I’ve been tying with beads and pins since I started tying last year. I chose the method because of my aversion to working so closely with lead and the availability of options in regard to bead colors and sizes. I get most of my beads from http://www.lurepartsonline.com and the beads or nails I use generally come from craft or hardware stores. These jigs have also proved to be incredibly durable in comparison to painted lead-head jigs I’ve obtained from commercial dealers and rarely show any of the expected wear that is associated with bouncing your jig off the bottom as you experiment with float depth or leader length. I use Owner jig hooks for my steelhead and salmon jigs and tie with rabbit fur, the occasional strand of Maribou, flash, and wiggle legs in white or pink. Bronze beads have brought me the most success, but I also have black and nickel beads that I use depending on the day or species being targeted. I’ll use this post as a gallery to share some of my creations, which may get posted because of their success or creativity.
In this off season while the rivers are closed I’ve taken it upon myself to start tying my own jigs. There’s obviously much to learn and little feedback on the effectiveness of anything I tie up with the rivers mostly closed until June 1st. I’ve been trying a lot of techniques and generally tying up a wide variety of jigs for trout, salmon, and steelhead. I refuse to pour lead for protection of my own health and that of the river systems I fish in, so I’m tying almost exclusively bead and pin jigs. I’ve got quite the variety of beads and hook sizes to work with and look forward to the river’s opening up again so that I can start narrowing down what works for me and what I can leave behind. This jig above is one of my first forays into tying hackle feathers. Obviously I’ve got a lot of work to do.