How to Make Homemade Ice Fishing Jigs That Actually Work

Written by chris wolski
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How to Make Homemade Ice Fishing Jigs That Actually Work
Bottle caps can be used to make effective fishing jigs. (bottle caps image by Christopher Walker from

The effectiveness of any lure is dependent on its resemblance to things fish want to eat, its visibility and its hooking ability. Homemade jigs are often made by melting lead and pouring it into a lure mould around a hook; this process can be tricky and a lure mould can be expensive. While jigs need to be weighted to sink, ice-fishing jigs can afford to be lighter than summer jigs as they don't need to fight currents. That said, an easy and effective method of crafting a light jig is to use a bottle cap.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Bottle cap
  • Treble hook
  • Swivel
  • Pliers
  • Small pointed nail
  • Hammer
  • Crazy glue gun
  • Crazy glue
  • Glitter
  • Tiny pebbles

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  1. 1

    Lay your bottle cap on a flat work bench or table, label side up.

  2. 2

    Apply small beads of hot glue to the central area of the cap, especially over darker areas of the label. Sprinkle glitter over the hot glue beads and let set for five minutes.

  3. 3

    Punch two holes in the cap with your nail and hammer; one at 12 o'clock and one at 6 o'clock. Make the holes as small as you can; tap lightly and only put the tip of the nail through the metal. Too large a hole will weaken the metal and decrease the longevity of the lure.

  4. 4

    Attach your treble hook to one of the holes and your swivel to the other.

  5. 5

    Bend the cap 45 degrees by applying pressure with your pliers to the two sides of the cap with no holes.

  6. 6

    Place one or two small pebbles into the folded cap and continue to fold the cap around the pebbles until they are trapped inside; you want to fold the cap enough to ensure that the pebbles stay enclosed while maintaining the pebbles' ability to move and rattle in the cap. The rattling sound will help attract the fish.

  7. 7

    Attach your swivel to your line.

Tips and warnings

  • Pick gold and silver bottle caps that will transmit light. Experiment with dipping your lure in various fish attractants as the fish will not appreciate the smell of a human-handled lure. Adding a piece of bait to your jig such as a minnow or a crayfish can improve your chances of catching fish.
  • Wear gloves when handling the hot glue and mind your fingers when you are hammering the cap. Be sure to check the latest ice-fishing regulations in your area for information on the waters you can fish and the lures and baits you are permitted to use.

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