In this post I’ll share on the knowledge I’ve gathered on slow jigging which is secondary to my primary form ie. speed jigging. In most trips, I’ll usually start off with speed jigging & when there is no take or when I tired out I will switch to slow jigging which is less demanding physically but equally engaging.
I emphasize all information shared in this blog is just my personal opinion & experience which some may beg to differ 🙂 If you have any thoughts or questions please leave them at the end of this post.
Common Terminologies Used
Before proceeding further I’ll attempt to clarify some of the common terminologies used in vertical/speed & slow jigging which can be quite confusing
- Pitch – one up & down movement of the rod; short pitch (ie. short stroke) is normally up to 9 o’clock where long pitch (ie. long stroke) can be as high as 11 o’clock.
- Pitching – continuous up & down movement of rod; slow pitching (aka slow pitch) is used in slow jigging while fast pitching is used in vertical/speed jigging.
- Fall – descent of a slow jig according to the pitch; short pitch will result in short fall while long pitch will create a long fall.
Hint: Note pitching of rod is independent to the number of cranks of reel handle. There is no fix rule in matching these together…you can do fast pitching of rod with fast or slow cranking in vertical/speed jigging. And you can do slow pitching of rod with partial or a full crank in slow jigging. Aim is to find an effective combination you are comfortable with. Obviously you need to do fast pitching in vertical/speed jigging & slow pitching in slow jigging…they cannot be interchanged.
- For rod, reel & braided line recommended for Jigging Slow, please refer to earlier post How to Match Rod and Reel? which covers the 6 forms of fishing practised.
Hint: For braided line in slow jigging, go as light ie. as thin you can manage as thinner line will give lesser restriction or interference to jig movement due to lower water resistance against the line which is also the same reason why thinner line can cut thru water better sending your jig down faster. Use up to PE2.0 or stretching to the max PE3.0 as a limit.
- For leader I’m using mostly Unitika Silver Thread Fluorocarbon FC ( eBay ) as water condition offshore in shallow & deep water is clearer compared to inshore.
- Advantage of this brand is its hardness is lower about 2/3 of 100% full FC leader enabling FG knot wrapping to bite more securely into it giving the angler a bigger window of error of a poorly tied knot. You should have heard of cases where even properly tied knot can slip on the hard surface of a 100% full FC leader.
- Though its hardness is lower than full FC it’s still higher than that of nylon monofilament leader & providing the same refractive index in water as other full FC leader.
- Comes in 100m per retail plastic spool giving good value for money.
Hint: For the same reason as water resistance on braided line, try to use as thin a leader as possible preferably not exceeding 50lb for all your slow jigging outfits. Also note a shorter leader will have lesser resistance added to the jig movement…so keep to the 1-1.5x rod length recommended.
- Jigging slow (pre-rigged)
- Decoy Twin Pike ( Amazon / eBay ); size 3/0 & 4/0
- Decoy Twin Pike Shorter ( eBay ); size 3/0 & 4/0
- Hooks with shorter assist cords are affixed to split ring & barrel swivel at the front of jigs (where the eyes are) so they do not interfere with leader while the longer ones are tied to the other end with another split ring
- Jigging slow (self-tied)
Hint: Use up to size 3/0 or stretching to the max 4/0 as a limit. Keeping hooks on the smaller side comply to the concept of adding the least water resistance to jig movement.
I’ll be trying out single hook with short/long assist cord affixed to both ends of the jig instead of 2 hooks in those pre-rigged sets sold. Personally I felt having total 4 hooks on a jig is too many; 1 on each end ie. total 2 hooks on a jig look less cumbersome.
Jig Profile – Slow Jigging
In comparison with speed jigs which are front or end-weighted & slim, jigs for Slow Jigging are mostly flat & broad, center-weighted & elliptical in cross section which flutter & sway during descent mimicking a frantic baitfish.
- Slow jigging – jigs are flat & broad, center-weighted with elliptical cross section
- Action on the jig is created by the jig itself when it’s fluttering downwards swaying from side to side.
- Bite usually occurs on the down when jig is fluttering downwards slowly by the force of gravity on the weight of the jig.
- We’ve tried using slow jigs in speed jigging eg. Shout Stay with much success as I believe this jig is not as broad as normal slow jig & thus still can be fast jigged. BUT it’s not advisable to fast jig with those broad oval shaped slow jigs as it takes too much effort to lift such profile speedily up in water.
- On the other hand you cannot use fast jigs in slow jigging as the end-weighted slim profile in fast jigs is designed to cut thru water quickly & it wouldn’t flutter during descent.
Hint: Similar to vertical jigging, a rule of thumb to determine jig weight to be used for certain depth is to take Depth (metres) x 2 eg. 50m depth x 2 = 100g jig approximately. But as slow jigs flutter down taking more time to descend some anglers use heavier jigs to reach bottom faster.
Shallow Water (depth less than 50m)
This depth is typical of water around Singapore & Malaysia where I do most of my shallow water jigging in the day time. We do not jig at night in shallow waters on small boats due to safety reasons.
Hint: In shallow water I use small slow fall jigs (20-60g) but on my usual tackles & not on specialized slow jigging outfit. Reason being I do speed jigging most of the time locally & as such not worthwhile to have a light outfit just for slow jigging. And for small slow fall jigs I personally feel it doesn’t make a lot of difference in the rod provided you know how to work the jigs to create the intended fluttering action.
Lures – Jigs Slow – Shallow Water
- Senses Metal Jack
- Ima Gun ( eBay )
- Blue Blue Sea Riders
- Weight used – 8-60g
- Preferred colors – silver reflective, blue, yellow, brown
- Remark – Though small these jigs do give very nice fluttering action on the descent as long as you provide enough slack line
Techniques – Jigging Slow – Shallow Water
- Following is my preferred way of using the above shown light slow jigs up to 40g which I cast them out like slim jigs in speed jigging.
- Cast out & while waiting for jig to hit bottom get ready to close reel bail & lift rod to clear jig of snags on seabed. If jig stays on seabed there will be possibility of it being snagged especially with strong current.
- Once jig clears bottom start to slow jig simply by lifting rod & letting jig flutters down with slight slack in the line. Remember a slow jig will create its own flutter & sway due to its profile without any additional aid from the angler.
- Follow the line closely as a bite will usually happen during a fluttering descent. At roughly the end of the fall before hitting bottom crank reel handle 1-2 turns before lifting rod again repeating cycle. Perform cycle 3 or more times depending how far up water column you want jig to go ie. targeting bottom or mid water species or both.
- Once all cycles are completed release line for jig to hit bottom again repeating the above 2 steps (from when jig clears bottom). If jigging in you will be able to release line 3 or 4 times at different spots depending on how far you cast. Jigging this way will enable you to search water column up/down as well as area left/right you cast to for your target species.
Hint: Instead of casting out light slow jigs alternatively you can also drop them by boat side & use techniques listed below for deeper water. I will usually do this in local shallows when using heavier slow jigs (eg. 60g or above) in strong current which are too heavy to be cast comfortably.
Deep Water (depth 50-120m)
This is my typical depth range which I called Deep Water due to limitation in my physique & age in jig & tackle handling. To some this is considered as shallow but for me if I go beyond this range it becomes more like a pain than enjoyment due to the heaver jigs & tackles needed. Moreover you still can get biggies in this range without having to upsize to go deeper.
In deep water, we jig both in the day & night time if staying onboard mother boat which is anchored at night in about 30m of water.
Hint: For deep water, I use a dedicated slow jigging rod (medium spinning model) which is needed to impart action to the heavier jigs used. Most slow jigging rods are built for conventional or baitcasting so I’ve to specially source the Centaur Combat Arm which also comes in spinning version.
Lures – Jigs Slow – Deep Water
- Zetz Slow Blatt – S broad ( eBay ) & R slim ( eBay )
- Cultiva Owner Gekito
- Sea Floor Control – Cranky ( eBay ) & Rector ( eBay )
- Weight used – 80-230g
- Preferred colors – silver reflective, luminous, blue/red
- Slow current – use broader profile for better fluttering
- Strong current – use slimmer profile to cut thru current
Techniques – Jigging Slow – Deep Water
- Drop jig at boat side & while waiting for jig to hit bottom get ready to close reel bail & lift rod to clear jig of snags on seabed. No point in casting out due to the steeper incline in deep water; it will get you to about the same spot if you just drop by boat side.
- As soon as jig clears bottom start jigging by lifting rod before letting jig flutters downwards with some line slack. Slowly lower your rod tip following the line as jig descents getting ready for hook set should there be a bite.
- At roughly before the end of jig descent ie before end of rod downward stroke crank reel before lifting rod again to repeat cycle. Some will crank 1/4, 1/3, 1/2 or 1 full turn of the handle…try different ways until you can find 1 or more ways comfortable to your style of fishing.
- Aim here is to use your rod to flick jig upwards & outwards. Practise as much as you can to get a natural & comfortable combination of rod & reel movement.
- For short fall (short stroke of the rod) anglers will mostly lift rod to about 9 o’clock position & crank 1 turn or less before end of stroke as described above. Periodically one may add in a long fall (long stroke of the rod) up till 11 o’clock before letting jig free fall a longer distance downwards to add variations to jig movement. In this case reel can be cranked 2 or more times bringing jig faster up water column. Crank reel before end of descent & then lifting rod again & NOT at the start of descent which will shorten range of descent.
Hint: Take note of 2 points mentioned several times above especially during long fall ie. 1) Provide just enough line slack for jig to free fall creating the fluttering needed to attract bites. If line is straight without slack it will hinder fluttering. If too much slack you may not feel the bite 2) Rod tip should follow falling line entering water to detect bite but not too close till there is no line slack. Practise & you’ll get it right eventually.
- Refer to clips attached below on how this should be done. Anglers are using baitcasting outfits but concept is applicable to spinning outfits as well. Happy Slow Jigging!!!
All the best,
PS: Please leave a comment if any information in this site is inaccurate or incorrect…I’m learning too 🙂