Ask three different anglers how to rig a Shimano Butterfly jig, and you’ll get three different answers. Actually, even Shimano contradicts itself now and again—between their videos, jig packaging, and web site, you can find three different “correct” methods. When Butterfly jigs first came out and speed-jigging became the technique dejure, I spent a heck of a lot of time figuring these things out for myself. I had two days offshore with a Shimano rep, then spent an entire season researching and field-testing different rigging and jigging methods to figure out which matched up the best (which ultimately culminated in my latest book, Rudow’s Guide to Modern Jigging). So I’m pretty dang comfortable when I say that these rigging methods are, in fact, good ones to use.
1. Leadered hook(s), top-rigged – Use this method when rigging up to speed-jig or yo-yo. You’ll miss 90-percent of the fish that strike as the jig sinks, but you’ll get good, solid jaw-hooks from those that strike as it’s zooming up through the water, which is the whole purpose of speed-jigging in the first place. I found a slightly-higher strike-to-hookup ratio with two hooks as opposed to one, but also found the hooks tangle every now and again. Pick your poison.
2. Leadered hook on top, split ring hook bottom – Use this method when vertical jigging over structure. That will help you latch on to most of the fish that strike during the sink.
3. Leadered hook top, treble hook bottom – Rig up this way when you’re vertical jigging in open water, or over snag-free bottom. You’ll get solid hook-sets with the most strikes this way, regardless of when or how the fish hits. But never rig that treble on the bottom when jigging over structure, or you’ll get snagged in no time.
One final rigging note: Always attach your main line to the solid ring on the hook’s leader, not the split ring. Those split rings often have a jagged point at the end, which can cause some serious line wear.
For more info, visit the Shimano website. And let us know how you rig your Butterfly jig.