Round-head jigs like the Lindy Jig are fish-catching machines that hook walleyes, panfish, trout and other gamefish on the cast, troll and when fished in a vertical manner.

That is, if you choose the right jig weight for the depth and conditions at hand.

Truth be told, there’s no secret formula for selecting jig weight at specific depths. Too many variables come into play, including line thickness, current, wind and waves, retrieve speed and the size of whatever live bait or soft-plastics you thread on the hook. 

Often, jig weight selection becomes a balancing act that involves picking the smallest size possible that allows you to reach the desired depth and, with many presentations, periodically tick the lake bottom or the tops of vegetation or other cover.

“Also take into account the skill level of the angler fishing the jig,” says longtime guide and Fish ED TV host Jon Thelen. “Anglers new to jigging may be more successful at feeling bottom and detecting bites with heavier leadheads than are needed by experienced jig fishermen in the same depths and conditions.

“Don’t forget about your desired fall rate, either,” he adds. “If you’re casting and want the jig to slowly pendulum toward bottom on semi-slack line, choose a lighter head than you would when you want a fast vertical drop.”

When trolling or drifting, Thelen also advises considering how far you want the jig from the boat. “When slow-trolling a weedline in clear, shallow water, I want the jig to trail well behind the boat, with the line at a 45-degree angle to the water,” he explains. “To help make that happen, I may switch from a 1/4-ounce head to an 1/8- or 1/16-ounce jig.”

Due to the many variables that can dictate different jig weights, it’s smart to stock your jig box with a variety of sizes so you can adjust as conditions change, without missing a beat — or a fish.