Kabura, Inchiku, and Tenya!!!


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What other methods besides slow pitch jigging do you recommend?

It’s a challenging question for a jigging site!

Well, I don’t mind at all, and I get this question a lot. I understand that there are a lot of these methods that have been modified from Japanese traditional fishing techniques, and the information is usually very limited for non-Japanese speaking people.

These games are pretty popular among jiggers around here as well. Especially in the summer when jigging gets pretty tough.


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It’s called Tai-Kabura or Tai-Rubber. The modification of the traditional fishing technique has developed to this popular snapper game. “Tai” means Red Snapper. But it’s pretty effective for groupers as well.

Kabura is a shaped jig head with “skirts” and “ties” which swim with rather small hooks. Red Snappers peck and tease a lot sometimes before making the bite. Small double hooks on the assist cords are easy to be swallowed.

Basically we don’t make any actions. A slow steady retrieve from 0.5 to 2 turns per second. The skirts and ties flutter to attract fish. Changing the colors and the jig head shapes are considered important. You can try different speed, but making actions is said to be ineffective.


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Inchiku comes from the old traditional technique of Japanese fishermen, too. Very clever structure of the bullet shape jig head and octopus skirt, which looks really swimming on the simple retrieve.

It swims better in the diagonal alignment, not in the straight down vertical alignment.

It’s a pretty versatile jig. I works for fast swimming fish like kingfish and also for snappers and groupers.

You can do either steady retrieve, some change of pace and some rod actions. Like jigging, but no too wild actions.



This game is a very unique game. It’s a fall game.

imagesTenya is a jig head, typically, flat at the bottom. Very slow to fall, swinging and rocking to attract fish. The jig head comes in different shapes now, but the emphasize is in the fall.
You can use either shimp or plastic.

This game is typically done by a spinning tackle, with the lightest PE line possible, #0.6 or #0.8. Tenya jig head is supposed be small and light. It’s not heavy enough to fall on the overhead reel. And you should use the lightest tenya to touch the bottom. It’s supposed to fall slow and funny, and snappers love it that way.

Shimano TV is probably the best coverage.

Tenya with Norio Tanabe →

  1. Dan

    Hi Totos,

    Great post mate!!!

    Here in Australia I’ve found kabura a bit better in shallower water up to 60m with lighter styles. I’ve mostly given up on this method in deep water. I don’t know but maybe heavy styles in deep water could be a bit too fat for the fish to play the game with. Also, in Australia we have very cheap and ugly retail kabura designs. If I was a snapper I wouldn’t eat the local product either.
    With Inchiku you are spot on because my best days in 80-100m are without sea anchor when current is 3-4km/h and the jig is a little bit sideways. I found inchiku worked best very early in last season with the rod in holder.
    With Tenya I tried making some 2oz weights using soft plastic prawn for 60m. Maybe one or two very small snapper but no real luck. I think I play a bad game of Tenya. Interestingly: I only caught fish with prawn upside down like you demonstrate in your photo but my braid is PE3 so very heavy. When I put soft prawn right way up nothing happened many times.
    What are your thoughts?

    • Totos

      Gidday mate.
      Thank you very much for your great feedback. It’s nice to hear your humorous but sharp comments as always.
      Inchiku should be a good toy always to stash in your tackle box. Sometimes it’s hard to stay vertical with your sea-anchor for jigging, right? I like to cast a little and repeat retrieving and falling super slowly, sweeping the bottom for groupers.
      Kabura and Tenya are basically shallow game, yes. It’s very important for Tenya to be on the lightest line possible. So it’s hard to say if it mattered how you set your bait.
      PE0.6 fishing is really fun! You should try!

  2. amberjack

    Hi Totos,

    I am reading your web page since a few days and couldnt get enough. Thanks a lot for sharing your experinces with us.

    For snappers and groupers I mostly use inchiku and having good results mostly. Because the spots are deep and winds are strong in my region, it is hard to stay vertical. This is an other good reason for using inchiku.

    Question 1: Do you think that rod is as important as on slow pitch for inchiku as well?

    Question 2: I use daiwa pirates and shimano bottom ship because they are the only japanese ones that I can find in Turkey. Are they good exemples or you can recomend better ones that I can buy online from abroad?

    Question 3: Slow pitch is a game I never played but after reading your secrets I am very interested to be honest. Do you think that it is making huge difference on exciting our targets comparing to inchiku?

    I know too much questions in one reply. Sorry for that. I would be grateful if you could find time to answer.

    • Totos

      Thank you Amberjack.

      Answer 1
      No. Rod is not so important. Inchiku should not be played too much actions anyway. Only the tip should be soft so that it will not flick off short bites.

      Answer 2:
      Hot’s Big Fin is popular too. I can help you purchase if you want.

      Answer 3:
      Slow pitch jigging will offer you a lot of options. When you are not getting anything with inchiku game, what do you change? Color? Type? There are way more than that with SPJ. The jig actions you will be showing are just so much variety. And you control the tactics. Keep changing until you hit. So much more fun. So much more to learn.

      But occasionally, no matter what all the different things I try, an angler next to me with inchiku works better! Sure, it happens. Still I always go home thinking back my day, “what could I have done differently?” Reviewing all the details of my perceptions and choices. That is a fun part too. Only slow pitch jigging offers me so many options to take.

      • Matthieu

        Hello Toto, how can you help to buy hot’s big fin inchiku for a good price?

  3. dionisis

    Any good kabura rod?

    • Totos

      Hi Dionisis.
      I like Daiwa Kohga rod. They have 2 models.
      One is hooking model. Resilient tip, sensitive, it reacts sharp to your hooking actions.
      The other is riding model. Soft tip, regular action, it doesn’t flick off bites and helps the fish swallow the lure.

  4. Adamovic Zoran
    Adamovic Zoran01-19-2017

    Hello Toto,I’m beginner and total amateur. Can you tell me please for fishing with inchiku which type of fishing roads do I need, light jigging or slow jigging?

    • Adamovic Zoran
      Adamovic Zoran01-19-2017

      Or light fast jigging? Thanks a lot !!!!!

      • Totos

        Hi Adamovic.
        Any rods will be fine. Inchiku is not so rod-specific like slow pitch jigging.
        Some people like fast-tapered rod. Those like to energetic actions and want to be actively engaged in hooking the fish.
        Some people like regular or slow-tapered rod. These like to make natural actions and do not want to flick off bites by a fast-tapered rod. Fish can bite your lure better on a slow-tapered rod.
        Good luck.

  5. Adamovic Zoran
    Adamovic Zoran01-19-2017

    Hi Toto ,just one more question please.Can I use slow jerker 603-4 or 603-6 and if I can ,which model is better ?Because I planing use slow jigs in future.Now I’m interesting just for inchiku jigging.Can you give me two or three models of Japanese Hi-and fishing roads for inchiku any maker .
    Thanks a lot , you are my idol!

    • Totos

      Yes, Slow Jerker will do Inchiku, no problem. The lighter the better, I think. Try 603-4.

  6. Alain Soulet
    Alain Soulet12-25-2017

    Hi Toto, great website. Many thanks for your shared knowledge and experience in pitch jigging. My quetsion is what about maddays style jigs in this kind of fishing ? Mainly for fall action I guess.

    • Totos

      Hi Alain.
      Thank you for your inquiry.
      But what us ‘maddays’ style jig?
      Send me a link to be sure.

    KEMAL SADEN02-14-2018

    Hi Totos ,

    I want to ask you what kind of reel should i use for tai rubber jigging. ?
    Spinning reel or overhead ?
    minimum drag power ?
    And how many cm’s it should be winding per turn ?

    • Totos

      Hi Kemal.
      Tai Rubber for red snapper (dentex) is supposed to be done in a steady retrieve. That is the key.
      Small overhead reel should be easier to do it.
      You should choose drag power by your target size. But generally speaking, light line should be good to use as it will bring more contacts. That is also why the drag should not be so powerful.
      The winding speed is not a big issue.

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