The biggest difference between the jiggnig techniques is, that slow pitch jigging is a lot less physical than normal speed jigging! The movement of the rod is a lot less, and it uses the elasticity of the rod to impale action on the jig Thank the lord for our Japanese fishing colleagues! It seems that there is a never ending supply of new techniques, and tackle from the land of the rising sun! The latest craze that is sweeping the Japanese saltwater fishing scene is called »slow pitch jigging«, or in short »slow jigging«! So what makes this slow pitch jigging so special? What is the difference between normal jigigng and slow pitch jigging?? The biggest difference between the jiggnig techniques is, that slow pitch jigging is a lot less physical than normal speed jigging! The movement of the rod is a lot less, and it uses the elasticity of the rod to impale action on the jig! The rod basically moves only from the three o clock position to the five o clock position accomanied by a whole crank a half, or even just a quarter crank of the reel! Furthermore slow pitch jigging emphasizes a lot on the fall of the jig! This means that the fluttering falling action of the jig entices a lot of strikes of predatory fish!
Slow pitch jigging will catch the same kind of fish you would target with normal speed jigging, but you will be able to jig all day without getting tired – meaning you will probably catch more fish, since you can jig longer! Basically all you have to do is keep the line at an angle of 90 degrees to the rod, and let the tackle do the work! With a fast crank the rod will load, and whip the jig up and all you have to do is wait until the jig looses its momentum, and starts falling again. Then it is up to you how long you want the jig to fall before you start another crank/whip cycle! Most of the strikes will come at the time when the jig whips up and stays sideways, just before it looses its upward momentum, and at the time when the jig starts fluttering down again! This is the basic technique, and of course you can vary your jig movements endlessly! In the first video you can see Norihito Sato, one of the inventors of slow pitch jigging, and pro staff angler for the company Evergreen demonstrating the technique. You can see that he gives the jig a lot of time for its movements, and that he varies the cranks on the reel from less than a quarter crank up to one crank per pitch! On the second video the first angler uses center balanced long jigs, that are designed for long, sliding falls! He emphasizes on the fall of the jig by raising his rod high over his head, and then dropping it fast, allowing the line to go slack and enabling the jig to maximise its action! Let s talk about the tackle that is used for slow pitch jigging!
Without a doubt the best reel to use for slow pitch jigging is a multiplier, or baitcasting reel loaded with PE line! Why are multipliers better? Because they give you a better feel of what is going on at the end of your line! The line comes directly off the reel without being bent 90 degrees by the line roller. Therefore it provides better information of what the jig is doing, when it touches the bottom etc.
Also spinning reel create a lot more momentum on the line, because of the rotation of the rotor, this interferes with the techniques of slow pitch jigging! One of the most important reason for me to use only multipliers for slow pitch jigging is that you can control the fall of the jig very easy by thumbing the spool. This is extremely important, because a lot of strikes come when the jig falls! The characteristics of a slow pitch jigging rod is a thin diameter with high elasticity! This makes the rod super sensitive, and enables the »spring back«, or »whipping action«, that allows the jig to spring up and stay horizontal, and dance continuously on the slow pitch.
Finally lets talk about the jigs. Generally you can divide jigs for slow pitch jigging in three categories: 1. Fall jigs
These jigs are designed to get their action whlie dropping/falling trough the water column! Normally they do not have a sliding, or flying action on the pitch, so it is very important to give the jig as much time to fall as possible! Normally fall jigs are fat, leave shaped. They are flat on one side, and shaped on the other.
2. Responsive jigs
These jigs will already work with very subtle inputs. They have pointy heads, and wide tails. On the lightest jerk they will start dancing and sliding!
3. Long jigs
As the name implies, the shape is elongated, and the jigs are made to slide from side to side! Most conventional (speed jigs) with a long shape are also suitable for slow pitch jigging, because generally all long jigs are center balanced. This is also the one thing that all jigs for slow pitch jigging have in common – center balanced!
For slow pitch jigging we usually rig our jigs with four hooks!! Two on the top, and two rear hooks. The reason for this is, that this technique focuses a lot on the fall, and on the horizontal stay of the jig. Meaning a lot of strikes come while the jig drops or stay horizontally in the water. At this time the line is always slack, and we would not get good hook ups! If you are getting too many snags on the bottom, or if the current is very strong, and the rear hooks foul with the leader, take the rear hooks off, but leave at least two hooks on the head of the jig!
At the moment most of the tackle used fpr slow pitch jigging is still quite expensive, because the technique has just caught on in Japan, meaning that most of the equipment available is made by smaller Japanese companies who have their production facilities in Japan, and viortually all of the products are handmade! At the forefront of this new technique are companies like Bluing Hearts/Sea Falcon, Evergreen, Shout, Deep Liner, Palms and Sea Floor Control. I am sure many of you have never even heard of some of the companies listed above, this is because most of these companies are small Japanese manufacturers that are producing ultra high end tackle for the Japanese domestic market! Concerning reels, as mentioned before, multipliers are the way to go! The best reels to use are the Shimano Ocea Jigger, the European/American version is called Trinidad, the Ocea Calcutta, the Daiwa Ryoga Bay Jigging, or the new Daiwa Catalina multiplier.
Thats all for now folks! If you need any further information concerning this technique please dont hesitate to contact us! Until next tide
your Marc Inoue and Team Maguro!