Kyle Welcher’s jig tacklebox

Bassmaster Elite Series pro Kyle Welcher is a lure tinkerer, and especially so with skirted jigs. 
Welcher’s lineup of jigs from Untamed Tackle are a testimony to his knack for enhancing the strike appeal of an otherwise simple lure. 
Welcher breaks it down this way. “In my jig box is everything from 5/8- to 3/8-ounce flipping jigs, and 1/4-, 5/16-, 3/8- and 1/2-ounce swim jigs in three different colors. 
Those are bluegill, dark and shad for swim jigs, and black/blue, green pumpkin and bluegill for flipping and pitching jigs. He adds a crawfish pattern for cold-water applications. Take a look inside the box and find out more about his choices. 
A quality swim jig will track true at high-speed retrieves and run straight at low retrieves. That fits Welcher’s Untamed Tackle Apex Swim Jig with its cone-shaped head. The jig is made with a stout 5/0 hook that will stand up to the rigors of heavy braid, and the hook is at a 30-degree angle to the hook eye. The Apex features a patent pending Quad Keeper to securely lock plastic trailers to the jig. 
Welcher uses a 5/16-ounce size to run through the 1- to 2-foot strike zone for shallow depth ranges. 
This Apex 5/16-ounce, BB Smoke, is Welcher’s choice when bass are feeding on baitfish other than shad. He favors the jig for tannic, dark water and baitfish living in those waters. Welcher will trim the skirt and weed guard and soft plastic trailer to form the jig into a smaller profile when encountering pressured bass, as he did at the Lake Seminole Elite tournament. “I observed a lot of guys using bigger swim jigs and struggling, so I capitalized on that by making mine more compact.”
This Apex 5/16-ounce Apex is Welcher’s choice for clear water. “The action and Magic Gill color has all the qualities of a bluegill,” he said. “I see bluegill moving really fast in those conditions, so I match the retrieve to that speed.” Welcher retrieves the swim jig fast enough to create a slight wake on the surface. He will skip the jig beneath boat docks in the presence of bluegill.
Next in the selection is this 1/2-ounce Ace Jig, Donk pattern. A stout 4/0 Gamakatsu hook for solid hook sets and 50-strand fine silicone skirt are standout features, along with the Quad Keeper. Welcher prefers to skip the jig around docks in clear water in the presence of bluegill, or wherever he sees bass feeding on them. 
The Ace has a wide, flat head that’s ideal for skipping, and the elevated line tie keeps the knot higher when fishing it around rocks. “A straight line tie can make the jig fall between rocks, which can damage the line,” Welcher said. The Ace is a year-round choice for brush, docks and isolated cover. 
This Ace jig in black/blue is the only color he uses in a 3/8-ounce size. “I want a heavier jig in clearer water to make it visually fall faster for a reaction bite,” Welcher said.
“I use the 3/8-ounce size for stained conditions and when the bass are spawning.” The slower rate of fall keeps it longer in the strike zone. 
When water temperatures reach the 50s, Welcher will hand-tie rubber skirt material to an Ace jig. “The advantage of rubber is it undulates more in colder water, when bass are sluggish and slow to react to lures,” he said. Welcher opts for the matte brown color to imitate crawfish.