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Basic Tackle Review

The not so "Select" Big Daddy's Jigs

Date: 3/30/05
Tackle type: Basic Tackle
Manufacturer: Big Daddys
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: 6.83

Introduction: Jigheads are some of the most versatile types of tackle available to anglers, yet are surprisingly often widely overlooked. The reason jigheads don't receive the well deserved attention is simply because they are just one part of the lure, not a finished and easily identifiable bait in itself. New lifelike jigheads from companies like Storm and Revenge are starting to change this, but most anglers still rely on good old lead-heads for most of their rigging. We take a look at Big Daddy's Select Football Jigheads to see just how "select" these jigs really are.


Big Daddy's Jighead Specifications

Material Lead
Diving Depth Any
Weight 1/4oz
Style tested Football
Additional Features lengthy hook, re-sealable packaging
MSRP $1.99 (per pack of 5)

Impressions: Whether its a jig and grub, jig and tube, or jig and worm...the versatility of these simple jigs never ceases to amaze me. Jig fishing is all about action, and jigs seem to do a great job keeping lures bouncing in and out of the strike zone enticing strikes. These same jigs can also be pitched or flipped, and even swam back to the boat. Football heads like those found on our test BDS (Big Daddy's Select) jigs are best suited for bottom work, where bumping and thumping requires a head that won't easily get caught up.


Big Daddy's Football heads come 5 to a pack


There are cases when certain tackle immediately catches my attention in terms of quality or design once I have had an opportunity to really sit down and evaluate them, unfortunately the BDS Jigs were not one such example. Out of our three bags (each containing 5 jigs each) 8 of them were flawed in one way or another. The lead molds were not within tight tolerances and many of the plastic holding burrs were either deformed or completely missing. This immediately made it more difficult to get plastics rigged perfectly. The only other observation was that the hooks were set further back than most jigheads, much more so than Gamakatsu or Owner originals.


Complete Rig for Big Daddy's Jighead Tests

Rod Bass Pro Shops Bionic Blade BNC66MT
Reel Shimano Curado
Line 12 lb Shakespeare Supreme (smooth)

Real World Tests: We tested the BDS jigheads with Bass Pro XPS double tail grubs, and the much more salt impregnated Yamamoto Hula Grubs in both deep water jigging and along rocky outcroppings parallel to shore. Most of our tests were conducted in favorable conditions with the water close to 60 degrees and water clarity at 2-3 feet.


Casting: The 1/4oz jighead combined with a 5" plastic is plenty enough weight to cast with a medium or medium/heavy rod. Casting distance is unaffected by wind, and the lure combo is generally easy to flip and pitch around structure. Because most anglers will rig the jighead exposed this is not a setup that you will want to pitch directly into heavy cover. It is possible to rig a jighead weedless, and we were able to do it with the BDS, thanks to the extremely long hook. The BDS jighead can also be fished with a grub directly under the boat by simply vertically jigging on the bottom or trying to target suspended fish.


We  had some concerns about the quality and consistency of the lead molds, some of our jigs showed obvious flaws in the pours


Retrieve: When vertically jigging the head shape doesn't matter much, but the football head on the BDS is absolutely great for working the bottom. The heavier and wider head falls toward the bottom propping your rigged grub's tail up, which looks much more like a realistic retreating craw to me. This angle also tends to reduce snags, while increasing hookups from swift strikes. When bouncing the jig back  on the bottom the football head also tends to stir up more dirt while plowing through structure rather than hanging up, both very nice advantages. During our tests most of the strikes were definitely noticeable as a tick-tick, and in some cases downright violent. The BDS jighead has such a elongated hook that a lot of fish we hooked into seemed to have set themselves, often quite far back in their mouths. 


The longer hook allows you to place the hook right at the center of 5 inch jigs like the Yamamoto Hula Grub


Durability: The BDS Jighead can take plenty of punishment, though the hooks do seem to bend rather easily. Still, they are durable and will easily outlast most plastic grubs you choose to rig up. Like all jigheads once the lead is exposed to water it will darken in color, but this doesn't seem to affect performance at all. After a few uses the hooks did dull a bit, but a hook sharpener gave the jigs a new lease on life.


The longer than average hook did help stick more fish, some of which seemed to set themselves


Price: The BDS jigs are economical...at 1.99 per each pack of 5 they are among the cheapest jigheads on the market. But jigheads are not all that expensive to begin with, and Gamakatsu and Owner originals usually cost 2.99 to 3.99 per pack, equating to 20 to 40 cents more per jig. Bass Pro XPS jigheads usually cost 1.99 to 2.69 putting them right at the same price point, yet these don't seem to have the imperfections that plagued our BDS jigs. Is it worth it to pay 20 cents more for a jig that make use of a Gamakatsu or Owner hook, and feature a perfect mold? We think so. Is it worth it to pay 40 cents more? Maybe not. Whatever your preference, there are some cases when you are continually missing strikes that you may want a much longer hook on your jig, it is in these cases that you can overlook the BDS's flaws.

Big Daddys Jighead Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Inconsistent quality plagued our jigs, some of the jigs had missing burrs, others had deformed lead pours. It bothered us how just over 50% of the jigheads out of our 3 bags were considered flawed 5
Performance The performance of these jigs was good once rigged. They are a bit trickier to rig because of the long hook and deformed lead, but there are advantages to having a hook set back so far in some cases 8
Price These jigheads may not be the prettiest but they are among the cheapest. Maybe its a case of you get what you pay for 7
Features There are few features on the BDS jigheads. Multiple sizes are available 6
Design (Ergonomics) The design has us torn. There are advantages to the long hook layout, and we like the large heavy football head but these are also limiting factors as well 7
Application This lure can be used effectively both vertically and in and around structure. It can be jigged, cast, flipped, pitched, and bounced effectively. The only thing the football head is not well suited for is swimming 8

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Oversized football head avoids snags L Flaws in the lead molds
J Good presentation when fishing L Inconsistent quality pack to pack
J Low cost  

Conclusion: I'm a bit torn on these jigs. The layout and oversized football heads definitely are useful in certain circumstances, and I did experience I higher hook up ratio than with jigs with significantly shorter hooks. The jigs do have flaws in terms of the quality of their molds, and consistency between bags. In some bags almost all the jigs are perfect, while others had 3 of the 5 jigs exhibiting deformed lead burrs. Do they work in the field? Yes. Are they the best choice for the money? That's debatable. If I were out fishing for the weekend I think that these jigheads would do just fine, but if I were in a tournament situation I would have to think twice about whether or not saving 20 cents per jig was worth not arming myself with a flawless molded jighead and a premium hook.









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