When I first started jigging, I was doing hi-speed jigging. I caught several amberjacks and tunas. The sudden impact from the emptiness of the deep ocean stoke me like a heavy counter punch to my jerking. It was truly devastating. But at the same time, jerking the heavy spinning tackle all day was really exhausting. I didn’t feel my arms at the end of the day. In spite of such a reward when I hit the fish, I started thinking to sell my tackle in auction after my 3rd trip. I’ve met a lot of people with the same experience.
There’s no all-mighty method that works all the time. Fast or slow. But I think understanding hi-speed jigging in comparison with slow-pitch jigging really helps to bring your understanding and awareness to the game. So let’s talk about this.
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So the jigging has been a heavy-tackle hard-working muscle-breaking sport.
If you look at it in the evolution of fishing, there was reasons why it had to be this way.
There were only Nylon mono-filament and Fluorocarbon fishing lines when jigging was born. They are thick in diameter. And for the strength to catch the kind of fish you target with this method, it had to be really thick. 50lb Nylon line’s diameter is about 0.74mm, while PE line is about 0.41mm thick for the same strength. Because of its thickness, Monofilament and FC line catch more currents, creating a lot of line slack between you and the jig.
Suppose you and your friend are 100m apart with a line in your hand, but your line is out 110m long swinging in high wind, and you are trying to pull the line to move your friend on the other end. Very little you can do. This is what you get when the thick line catches the currents before reaching the bottom.
Plus, what makes it even more difficult is that these lines stretch to tensions. Monofilament stretches 20% to 45% before breaking, FC stretches 17% to 37%, while PE only stretches 4%. So if you are jigging with mono or FC, the line stretches may cancel all your actions.
As a result, if you are jigging with these lines, you need to jerk big and strong and reel fast, fast, fast, just to move the jig.
Most jigging boats were free-drifting back then. This creates the same problem of the line slack as #1. The best way to do jigging is that the jig goes straight down. It means you are linked with the jig directly with a straight line. This way you have a very good control over your jig.
In order to maintain such vertical alignment in currents and winds, the jigging boats in Japan now have the spankers or at least sea-anchors, which align the boat upwind.
Spanker is the aft sail that keeps the boat heading toward the wind. With an occasional little forward throttle, you can cancel the influence of the wind. It enables you to move along with the current, and all the lines and the jigs, keeping them straight down. Now most Japanese jigging boats have this sail. It’s difficult, however, when there’s very little winds but comes from random directions.
Sea-anchor, or drogue, is like a parachute in the water. The wind tries to push the boat, and you drop the parachute and it puts the break on the wind influence. This is the minimum requirement for the slow pitch. Unlike Spanker, you can’t control to move with the current, and it becomes really difficult when the wind and the current are going to opposite directions.
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When the jigging came out on the fishing scene, everyone doubted how the fish could possibly bite on the chunk of metal. So it’s in our head that we should move it fast fast fast so that the fish would not have time to examine what they are biting on. Only now we are understanding that it’s mainly the hydrodynamic vibrations of the motions that the fish react to. And the shape of the jig has been refined and modeled in different styles that they make all kinds of actions. Now some even say “Don’t try to move the jig. Let the jig do the job.”
These are the reasons why the jigging has developed toward faster motions and heavier tackles.
And Slow-Pitch Jigging came out of this evolution. And knowing the difference and the evolution helped me understand more about how to set up and use the reel, the rod, the line, and the jig.
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