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Thread: Teach me to jig

  1. #1
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    Default Teach me to jig

    I plan to really give jigging a fair shake this summer for salmon. I picked up some buzzbombs, wilson darts, shimano butterflies, and crippled herring.

    So I go out practicing. I drop the jigs just below the surface so I can still visually see the action of the lures. I noticed that if I DON'T toss the jig with some upward momentum, it won't flutter out horizontally with consistency. This fluttering action makes the jig behave like a wounded fish. Amazing to see a hunk of lead come to life. I can see why salmon go for it. Solution is simple, toss the jig up, right?

    Well here's the problem, either I'm a newbie, or a clutz, but I was constantly twisting my line around the rod tip. I tried an up and down motion, a circular motion, faster, slower, I ended up tangling every 4th or 5th try. Practiced about an hour and had a couple hum dinger rod tip tangles.

    Any jigging vets have some pointers? I don't want to develop any bad habits that will be hard to unlearn.

    Possibly relevant info: Running a Shimano Travela jigging rod with braid line.

  2. #2
    Member redleader's Avatar
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    You don't need to pop your jig up so high that your line goes slack and tangles on your rod tip, keep slight tension on your line and use slower lifting and dropping strokes so your not tangling your rod tip and you can feel the bite and set the hook. if you want more action for salmon go with casting and reel back or straight drops and reel up while jigging and then drop. if your line stops on the drop before hitting bottom set the hook. Get your jig in the fish zone and they will bite, you don't need to over work it and your arms and shoulders will be happier.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Tangling the line around the tip is a typical problem with people new to jigging. If you're tangling the line around your rod tip, that means you are dropping the rod too fast and the line is going slack. What weight jigs are you using? If you are using jigs that are too light for the rod, that will make the problem worse as you won't be loading the rod with the weight of the jig. Depending on if your trevala is an XH or XXH, you'll need at least 6-8 oz jig to load up the rod, and they'll work better with 12-16 oz jigs. If you're using 2-5 oz jigs, switch to your salmon rod.

    If you've been watching speed jigging videos that may be your problem. That technique really isn't needed or even beneficial in Alaska. A slow steady verticle jig works well. When fishing, free spool until you hit bottom with your rod tip low, engage the reel, then lift the rod tip 2-3' and let the jig drop under it's own weight but don't let the line go slack. With practice you'll get the feel for it. There are two reasons not to let the line go slack, one you can tangle the line around the tip as you've already found, but secondly fish typically hit the jig on the drop and you won't feel the hit and won't be able to set the hook with a slack line.

    That covers verticle jigging, but you can also jig them horizontally which can be an absolute killer for salmon especially with your buzz bombs. Cast the jig out as you would a spoon or spinner and alternate pulling the rod back horizontally, then retrieving with your reel to keep tension on your line as you sweep your rod tip back towards the jig and the jig with be falling and fluttering.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

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    Member Boreal's Avatar
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    You put your left leg in, you put your left leg out...

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    Thanks for the pointers fellas.

    You called it Paul, my jigs are all under 6oz. I'll try with a salmon rod. Also, I did indeed watch some speed-jigging videos on youtube of some guys fishing groupers down south. That probably didn't help my cause.

  6. #6
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I had a feeling based on the types of jigs you mentioned you were probably deeling with 2-4 oz jigs. I think you'll find by going to a longer more limber salmon rod your tip wrap problems will be a thing of the past.

    The trevala is a great jigging rod, I have a pair of them. But you have to use a heavy enough jig to load the rod, especially on shorter rods. I think you'll find in the import jigs a 250-300gr jig will be ideal for an XH trevala, and a 300-400gr for an XXH. The jigs will catch salmon, rockfish, halibut, lingcod, p-cod, pretty much everything. You typically don't find yourself jigging in deep enough water for salmon to need such heavy jigs, but if you're jigging deeper than 100' with any current or tidal movement the heavier jigs come into their own. I've also found the cheaper chinese clone jigs catch fish just fine, but the paint doesn't hold up that well to the rocks. On the flip side, at 1/2 the price, they aren't as painful to loose to the rocks.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

  7. #7

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    Step 1: Remove Diawa 750 from reel safe.

    Step 2: Plug reel power cord into boat.

    Step 3: Release secret jig until bottom is found.

    Step 4: Push "Jig" button

    Step 5: Open favorite beverage

    Step 6: Wait for fish to strike

    Step 7: Determine if fish is worth fighting by hand or auto-retrieve.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I747 using Tapatalk 2

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Steve,

    You're not that bad of a fisherman that you need your reel to fish for you...

    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

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    I just watched some youtube videos on those electric reels. Amazing and pathetic at the same time. Though I'd embrace an electric reel for black cod since there's no way in hell I'd try to catch one of those the old fashioned way.

  10. #10
    Member redleader's Avatar
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    Most salmon rods are too light and long for jigging, I like a medium heavy 6' graphite rod for lighter jigs you can feel the slightest bite and set the hook hard.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaFishTerminator View Post
    I just watched some youtube videos on those electric reels. Amazing and pathetic at the same time. Though I'd embrace an electric reel for black cod since there's no way in hell I'd try to catch one of those the old fashioned way.
    You are correct! I picked up two of them mainly for for Sablefishing. 2000 FT is more than I care to reel by hand.

    But also for some disabled individuals I take fishing.

    It was really an inside joke for Paul. I've lost enough of his jigs over the years catching rock fish, bottom fish. Not the live type your thinking about.

    And over the years I have watched Paul yank out some monster fish out of the water using jigs while us die hard bait users and coming up empty.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I747 using Tapatalk 2

  12. #12
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redleader View Post
    Most salmon rods are too light and long for jigging, I like a medium heavy 6' graphite rod for lighter jigs you can feel the slightest bite and set the hook hard.
    While they may not be the ideal rod for jigging, I've caught alot of fish with a medium weight 8 1/2 or 9' salmon rod and a 2-4 oz jig. I've never had a problem detecting a bite or setting the hook. Sharp hooks cure the vast majority of problems with hook sets and even if a salmon rod is rated for a lighter jig, they are not overloaded with up to 4 oz and are fish killing machines with crippled herring, point wilson darts, buzz bombs, spoons, butterfly jigs, diamond jigs, etc.,

    Catching rock fish and smaller halibut is alot of fun on the lighter tackle. Honestly it's much more enjoyable fishing lighter tackle all day that is suitable for 90% of the fish you'll catch with one or two battles where you are undergunned for the fish than having a rod that is big enough for the biggest fish but wears you out for 90% of the fish you catch. The only reason I don't use my salmon rods for more of my fishing is the depths and currents drive me to using 8oz and heavier jigs which are too much for a salmon rod. Don't tell my son it won't work as he and his brother and sister have landed a fair number of fish with an 8oz leadhead and a salmon rod.

    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

  13. #13

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    Paul, we use salmon rods as well. Safe to assume you are using some sort of no-stretch superline or are you using mono? I use powerpro on the rod I jig with but was just wondering.

  14. #14
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Two of my salmon rods have 30# powerpro and two have 55# daiwa boat braid (rod pictured), so yes your assumption is correct. There is no way I'd jig with mono, your energy will just be spent stretching the line, not moving the jig. I'm sure there are some situations where mono would be a benefit, but since switching to braid on all my saltwater rods I've never wanted to go back to mono. I do use a mono leader for a little bit of stretch at the terminal end, abrasion resistance, and a larger dia line to grab ahold of when landing fish. The one thing to remember is not to go crazy on your drag as since your line doesn't stretch you need some give somewhere in the system. 10# of drag doesn't sound like a tremendous amount, but if you hang a 10# weight off your rod to see how much it bends before the drag starts pulling it's a pretty frightening sight. I try to set my strike drag at about 6#, and that allows me a max of ~9#.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

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