Many fishing enthusiasts devise ways to catch fish in familiar waters. Manufactured jig moulds allow fishermen to make everyday jigs such as minnow, bullet and dart jigs. Making custom jigs that resemble a food source or incite certain species of fish to strike is done by making your own jig mould. This allows you to design jigs that suit your fishing tactics. Making moulds for freshwater or saltwater jigs begins with designing the jig head.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Paper and pen
- Razor knife or scissors
- 3/4-by-2-inch aluminium stock
- Flat file
- Felt marker
- Bench vice
- Safety glasses
- Electric drill
- Cone grinding bit
- 1/8-inch drill bit
Fold a piece of paper in half. Draw an outline of the jig head near the folded crease. Cut the outline of the head with a razor knife or scissors. Stop the cuts near the folded crease to leave a small 1/8-inch section. Unfold the cutout and the result is two similar patterns that connect with a 1/4-inch long tab.
Cut two pieces of 3/4-by-2-inch aluminium stock 6 inches long, using a hacksaw. Smooth the cut ends of the aluminium with a flat file to remove any burrs. Lay the pieces side by side with the 2-inch sides facing up.
Align the centre of the tab on the jig pattern with the seam between the aluminium pieces. Trace the outlines of the jig head onto each piece of aluminium with a felt marker. Make additional patterns in any style and transfer these to the aluminium. A typical 6-inch long jig mould will make four jigs.
Secure one of half of the aluminium mould in a bench vice with the jig outlines facing up. Wear safety glass before carving the jig patterns. Use an electric drill with a cone grinding tip to carve the patterns. A manufactured jig is used as a reference for the depth of the carvings. Bear in mind, you can detail the jigs with a file once they are removed from the mould. Repeat this with the other half of the aluminium mould and remove it from the vice.
Mark the centre of each carving on the edges of the aluminium pieces as a reference. Turn one side of the mould directly over onto the other and align the reference marks. Clamp the aluminium pieces tightly in the vice with the seam between the pieces facing up.
Drill a 1/8-inch-diameter hole in the seam at each of the centre marks. Make sure the drill bit is perpendicular to the top edges of the aluminium. Drill fully through the seam until the point of the drill bit exits the opposite edge of the pieces. This is necessary to lay the shaft of a fishing hook in the mould.
Place a 3/4-inch-diameter flat washer on the mould and centre the hole in the washer with one of the drilled holes in the seam. Trace the outline of the washer onto the top of the mould. Repeat this at each of the drilled holes.
Use the cone grinding bit to carve a shallow funnel the diameter of your circular outlines at each hole. The funnels should be no more than 1/8 inch deep. Remove the mould from the vice and touch up any carvings as desired. Clamp the sides of the mould together at each end to pour the jigs.
Tips and warnings
- The depth of the carvings determines the weight of the jig.
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