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Fishing Jig vs. Lure – Differences? What’s Better?

A box full of fishing rigs and lures.

Fishing is a popular pastime, sport, and a great way to get your own food. But whether you’re a beginner or an experienced fisherman, you might be wondering what the difference is between a fishing jig and a lure.

What’s the difference between fishing jigs and lures? Which is better, and why?

In this article, we’ll break down the key differences between these two popular fishing tools, including their materials, design features, durability, cost, and more. We’ll also take a brief look at the history and benefits of each tool.

Read on more to find out about the two.

What Is a Fishing Jig?

A man with his fishing rods with a big catch.

A fishing jig is a type of weighted bait that is used to lure fish. It consists of a lead sinker with a hook, and is often used in deep water fishing.

What Is a Fishing Lure?

Fishing lures are artificial or natural objects designed to mimic a fish’s prey. They are used to attract and entice fish, and they come in a wide variety of designs and materials.


Fishing jigs are typically made from metal, plastic, or wood, and feature hooks on one end. Fishing lures can be made from wood, plastic, metal, or even feathers.

The most popular material used for lures is plastic, as it is lightweight and easy to mold into a variety of shapes.

Design Features

Fishing jigs usually feature a lead sinker on one end and a hook on the other. The lead sinker helps to weigh down the jig and sink to the bottom of the water, where fish are often found. The sinker is typically made of metal, but can also be made of plastic or wood.

Fishing lures are designed with intricate shapes, colors, and patterns to attract fish. In addition to mimicking a fish’s prey, lures can also imitate other animals or objects in the water, such as worms or insects.

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Although fishing jigs and lures are both made from durable materials, fishing jigs tend to be more durable due to their simplicity.

Lures often feature multiple components that can wear or get damaged with frequent use.

Cost Differences

Fishing jigs are generally less expensive than lures, as they are a simpler design and often made from less expensive materials.

Lures can vary widely in price, depending on the materials used and the complexity of the design. Top level fishing lure sets can range from $40 to $150. On the lower end, you can get cheaper individual ones on Amazon for as little as $3.

Buying your jig or lure at a bait store vs online can also affect the price. A fishing jig kit may go as low as $11 or high as $99 on Amazon.

Brief History

A fish caught with a bait on his mouth in the sea.

Fishing jigs have been around for centuries, and their basic design has remained relatively unchanged. The first recorded use of a fishing jig dates back to the early 1800s.

Fishing lures were first invented in the late 1800s as a way to attract fish without using live bait. Early lures were made from natural materials, such as feathers and wood.

The first plastic fishing lure was created in the 1930s, and this material quickly became the most popular material for creating fishing lures.

Benefits of Each

Fishing jigs are popular among fishermen because they are an effective way to lure fish. Jigs can be used in a variety of ways, and often produce good results.

Fishing lures are popular because they are easy to use and come in a wide variety of designs. Lures can be used to attract a variety of different types of fish.

Disadvantages of Each

Fishing jigs can be difficult to use, and often require more practice to master. In addition, jigs can be expensive, especially if you are looking for high-quality models.

Fishing lures can be easy to lose in the water, and they may require frequent replacement.

Lures can also be expensive, depending on the type and quality you choose.

Fishing in Saltwater vs. Fishing in Freshwater

A man fishing on the river with a net.

Fishing jigs and lures can be used in both saltwater and freshwater environments. However, there are some differences to consider when fishing in these two types of water.

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Saltwater is more corrosive than freshwater, so it is important to choose a fishing jig or lure made from a durable material.

In addition, the fish you want to catch may behave differently in each environment. For example, fish like trout are often found near the bottom in freshwater, while fish like flounder tend to swim in deeper waters.

Overall, there are a few key differences to consider when fishing with jigs and lures in saltwater vs. freshwater.

Catching Big Fish Vs. Small Fish

Another key difference to consider when using jigs and lures is the size of fish you are trying to catch.

For example, smaller fish like panfish are often attracted to smaller lures, while larger fish like bass are more likely to be caught by larger lures and jigs.

Lures may work better over jigs when trying to catch fish such as trout, as these fish are often more attracted to smaller lures.

On the other hand, jigs may work better than lures when trying to catch fish like catfish or pike, as these fish are often bottom-feeders looking for food that has sunk to the bottom of the water.

Choosing the Right Jig or Lure

Now that you know the key differences between fishing jigs and lures, you can begin to think about which one is right for you.

The first step is to consider what type of water you will be fishing in most often. If you fish in saltwater more frequently, you will need to choose a jig or lure made from a durable material that can withstand the corrosive saltwater.

If you fish in freshwater more often, you will have more flexibility in terms of the materials you can choose from.

The next step is to consider what type of fish you want to catch. If you are mostly interested in catching smaller fish, lures may be a better option, while jigs may work better for catching larger fish.

How To Maintain My Fishing Jig or Lures

Different type of fishing jigs on the wood.

Once you have chosen the right jig or lure for your needs, it is important to take care of them properly so that they last.

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To start, be sure to wash your jig or lure in fresh water after each use. This will help to remove any salt, sand, or other debris that could damage the material.

Store your jig or lure in a cool, dry place. Exposure to humidity or heat can shorten the lifespan of your fishing gear, so be sure they are in a safe place when not in use.

Finally, always make sure to inspect your jigs or lures for damage regularly. This will help you catch any issues early on and fix them before they become too big to handle.

With proper maintenance, your fishing jigs or lures can last for years.

Can I Make My Own Fish Bait?

There are a variety of different recipes and techniques for making fish bait from scratch, and some can be quite simple.

For example, one common method is to combine cheese, cornmeal, and flour into a dough or batter-like mixture.

Another popular recipe involves breaking up pieces of hot dogs or other sausage into smaller pieces and mixing them with breadcrumbs, flour, and eggs.

Making your own fish bait can be a fun and rewarding experience, and it can also save you money in the long run.

What is the Best Way to Store Fish Bait?

Once you have made your own fish bait, it is important to store it properly so that it stays fresh and effective.

One common method is to store fish bait in the freezer. This will keep the bait fresh for longer and prevent it from going bad.

Another option is to store your fish bait in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

Whatever storage method you choose, be sure to keep your fish bait in airtight containers or bags, so that it stays free of moisture and other contaminants.

Final Thoughts About Using Lure Vs Jigs

A fish chasing a bait on the water.

There is no clear answer as to whether fishing jigs or lures are better. It really depends on your personal preferences and the type of fish you want to catch. Whatever one you use, you will certainly have a good time fishing!