Slow-Pitch, Hi-Pitch, and Long Fall Jerk


3 Main Variations with Slow Pitch Jigging

With Slow-Pitch Jigging, there are so many variations of movements and sequences that we can intentionally make. They can be roughly categorized into 3 kinds.

Click on “+” to see the descriptions.

Slow Pitch Jerk
Hi Pitch Jerk
Long Fall Jerk

Sato Sensei established these principles. He also emphasizes that these are not 3 different methods. They are just the variations of Slow-Pitch jigging, and utilizing these characteristics in a continuous strategy is very important in the field.

Introduction to Long Fall Jerk

This is the introduction to Norihiro Sato DVD #6, Long Fall Jerk.

Combination with Slow Pitch Jerk and Long Fall Jerk

This is demonstrated by my friend, one of the leading jiggers in Okinawa.

Tactical Tips

Knowing When To Do What Variation

Sunset and Sunrise are when the fish gets activated, no matter what the tides are. I would go for a big one with high pitch with a long jig. High Pitch works well with the monster swimmers. Long Fall works well with the big fat ambushers.
Sometimes you have fish active situation and you see people catching young amberjacks or tunas. You want to go for a big one. High pitch with a long jig is one option. The other option is slow pitch with a heavier jig. When the juveniles are attacking, it's possible that a big old wise amberjacks may join the feast later. They look for easy targets, crippled by the juvenile attack. Soft slow pitch application may find their appetite. When the current is not moving, this is when the fishing gets tough as fish is not active. This is when Slow Pitch and Long Fall take effects. Slow Pitch detects the most bites. Especially when the other anglers on your boat are doing hi-speed jigging or High Pitch, you'll be the only one who catches fish. Fish is not active enough to chase those fast moving jigs, but it catches their attentions. And they will see before their eyes, there is this easy target, a goofy hopping unguarded fish, or maybe an injured, crippled fish swimming funny.
Long Fall constantly works. Sometimes the upper current is moving and the bottom current is not moving. These multiple layers of currents is a tough situation, since fish in the still water along the bottom is not activated, but your line is under a big influence of the upper currents. Long Fall still works in a situation like this.
Sometimes Slow Pitch is just hard to do. The current is too strong. The deep water is giving too much influence to your line. Or the waves are too choppy to give subtle actions. These are times that Hi Pitch and Long Fall take effects.

Situation Slow Pitch High Pitch Long Fall
Sunset/Sunrise OK Good Good
Loose Current Good OK Good
Strong Current OK Good Good
Shallow Water Good Ok Good
Deep Water OK Good Good

Fast Tempting Lift

It's effective to give 3 to 4 hi-speed lifts sometimes in the sequence. Fast moving objects do attract attentions. 3 to 4 cranks will move the jig for 2m to 3m. A nice invitation to catch attentions or to make them start chasing. Then slow pitch will follow and make the change of pace, which triggers the fish to run for the kill.

Change Drop Point

Most of the bites happen near the bottom. It's usually up to 20m from the bottom where you play your sequences and drop back to the bottom. With Slow Pitch or Long Fall, sometimes you can narrow your range to 10m, which is strategically good and effective. But after couples of attempts, you should reel up your jig about 30m or so and then drop back down. The jig will drop down to a different place and you can start over again.

The fun part of this game is that you can intentionally change your methods to make a difference. There are times that you feel so good moving your jig, almost like playing music, and sure enough you get contacts. And there are times you have doubts in everything you do, any jig you pick, and nothing feels right. There are times that you are giving everything you got and nothing bites.
No matter what the fish liked or didn’t like, no matter what the ocean allowed or didn’t allow, the important thing is that you’ve given every shots you got.

I hope you find this article informative and helpful to you!

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  1. Kitidas Punyashthiti
    Kitidas Punyashthiti12-09-2012

    Just smiling after reading the last paragraph, it is exactly like you’ve sum it up.

    • Totos

      I’m glad that you have the same goal toward the end of the day.
      There’s another phrase from Sato Sensei I like. Make every one of your pitches as though you are up against this one fish.

  2. Ed Cheong
    Ed Cheong12-28-2012

    Hi Totos,
    You’ve made a fantastically informative website. Its gonna take a while to digest and absorb all the info but all is good..

    • Totos

      Thank you for your compliments Ed. Glad you found the information helpful. Enjoy fishing!!!

  3. Daz

    Very enjoyable reading about your experience.
    Do you have a jig that you would recommend for red snapper in 80-90 metres of water here in Australia?
    We have success fishing soft plastics with a jig head weight of 1.5 -2 oz.
    We are targeting fish between 2-8kg.
    I have some evergreen Caprice kid 50gram I am going to try.
    Your experience is inspiring.
    Thank you for the website.

    • Totos

      Hi Daz. Thank you for your compliments! Nice to share with you.
      I’ve heard the plastic jig works well in Australia with red snappers. Must be great fun to catch over 5kg with such a light tackle.

      There are several types of jigging for snappers that’s popular in Japan. With metal jigs, the long fall jerk is the trend.
      Caprice is a great jig. It is actually a pioneering jig in slow-pitch jigging. It’s very responsive with your inputs, and also plays a great performance in falling too. But given the depth of the sea, I would recommend a heavier jig. Caprice has 130g, or even 180g. It depends on how strong the current is in your area and how vertical to the line your boat can keep you. But 50g sounds too light anyway. I would try 130g to see how it fits your rod and your ocean.
      Use the long fall. And don’t forget to put hooks on the rear too. When the snapper attacks the jig on the fall, it will make the bite on the rear.

      The other types are Kabura and Tenya. I’ve heard Kabura is getting popular in Australia as well, no? I personally find it a little boring, because I don’t know what to change when I’m not getting hits.
      I like Tenya better, as I have more strategies to it. Tenya is a shaped weight with a hook where you put live shrimp or shrimp-shaped plastic bait. You use a thin line like PE1.0 with a spinning reel on a very light rod, and the shape of Tenya performs wavy sliding actions on the fall to attract snappers.
      Check out YouTube

      • Totos

        Hi Daz. Sorry I didn’t read you right.
        You do already have Caprice 50g. If that’s the case, try it. And if you feel you drift too far from the jig and you are not communicating with your jig well, know that you need a heavier jig.
        I assume when the tide is loose, your plastic will just do a fine job. If you are looking for your back-up jig for the time the plastic doesn’t work, I think you should try 130g to 150g, or even 180g.

        Other than Caprice, my first choice would be Rector by Sea Floor Control. But they haven’t expanded their scales of business to even meet the demands on the domestic market. It must be hard to get overseas.
        I would recommend Quick Zero 1 by CB ONE for the slow-pitch jerk. It’s a small profile highly responsive jig.
        For the high-pitch jerk, TG Bait by Daiwa is very productive. It’s tungsten metal. Its specific gravity is 1.7 heavier than copper. So 60g or 80g would be good for you.

        Good luck!

  4. Daz

    Hi Totos,
    you were right, the 50g Caprice was way too light on a day with moderate current and I have some jigs on order between 100-130g Daiwa Slow knuckle and Shout flash. Hopefully I will have some success with these.
    The Tenya utube clip was very interesting and I’d never heard of that style before. I’m sure it would be very productive here and have ordered some Tenya jigheads as well. Great information thanks!
    I look forward to trying the new styles and hope to send some pictures of future captures.
    Regards and thanks again,

    • Totos

      Hi Daz.
      So you tried the Caprice. Sorry it didn’t work. But I’m sure it would work in a shallow water like 40m – 50m deep. The Daiwa jigs and Shout jigs have solid reputation. Good luck and let me know how it goes.

      I was sure you would like Tenya. The shape of the weight plays all the tricks. It can go with a live bait or a soft plastic. It works well in swimming and excellent in falling. Make sure you use light tackle. Very light tackle. They go as thin as PE0.6 – PE0.8. The leader is 8 to 10lb. Because you want to be under the least influence of currents for the best falling actions. This is how Japanese anglers are set up for Tenya. Don’t worry. The line hardly breaks. It’s the knots that break. Be extra careful and precise in making knots.

      They say Red Snappers are really selective with what they eat. When they are chasing sardines, they bite on swimming jigs or Tenya. When they are picking on the bottom, they show no interest in swimming objects and bite on the falling lures.

      So I understand your primary weapon is the soft plastic. Try to see you or your fellow anglers getting hits on the fall or the swim. If you think it’s the fall day, switch to Tenya. If it’s the swim day, your jig. And get 1 more fish than your fellow anglers!!!

  5. Daz

    Hi Totos,
    The fish always hit on the drop here so I imagine they’ll eat the tenya.

    Knots on such light tackle are always the problem. Is there a particular knot you like to use for line to leader?
    I do lots of fishing with heavy tackles and those knots aren’t suitable.
    I look forward to your thoughts.

    • Totos

      Hi Daz.
      I just posted up on the knots. Check it out and tell me if it works for you.

      I see the fish there hits when the jig is falling too. Hmmm, interesting…
      I would really try to start fishing with a really thin line, Daz. Since you don’t have a boat with a spanker, this might be the key to have a big day there. Nobody else is doing it and it’s the best thing you can do to stay vertical to your jig. And staying vertical is the key to make your falling more productive. Tell me how it goes!

  6. Daz

    Hi Totos,
    do you think your friend COMBINATION WITH SLOW PITCH JERK AND LONG FALL JERK, would be using a Gawky.
    Also which slow jerker rod please- , I’ll look again for the colour band in the rod.
    Nice style, I have been imitating some of this style when i can.

    • Totos

      Hi Daz.
      Yes. He is on Gawky. And the rod is Slow Jerker 603-3 3oz.
      Judging by the spring back actions of the rod, he’s probably using 180g. With over 200g on SJ603-3, you usually need to keep the rod tip above the 90 degree angle to get that spring back actions. And I know he never uses less than 180g at any depth for slow pitch.

  7. Daniel

    wow! nvr below 180g? even for 30m? but say Totos if you were going after fish that are delicate feeders than i guess u have to adjust the jig size?

  8. Daniel

    Yup! saw the post good write up! but if the fish are only hitting very small baits/jigs then what would u suggest? use a heavier but smaller profiled jig? or switch to fast jigging?

    • Totos

      Hi Daniel. Quick response!
      That’s what I talked about at the end of the post.
      I would always go to Daiwa TG Bait. Shaking is what’s shown in the video.
      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 purpose 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.

  9. Daniel

    hmm! alrite! thks so much!

    • Totos

      You are very welcome Daniel. Thank you for giving me the ideas of writing.

  10. ioannis

    Hello Totos,your website is fantastic thank you very much,what about hots slow style rods are they any good for this kind of fishing?Thanks.

    • Totos

      Hi loannis.
      Welcome to my site. Thank you for your interest in this game.
      We haven’t tried all the rods. We hear and read what people say. We hardly hear about Hot’s rod.

      Introduced in 2008 by Norihiro Sato, slow pitch jigging ignited the market. Back then, the rod was Evergreen. The reel was Shimano. The jig was Deepliner. That was all. Then the guys who studied with Sato for years started making their own jigs around 2011, Seafloor Control, Beat, ASS. The game was spread nation wide. In 2012, all the rod makers finally started releasing slow pitch jigging rods. And today, when it comes to slow pitch jigging rods, we say, “There are Slow Jerkers. And there are Others.”
      There are 2 kinds in Others. Cheap ones and Expensive ones.
      Expensive ones are all made in Japan. High carbon blanks require high skills to build. Cheap ones are either not built with high carbon sheet or not made in Japan. They lack either the spring power or the consistent quality, or both.
      All of them work. Some of them may not work quite well in certain situations, with certain settings, or with certain skills. But they all work slow pitch jigging.

      But if you have a choice, I recommend without doubts to get Slow Jerker. If you can’t afford a new one, get an used Slow Jerker. If you still can’t afford, go cheap on your reel and line and get an used Slow Jerker. (I’m not a Evergreen salesman or a fan!)
      When your fishing doesn’t go well, you think what is going wrong, a question that you never seem to find a descent answer for. Well if you have a Slow Jerker, you don’t have excuses. You have the best rod that the game has been developed with.

      Hope you will join the club soon!

  11. ioannis

    Thank you for your answer,so which slow jerker rod do you suggest for me fishing 60-100 meters deep with 180-250gr jigs?Also i would like to ask if slow jigging works in the summer when the waters aren t too cold?Thank you again.

    • Totos

      Hi loannis
      Yes, if you are fishing at 60m – 100m deep from a sea-anchored boat, 180g – 300g jig would work for you. The rod would be Slow Jerker 603-6 or equivalent.
      For 180g – 210g jigs, it would be the standard slow pitch setting with jigs like Rector, Cranky, Spunky.
      For 220g – 240g jigs, it would be the soft setting with jigs like Cranky, Rector, Gawky
      For 260g – 300g jigs, it would be the very soft setting with jigs like Gawky, Cranky, Rector

      Oh yes, slow pitch jigging works well for bottom fish like cods and groupers, and that’s what we usually target in the summer. In a typical summer day out, I would bring a light slow pitch rods, 603-3 main and 603-6, for fishing bottom fish around the reefs 50m to 100m, and a casting spinning tackle just in case we see boiling schools with tunas and trevallies. But sometimes we also go deep over 200m for high pitch jigging when the condition is good. The deep water is cold and hosts big fish.

      But in the summer, the tide difference is bigger in the day and the current may be too strong for slow pitch jigging. And also it’s too hot! It’s nice to target the early morning and the evening.

  12. Sweesan

    Thanks for the informative read. Am new to angling and your post has somehow enlightened me about fishing. I’ve only been to sea once and already planning my next journey end of this month, targeting big mouth snapper as well as Spanish mackerel in Paloh, Sarawak, Malaysia. Maybe later to Sematan, Kuching, Sarawak for GTs. Keep the post coming… Thank you very much Senpai..

    • Totos

      Hi Sweesan.
      Thank you very much for your compliments and encouragements. I’m happy that this site helps you to come into this game. Good luck! Let me know if you have any questions as they inspire me to write posts.

  13. Brandon

    Hi Totos,

    I am from Singapore and my friends and I are constantly fishing in Southern Side of Singapore and we do travel up north to Malaysia to fish on the east coast of Malaysia.

    All my friends and I have been reading this site for quite sometime and now after numerous trips we do have some questions that we would like to ask you.

    1) Our experiences on offshore fishing are typically 80% of the time 30m to 50m depths and 20% of the time 50m onwards to maximum 100m. On the two depth ranges do you think that by using 3oz rod with the relevant jigs they are good enough? The usual targets are 1-3kg groupers snappers on the bottom or 5-15kg Cobias in the mid waters. What would be the advised style of slow jigging be like.

    2) For bottom ambushers like groupers, they like to bite and hide into rocks. On days of slightly bigger current, if we use thicker leaders, the jigs will not dance beautifully. I have tried using thinner leaders and experienced line breakages very often in these scenarios as the line is too thin for me to put my drag too tight. How do you usually solve this problem?

    3) On the TG Bait. It seems the TG bait gameplay is very different. Do you have any recommendation in terms of the rod/leader/reel size towards a certain weight of the TG Bait? I seem not being able to get the “crazy shake” and “Tilt the head” gameplay ongoing by using my 3oz rod and even trying to use it with my fast jigging light rod.

    I thank you very much for all your articles and my friends and I really learnt a lot from your site. We do hope you can continue posting your insights and share it with us.

    Thanks again!

    • Totos

      Hi Brandon

      1) If you choose just one rod on a free-drifting boat in 30m to 50m, yea, 603-3. The target size has got nothing to do with the rod power. Is it good enough…?
      Was it for you? If it wasn’t, I would try different action tones with different jigs from 80g to 220g. If it’s still not enough, I would use 603-4, 603-6, or Longfall Jerker. Or you can change it to lighter line.

      Your choices are unlimited. You just need to keep changing until the fish gives you an answer that it’s enough.

      2) The fighting with light tackle requires tactics and skills.
      This page may give you hints.

      Sorry that I can’t give specific answers. But it depends on how the leader broke, how heavy the leader was, how heavy the jig weight was, and how it happened.

      3) Doing actions like crazy shake with TG Bait is easier with a spinning tackle. TG Bait also works in simple hi-speed jigging. Be free-minded. But it seems TG Bait invites bites in lifts and hoverings, but not in falls.

  14. AnGad

    Hi Totos !
    Thank you for so nice technical post !
    I want to ask you this : What is the ideal depth for fishing with slow pitch and long fall rod ?

    • Totos

      Hi AnGad.
      I don’t think there’s any ideal depth for slow pitch jigging. It’s basically a vertical game. When it’s shallower than 40 or 50 meters, diagonal game works better most of the times. So, I would say anywhere over 50m is good for slow pitch.
      And there’s no difference between slow pitch rods and longfall rods. In anywhere slow pitch rods work, longfall rods can.

  15. ramy

    Hi Totos
    first i thank you for this website,it’s a great one for slow jigging,
    j have a question for you, l’m confuse about something, you explain here the 3 different ways for slow jigging slow pitch – long fall – and hi pitch I understand that put to do this ways i have got 3 rods for each one because l found rods is special in one way like slow pitch jerk or long fall jerk or i can buy only one and do the 3 ways by any one of them and if there is one do the three ways what is that rod because i want to buy one and i find in the market one for slow pitch and one for long fall by galahad and thanks for you

    • Totos

      Hi Ramy.
      You need to understand action tones to understand these different techniques.
      If you have a Slow Jerker 603-4, you can play slow pitch with 180g jig, high pitch with 100g, long fall with 300g.
      I would get 2 slow pitch rods first if you can, in order to really learn this technique and adapt to different conditions. Then you will be confident enough to judge if you want high pitch or long fall next as your third rod.
      Good luck.

  16. Tom

    It would really be helpful if U could get the videos translanted.

    • Totos

      Yea, I wish I had time and authority to do that.

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