rock-a-roo jigs

Hawnjigs

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Whats so special about a Rock-a-roo jig head? Is it the same design as the original Elmer Thompson Doll Fly head?
 
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reddog

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Whats so special about a Rock-a-roo jig head? Is it the same design as the original Elmer Thompson Doll Fly head?
From what I can find for images of the doll fly, I'd sat it similar. But it was never painted that I know of . At least back in the day. It wasn't..
 

RockGeo

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To answer Hawn's question, "Whats so special about a Rock-a-roo jig head? Is it the same design as the original Elmer Thompson Doll Fly head?", I would refer readers to an article by Larry Myhre of the Sioux City Journal (Iowa) entitled "There is something special about Cap's Special" from Sept. 25, 2014. The article details Cap Kennedy's jigs and how they were tied. It is very informative.

The head and design of the Rock-a-Roos were and still are unique and I have never seen them copied well commercially. The earlier photo of Redman's ties are good copies of the jigs and are what made them unique and special. Midwest walleye fishermen were fanatics about them back in the 1970's, they were that good back then.

The Thompson Doll Fly was a round headed jig tied with polar bear hair. The most popular colors were white and yellow. They were a simple tie but the hair was special and was a favorite walleye jig up north.
 

reddog

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To answer Hawn's question, "Whats so special about a Rock-a-roo jig head? Is it the same design as the original Elmer Thompson Doll Fly head?", I would refer readers to an article by Larry Myhre of the Sioux City Journal (Iowa) entitled "There is something special about Cap's Special" from Sept. 25, 2014. The article details Cap Kennedy's jigs and how they were tied. It is very informative.

The head and design of the Rock-a-Roos were and still are unique and I have never seen them copied well commercially. The earlier photo of Redman's ties are good copies of the jigs and are what made them unique and special. Midwest walleye fishermen were fanatics about them back in the 1970's, they were that good back then.

The Thompson Doll Fly was a round headed jig tied with polar bear hair. The most popular colors were white and yellow. They were a simple tie but the hair was special and was a favorite walleye jig up north.
Are you able to read these old Sioux City Journal articles by Larry Myhre without a subscription? I cannot..
 

Hawnjigs

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I think the crappie sized Doll Flys were ball heads, but the walleye sizes were a different head design. Guessing there might have been some collaboration between Cap Kennedy & Elmer Thompson given the heads design similarity ?

1704324937980.png
 
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RockGeo

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Sorry Reddog, I see that the paper now won't allow 10 free articles like in the past.
It might be worth the $1 to sign up just to review what Larry wrote in his outdoor articles.
 

RockGeo

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Fatman

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I've seen them with ball and minnow head. This is the last original one that I have and it looks more like a wedge head
 

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Hawnjigs

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Thanks for the pic Fatman. Didn't realize the Doll head was wedge shaped, which explains the popularity of the Do-it Walleye Jig head among the old timers here. Clarifies that the Rock-a-roo & Doll heads were totally different.

I once bought a half card of 1/16 ball head Zing flies on eBay with the original polar bear hair. Sent em to the late JiggerJohn who was a jig historian, dunno if he ever used em. After he passed on, his wife Marilyn offered me dibs on his gear, but JJ & I had had very different approaches to jigging & I didn't think any of his stuff would mesh with my KISS preferences.

Likely ancient history by now, but wondering if there was ever a side by side wally shootout comparing the efficacy of Dollies & Rockys?
 
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hookup

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I once bought a half card of 1/16 ball head Zing flies on eBay with the original polar bear hair.
Polar Bear hair has federal restrictions on it. If memory serves, through the Endangered Species Act?
 

hookup

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Sounds about right. I wonder if Native Americans up north are exempt?
When I checked, no. But if the bear was killed before a certain date, which I believe was 1975, then it's cool to sell the fur.
 

hookup

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You'll still have the export problem if Customs finds PB hair in your possession.
 

Hawnjigs

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Never been but road trip fishing Canada is on my bucket list, & I'd certainly tie up some PB jigs to use in country. They'd be in a tackle box on the return trip back to the USA.

Does your fishing gear get searched on your trips?
 
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hookup

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I'm up there once a year. Northern Quebec. Most of the time I breeze right through. Every now and then you get a guy who believes he has to look into every bag.

To be honest, if the hair was on a jig they'd never know. If it was a small piece, then mix with luggage and you should be ok. At the worst, they'll open the bag and look in. I've had coolers and dry bags opened but they never went through them.
 

Jigman51

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I have been doing alot of research on these jigs. Steve Stanford aka redman has a lot of history documented on these lures . However do to photobucket some of the documented photos are gone.
Has anybody heard from redman i know he went back to Iowa to help out family. I know there's members that are close friends . If anybody can give me advice on getting more historic information I would appreciate it. As being a amateur fishing historian I would like to compile the great story of Jim Stone Cap Kennedy Steve Stanford. It is my ultimate goal to press a mold into aluminum and tye the patterns of the iowa Great Lakes.
Sincerely Neil Austin
[font=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]View attachment 21844[/font][font=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Master fly tier and jig maker. Iowa's first Mr. Walleye. Originator of the world famous Rock-a-Roo. My friend and mentor. You may be gone but never forgotten. Save me a place in the boat.
- [/font]
[font=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Steve Stanford[/font][font=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]
[/font]
[color=666666][font=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Added: Feb. 5, 2016[/font][/color]
I'm a relatively new member who found the group by Google searching "rock-a roo". I grew up reading Fishing Facts and In-Fisherman magazines 50+ years ago so I've seen these discussed but hadn't seen more than a single jig over this years up here in New England. I acquired 2 cards of these jigs in 2023 and thought I'd share some photos with the group. Certainly well tied!
 

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Hawnjigs

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Wow, great find, great pics, museum worthy items. Looks like dye dipped tails? Unpainted heads as compared with another walleye angling legend Bill Binkelman who was very specific about fluorescent color painted head choices.

Every region or even spot will have standout anglers who have mastered their particular choice of jigs & presentation tekneeks. Their mastery is obvious by their comparatively superior catches, and I'm still attempting to catch up with them here.

Old timer walleye tie preferences here tend to be Slim Jim style long marabou plain single traditional colors white, yellow, gray, adding chartreuse when it became available. Painted ball or walleye heads appear to be preferred for both ties and soft plastics. Locals here call the tied jigs doll flies.

Hahaha, "Shucks, Inc."
 
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