The tricky part of jig fishing is selecting one that’ll work for your preferred style of fishing. There are countless options out there in regards to head shape, weed guards, skirt materials and hooks which can make the purchasing process pretty daunting.
Buckeye Lures teamed up with Gerald Swindle to create the G-Man Ballin’ Out Jig in order to reduce confusion and cover your bases. It’s a roundball jighead that is specifically designed to work in nearly every situation.
I’ve been testing this jig for roughly two months. I cut off every other jig I own and made myself become familiar with its strengths and weaknesses.
This is usually my first concern when evaluating a jig. It doesn’t matter how good every other component is—if the hook flexes or bends on the hookset, you’re done. Everything else is pointless.
I’ve found that the Buckeye Lures G-Man Ballin’ Out Jig has an impressive Gamakatsu hook that seems to offer the best of both worlds. It’s heavy enough that it doesn’t flex on short-range hooksets but it’s light enough that it facilitates excellent hook penetration, especially when you’re casting or skipping the jig long distances.
Throughout testing, there hasn’t been much of a need for over-aggressive hooksets. When I skip this jig from the front of a dock back to the seawall, I haven’t had to drop my rod too much in preparation for the hookset. Just a quick, tight-line pull allows the hook to penetrate the fish’s mouth.
In close-quarters situations, the hook has also performed well. I’ve executed many hard, slack-line hooksets and I can see no evidence of bending or flexing.
Round head is versatile
You can do just about anything with this jig. It’s great for not only casting to offshore structure and skipping under boat docks, but you can also flip it into wood and vegetation with success.
The available sizes also increase versatility. This jig is available in 1/4, 3/8, 1/2 and 3/4-ounce sizes which covers nearly every technique you can imagine.
If the bite is tough or you’re more comfortable with a spinning rod, you can skip it underneath overhanging cover without any issues. It’ll skip like a pebble and find its way into some pretty hard-to-reach places.
If you’re pitching laydowns or boat docks, it’s hard to go wrong with the 3/8 and 1/2-ounce models. Like the 1/4-ounce, they skip quite well. I’ve had a few hang-ups when fishing thick wood cover, but not many more than most jigs I’ve tested in the past several years.
The 3/4-ounce size is an excellent selection for any offshore application. It comes through rocks and shells quite well and believe it or not—you can actually reel this thing like a swinging football head jig (commonly referred to as a Biffle Head). When you feel any mushy tension on the other end, set the hook just as you would with a traditional Carolina rig.
Skirt and profile
The overall profile of the G-Man Ballin’ Out Jig is very narrow and natural-looking. It can easily imitate both crawfish and smaller panfish depending upon your soft-plastic trailer selection. This subtle profile will likely get a few more bites throughout a day of fishing while maintaining the ability to appeal to larger bass.
The skirt extends approximately one inch past the bend of the hook. The colors aren’t incredibly fancy, but they offer everything a serious jig fisherman needs. Black/blue and PB&J are my personal favorite.
I’d like to see a hand-tied skirt on this jig. It currently comes with a rubber collar which, as of now, has held up reasonably well. The skirt may get a little lopsided after a few fish catches, but it has been easy to fix.
Keeper and weedguard
The G-Man Ballin’ Out Jig’s keeper is fairly pronounced and seems to keep most soft plastic trailers intact without any issues whatsoever. I always Super Glue my trailers, but have been testing this jig without it.
The weedguard is lighter than most of my flipping jigs, but that allows you to cast this jig and make long-range hooksets with good hook penetration. As I mentioned earlier, you’ll get snagged occasionally, but what jig doesn’t?
This is a darn good jig that’ll produce bites on both large fisheries and smaller farm ponds. The sizes are right on the money and the profile isn’t too large, so it works quite well on tough fishing days, too.