Tie Your Own Peacock Jigs
Learn how to make your own in 4 easy steps.
Before you start. The Peacock Rattle Jig is a particularly effective tool for the peacock bass angler because it's designed to successfully hook and land big fish as well as little ones. It is very important therefore, that the key design ideas and the quality level of the components are retained when you build yours. It makes sense to use the most effective fishing lure possible so that you can maximize the payoff in fish landed for the time and effort you'll expend using it. Here's our recipe.
Ingredients: (Available from Tackle-box.net)
- 1/2 ounce Ultimate darter type jighead with extra strong 6/0, wide gap hook.
- Extra large bucktails in contrasting colors.
- Heavy, stiff mono (60 to 80 lb.) for the tail.
- Bright Flash material (i.e. Flashabou).
- Monocord tying thread.
- Zap-a-gap instant glue.
- Tie-on rattles.
Tools: (Available from Tackle-box.net)
- A strong, solid fly tying vise with jaws big enough for the jig hooks (i.e. Regal Engineering).
- Tying bobbin
- Bobbin threader
- Whip finisher
The Process: Step 1. - Make a tail
Cut a 4 inch piece of stiff mono and insert it in your vise. The jaws will crush the end and leave a nub that will help to retain the tail later. Leaving a long (6 inch) tag end, wind 5 loops of monocord tying thread onto the monofilament right at the base of the vise. Snip off a section of bucktail (add some flash if you like) and, holding it against the mono, affix it with 10 to 20 winds of thread. Finish by using the tag end to manually tie it securely to the mono. Add a drop of Zap-a-gap over the thread. Trim the excess hairs off the apex of the tail, creating a hydrodynamic profile.
Step 2. Attach tail and rattle
After the glue has dried, measure the tail against the jighead and cut it to the desired length. As you did before with the tied end, now insert the bare end into the vise to crush it and form another retaining nub. Insert the hook end of the jighead into the vise and anchor the tail with a few loops of thread in behind the nub. Hold a rattle in place on the hook shank and tie it into place, further fastening the tail's monofilament, using 25 to 50 winds of thread. Apply the Zap-a-gap so that it flows onto and between the threads, locking rattle and tail into place. Allow to dry.
Step 3. - Add belly color and flash
Keep in mind that the jig runs hook up and that we want the darker color above, like a natural baitfish. So, snip off a finger pinch section of the lighter of two contrasting color bucktails and apply it to the upper part of the jighead. Secure the upper body section with several winds of thread. Add strands of flash so that they trim the left and right sides of the upper body. Secure with thread and then seal into place with Zap-a-gap.
Step 4. - Add dorsal color and finish
Turn the jig in the vise and repeat the process above using the darker contrasting color of bucktail for the lower body. Distribute the strands so that they drape both sides of the hook. Wind thread to securely fasten all bucktail and trim, then glue carefully with Zap-a-gap. It won't make your jig piranha proof, but it will hold up better and last longer despite a good pounding by hungry peacocks.
Colors - A wide variety of colors can be effective, depending on water conditions. Natural colors, such as olive and white, black and white and lightly shaded, less contrasting patterns work well in clear and very lightly stained water. Darker black-water conditions call for brighter colors. Red and yellow, red and white and chartreuse with plenty of bright flash are more readily seen in water with lower visibility. The onboard rattle further helps the jig get noticed in these conditions. Don't be afraid to experiment, but keep water color and clarity in mind.
Hooks - The wide gap, 6/0, extra-strong hook is a critical component. If the hook gap is not great enough to get around the fish's jawbone, the point will embed in bone and is unlikely to penetrate to the barb. Additionally, the resulting position will provide enough leverage so that a big, strong fish will readily straighten the strongest of hooks. Let’s face it, any 1/2 ounce jig head with any hook will catch the little ones, but bigger fish will make short work of mediocre hooks and hardware, often leading to a serious case of angler heartbreak.
Material - Another key factor is the use of bucktail. There are many synthetics available that are often easier to tie and less expensive to buy. Resist the temptation. Real bucktail is a unique, hollow fiber that imparts an all-important natural pulsing motion to the jig. It's well worth the minor extra effort and expense it incurs.
Complete jig building kits, including all of the tools and materials specified, are available from Tackle-box.net.