The art of decoy animation

The reason for this article was the controversy on the forums about the types of wiring of passive jig lures. Unfortunately, such disputes are of interest only to spinning professionals, and an ordinary spinning player will see in them only a set of general phrases and understand little in essence. I will try to fix this situation.


A lot has been written about jig, it seems – what more? Nevertheless, the topic remains hot. Having studied the literature and discussions on the forums, a novice spinner can buy the correct, fast and sensitive spinning rod, a reliable cord and a set of absolutely catchy and reliable lures. On the pond, he will quickly learn to read the bottom and will fish – an active predator that eats (from the word “zhor”) everything. But if the predator is passive, and this happens very often, the neophyte will be able to catch well if a tenth of the fish available within his reach. Under these conditions, the master will be able to persuade more than half of the passive predators to bite. Why?

Because beyond the scope of many publications about jig, the most important thing remains – the speed of the transfer and the method of feeding the bait. The essence of skill in spinning is precisely the ability to constantly change the style of feeding the bait, adapting to the changing feeding activity of the predator. Active fish – active bait, passive – passive. That, in fact, is the whole formula – they write on the forum. For the uninitiated, everything is simple: the fish is capricious – put a passive bait and know yourself to catch a harmful predator. How to determine the activity of the fish and the correspondence of the bait to this activity? How to work with this bait? To understand this, it is necessary to consider the method of catching passive fish itself, not from the point of view of choosing the right bait, but from the point of view of the methods of feeding it.


Let’s start with a simple one – fishing in a reservoir where there is no significant current. Everything seems to be clear here. Any reduction in the weight of the bait reduces the rate of retrieval and has a positive effect on the bite. It would seem an axiom! In fact, not quite so. If you reduce the weight of the bait as much as possible, on the verge of being perceived by a spinning rod, you will no longer start fishing because of this. Why? Fishing in calm weather or strictly downwind is quite rare, and the crosswind will blow the thread in an arc and significantly reduce the sensitivity, which is already low at a long distance. A lot of careful bites will just end up off-screen. Increase the sensitivity of the gear? Put in an ultra-thin cord and buy an expensive coal stick of maximum modularity? I do not advise. At the same time, you will no longer catch. This path leads to a dead end, not to mention the material side of the matter. The main thing is that the rate of posting will sharply decrease. You simply will not have time to break through the entire casting zone, where the passive predator is dispersed. An experienced jiggler always starts fishing with a lure that is slightly overweight, and with a medium-fast drive – two turns of the reel and a pause per second. For reservoirs without a current and with depths of up to 6-7 meters, I have this 18 g.

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The weight of the bait should be such that it is clearly readable “into the hand”. In this way, we immediately solve two problems. First, we determine the activity of the predator here and now. If the fish is active, bites will be in different parts of the trajectory, the rate of fishing in this case will be as high as possible. Second, by using a slightly overweight lure at a high rate, we quickly find microrelief anomalies. These are separate snags, steps on the heaps, local pits and navels. The predator always keeps on such a relief. It is worth paying more attention to the found “tasty” places: skip at different angles or dramatically slow down the wiring in this place, significantly reducing the weight of the load. If, instead of correct bites, there are only pokes, presses and blows to the load, if confident bites occur only at the boat itself, when the pace of the wiring slowed down and the step increased, then the predator is passive and simply does not want to chase fast-moving prey. It is here that it is necessary to reduce the speed of posting, that is, to reduce the weight of the bait.


The predator on the current always gravitates towards the unevenness of the bottom micro-relief, which create local lulls and allow it to save energy spent on resisting the flow. During the period of maximum feeding activity, the predator moves in pursuit of prey. As a rule, for this, the edge and the adjacent irrigation area are used – here the current strength is always less than below, in the channel. Such persecution is energetically costly and is justified only by a strong feeling of hunger. At the moments of decreased activity, the predator simply stands on the relief, saving energy, and attacks the prey if it approaches. In this case, the throw distance directly depends on the degree of his activity. A passive predator is ready to attack prey only in close proximity and often, apparently, not so much because of hunger, but because of general aggressiveness. At the same time, the pike perch attacks without opening its mouth, simply pressing the victim to the bottom with a blow.

The selection of the correct wiring in a pond with a current is a more difficult task than in its absence. Here, the algorithm applied in stagnant water will not work. Here, flowing water acts on the bait (or rather, on the cord). The strength of this effect depends on the strength of the current, the thickness of the cord and its length, which shortens as it is guided, as well as the direction of the wiring. The lure on the current can move at the speed of the current, as well as slower or faster. It all depends on the angle between the line and the direction of flow. Reducing the weight of the bait no longer reduces the speed of its movement during retrieval, but increases it. The lure does not move in a straight line, but in an arc and in a couple of seconds of a standard step can fly 5-6 meters above the bottom. By increasing the weight of the load, we will shorten the steps of the bait, but at the same time we will have to increase the speed of the drive. The passive predator won’t like it either.

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A compromise is needed. Under these conditions, this compromise looks something like this: the weight of the bait should be such that it, thrown perpendicular to the direction of the current, would pierce a 45-degree sector for wiring. If less – we lighten, more – we increase the weight. This method of feeding most naturally imitates the behavior of potential prey, which is unable to resist the current, and it is carried away towards the predator standing in the shelter. By changing the direction of casting, we can speed up the drive (casts with upstream elements) or slow it down (casts downstream or close to it). This type of wiring is basic for almost the entire open water season and always works.

On the verge of falling asleep

“Very sleepy wiring with pauses as long as you have patience.” We are talking about fishing with passive foam lure. But what is a long pause and how much patience should be enough? During a long pause, the bait does not just stand at the bottom: it is dragged by the current and the likelihood of catching not on fish, but on shell rock or bottom debris is very high. This wiring will not work better. A pause of two seconds during the course is maximum. Perhaps the author was referring to the wiring in a narrow sector downstream. In this case, the algorithm for selecting the weight of the bait and the rate of retrieval is very close to that for standing water. Here you can already hold the bait for a longer time in an interesting place or add a vertical component to it, playing along with a blank. But you can only fish in a fairly narrow sector in this way, and you will have to constantly maneuver, rearranging the boat across the current.

With a pause, it is more or less clear, but what is “very sleepy wiring”? In late autumn, when the water temperature drops below 7-8 degrees, fast movement is especially energy-intensive for fish. Meanwhile, baits such as a large twister or a ripper with a wide tail blade create powerful acoustic vibrations characteristic of actively moving prey, and this atypical behavior of the “prey” alarms the predator. The time is coming for passive foam and polyurethane foam lures. They are deprived of their own game, which makes them the most catchy in cold water and especially in the current. The question is how to work with them.


Carrying out at a habitually high pace, like silicone products, is not always effective, and keeping it paused for a long time, when the current drags the bait along the bottom, is fraught with frequent snags. It was then that we came to the concept of “sleepy wiring”. This wiring is not like a standard jig, although it is a variation of it. Our goal is to carry the bait to the bottom and at an extremely low rate. The wiring consists of a phase of the slowest possible winding of 5-7 turns of the coil and short pauses – touching the bottom. The main emphasis here is on reeling, not on the size of the fall phase. If in the standard version we perform a couple of quick turns and wait for a bite on a “tasty” pause, then here the fall phase is not interesting to us, it is needed only to control the bottom and is a fraction of a second. If it lengthens, we reduce the rewinding speed, if it shortens, we increase it. At the same time, the bait simply moves slowly at the very bottom, sometimes touching it, and at the same time it is slightly carried away by the current.

This animation most accurately copies the behavior of a food object in cold water and has an irresistible effect on a passive predator. All bites occur during the reeling phase, and often they are completely expressionless. Sub-hangs, butts, but at the same time the percentage of retirements is minimal: the predator confidently grabs the bait. After an unrealized bite, the bait should be returned to the bottom and, after pausing for a couple of seconds, resume wiring. As a rule, the predator attacks again. Here, by the way, the sensory qualities of the blank will be most in demand, since a light, sonorous, high-modulus rod will allow you to see much more bites. The effectiveness of “sleepy” wiring directly depends on its speed: the less, the better. The decrease in speed is achieved primarily by reducing the weight of the load, and secondly, by changing the trajectory of the track with respect to the current.

“Sleepy” guidance allows you to relatively quickly fish large areas of the bottom, which is especially important in autumn, when the predator is no longer tied to the relief of the edge, but is simply dispersed at the bottom of the channel. With all the external simplicity, jig fishing is a very creative process. Wind and current strength, relief, water temperature and predator activity – all these fishing conditions are constantly changing, and this must be constantly taken into account. Jig is a complex formula with many variables. Solving it on a fishing trip, “here and now,” in itself gives pleasure no less than the amplitude correct bite of a predator, transmitted to the hand with a sensitive form.