Umbrella rigs have become synonymous with fall and winter fishing across much of the country. If you’re a fan of that kind of fishing, you’re going to like the product we’ll be reviewing today. But wait a minute, hold up. Even if you’re not a fan of an umbrella rig, this is still something you might like to check out.
The Jewel Rig Jig Head has evidence in its name that it was designed with an umbrella rig in mind, but this little jighead works quite well paired with a small swimbait fished solo as well. So either way, this one is worth giving a look this time of year when both techniques are quite effective on many fisheries across the country. And this jighead in particular suits both styles of fishing well. So let’s take a closer look at it now.
I like what the lure manufacturer did here with the design of the head. I’m guilty quite often of rigging up a single swimbait or umbrella rig with simple ball-head shaky heads out of convenience. I don’t fish this way often until the fall rolls around, so I just kind of grab for whatever is in the box the first time or two I rig one of these up. But the Jewel Rig Jig Heads were specifically designed with a small swimbait in mind and it really shows. For starters, the head is pointed and thin from side to side, kind of like an arrowhead.
This helps it stay upright and cut through the water better much like an arrowhead would cut through the air. This is particularly beneficial when rigging a single Rig Jig Head with a swimbait. The head design helps keep the bait from rolling to the side. This design also lessens the resistance of an umbrella rig when you take into consideration 5 of these jigheads versus 5 ball-head jigheads. The heads being more streamline allows an umbrella rig to be fished deeper with lighter weight heads, since they cut through the water better and don’t cause the rig to rise as much.
Bait keeper and cavity
Jewel did something else really cool with the head design, creating a little cavity for the nose of the soft-plastic swimbait to tuck up into. Pairing this design with a ribbed bait keeper, they helped eliminate some of the problems I’ve run into when using a jighead that wasn’t specifically designed for a swimbait. The two little points of the head kind of shield the swimbait from cover and even the constant pull of the water, which results in the swimbait staying in place more often versus sliding down the hook all the time.
Some other jig heads use a bait keeper with a big barb to accomplish this, which is effective but also tears the nose of a lot of small swimbaits and thus creates another problem. I don’t think I would like the ribbed bait keeper on the Rig Jig Head if it weren’t for the cavity created by the head itself. But pairing the two together, I really like the more subtle bait keeper and it does a fine job of keeping baits in place without ripping them to shreds when initially sliding them on.
This hook has a bend to it that I really like. I’d describe it as an O’Shaughnessy-style hook. With this style hook, the bend isn’t a perfect semi circle like you see with a traditional round bend hook. Instead it curls out more gradually and then makes a pretty sharp bend back up so that the hook point runs parallel to the hook shaft. I don’t know exactly why it is that this style hook works so well, but I picked one up years ago and had a lot of success with it and so I always like to see it incorporated into baits and think it’s something worth mentioning.
This style hook works particularly well with finesse baits with thinner wire hooks. I don’t really see it used much with bigger baits where round bend, straight shank and Extra Wide Gap hooks seem to dominate the landscape. But you see this style hook a lot with finesse baits like the Rig Jig Head and even Jewel’s own Pro Spider Jig and other finesse jig offerings. It’s a tried and true hook design that I really like and was glad to see used in this jig head design.
The rest of the story
The eye of this jighead has a good angle to it whether you’re fishing it as a single swimmer or rigging up 5 of these on an umbrella rig. I’d say the angle of the eye is at about 135 degrees form the shaft of the hook, which works well for baits intended to target suspended fish. The angled eye helps the bait swim back horizontally to the boat without having the upward pull that you’d get from a 90-degree eye.
Conveniently packaged 5 at the time, Jewel keeps the options simple. You have white as the one color choice and two size options, 1/8- and 3/16- ounce. Coming in at $5.69 per pack, the Jewel Rig Jig Heads can complete any umbrella rig provided you already have a pack of your favorite soft-plastic swimmers handy. And if you prefer your swimbait to fly solo, the Rig Jig Head works well for that too.
With a particularly effective head design that keeps the bait running true and the soft plastic in place, this jighead sets itself apart from a lot of the other jigheads you might simply throw a swimbait on out of convenience. Add to that one of the most effective hook designs out there for this style bait and you’ve got yourself a solid little swimbait head that I’d say stacks up nicely against the competition.