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Two Jigs Rigged as One
Will Catch More Fish

Several months ago I was reading either a web site or magazine based in the US, memory fails me as to exactly where, but I came across a method of using jigs, which by that account was very effective indeed. Most saltwater species, many similar to ours here in New Zealand, were all falling to the methods charms.

So I tried it, several times, and I became a convert. Now when I am out jigging for snapper, kingfish, or hapuku (grouper), I use nothing else, such is the success rates it has produced for me and my 'converts'.

So what is the method? It is simply joining two jigs together, using split rings. The picture will make it clearer that any explanation I might try to write. The jigs can be the same size, or one bigger than the other. If one jig is bigger, the smaller jig is usually the bottom jig (although placing the smaller jig on top still works).

Twin Jig setup

I use a single hook on the bottom jig, always loaded with a soft plastic bait as shown. But in the US they often use a single hook tied to the top jig's, top wire loop, as well as the bottom jig.

I have not noticed any lack of hook-ups by not having the second top hook, and sure do not have any of the hassles that can arise when trying to land a fish with a loose second hook flying around.

But a friend of mine who I converted to twin-jigs has gone the hook on the top of the top lure way, without a hook on the bottom jig, and he does not seem to miss many hits either.

Some who use twin jigs even add a third hook to the join between the jigs. Way too many sharp pointy bits for this lad, and watching the way the jigs move I am sure tangles would be a problem. But I have not tried it, so it is your call.

Bet your tackle-store owner wants you to try it though - two jigs, three hooks, plus some line, all gone with every hook-up on the bottom. I can hear the cash register beeping in glee from here.

Whichever number of hooks way you go, going the wicked way of the treble-hook is not really an option. I am sure there would be too many hook-ups on the line. You cannot use a soft bait either, which is a definite minus. Besides, some of my readers will be aware of my 'crusade' to get treble hooks banned. They damage too many fish and anglers - end of preaching.

The combined weight of the jigs should add up to the weight of jig you usually use, using the old rule:

Take the line breaking strain you are using in Kilos, add a zero and that is the jig size in gm, e.g. 10kg line - 100gm jig, 6kg line - 60gm jig. Easy. (Well it is for us that use metric weights, for others, sorry, you are on your own.)

So for 10kg line you need to use two 50gm jigs, for 6kg line, two 30gm jigs.

In the water the twin-jig really does dance as it sinks. The duel actions of the lures sometimes combine, and sometimes oppose each other, to produce a totally erratic drop that looks remarkably lifelike.

The action is just as feverish on the lift or when winding in. I cannot yet give any well founded advise on this, but it seems that you need not wind like a demented dervish when jigging for yellowtail kingfish. Too fast and the lure simply gets crazy, and out of control. I do know this, the three or four kingfish I have hooked-up on twin jigs have been at retrieve speeds well below normal. I have also hooked up on two kingfish while the jig was on the drop, an usual experience, for me at least.

I have found that once you are on a school of snapper, there is no need to raise the rod and rod-arm anywhere near as far as for 'conventional' jigging. Just moving the rod tip a metre or or two will usually do the trick.

I did try placing a swivel between the two jigs but this really killed the former action. The jigs were able to operate somewhat independently from each other, whereas with the split-ring, join the jigs react against each other to produce the twisting, crippled-fish-like action.

One last observation, (and this really does apply to any new lure you use), allow the jig to drop where you can see it, so you can judge its action and rate of fall, and retrieve it where you can see it so you can see what retrieve speed works best.

The twin-jig rig has worked very well for me and my friends; it is well worth a try.

Fish illustration by Bish

Article written by Tony Bishop

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