Legendary bassman Mike Iaconelli lent his expertise to VMC when the company upgraded its standard rugby jig with this free-wheeling articulated design. The unique head’s side-to-side swings enhance softbait action while expanding your jig-slinging options for everything from brutal conditions to suicide bites.
Hands-down, my favorite thing about the VMC Swinging Rugby Jig is the way it allows soft plastics and bio baits to flow along more naturally on the retrieve.
It absolutely rocks for one of my go-to presentations for covering deep water quickly on the hunt for isolated rock and gravel, which is skittering a Biffle- or beaver-style trailer along bottom behind an articulated jig head. But this jig can do so much more. Since it’s available in weights from ¼ through ¾ ounces, you can fish it at a variety of depths, with tippings ranging from finesse baits and tubes to creatures and large worms. Tumble it down a shallow ditch, ply a midrange rock line or search the abyss—it’s up to the job.
Other great features I appreciate include the hook’s extra-long Z-bend. Situated just below where the hook meets the head, it helps keep the softbait trailer firmly in place, while ensuring that the plastic doesn’t hinder the head’s rocking action. This is a cool combination, because it sucks when your softbait balls up in the hook bend—rendering your presentation impotent—yet it’s nice to pin the bait in place without compromising the jig’s ability to gyrate like Elvis while it’s bouncing along bottom.
Of course, the wide-gap VMC hook also features the company’s trademark surgical sharpening process for wickedly sticky performances.
A recessed line tie is another nice touch that reduces hang-ups. And the head design itself is worth talking about. A cross between round- and football-style shapes, it sports a flat belly ideal for grinding bottom.
If you haven’t fished one of these gems before, I recommend trying a couple of sizes with a few different baits in shallow, clear water where you can fully appreciate what these jigs bring to the table, and how they react to pulls, pops and pauses with various types and sizes of trailers.
Once you see what they can do, I’m sure VMC’s Swinging Rugby Jigs will earn a place in your bassin’ arsenal—just like they have in mine.