Ocea Jigger 1500 or 2000?
I often get this question. So here’s my opinion.
Ocea Jigger is definitely the most popular reel for slow pitch jiggers. It’s got the speed and the torque in a beautiful balance. The precision gear technology is Shimano’s speciality. After all, Shimano started out as a gear manufacturer. The drag is silky smooth and the sensitivity is also outstanding. It’s durable. The product quality control is excellent.
Here’s the glance at the specs of OJ1500 and OJ2000.
|Max Speed||97cm per crank||117cm per crank|
OJ2000 is heavier than OJ1500, but I’ve never felt it’s too heavy and never heard anyone say that. With slow pitch jigging, you can keep playing all day. No sweat.
One day as my experiment, I played slow pitch all day with SOM L120Hi, which is 800g. I found it became difficult toward the end of the day. But not just because it’s heavy, but also because it’s so big that I can’t ‘palm’ the reel comfortably. If I could ‘palm’ the reel, I personally don’t think it’s so difficult.
If you feel OJ2000 is heavy, I advise you to look at your body mechanics first. If your forearm is hurting, you are having trouble palming the reel comfortably. Look if there’s any other way to hold the reel with your full palm more comfortably. If your triceps are hurting, you are only using your arm to make actions. Once you hold the reel in your palm comfortably, stabilize your elbow at 90 degrees. And move your shoulders to make the actions. You have all the big muscles to move your shoulders. Let them do the work, not the arm. Also, remind yourself that when you lift the rod, you are reeling too, and that means you can help the lift with your reeling hand.
You are working against not just the weight of the reel, but also the jig weight and all the water resistance that your line and the jig is catching. If you are aligned and palming the reel comfortably, the reel weight is not much of a problem. If you can’t palm it comfortably, the size is too big.
OJ2000 has a narrow spool, which require less line management. By the way, these reel do not have level winder. The level winder could be the biggest threat for the line, the most vulnerable part that causes mechanical troubles, and just one more blockage for you from collecting little information from the line. Anyway, OJ2000 with the narrow spool, on the other hand, loses more speed as the spool releases the line. As the spool releases the line, the diameter of the line load becomes smaller, thus, the retrieve length per crank becomes less. The narrow spool loses the diameter faster.
For example, OJ2000 max speed is 117cm. The speed may be about 85cm at 100m deep, while it might have been 90cm if it were a wide spooled reel. How much the reel loses the speed at the depth depends on the line too. If the line is lighter (smaller diameter), the reel loses less diameter, therefore, loses less speed.
Still, OJ2000 has got such an outstanding speed to start with anyway. According to slow pitch principles, if you have 75cm per crank speed at the depth you are fishing, you have a good range to play different slow pitch tactics. You never have too much speed. Because you can always play 1/2 a crank per pitch, 1/4, or 1/8. When the reel has more speed, it has less power. Shimano has maximized these 2 elements in a beautiful balance.
OJ1500 is not a narrow spool. So it loses less speed?
Well, it doesn’t. Actually OJ2000 and OJ1500 have the same spool width, 25mm. OJ2000 is a bigger reel but the spool width stays the same. 25mm is a good size for your line management. Especially with PE2.0 or lighter, you want to be careful with the line crossing on the spool load. When the line is crossed, the digging of the fish fight or the snagging may easily break the line. You need to manage the line load manually and this is what you pay for not having the level winder. But it’s rather easy with 25mm spool.
The handle length. This is more important. Slow pitch utilizes various sequent reeling actions, not steady reeling, so it’s hard with a short handle. The length is also the retrieve power just like how the gear ratio works. Longer handle generates more power with ease. When you go deeper with a heavy jig or when you fight with a big fish, this is not negligible.
OJ1500 has a 70mm handle length. This is too short.
OJ1500 Limited was released with a 85mm handle, answering the requests of slow pitch anglers. But it’s got reverse drag that may make many anglers hesitate.
The replacing work is easy and the price is only JPY2,800.
If you want cool T-bar custom handle, Studio Ocean Mark, CCM, and Livre.
My recommend is Studio Ocean Mark. They have a new low-priced model with aluminum handle arm (JPY16,740), along with the high-end 30t carbon arm (JPY27,000)
With any handle, I recommend 85mm max for OJ1500 and 95mm max for OJ2000. Longer handle may be too powerful for the gears.
The choice between OJ1500 and OJ2000 should be determined by the water resistance you are in. The water resistance is determined by jig weight, depth, currents, line weight (how much current the line catches), and how vertical you are.
But to give you a simple guideline;
- OJ1500HG if you are fishing from 50m to 100m
- OJ2000NR-HG if you are fishing from 70m to 120m
This is based on the condition that you are somehow vertical with the jig. If you are free-drifting, or better drifting with sea-anchor, and having troubles staying vertical, you may want to increase jig weight, use lighter line, stay shallower waters, and use OJ2000NR-HG. Because you have line slack to retrieve to move the jig in each pitch.
So even if you are fishing at 50m to 70m, you may want to use 200g or heavier and OJ2000NR-HG may work better.
When you load the line, I recommend to get as long a PE line you can afford. The price per meter is cheaper. Shimano EX8 sells 600m. It’s cheaper than double the price of 300m. 600m is more cost effective.
Always load the maximum capacity of the reel to get the max speed. You can put on mono line at the base, connected to PE by PR knot or FG knot, and load PE to max capacity. Sometimes it takes a couple of tries to find the appropriate line volume for the mono base.
When you are unfortunate to have PE cut, reload with more mono base underneath. I always make sure I have PE line at least 100 meter more than the depth, or double the length of the depth if it’s deeper than 100 meter. When you hit a big fish with light line, you need to give away as much line as the circumstances allow. So that the water resistance the long line catches will help to wear down the fish, and that the impacts of fish fight will be spread out through the long line, preventing the line break.
When you are done with a season or 2 and when it’s time to replace PE, you can just cut the line you normally use. Revealing the fresh PE underneath. And add more mono base to reach the max load.
For example, I’m fishing from 50m to 200m. My main depth is 100m. I always buy 600m. Then PE loads shorter over the seasons. More mono, less PE. I put on sticker with a note how much PE left on the load. When it becomes shorter than 400m, I make my mental note that I won’t use this reel for 200m. When it becomes shorter than 300m, I still use it in my normal field, but I start saving to replace to a new load.
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