Feb 19, 2021Latest news

Tungsten jigs. Part 1

Tungsten jigs are considered elite tackle. Tungsten jigs are quite expensive, they are invariably used in sports competitions, and they are indispensable for deep-sea fishing. However, at the same time, anglers with experience are well aware that tungsten is different, and not everything that is sold under the guise of tungsten is such. Before you go shopping for an expensive tungsten jig, you should understand the technological methods and the tricks that are used in the manufacture of jigs from this hard and refractory material. When fishing with a thin tackle, the size of the jig is of decisive importance – the smaller the better. In this case, another parameter comes into conflict – the weight of the tackle. The mass of a small jig should not be too small, otherwise it will adversely affect its play.

The increased weight with small sizes is also very important when fishing at considerable depths, when the resistance of the water column and line is strongly affected. For this reason, for the manufacture of jigs, metals are used, the specific gravity of which is higher than that of traditional lead. The heaviest metals are osmium (density 22.6 g / cm ‘), platinum (21.4 g / cm), tungsten (19.3 g / cm), gold (19.3 g / cm). Metals with a lower specific gravity are lead (11.3 g / cm), silver (10.5 g / cm), molybdenum (10.2 g / cm), and tin (7.3 g / cm).

In order for the tackle to be balanced, it is desirable to have a larger weight jig with a smaller size, that is, use a material with a high specific gravity. For these purposes, the heaviest metals are ideally suited, which at the same time are easily processed and soldered, and this is primarily gold, platinum, osmium, iridium. The only drawback here is that the loss of a jig made of a noble and very expensive metal will cause significant financial damage to its former owner. Although still occasionally sports anglers and fishing fans make gold and platinum jigs. For obvious reasons, less expensive materials are used to make jigs. For two decades, tungsten has been the most common material for weighted jigs. This material is relatively inexpensive, but it is difficult to process it, in its pure form it practically does not tin. And in terms of refractoriness, tungsten is generally the record holder – its melting point is 3416.

Theoretically, the weight of a jig made of tungsten should exceed the mass of the same size lead by 1.7 times. However, given certain technological difficulties in the processing of tungsten, products made from it always contain certain lighter impurities or inclusions that reduce the overall density, and hence the weight of the finished product. For the manufacture of tungsten jigs, the following technologies are most widely used:

Mormyshka with soldered hook

The body of the jig made of pure tungsten is electroplated with another metal that allows soldering. All that remains is to solder a hook with a ring, and the jig is ready. The quality of the jig depends on the correct centering of the hook when soldering, a small amount of solder (no sagging) and the strength of the electroplating. If the electroplating is not reliable, sooner or later it will fall off. And although you can still get the fish on the hook, the body of the jig will sink to the bottom of the reservoir. This design makes the most of the weight advantage of tungsten – no holes, no cuts, only material and a hook. The solder layer of the hook also leads to a slight decrease in density. There is also no contact between the line and hard tungsten, which quickly grinds the line.

Such jigs are good for catching “standing”, “wiggling”, for deep fishing (from two meters) with a low frequency and smooth amplitude. In such a jig it is easy to re-solder a broken hook yourself. However, this design has one significant drawback: when fishing in shallow water, the game turns out to be somewhat “broken”, an undesirable so-called fight around the hook ring occurs. It is possible to significantly reduce (but not completely eradicate) this phenomenon by tying the fishing line not to the hook ring, but to the forend, passing it through the ring.

Jig with a hole

The second method of manufacturing is as follows: in the body of the workpiece, the jig drill two holes: a through hole for the fishing line and a blind hole for soldering the hook. The through to protect the line is countersunk and sanded or a soft thin cambric is inserted. This is a good jig design, but it requires a quality sample and a high qualification of the manufacturer. After all, a ready-made jig can no longer be balanced. However, drilled holes already reduce weight, wide holes reduce significantly. The disadvantage of this design is that the hard metal quickly grinds the line through the hole. The quality of the hole edges is very important here. The widespread method of inserting a cambric into the hole under the fishing line solves the problem of chafing, but inevitably leads to a decrease in the weight of the finished jig. Indeed, for the cambric, you have to drill a wider hole, choosing a fair amount of heavy metal.

Jig with sawn groove

a groove is sawn in the body of the jig workpiece, into which, after galvanic treatment, a tin hook is soldered. Before soldering, a non-soldered wire is inserted into the groove, which is subsequently removed – we get holes for the fishing line. The method is good, but only when the groove is sharpened to the smallest possible size. The groove can be cut to such a width that a thin hook will fit into it with an interference fit, or it can be made about a millimeter wide, thereby simplifying the technological process. And if the jig is still elongated, then the groove is even longer, but why do we need so much tin in tungsten? The overall density and weight of a product with a large groove will inevitably decrease. The sharp edges of tungsten cut the line, therefore fluoroplastic cambric is often inserted into the groove before brazing, keeping the line intact. And if the jig is 6-10 mm, then this option is acceptable. But the most popular ones are 3-5 mm, and a wide cambric can bring the weight of such a tungsten jig closer to lead.

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