You can attach an under-spin willow blade or add a stinger hook for when walleye are biting short.
The round head design and 90 degree tie point makes them best suited to vertical jigging.
The hook has a pretty wide gap so it can cater to a lot of different types of bait.
The VMC Neon Moon Eyes are a great walleye jig to use in low light scenario’s.
They have big heads with a very distinctive painted 3D holographic eye that walleye can home in on.
The hooks are razor sharp and they also come with a bait keeper barb that helps to stop you live bait or soft plastic from slipping off the hook especially if you are getting a lot of strikes.
The Slurp from Northland is purposely designed for use with soft plastics. The jig head has a minnow shaped design with the tie in point on the top.
They also have to bait keeper barbs positioned about a third of the way down the hook shank to help keep your plastics on the hook.
These walleye jig heads will work well with grub, shad or minnow style soft plastic imitators and are generally fished in a very proactive manner i.e you need to keep them moving to get the longest life possible out of the tail of the plastic.
Although not strictly a jig head what walleye jigging lures list would be complete without a mention of the famous Rapala Jigging Rap?
They are the top hard-bodied jigging baits for walleye ever invented and can be fished in a variety of different ways not just vertically.
You can of course fish them vertically as they were designed to do but they work equally well when pitched or dragged.
The work really well when jigged in an aggressive manner in summer temps and also when used in winter out on the ice.
The are a very popular walleye ice fishing lure as they can attract fish in from a distance to your ice hole.
Fishing a jigging rap for walleye can be done vertically, pitching or dragging.
The all time classic Lindy Fuzz-E grub is part soft body grub part marabou jig and walleye absolutely love em!
These will work really well when walleye are proving to be lazy.That marabou tail adds a lot of life like movement into the back of the jig.
They come in a pretty decent variety of colors and sizes.
I have now switched over to these almost as a full time replacement for the more traditional walleye hair jigs that have been popular for a very long time.
Selecting the right walleye jigs will ultimately be determined by where in the water column you are looking to target walleye.
Most anglers will learn this through experience. Below we have listed the main types of jigs for walleye and where the are to be used.
Of course a lot of anglers will stick to the more traditional round style of jig head but knowing and understanding the other types is crucial to really get the most out of your walleye fishing.
Round headed walleye jigs are the most popular and are generally quite usable in most situations.
I tend to favor these when vertical jigging for walleyes as more often than not the tie in point will be at a 90 degree angle to the hook shank.
They will generally have a long hook shank so they can be used for soft plastics and bait.
Stand up jig heads are more suited to when you need to keep the gap of the hook off of the bottom.
There are a variety of different shapes but they all result in the same thing; the jig standing upright or at an angle with the gap of the hook pointing upwards as opposed to horizontally.
When you are using a soft plastic with a tail and you want to put a long pause into your jigging so that the jig will stay on the bottom for an extended period a stand up jig head for walleye is best
A stand up jig head keeps the tail upright(and potentially moving) and also keeps the hook in an ideal orientation so as to maximize the chances of hooking the walleye solidly.
Floating jig heads allow you to suspend your jig off of the bottom. They can be used when bottom bouncing to help keep you bait or jig suspended a few feet above the bottom.
You need to be careful when adding anything to the hook as too much weight may kill the inbuilt buoyancy.
Some anglers will actually inject air into a night-crawler from an empty syringe to help keep the jig head floating.
Weedless Jig Heads
Hugely popular in the bass fishing world walleye anglers have been slow to truly embrace these types of walleye fishing jig heads.
However, the smarter anglers have really caught on to just how good fishing with a weedless hook can be in and around weed or submerged trees or stumps.
Basically any location that has a lot of snags is now a lot more accessible when you use a weed-guard on your jig head.
Under-spins add an extra element of both flash and vibration from the blade. The blade type is usually a slender willow blade.
They are really good when using bait that may not have a lot of movement in it.
Bladed jigs heads really work well when you are moving the jig in a more horizontal manner rather than a strictly vertical jigging
A good walleye jigging rod will have a fast action that allows you to not only put a lot of life into the jig but also get a lot of feedback through the rod tip so that you can feel as much as possible what is going on at the jig.
More than any other type of walleye lures jigs require a line with
Mono has too much natural stretch in it so that just leaves braid and fluorocarbon.
If you are choosing blade as your main line then you should use a fluorocarbon leader.