The Jika Rig is a great option for heavy cover when you want to fish a lure close to the bottom – which is essentially what rockfishing or wrasse fishing is. The Jika rig falls vertically, meaning it punches through weed well and limits the chance of getting hung up. Traditionally, a Jika rig is made from three components – an offset hook, a split ring and a weight – although there are some options which I’ll cover further down.
Unlike other rigs where you tie the hook directly to the leader line, with Jika the leader material ties to the split-ring. You can also connect to the split ring via a small swivel (option number one).
Next, attach the offset hook to the split ring. This is the only part of the process that may cause you some grief. The size of the eye on your hook may not be large enough to accommodate the gauge of the split rings you have. Therefore, having some different sized split-ring options to-hand to match to your preferred hooks is advisable. Of course, there are also offset hooks with oversize eyes to make the job easier.
My second option, which really is a personal tip from me, is to try a ‘ringed’ hook. This is an off-set hook that features a strong, welded, solid ring through the eye. This has two advantages as I see it. A safer, easier component to tie the leader to, and facilitating the use of a thinner, weaker split ring as the link to the weight. The HTO Jika Weights seen here are designed for both methods, featuring a round eye sinker attachment for standard Jika rigging, and a lightweight split-ring for attachment to a solid ring. Perfect.
You can use a column style weight for snag resistance, or a pear / ball shape for improved feel, just make sure it has a round eye, not pinch-style.
My third option for the Jika rig is to use a standard J-hook. Perhaps a bit contemporary, as throwing a standard, non-weedless hook into heavy cover is perhaps not advisable. However, there are real advantages to be made in hook-up rates by using a standard J-hook, when the conditions allow. The advantages of the Jika rig are not limited to using off-set, weedless hooks. If I can target an area from above and feel my way through cover, or indeed fish hard on the bottom at the edge of rocks or weed, then I often consider using an open hook. I will land more fish.