PE rating for rod
PE rating for rod is the indication of the rod strength, indeed. I personally take it as a mere indication of how heavy or light the rod model is in comparison with other models. It does not tell you how much the drag is supposed to be set or what line you are supposed to use.
When they test the strength of the blanks, they set the rod horizontally and pull down the tip perpendicularly.
But in the fighting style of slow pitch jigging, we don’t lift the rod. Right? Yes, we keep the rod pointing straight down.
Don’t pump your rod.
It means there’s much less stress on the rod during the fight.
We use the rod to dance the jig, and we use the reel to fight the fish. So the rod strength indication really doesn’t have practical meanings at all.
In jigging, we don’t cast the jig either. But the rod builders have to come up with the indication of rod strength in the same manner for all the rod types. So let’s give them a break. This is just a rough indication of the max weight that the rod can hold.
In slow pitch jigging, no matter what the rod spec says, PE1.0 to PE2.0 is recommended, and the drag should be set accordingly, usually from 3kg to 5kg. If you are facing the monster that you would have to stop from diving to the rocks, read this post, “How can I catch a monster?“
The same goes with the jig weight indication. Slow Jerker 603-6 says the jig weight of 6oz (170g). Sato Sensei, the designer of this rod, says that this rod is tuned to work in the medium action tone with 170g. This is NOT the max jig weight. (We don’t cast the jig!) 603-6 can handle 100g or less (strong action tone) to 400g or more (soft action tone). AND in the vertical game, the water influence (current and depth) is just as much weight (or more weight) to the rod as the jig. So it’s just a reference point too.
If you want to know the practical jig weight range for each power model, check out this page.
You need to tune up your senses to know what the strong, medium, and soft setting feels like in the real field. This is the key to the success in slow pitch jigging. The jig weight indication does not tell you what to use and how to use the rod.