Well, I like to fish for BIG fluke offshore, so IMO the bigger the target,the bigger the fish. I know, the old "elephants eat peanuts" line of thinking will also catch fish, but its not the way I operate, so there's that.
Also, I do not use bucktail hair on the back of my home-rigged jig heads. I much prefer rubber squid skirts. I use the 5" size - full length, and double them up on my jig heads in the 3-6 oz sizes. Plus I add a Eagle Claw model 254 trailer hook (also called a "stinger hook") to the hook of my jig heads. Then a 4" GULP! mullet, jigging grub, or my favorite - the 5" swim bait, in whatever choice of color comes out of the GULP! tub first goes on the stinger hook. Many, many over-sized fluke have sacrificed their lives on this combo lure. Hopefully many more will, this coming season!
I don't even own a bucktail over 2 ounces, lol. Even surfcasting I just go with 2. But how far beyond the curve of the hook do your plastic skirts go ? (I just wonder if my bucktail hair is covering my 3" gulp too much) Bucktails are a byproduct of my October to March passion !
I too rarely use a bucktail over 3-ounces in the sound, and I rig similar to Lep. I know many hardcore flukers won't drop a line without some type of meat on it - squid or spearing - but my experience has consistently been gulp alone attracts the bigger fish. Not to mention fewer sea robbins.
Also Pequa - did you see my post back on the opening days of this board that gave the Ebay links to HTLureco, whom I use for my bare (but painted and eyed) jig heads? I use them because they all utilize the same 5/0 black nickle hooks in sizes 2 to 6oz. These are superior quality heads - highly recommended. Here, look in this thread for the hot tip: Bucktails
And here we are with a typical "Lep-rigged" setup that SLAYS 'em on the deep grounds. Feel free to add a strip of fish belly or squid to the dropper-looped GULP! woim. I keep it no more than a 1/2" wide and no more than 6" long. The belly will resist the pin biscuits pulling it off the hook way better than squid will - but either works.:
I have seen Pete's "Bucktail Collection" and I must say he is better stocked than some tackle shops. However, when you fish bottom structure as evil as he does to produce very consistent catches you do need more than a few spares. I don't make my own bucktails but do use a lower cost SPRO knockoff which I buy in bulk from my supplier when joining him. It's the only way I can afford to fish with Lep!