Jig and Rod Match
Sato Sensei found that it’s when the jig is on its side, a horizontal position, that you get most contacts. That is why slow pitch jigging uses a center-balanced jig. Sato Sensei points out that you get 70% contacts when the jig is falling. All the slow pitch jigs have different shapes and balances for the falling performances like a weak, hesitating, scared, crippled or dying bait fish. They also have different properties for uplifts. Some slash through the water and then slide and swim on its own. Some hesitate and suspend, and then fall backwards sliding through. Some wobble and rock to fall slowly. All different kinds of patterns to perform in a horizontal position. Some work great in hangtime after uplifting. Some work great in falling.
You would want to match the weight of the jig to your rod to take advantage of all the different properties of the jigs. What you always want to take into your consideration of your tactics is “change of pace” of jig movements. Change of pace always triggers the hunters to react. If you want to focus on hangtime after pitch, you want to use a lighter jig, what I call “strong setting”, so that the jig moves fast in uplift then swims to the side. If you want to focus on falling, you want to use a heavier jig, what I call “soft setting”, so that the jig moves slowly or quietly in uplift and then, after a moment of suspension, falls in different attractive patterns.
You want to know how much weight is the standard for your rod. It is a point of your reference. Once you set that reference, you can go lighter or heavier, depending on your tactics and the current.
I call the lighter jig match “strong setting”, meaning the rod is strong to the weight of the jig. I call the heavier jig match “soft setting”, meaning the rod is soft to the weight of the jig.
In reality, the reference can change a little by the depth, the current, and the line. It’s the amount of water influence that pulls down your line, just like the weight of the jig does. Even when you have your standard jig match, if the current is strong it becomes soft setting. But it’s important to know your point of reference to each rod.
Action Tone by Rod Jig Match
Here is the list of my personal reference of Slow Jerker for example.
|Rod||Strong Setting||Medium Setting||Soft Setting|
|Slow Jerker 603-2||60g – 80g||80g – 120g||120g – 180g|
|Slow Jerker 603-3||80g – 130g||130g – 150g||150g – 300g|
|Slow Jerker 603-4||100g – 150g||150g – 210g||210g – 400g|
|Slow Jerker 603-6||120g – 210g||210g – 270g||270g – 500g|
|High Pitch Jerker 600||150g – 300g||300g – 380g||380g – 600g|
Slow Jerker is small in diameter, parabolic action, and made of highly resilient material. It is the best slow pitch rod ever made. The spring action is so wide, so slow, and so strong that you can use the wide range of jig weights and in wide range of current situations. If you want to substitute with other rods, look for the one with the closest properties in those 3 factors.
The standard weight can be determined when you keep your rod 90 degrees to the line in your usual depth, reel 1 round, and you see the rod slowly springs back to a straight line. Try this with a lot of different weights. If the jig is light, the rod bends less and kicks back fast. If the jig is heavy, the rod bends more and kicks back slow. If the jig is heavier, the rod doesn’t kick back to a straight line. Find the middle and that is your standard weight for your rod.
In the actual application with soft setting, you would want to use the rod’s full length’s power by pushing down the rod butt with your elbow when you lift and keeping the rod tip angled less than 90 degrees to the line.
My reference is based on my usual fishing conditions. I fish at average 100m of water, from 70m to 200m, and on spankered boat. Sea-anchor drifts you more away from the jig and you would have more line slack in the water. So you would want a little more power in the rod. In other words, if from a sea-anchored boat, the same rod to jig weight match is softer than above chart.
Jig Types and Preferences
All the slow pitch jigs have different properties. The following is the example of Seafloor Control jigs.
- Gawky works well with soft setting
- Cranky works well from soft to medium setting
- Rector works well from soft, medium to strong setting
- Spunky works well with strong setting (or high pitch setting)
My Set-up Variations
|SJ 603-6||PE1.5||Rector 210g||My pilot setting to find out the current situation and the fish tendency.|
|Cranky 200g||Focus on small quick hesitating uplifts with occasional middle falls.|
|Spunky 180g||Focus on uplifting and long slides. Energetic movements.|
|SJ 603-3||PE1.2||Gawky 220g||Focus on soft movements and falling around the bottom.|
increased water resistance
|SJ 603-6||PE1.5||Rector 240g, 260g||Focus on slow lifts and sliding falls|
|Cranky 230g, 260g||Let perform various falling patterns.|
|Gawky 260g, 300g||Focus on slow movements and falls.|
|HPJ 600||PE1.5||Rector 260g, 300g||Focus on quick moves and occasional falls|
|Cranky 290g||Focus on small lifts and long falls.|
decreased water resistance
|SJ 603-6||PE1.5||Rector 150g, 180g||Try different approaches from energetic uplifts and soft falls|
|Cranky 170g||Let perform different falling patters.|
|Spunky 150g||Focus on uplifts. Search wide range of depth.|
|SJ 603-3||PE1.2||Gawky 180g, 220g||Focus on soft movements and falling.|
|Rector 130g, 150g||Try different approaches from energetic uplifts and soft falls|
|Cranky 140g, 170g||Let perform different falling patters.|
Slow pitch principles don’t tell you what to do.
Slow pitch principles give you freedom as to be productive and creative. Trust your senses and hunches.
The above chart is just examples, just for those who don’t know where to start. Do not let it limit your own tactics.
A lot of time I change it purposefully. I sometimes use 260g Gawky with 603-3 in 50m deep. Sometimes I use 100g Rector with 603-6. The combinations are unlimited. And the currents and the fish tendency are never the same. You just need to drop and dance to see for yourself.
When you get a hit, that is your answer. Never means it works tomorrow. It only means you just found one of your successful tactics. The fun part of this game is that you are aware of what you are doing and changing it purposefully. Have fun!
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