During his years as a Bassmaster Elite Series pro, legendary angler Denny Brauer cashed in with Strike King jigs. Presentation is certainly essential, but so is preparation. Still active in regional competitions, the recently retired Missouri angler sat down and showed us his start-to-finish process for preparing his Premier Pro Model jigs. The logic behind this system will serve most any tackle selection.


1. Trim the Skirt
Big-fish reservoirs merit full-size skirts for larger profiles with big trailers. Tougher scenarios often require a smaller package. Trimming the skirt to within ¼- to ½-inch of the hook bend allows optimal motion for a smaller trailer.


2. Whack the Weedguard
Brauer trims the top corner of his weedguard so he can instantly recognize the properly prepared jigs in his tray. Cutting at a 45-degree angle keeps the back end of the weedguard snag-free.


3. Make it Clear
Here’s a seemingly simple detail that is too often overlooked. The manufacturing processes can leave excess paint in the eye. Brauer first uses another hook point to clear this potential knot-weakening hazard, then polishes the eye with 25-pound fluorocarbon.


4. Keep it Sharp
Sticking a jig into the bony roof of a fish’s mouth requires a sticky, sharp hook point, so Brauer tests each of his jigs by poking his thumbnail and gently pulling outward. If the hook holds fast, it’s ready. If it slides easily, he hits it with the hook file to hone the edge.


5. Trim the Trailer
If a full-size jig trailer proves too large, Brauer simply trims it. For proper sizing, he lays his jig hook against the trailer so that the bend sits right over the molded eyeballs. Pinching the trailer at the point that aligns with the bottom of the jig provides his cut mark.