Ice men are always looking for ways to up their catch. Jaw Jackers are a trick that some icemen use. I have fished with several guys that swear by them but have also out fished them all. The concept seems sound, but I am not sure that every Jaw jacker knows how to use them.
A Jaw Jacker is a self-setting the hook fish catcher. On lakes where you can use multiple rods, I can see how they may be useful. Canyon Ferry allows 6 rods. When the bite is on, if you can handle 6 rods, you are better than me. A Jaw jacker can even the odds. A Tip Up flips up a flag but does not sufficiently set the hook.
There are tons of YouTube videos that show how Icemen make their own Jaw Jackers. It may be a lazy man’s way of fishing, but I am planning to give it a try. If you buy a Jaw Jacker, be prepared to spend $60-over $100. I am not sure that it’s worth it when I could make my own.
Here is how I built mine
Jaw Jackers need to build to the rod that they will be used with. If you use long rods, the Jacker needs to be longer. I made mine to fish a 36-inch medium action rod. The reels need to have a decent drag and be loaded with thin, ice braid line. Mono tends to break when set off, especially if it is under 6 lb. test. Mono also tends to retain memory which means that a curly line may not even hook the fish.
Once you have a piece of PVC pipe, cut it using a PVC cutting tool. Any other way is sloppy. A rubber mallet will help connect the sections. I do not glue my PVC so I can always adjust and tune my pipe sections. A pair of Pliers will help you pull the sections apart and then hammer them back together.
The length of the rod needs to maximize the set and bend. This is when you cut a bit more of the pipe off. Play with it until you are satisfied. I used an old coat hanger to make my trigger. Copy the shape of mine. I used needle nosed pliers to bend and cut the wire. I also sanded and smoothed the cut ends with a file and emery paper. No sharp edges are welcome.
Reels are also important. You want a reel with a consistent drag. All you will be doing is dropping the loaded braided line to a depth. The rod set will do the rest. I tend to place my Jaw Jacker on the perimeter. Usually, a larger fish that is patrolling the area will be more likely to hook up. When the Jacker goes off, you need to get to the rod. Let the drag handle the pressure. My 36-inch rods are shorter than my other rods but snatch the hook in a hurry.
Jig and Jack!