What rod to use with how heavy a jig?
No matter what the depth is, the balance of the rod and the jig works the same. You need certain weight to get slow pitch game going.
When you reel and jerk, the rod bends to the weight of the jig, then slowly springs back up and pitches the jig. That creates the jig performances like a weak, hesitating, scared, crippled or dying bait fish.
If with too light a jig, the rod would just punch and release the jig quickly. The jig movement becomes more energetic, closer to high pitch jigging. But when you don’t have a high pitch jig on, jig does not slide to the sides and you’d end up doing “fast pitch” jigging, which would not work well.
Neither is good or bad. They are just different strategies. And there are jig types as certain jigs work well with energetic actions and others work well with soft actions. It’s all up to your tactics.
Action Tone by Rod to Jig Match
|Rod||Lure weight||Punchy Setting||Standard Setting||Soft Setting|
|Slow Jerker 603-2||2oz = 56g||60g – 100g||100g – 120g||120g – 150g|
|Slow Jerker 603-3||3oz = 85g||80g – 130g||130g – 180g||180g – 260g|
|Slow Jerker 603-4||4oz = 113g||100g – 150g||150g – 210g||210g – 300g|
|Slow Jerker 603-6||6oz = 850g||120g – 180g||180g – 240g||240g – 400g|
|High Pitch Jerker 600||3oz = 170g||180g – 260g||260g – 300g||300g – 600g|
This is just rough references. Poseidon Slow Jerker is super strong and elastic. If you use the rod’s full length’s power by pushing down the rod butt with your elbow when you lift and keeping the tip angled less than 90 degrees to the line, you can easily push the limit of lure weight and the rod will still strongly spring back up the jig for you.
Also, keep in mind that the chart is based on the spankered boat. Sea-anchor loosens the line than Spanker and your line will be catching more currents. That is why you need a little more power in the rod. In other words, if from a sea-anchored boat, the rod power becomes weaker than above references.
Jig Types and Preferences
The following is the example of Seafloor Control jigs.
- Gawky works well with soft setting
- Cranky works well from soft to standard setting
- Rector works well from standard to punchy setting
- Spunky works well with punchy setting (or soft high pitch setting)
You can cross check with the action tone chart above. It’s up to your tactics, how heavy and what type of jig to use in what setting. Along with your application, they all combine to determine what actions you are making.
Again, it’s just rough references. You can’t tell what rod to use with how heavy a jig. You just need to drop a jig and see for yourself. The bottom line is that if the rod springs back up straight when you jerk and hold it up, the rod is working the jig. It depends not only on the jig weight, but also on the depth, the current and the line (thicker line catches more currents).
The chart says 603-6 can lift a 400g jig, but sometimes I drop a 210g jig with 603-6 from a spankered boat, but the current pulls the line so hard that the tip doesn’t come back up. Then I know the jig is not moving. I may switch to long fall jigging with a heavier jig or change the rod to high pitch jigging. That’s how it goes.
What when you fish in shallow water?
The balance is more important than merely using a small jig. Shallow water means you can use small jigs. It doesn’t mean a lighter jig works better. It just means you can, as long as you keep the balance.
So, you can start with your normal balanced tackle even in shallow water. Maybe 603-3 with 180g.
When you don’t get contacts, you want to change something and you start thinking…
Should I go lighter? The jig will be smaller and quicker.
Or should I go heavier? The jig will be bigger and slower.
Which is easier for your target to bite, smaller or slower?
There’s no definite answer. It’s your call. Your game. This is the fun of the game. It gives you the framework what you can do and what you can change.
You can change something like the followings.
- Use different types of the jigs, different types of actions.
- Go lighter with 150g jig.
- Use thinner leader, #6 instead of your normal #10. It helps jig to move more naturally, especially with a light jig.
- Go even ligher with 100g jig if you have 603-2 rod.
- Put on a smaller profile jig like Gawky.
- Go slower with 260g Gawky or Cranky.
- Forget slow pitch and go with Daiwa TG Bait. — Will talk about it later
Using 260g or heavier Gawky in shallow water is a real thrill. Because there’s less influence of currents in shallow water, the jig feels lighter. You can dance with 260g or even 300g with 603-3 with ease. And the rocks in shallow water host some big fat groupers and they can hit you out of nowhere. It actually happens quite often. Gawky works so well with bottom fish. Because there are more sharp edges in shallow water, it’s tricky to bring them home with a light tackle.
What if you want to use a smaller jig?
Forget slow pitch jigging. There are times and fish that make bites only on small baits. But if you go too light and lose the balance with your rod, it doesn’t work anyway except times when the fish is active and bites on anything. So forget slow pitch jigging and go small.
The small jig we found very effective is Daiwa TG Bait. It’s tungsten metal. Its specific gravity is 1.7 greater than lead which other jigs are made of. So for the same weight, tungsten can be 60% smaller than lead. It does not really have to be a slow pitch jig. You can use it like slow pitch or high pitch, or anything else. You can use a spinning reel too. “Crazy Shake” and tip-flipping this jig can be red hot sometimes.
The Crazy Shake is shown in the video below. Tip-flipping is like using only the tip to flip the jig. The intervals between pitches are bound to be short, but keep the reeling small like 1/2, 1/4 or 1/8 crank for every pitch.
With hi-speed jigging, when the fish wouldn’t chase the fast-moving bait, that’s the end of it.
The idea of this shaking and tip-flipping is to move the jig and to stay in the same depth at the same time. The jig shakes its head and slowly swims upward little by little, giving fish more time to come to bite.
Here’s a video that my friend does the Crazy Shake. I think he created this method on his own. And it works! He shakes like crazy but look how slowly he reels. So the jig is almost stationary in the water but shaking the head like it’s feeding.