What rod to use with how heavy a jig?

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Seafloor Control Gawky

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
Seafloor Control Gawky

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?

Daiwa TG Bait

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAForget 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.

  1. Amro
    Amro08-08-2016

    what do you think about slow jerker 603-5? I have rector jigs 180-240gm and gawky 380gm.

    • Totos
      Totos08-09-2016

      603-5 is as dandy as other models. It’s right in the money for those jigs.

      • Luke Ryan
        Luke Ryan10-24-2016

        Wot slow jerker for cranky 130-200g jigs?

        • Totos
          Totos10-29-2016

          Sounds like 603-3.

          But jig weight is just a part of water resistance the rod has to work against.
          How deep is your main field?
          How vertical can you stay? Are you free-drifting, sea-anchored, or you have a captain controlling the drift?

  2. Fernando Areias
    Fernando Areias12-06-2016

    Hey Totos, I’m getting started with Slow Jigging, I’m from Brazil and we jig a lot, but always speed jigging, we usually fish from 60 to 100m. Normally we use jigs from 200 to 250g so they can get to the bottom faster and help us with the vertical alignment of the boat.
    I’m looking to buy a Blue Heaven L30hi with Poseidon Slow Jerker, I’m just worried about the Jig weight. What do you think? 603-4 or 603-6? The question is, what’s better for slow jigging technique, to use a 603-4 with 250g (above average) or a 603-6 with a 200g (below average)? Thank you so much and congratulations with this website, really great information here.
    Cheers,
    Fernando.

    • Totos
      Totos12-13-2016

      Hi Fernando.
      I understand your confusion. But it’s really not better or worse, they are different action tones. And that’s why we always have at least a couple of tackles to try different action tones to see what works in that current condition and what fish likes that day.
      Slow pitch jigs are slower to fall, so you will use heavier jigs than hi-speed jigging. If you are free-drifting, I would try slow pitch jigging in the shallow half of your depth. Jig weight will be 200g to 300g+. Any one of 603-4, 603-5 and 603-6 will be good. I would get 603-4 if I plan to get the second rod in the future (603-6). Or 603-6 as your first rod will be a safer choice with the same plan. Or, 603-5 will be also nice if I don’t know if I will get the second rod (603-6) in the future. Tough call!

  3. Ahmed Adel
    Ahmed Adel12-17-2016

    Hi Totos
    First your Blog now is my refrence in slow jigging so Thanks for ur big effort
    My rod is major craft gaint killing for SP its jig weight from 80-150 g is that mean it will not work well if it use smaller or heavier jigs

    • Totos
      Totos12-27-2016

      Hi Ahmed.
      Thank you very much for your compliment.
      The rod works against the whole water resistance. The jig weight is just a part of it.
      http://www.anglers-secrets.com/faq-how-should-i-match-the-rod-to-the-jig/

      If your rod springs back after your reeling and rod lifting, the rod is working in that condition. So be free of rod specs.
      When the current is strong and the water is deep, the rod may NOT work with 100g jig.
      When the condition is more friendly, the rod may work with 180g jig.

  4. Ahmed Adel
    Ahmed Adel12-31-2016

    Hi Totos ,
    I tried slow jigging in very shallow water 10m deep , but the are is full of big grouper , the current was little high I used heave Jig to balance with my rod and water current , but no contacts , while some guys in same boat catch many by live bait , what I though the slow pitch should work but I am not sure if it works in low depth , your advice is important , Thanks a lot

    • Totos
      Totos01-06-2017

      Hi Ahmed.
      I don’t think slow pitch jigging can be successful under 30m, in those shallow water.
      A lot of anglers know by experience that it works better in the shallow if you cast the jig a little for a diagonal game. Slow pitch jigging is strictly a vertical game.
      Probably because, I think, fish in the shallow water are being pretty particular about the depth they stay. At 100m deep, fish can chase the bait vertically upward for 20m easily. But they don’t do that in the shallow. Or maybe because when the fish spots the jig and starts chasing it upward, they see your boat directly above.

      Anyway, no, I would not think slow pitch jigging works at 10m deep. Try micro jigging with tungsten jigs if you want to try something new.

      • sakis
        sakis05-17-2017

        Hellooo from greece. how are you? First of all sorry for my english. I beed your help. I have poseidon evergreen slow jerker 603-3. I go only one time for fishing with this. But i think is VERY SOFT. I go for fishing with 90-120gr jigs in 70-80 meters depth but if i don’t do any moves my rod hangs! This is normal? Btw i want change my rod and take the 603-5! I use hard tone with small moves. Can i go for fishing with this rod in 130-150meters depth??? And for hard tone 1/3-1/4 reel curcles what jig weight i must use?

        • Totos
          Totos05-21-2017

          Hi Sakis.
          I think that’s what you get from not staying vertical. Please read more articles on staying vertical.
          You are probably free-drifting. I would stay in the shallow waters 70m – 80m and explore more with heavier jig weight (200g to 300g).

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