Rigging the Q-Tail
Like the Flex Mullet, we’ve designed the Q-Tail to be rigged several different ways, but unlike the Flex Mullet, the difference in rigging is very much dependent on your retrieve style. Here’s the breakdown. Let’s say you’re fishing for trout on a depth change with moving water where a flat drops into a channel. You’re standing in three feet and throwing into 6-8 feet of water. We recommend a more finesse retrieve with a nice, smooth jigging motion. To accomplish this with the Q-Tail, we recommend tying on a jighead with a 90⁰ line-tie and eyelet. A great headstand style jighead for finesse fishing is the Z-Man Shroomz jighead. It really excess in these situations. Conversely, you could go with a weedless design by Texas rigging the Q-Tail. This will allow you to make the same finesse retrieve, but also hides the hook point so as to not get it hung up on anything. What if you’re throwing over grass and need to run the Q-Tail along the tops of the grass flats? We recommend the shank-weighted design. No other rigging type fishes grass flats better than a shank-weighted rig. The Q-Tail can straight retrieve over grass flats and put out wake and heavy vibration just like a paddle tail. Next time you’re fishing muddy water, throw on a Q-Tail and wait for the strike. Those Louisiana muddy reds will really feel the tail vibrations of the Q-Tail.
Rigging the Killi Jerk
Big bait, big fish, big hook. We recommend 5/0 or 6/0 hooks to allow for a large hook gap and better hook up ratio. When fishing grass potholes, we do recommend a weedless design. The rate at which you’d like the Killi Jerk to sink (horizontally mind you) is the deciding factor when going with either a shank-weighted hook or a weightless rig. A weightless rig offer a really slow sink rate and is the ideal setup when fishing shallow water (3-4 ft.) potholes when the fish are going to be sluggish (i.e., winter). Moreover, the weightless Killi Jerk give you incredible feel and allows you to detect even the lightest trout bump, something that could be a big deal when fishing for cold-water gators! They aren’t known for hammering lures in that state. A shank-weighted will offer the same horizontal fall but at a faster rate. If you’re fishing deeper water (6-8 ft.) and need a more aggressive retrieve, we recommended going with a shank weighted hook. The Killi Jerk also does well when rigged on a headstand style jighead and worked like a fluke in a smooth vertical jigging motion. The situation where this style of retrieve is most effective is deeper oysters or sand guts for schooling trout. We’d be remiss not to mention that folks in Florida have been really successful catching those big-mouthed snook on the Killi Jerk. It’s a nice big bait for getting the attention of a sight feeding fish like a big snook.
A Note About Hook Eyelet Angles
Hook eyelet angles come in three different variations, generally speaking; 90⁰, 135⁰, and 180⁰. There might be some slight variation to this rule, but these three angles are a good starting point for the purposes of this discussion. Below is a visual reference of the line-tie angles at 90⁰, 135⁰, and 180⁰.
A 90⁰ eyelet provided a 90⁰ (or vertical) line-tie. For instances where you are fishing deeper water, we recommend a hook that has a 90⁰ line-tie. This line-tie angle will allow the lure to sink more horizontally. If you are fishing deep structure for feeding trout, or potholes in the winter for big trout, we recommend the Killi Jerk rigged on a 90⁰ eyelet jighead. If there is too much grass, we recommend going with the weedless, shank-weighted setup. Another benefit of the 90⁰ line-tie is when working over deeper oysters or rocks, the horizontal sinking motion is less prone to getting hung on said oysters or rocks. 90⁰ line-ties are the least favorable when working over or in grass as the vertical line readily snags on blades of grass.
A 135⁰ eyelet provides an angled line-tie, and is recommended for swimming or straight retrieve lures like paddle tails. This is the power fishing angle. A 135⁰ eyelet is the perfect rig for the Flex Mullet. The Q-Tail rigged on a 135⁰ degree eyelet jighead is also a really effective power fishing setup. The angled line-tie does a decent job of shedding grass. You will see a lot of 135⁰ eyelet jigheads with an upswept nose. This design is meant to help deflect grass and make the design slightly more weedless that it normally would be.
A 180⁰ eyelet provides a horizontal line-tie that runs about perpendicular with the swimming direction of the lure. Line-ties at 180⁰ are uncommon in jigheads, but are very common in shank-weighted or Texas rig setups. This line-tie will be the most weedless design. A horizontal line-tie, as it is a very weight-forward design, is ideal for flukes or jerkbaits – something that is used in a jigging motion, and less as a straight retrieve. That’s not to say that it cannot be used on paddle tail. It most definitely can, and should be when working areas with heavy grass cover. We recommend a 180⁰ line-tie in a Texas Rig design for both the Q-Tail and the Killi Jerk lines.