The Best Hand Tied Crappie Jig

Matt Johnson
Matt JohnsonPublished: February 5, 2023
The Best Hand Tied Crappie Jig

Fishing is a great way to relax and unwind, but it can also be very rewarding. To get the most out of your fishing experience you need the right bait. One option is hand-tied crappie jigs, which offer many advantages over store bought lures. Not only are they customizable in any color or pattern you desire, but they also require minimal materials and skills to make - making them an ideal choice for both beginner and experienced anglers alike.

Whichever route you go, we're going to provide some of our favorite and the best hand-tied jigs on the market as well as a quick rundown of how to tie your own jigs.

But first, lets discuss crappie in a bit more detail so we know what we're going after.

What crappie eat and why hand-tied jigs work.

Crappie is a freshwater fish that has many different names, such as papermouths, strawberry bass, speckled bass, speckled perch, white perch, crappie bass, calico bass, and Oswego bass. They're one of the favorites for anglers due to their delicious taste and the ease of catching.

When you're fishing for a particular species, in this case crappie, you really need to know how they think. What do they eat? How do they behave? What lures do they respond to best?

When it comes to crappie, they're actively feeding on small fish, insects and crustaceans. That's why having the right type of jig is key to catching them. Hand-tied jigs are a great choice because they provide an attractive presentation with plenty of movement in the water.

The materials used to make hand-tied jigs are usually very light and buoyant, which makes them easier for a crappie to pick up with its small mouth. They come in all shapes, sizes, colors and weights so you can customize your presentation based on the lake or type of fish you're fishing for.

The most popular types of hand-tied jigs are beetle spins, marabou jigs, bucktail jigs and blade baits. These jig types all have unique features that make them attractive to crappie. Beetle spins wiggle attractively in the water, while marabou has a more subtle presentation. Bucktail jigs add lots of movement and flash, while blade baits are perfect for fishing in deeper water.

No matter which type of hand-tied jig you choose, make sure it's designed specifically for crappie fishing.

The best hand-tied crappie jigs.

We've done a lot of crappie fishing over the years and used a lot of hand-tied crappie jigs, rigs, fish hooks, etc. However, there are three that really stand out that we continuously go back to whenever we're going specks.

What really make these hand-tied crappie jigs worth it is the quality. Each of these hold up nicely in all conditions. There are some really cheap ones you can find online from various sellers, but many of them fall apart or even arrive broke. Nothing irks us more than getting a 3 pack of jigs in the mail to find one of them is already cracked - what are we going to do with that!?

You get the point.

These three hand-tied jigs hold up, catch fish and are our absolute favorite for catching crappie at FGR.

SouthBend Handcrafted Crappie Fishing Jigs

SouthBend Handcrafted Crappie Fishing Jigs

Anglers agree that the SouthBend Handcrafted Crappie Fishing Jig is one of the best out there for catching crappie.

It's expertly crafted with select materials, making it highly durable and long-lasting. The full, pulsating marabou tails create a life-like movement in the water, drawing in even picky fish. Its carefully painted heads come in attractive colors like chartreuse, which makes them easy to find even in murky water.

We used these out on Lake Travis recently and absolutely slayed the crappie with these.

Dr. Fish Bucktail Jigs

Dr. Fish Bucktail Jigs

Fishermen rave about the Dr. Fish Bucktail Jigs for their realistic 3D eyes, scaled holographic jig body, and milky bucktail that glows in the dark. These jigs are handcrafted with premium materials made in the USA and designed to provide a realistic gliding-through and swim-along action in the water. It's perfect for jigging off the bottom to target weakfish, fluke, walleye and other inshore species like bluefish, stripers and snook. Each pack contains three jigs, each weighing 1/2oz of lead - making it an ideal choice for those seeking an effective yet easy-to-use jig.

The hooks are highly durable with super sharpness and come in attractive colors like blues, reds, and other neon colors, giving you options when out on the lake. These crappie jigs come in just about any color you can imagine.

We've used Dr. FIsh's products in the past, some better than others, but the ones we keep coming back to are their hand-tied crappie jigs.

Strike King Spin Baby Beetle Spin

Strike King Spin Baby Beetle Spin

We are thoroughly impressed with the Strike King Spin Baby Beetle Spin for its incredible vibrating action and unique custom blade. Constructed with a beefy shadpole CT body, it provides tremendous versatility making it ideal for targeting different species of fish.

It also comes with a premium Eagle Claw light wire platinum black hook, ensuring maximum strength and durability when you need it most.

Each pack contains one jig made from synthetic material, weighing only 1/8oz - providing just the right amount of weight without being too heavy. The Tuxedo Black color is a favorite, but these hand-tied crappie jigs also come in almost any a color to include glimmer blue, hot chicken, and refrigerator white (we love the names of the colors) so you can try the various colors in your fishing hole.

How to hand tie a crappie jig?

This really depends on the type of jig you are tying. Generally speaking, hand-tied crappie jigs require a few basic materials: lead head, marabou feathers, thread and/or wire, beads in various sizes and colors, and a hook or split ring if needed.

After gathering all your material it is time to start tying. You will want to start by securing your lead head to the thread or wire, followed by adding the marabou feathers in whatever pattern you desire. When tying with marabou feathers you will want to make sure that they stay secure and don’t come loose too easily as this can reduce their effectiveness when fishing.

Next, you will want to add the beads in whatever pattern or size you prefer. This helps to create a more realistic and attractive lure that can be seen from further away, especially in murky water.

Finally, don’t forget to include a hook or split ring so that your jig is ready for fishing as soon as it is completed. Many of the lead heads come with hooks on them, so this might be a moot point.

There you have it, your very own hand-tied jigs. Try out different colors at different times and conditions to see what you can pull in. The best part of making your own hand-tied crappie jigs is coming up with varous patterns and colors to match your fishing needs. With practice you can be an expert in no time at all.

What is the best hand tied crappie jig colors?

We've caught specks of all different sizes on just about every color imaginable. The color really depends on the water clarity and what type of fish you are targeting. Brighter colors work better in murkier waters while more natural colors do better in clearer waters.

That being said, some of our favorites include: chartreuse, white/yellow, black/blue, olive green, and pink.

  • Chartreuse is a great all-around color that works well in a variety of conditions. It's also great for attracting the larger specks.
  • White/yellow is also a popular choice as it offers contrast and visibility, making it ideal for murky water.
  • Black/blue is another classic color combination that offers minimal reflection but still provides good visibility.
  • Olive green and pink are two colors we often use in clearer waters. These two offer a more natural look to the fish.

Try different colors and combinations until you find what works for you. You will also have to try different colors based on weather conditions and water clarity.

Hit the lake and catch crappie with your hand-tied crappie jigs!

Hand-tied crappie jigs are a great way to target different types of fish. They can be customized in any color or pattern you desire. Whether you prefer store bought jigs like the Strike King Spin Baby Beetle Spin for increased strength and durability, or if you decide to make your own by gathering materials such as lead head, marabou feathers, thread and/or wire beads in various sizes and colors - there is something for everyone.

For those looking for convenience without sacrificing quality, purchasing pre-made jig sets may be the best option. However, for avid fishers who want more control the design – hand tying their own could prove beneficial.

Whichever route you choose to go down when fishing this season remember that practice makes perfect. So hit the lake with confidence knowing that whatever bait you use it will catch some specks.

Matt Johnson

Matt Johnson

Master Outdoorsman

Matt is a seasoned outdoorsman with expertise in fishing, hunting, and wildlife. With a Master's degree in Wildlife Science, he combines his passion for nature with conservation efforts, sharing his knowledge through his writing for Fish and Game Report.