the zig jig system

What's a Zig jig?


The action of the Zig Jig is unequaled in its ability to attract and catch fish. Unlike round or symmetrical heads, which fall straight down, the offset shape of the Zig Jig head creates a zig-zag, back-and-forth action as it falls. This unique action keeps the Zig Jig in the strike zone longer and gives the illusion of wounded prey, which drives fish crazy. The Zig Jig is a hand-tied marabou jig with a powder-coated head and a very sharp, extra-strong hook. It is manufactured by fishermen, for fishermen. I designed the Zig Jig to withstand the abuse from rocks and gravel and to keep you hooked up when that big fish hits. My customers have told me many times that they would rather lose a jig to a hang-up than have the hook straighten out on a big fish, and I agree!    

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how it works


The Zig Jig is fished by casting perpendicular to the flow or quartering downstream just a little. Let the Zig Jig sink to within 3″ to 6″ of the bottom on the slack line, and then give it a good pop with your rod. Drop your rod tip as the jig drops on the slack line and when you think it’s almost on the bottom, pop it again. As you are dropping your rod tip while the Zig Jig sinks, reel in the excess line. Repeat the pop-and-drop action of the retrieve all the way in. If you are fishing this technique correctly, you won’t feel the fish bite. When you pop the Zig Jig at the bottom of the drop, you’ll either pop the jig or set the hook. Trout and most other fish will hit the Zig Jig on the drop about 95% of the time. Most of the time, they are biting at the bottom of the drop or as the Zig Jig nears the bottom. Under most conditions, if you are not catching fish, the jig is simply not getting deep enough, and you will need to slow down your retrieve. If you are hanging up all the time, you need to speed up your retrieve or pop the Zig Jig sooner. 

Image of a yellow fishing lure
a fishing lure
holding a large trout

The water on the White and Norfork rivers is normally clear enough to estimate how deep it is. A good rule of thumb is to count the Zig Jig down at one foot per second. A good pair of polarized sunglasses is a must in order to estimate the depth of the water and to see the fish chase the Zig Jig. When you see a fish chasing the jig adjust your retrieve to the speed the fish seem to want that day. Many times, the fish will swirl and strike at the Zig Jig all the way to the boat. Many fish are caught within three or four feet of the boat, including some pretty nice-sized fish. 

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Zig Jig Crossfire Rod

the crossfire rod


The Zig Jig is one part of the fishing system that I have developed. To complete the system, I needed a great rod and line. The CrossFire rod was engineered specifically for the techniques used to fish the Zig Jig most effectively. It is a 6′ 8″ IM6 graphite spinning rod with an ultralight, very fast action for lures from 1/32-5/16 oz. Like the Zig Jig, the CrossFire rod was designed by fishermen for fishermen. I tried many rods and couldn’t find one that would do exactly what I needed. Take a look in any catalog and see how many quality 6′ 8″ one piece rods you can find that will cast a 1/32 oz lure. I knew what was needed and kept tweaking the action, the backbone, and the high-quality components until I finally found the right match.


These rods are great for any kind of finesse fishing for trout, crappie, bass, bream, walleye, etc. You can cast a long way with light lures, the sensitivity to feel your lure, and the power to land the big one.

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zig jig heavy duty


Necessity is the mother of invention. In November 2014, I received a call from a guide. He had been guiding a client of mine on Pyramid Lake in Nevada. They had caught several fish, but my customer, John Cancilla, from California, had some big fish straighten the hook out on some of my regular White River Zig Jigs. John told the guide he should call me and see if I could build a jig with a better hook. The guide had just purchased a package of jig heads from a major sporting goods retailer and complained about the terrible hooks. I told him I would look into it.


Well, after a year, the time had come. The Zig Jig HD (Heavy Duty) was born. We used the same unique head design as on the regular jigs, but we used a Mustad black nickel steelhead 2X strong hook in the HD version. These are, without a doubt, the marabou jig with the strongest hook you can buy.


I had some prototypes done and met John in Reno, NV, in April. We fished for four days to test the hooks to make sure they held up under the pressure of those monster cutthroats that swim in Pyramid Lake. The results were great. Some of the pictures on this site were fish that either John or I caught on that trip. Pyramid Lake is truly the “Land of the Giants” and home to the world’s largest Cutthroat Trout. 


If you fish in lakes and rivers where you know that you’re going to hook big fish like trout, steelhead, smallmouth, walleye, largemouth, or lake trout, you now have a weapon available to you that will allow you to not only hook those larger fish but to LAND them as well.

I have some customers that use Zig Jigs in saltwater. The new Zig Jig HD will be an excellent option for them, too. We all know how hard those saltwater fish fight!

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