Eight Great Tube Bait Heads
Garry Garland makes four of the best
tube jig heads on the market. They are his Gitzit F Series
Insider, T Series Insider, Finesse Head, and Minnow Head. Each of
these has its own special characteristics that can make one
better than the other in certain situations. We will tell you
more about this in the article below, and also tell you of
several other brands of great tube jig heads - ten in all! After
all, a great tube bait like the Gitzit deserves a great tube jig
There are so many copies of the original
Gitzit on the market today, that you have an incredible choice of
tube bait bodies. However there are not that many good tube bait
heads. Even if you do not always use Garry Garland's Gitzit
bodies, you should always use his heads. Garry perfectly balances
his Gitzit heads to bring out the best Gitzit tube action - which
is an erratic, unpredictable side-to-side action on a horizontal
glide, and an erratic, unpredictable zigzag or a spiral fall on
the sink. Many other vendors' tube jig heads are just not
properly balanced in order to generate as much action as the
Two Series of Insiders. Garry's Insider
Lead Heads come in two series, the T Series and F Series. Both
are rigged inside the tube bait. Both develop that wavering
Garland action as a tube bait drops on a semi-tight line. An
important thing you control is exactly where you bring the hook
eye out from inside the tube bait. As a rule of thumb, the
further back (within reason) you rig a jig inside the tube, the
more action you will get! The T Series is for normal situations
and has a medium wire 4/0. The F Series sports a heavy 2/0 hook.
Both come in 1/16, 1/8, 1/4, 3/8 oz.
Gitzit Finesse Head. A third great jig
head from Garry is his original Gitzit Finesse Head. It comes in
only one size, 1/16 oz. Do not be fooled into thinking 1/16 oz is
too light. If you've ever cast a tube bait, then you know you can
cast a 1/16 oz. head and get far out even on 12 lb. test gear.
This head is outstanding in that it gives tubes one of the
best spiral falls on light tackle. It's different from most other
jig heads in that it has a very large barb that acts like a keel
to seesaw weight/balance back behind the hook eye as you allow
your lure to sink on a semi-tight line. This allows the Gitzit to
develop a spiraling action on the sink and an erratic,
unpredictable side-to-side action on the retrieve. Most often,
the Gitzit Finesse head is rigged externally, but it can also be
rigged internally. As a rule of thumb, if you rig a jig head
externally, the tube will sink faster and spiral more sharply
than if the same head is rigged internally.
Minnow Heads. For light lines and medium
to fast running water, use Garry Garland's Original Minnow Head
Jigs in 1/8 to 1/4 oz. These are silvery minnow-shaped heads
painted with black eyes. Each head is clear coated for additional
gloss and to retain the underlying metal's shiny luster. It has a
gold wire #2/0 Aberdeen hook. I just drift the tube along near
bottom and many fish just suck the bait in without any clue of a
hit. Because of the thin gold wire hooks, a little honing renders
them hypodermic sharp and most fish will hook themselves with
little assistance from you as you drift your jig in the current.
I sometimes kirb or bend the hook slightly to the side to
facilitate this. Look at the bass you catch face to face. If you
notice you are consistently hooking them in one side of the jaw,
then kirb your hook slightly in that direction.
I usually rig these outside the bait. The Minnow Head jig has
a large barb that acts like a keel to shift weight/balance back
behind the hook eye as you allow your lure to float downstream in
a current on a semi-tight line. This allows the Gitzit to develop
an erratic, unpredictable drift that reacts as if alive to every
swirl or surge in the current as the tube is buffeted downstream.
Yamamoto Round Head. I also wish to
mention Yamamoto round head jigs. I do not use them inside of
tubes. I get more action from a tube bait body by using them on
If anyone knows of a better round head jig, please tell me so
I can buy them and use them myself. Otherwise, I say the
Yamamoto's are the best light weight round heads on the market. I
will tell you why I feel that way:
1.) They come in precisely graduated sizes of 1/16, 1/8, 3/16,
1/4 ounces, allowing you to tune into the exactly right size for
the fishing situation at hand.
2.) They come with a thin but very strong high carbon steel
hook from Owner.
3.) They come with a large gap hook -- looks like a 3/0 in the
1/16 and 1/8
4.) They are precision made and center-balanced.
Center-balancing allows the head to react more to jigging, rod
shaking, water flow, bouncing into things, etc. As the
center-balanced head reacts, it imparts more life-like action to
the soft plastic tail dressing.
I take cutters or pliers to completely remove the lead collar
from the Yamamoto Round Head jigs. Removing the collar makes the
Yamamoto Round Heads even more center-balanced and responsive to
rod or water movement. Then I glue a Gitzit right onto the bare
jig hook shank behind the ball head. You get a better balance out
of the ball head and a more life-like action and quiver out of
TR Lead Head. Garry's brother, Bobby
Garland has also got a good one called the TR Lead Head. TR
stands for Texas Rig. It is a pointy streamlined leadhead on a
medium wire 4/0 offset bend hook. It can go inside or outside the
tube. If you use it outside, superglue it on. It comes in 1/16,
1/8, 1/4 oz. It comes through heavy cover quite nicely, and you
can rig it "Tex-posed" which exposes the hook for
better hooksets, or rig it plain old Texas style, which
completely hides the hook for the most weedless and snagless
situations. Click here to learn more about Tex-posed and good old
Rocker Head. Bobby Garland also provides
a mushroom style head with a single upright flexible wire prong
weedguard. He calls it his Rocker head. It's best action is
gotten by rigging it inside a tube bait as opposed to outside. It
is used when you want to work tubes right on the bottom. The
mushroom shape helps the tube stand upright, and the wire prong
protects the hook point from getting hung up as much as an open
Minnow Profile Insert Head. Bobby has
something pretty cool called a Minnow Profile Tube Lure Insert.
It is exactly that, a profile shape of a minnow head that goes
inside and stretches the head of the tube slightly to transform
the round tube bait into an authentic-looking minnow profile. I
pair these with the 3 3/4" Gitzits that Garry makes with the
realistic eyes! Between the eyes and the stretched form of the
minnow head profile, it looks classic! Like Garry's Minnow
Head which we mentioned above, I also like to use Bobby's Minnow
Insert in rivers, streams and flows. It comes in 1/8 and 1/4 oz.
Bobby can be reached at 870-481-5363.
Last but not least, there afre a few
good wireguard jig hooks that are the next "step up"
from an exposed jig hook. Oldham Lures makes some. Oldham's wires
are very thin - and they are not as snag resistant as a
fiberguard - but much better than an exposed hook. There are two
models of Oldham wireguards that can work for tubes:
- First, and strictly designed for tubes is the Oldham Weedless
Tube Head with a 3/0 medium wire hook. It comes in a full
"tool set" of 1/16, 1/8, 3/16 and 1/4 oz. To rig one,
first slowly bend the wireguard all the way straight forward in
front of the hook eye. Moisten the tube, and start to insert the
wireguard and jig head inside the tube. Poke the wireguard out
the top of the tube about 1/4" from its nose. Continue to
work the jig head forward until you can also poke the jig eye out
the top of the tube, creating a second hole for the hook eye just
in front of where the wireguard pokes out of the tube. Now slowly
bend the wireguard all the way back to its original shape
covering the hook point.
- Second is the Oldham Weedless Screwlock Moss Head with a 3/0
medium wire hook. This one goes on the outside of the tube and it
has a screwlock that you kind of screw the tube onto the hook
shank. It holds very well...the bait gets locked on good! This is
also a great head for swimming 4" and 5" single tail
grubs and 5" to 6" ribbontail worms through light to
medium weed and wood cover.
The final step with either Oldham jig head is to take the two
sides of the wireguard and spread them as far apart to the sides
as you can. You do this to make the wireguard protect the hook
point from snags when the tube rolls over on its sides. Fanning
the wires out to the side even protects from snagging if the
wireguard springs open duroing the retrieve. However, for the
best snag protection, always tuck the wireguard back under the
hookpoint if you see that it has sprung open. During the
excitement of catching a few good fish, the wire can become bent
up or loosen up. A little drop of superglue where the wire enters
the leadhead can stiffen it up again. Eventually, you should just
yank the bedragled wire out with pliers, converting it to an
exposed hook jig. But by that time, I am sure you will not mind!
Keep in mind it's a thin wireguard that works great in all
kinds of grass, and in sparse brush, skipping baits under
overhanging bushes and under weeping willows. It is not for heavy
cover though, you need a fiberguard for that!
Finally, if you can ever find it, there is an incredibly great
wireguard tube jig head that has disappeared off the market these
days. During the mid-nineties it was offered by both Terry Oldham
and Lonnie Stanley's companies, and also retailed in mail order
catalogs like Barlows. Stanley marketed it as a component of his
Jigzit tube bait, whereas Oldham called it a "2 Way"
meaning it could be rigged inside or outside. It had a 3/0 medium
hook and the design was absolutely perfect for tubes. It is one
of my all time favorite tube jig heads, and I have several
hundred in my private stock. If I ever uncover a source for them
again, I will let you know.