Finesse fishing for bass has been refined over the years thanks to better hooks, materials and addressing of certain shortcomings with the original jighead designs. The newer Mustad Elite Series Football Heads incorporate a lot of small design features to give you a solid shaky head or small jig option for your finesse fishing. Here are a few of the features I found interesting about these new jigheads from Mustad.
Double keeper barb
The Mustad Elite Series Football jigheads feature a fine wire with sharp double barb keepers under the head to securely hold your plastics in place. The barbs with the optional collar ring work together to hold even small worms snug to the head. It can take a little maneuvering to get the worm to slide up over the optional collar ring, but I found once there, if you poke a little a barb just out of the plastic it will help lock it all in place. Which is nice because with the lighter heads I could really sling them hard under dock walkways and low hanging trees.
Collar for skirt
The optional collar makes it where you can turn these Elite Series Football Heads into skirted finesse jigs if you want. I didn't play with that option as much but there are a lot of guys fishing professionally that have gravitated to more smaller compact finesse skirted jigs to generate bites on tough or clear fisheries so that option is nice with a head that works equally as well as a shaky head. So you can just keep the heads and skirts together to switch between presentations.
Optional weedguard slot
I like the ability to add a weedguard if you want to these heads. They fish fine as a shaky head but I can quickly turn one into a full weedless lightwire finesse jig on the fly. You can epoxy or superglue in a fiber strand weed guard and make your own jigs out of these.
Flateye and football shape
The flat eye 60-degree jighook and football head shape keep these jigs level and balanced as you pull them along rocky bottoms. I like a football shape on a shaky head because I fish a lot of rock most of the time when throwing a shaky head and you can be assured this head has your worm standing up and not over on its side.
The matte colors are durable and natural looking along a gravel and rock bottom which just makes the whole jighead more appealing to me.
Optional 1X wire
Since the release of the original Elite Series Football Head, Mustad has released a 1X strong version with a bit beefier gauge wire for use with a bit heavier lines. I will throw a larger shaky head on bait casting gear on the ledges often and like having the ability to upsize to little stronger hook on bait casting gear and say 10-pound fluorocarbon as opposed to spinning ear and say 8-pound line.
Various size options
It's nice that you can experiment with ultra finesse presentations with the 1/8 ounce and 1/0 hooks or go all the way up to 1/2 ounce and 4/0 hooks. I plan to play around some more with the smaller sizes with thin skirts and making finesse jigs out of them.
I've liked the Mustad Elite Series Football Heads a lot. The hooks are really sharp and penetrate well on a reel or pull set with spinning gear. The smaller ones will flex some on you if you try to horse fish. But if you have that problem you can upsize to the 1X Strong options of the Elite Series Football Heads. You can find them both on Tacklewarehouse.com or check them out on the Mustad website.