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Jenko Trick Tube Jighead Review

I’ve been fishing with tubes since I was in my teens. I spent most of my early days of fishing waist deep in a creek chasing smallmouth, largemouth and big spots in the Ozarks or canals and creeks in Florida. And a tube was my mainstay. Back then we had limited options for heads and I donated a lot of tubes to the fish gods with open hook tubes and always wished I could fish a tube on a head and not get stuck. So I have a deep appreciation for the Jenko Trick Tube jighead.

I have been fishing the Trick Tube since winter and have a ton of stories and fish catches already to make this one of my favorite new pieces of terminal tackle this year. From big smallmouth in the spring, to smashing largemouth in Nebraska in a kayak. I’ve been taking it everywhere with me and catching them big on it.

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jenko trick tube rigged coffee tube


If you’ve followed bass fishing for a while, you’ve probably heard a phrase called the stupid tube. This may not be known to everyone so just a quick refresher. An Indiana Federation angler Terry McWilliams was shown a unique way to rig tubes on jigheads to make them more weedless from an old Indiana river rat named Chris Schultz. Schultz has a hook first way of rigging a tube onto a jighead.

McWilliams fished in a Federation Championship and his camera man got a closeup of his unique tube rigging and when McWillams won the championship back in the early 2000s and qualified for the Bassmaster Classic, the stupid tube rigging was known to the world.

Since then there have been a few heads made and modified and tweaked to make stupid tubing a little better.

Jenko lure designer, Harbor Lovin, has been pouring his own stupid tube heads for a while as he has been an avid tube angler for a long time. He played with a lot of hooks and head placement until he settled on what is now the Jenko Trick Tube head.

The Jenko Trick Tube comes in 1/8, 3/16 and 1/4 ounce sizes. Each head features a tacky sharp VMC custom wide-gap hook for better weedless rigging. And they come 5 per pack for slightly more than $5.

Rigging it is not terribly hard so long as you learn to rig the head before you tie it onto your line. You start by taking the hook point into the opening at the bottom of the tube and bringing it up through and out what I call the “chin” of the tube. Then pull the hook out through the chin until the head goes all the way up to the top of the tube. Then twist the head so the line tie is pointed to the opposite side of the tube. Push the line tie through the tube until it barely pokes out to be tied on. Final step is to Tex-pose the tube by push the hook point through the last bit of tube before the tassels.

You end up with a tube rigged with the hook laying flush on the back. It’s already more weedless like this. But you can push the point into the skin of the back and make it weedless. Like this you get a good hook up with the Trick Tube because of how the head is and how the bigger wide gap bite on the hook.


I’ve fished the Jenko Trick Tube now with my tubes on a spinning rod and reel setup with both 8-pound straight fluoro and also with 10-pound braid and an 8-pound fluorocarbon leader. I’ve also fished the Trick Tube on my Bait Finesse System baitcasting setups with 8-pound monofilament. And finally this past month, I’ve been fishing it on a light pitching and flipping setup.

All the setups have been a lot of fun to fish this unique tube rig. But I think I probably like the baitcaster setups the best. I actually lost a few fish on spinning setups this spring wrestling with big smallmouth jumping all the time. That’s because I was still learning to match my line, rod power and hookset together with the hook in the Trick Tube.

But I’ve settled into where I like my line, rod power to match the hook on this head. That’s everything with using wide gap hooks on jigheads. You have to understand the flex of the hook or lack of flex and match your line, rod and hookset accordingly.

It’s not to say you have to use small line. I fished 40-pound braid in Nebraska fishing the Trick Tube in standing timber. I would pitch to the trees with a medium-heavy power 6-foot, 8-inch Ark Genesis Travel rod. With a short rod like this you are not going to hit them super hard on the hookset. So I was using the hook and the braid in unison to pull-set into the fish and quickly pulling the fish from cover.

The hook on the Jenko Trick Tube is very sharp and you can pressure set fish on this setup very well and that is optimal in my opinion. If you use lighter setups, then you have to apply more pressure and sharper hooksets to get the same level of penetration. So that’s what I mean by matching your line, rod power and hookset in unison with this tube head.

I think with those smallmouth it was my fault because I was not getting a good hookset. I was getting shallow penetration because I was using too light of line and too light of rod and making too long of casts. Smallmouth clamp down so hard that sometimes it’s hard to get your lure to move in their mouth to drive a hook.

But it was remarkable how many bass I caught the last month on it pitching it and short roll casting it around shallow to medium depth cover. Now that we are getting into summer. I will be dragging and cracking it out off ledges to get reaction bites when I can and slow dragging through schools when they are not aggressive and just roaming.

I’ve been using Strike King Coffee Tubes for the most part and a few other tubes here and there. The heads keep the tubes working well through several fish. I generally get 4-8 fish on a tube before the Trick Tube head starts tearing through the plastic. Sometimes while flipping tubes on Texas Rigs, I will only get a fish or two. So I consider this a fair amount of use for a jighead.

Jason with jenko trick tub big smallmouth bass


I’ve had my love of tubes on jigheads rekindled since using the Jenko Trick Tube. This will become a mainstay for me now because a tube works year round for all three species of bass. It can work great shallow and it works equally well out deep. With so many smallmouth in Kentucky Lake now, the Jenko Trick Tube will put a lot more fish in the boat for me as it has proven itself through this crazy spring and early summer of fishing.

Everyone that has fished with me has begged for me to share what I’m using with the tubes. That’s the tell-tale sign that something is worth it. I’ve always been a tube fisherman, it’s the main plastic I flip and pitch with, but now I really have a good head to make tube fishing fun again for all sorts of applications. I’m going to be taking them to some smallmouth streams real soon for some nostalgic wade fishing opportunities. So I’ll keep you posted on how it does in those tight quarter fishing adventures.

You can find the Jenko Trick Tube at as well as

jenko trick tube gets 5-pound largemouth