Posted by: socalsalty | April 12, 2011

Gear Report: Lead Masters Tube Jig and Leadhead

Do I Look Happy?

Rigged Tube Jig

That’s because I am happy.  It was a pretty scratchy bite this weekend.  I think the 2 storms that blew in last week left the water a little unsettled creating some unproductive conditions all along the coast.  No matter the landing or boat, nobody did particularly well.  Still working on a trip report, but thought I’d share this find.  When I went to Fred Hall last month, I picked up some tube jigs without really knowing how to use them.  I learned how to use them this weekend, and they worked…real well.  So well that I actually contemplated keeping them to myself, but I’m here to have fun and share what I find out, so here you go.

To your left you see a rigged tube jig.  It’s rigged using a special leadhead shaped like a torpedo.  About midway down the torpedo, there is an eye to affix the line to.  You push the torpedo into the tube, keeping careful to not tear it as you push the hook eye through.  Once completely inside, just tear a little opening for the eye to come out and tie your line to it.  Affix a strip of squid to the hook, and you’re done.

Unlike other plastics, where you cast it out, and then swim it back to the boat, these you drop down and let the current take it away.  Since they’re pretty light, they will drift out much more so than if you use a typical dropper loop setup (watch your line and your relationship to other anglers’ lines.  If you’re tangled, it’s hard to catch fish).

John A rigging the tube jig. Note the leadhead

Because of where the eye is, I think they maintain a natural looking drop, so that it looks like some sort of squid/octopus eating a piece of detritus floating through the ocean.  If I was a fish, I’d probably gobble the whole thing up…and then I’d be hooked.  I fished it by dropping straight down,  letting out til it hit bottom, bring it up a bit, let out some more etc.  If it gets too far out, reel it all back and start over.  You can also try experimenting with egg sinkers if it’s too light.

John caught a beautiful sand bass using this rig.  I fished it using my G Loomis 932 / Trinidad 12 setup.  Pretty light setup, but some nice backbone to the rod and 30# braid with a short 15# fluoro leader on the Trinidad.  If push came to shove, I think I could score a pretty nice size fish with this combo.  We were only in about 90 feet of water.  After mostly using a double dropper or reverse dropper loop combo most of the day, I made a commitment on the last stop to fishing this setup and it paid off.  I caught the 2 reds pictured above and a nice size brown rockfish.  I was psyched to try to fish these on an MDR Twilight trip!

White leadhead with eyes, inside tube jig

Only problem, at the end of the day, the plastic jig was toast…mangled by the 3 fish it caught and I returned the leadhead to John.  I asked him where he got them and he said they were a very hard item to find.  So at lunch today, I made my way out to Johnny’s Tackle here in Pasadena.  There, they didn’t have the plain grey leadheads John was using, but they did have colored ones with eyes (yeah baby)!  I bought the white heads in 3/8 oz size and red ones in 3/4 oz size.  I also picked up some darker green jigs with a black fleck, and copper ones with a red fleck.  Something to definitely look forward to trying again…perhaps the MDR twilight trip?


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