01 Nov How to Select an Andrus Bucktail Saltwater Edge Tackle and Tactics
Saltwater Edge Tackle and Tactics: How to Select an Andrus Bucktail by Arden Gardell-Gross
Jetty Caster vs. Rip Splitter
One of the most confusing aspects when purchasing an Andrus bucktail jig is the nature of the difference between the two most popular jigs in the surfcasters arsenal the Jetty Caster and the Rip Splitter. Outwardly it appears that the only difference is the shape of the head and the color of the thread used to wrap the hair. While these are real the main difference that concerns us is how much hair is tied on the body. The Jetty Caster series is tied with significantly more hair, resulting in a jig that rides much higher in the water column then an identically weighted Rip Splitter series. This translates into being able to fish a Jetty Caster a half ounce or heavier than one could use in the Rip Splitter series. This results in a longer cast and better holding power in heavy current and seas. On the other hand, when attempting to fish deeper water (especially when strong currents are involved) the Rip Splitter series are preferred as they cut through the current much more effectively to reach the fish.
You can’t go wrong with white. In fact the only situation where I find color to be a real issue is when jigging in inlets and specifically the Cape Cod Canal. The issue is that during times of little or small-sized bait larger stripers will resort to feeding on the crabs hiding among the rocks.
Here I use the classic merlot or black cherry color and aggressive jigging to imitate the fleeing crustacean. Otherwise the color alternatives of yellow and chartreuse in particular can perform better when water clarity is an issue. In my experience white can do the job in most any situation because it is such a generic offering that it can be construed as whatever a fish desires. Pork/Plastic/None of the Above While this is a frequently debated topic I will say that nothing has ever out-produced pork in my experience.
That being said no matter which color bucktail I’m throwing I’ll only use two colors of Uncle Josh Pork Rinds: white and white over red. White is my preference in calm weather and more importantly calm water while I’ll choose red in every other instance. As far as style each has its moment. The smallest are the #51 bass strips which are ideal when fishing bucktails from ½-1oz. As bucktails increase in size from a 1 oz to 1 1/2 oz I prefer #240 styles and then finally on anything upwards of 1 1/4oz my favorite style is the #70 with its shape lending itself well to swimming a bucktail in current. As far as using bucktails without rind the only two reasons I go this route are when bait is truly small and the addition of even a #51 creates too large a profile or when the additional resistance from the pork prevents me from contacting the bottom when jigging.