At the first seminar I attended on slow pitch jigging, the famous professional fisherman giving the talk waxed rhapsodic about his fishing gear. His custom rod and high end reel cost $1200. He had SIX of them in slightly different configurations for slightly different conditions. He talked about his bag of jigs that cost more than his truck—and he had a nice truck! I have to confess I would have been put off, except I had come to this seminar having some experience with this style of fishing. I already knew that you absolutely can catch fish this way without spending that kind of money.
The primary targets for the tackle I am recommending here are fish that live from 100 to 800 feet deep, and weigh up to about 50lbs. In the tropics this would be tuna, grouper, snapper, jacks, etc. In cold water fisheries, this might be tuna, cod, haddock, flounder, and tilefish. You’ll be using lures that range between 100 and 350 grams, and line from 20lb to 50lb test.
About My Recommendations
In most cases this will be gear I own or have used. If my recommendations are different from exactly what I own, it is because I have learned something in the meantime. In all cases my recommendations reflect what I would spend MY money on. I do not claim to be smart enough to pick the “best,” but I assure you the tackle I recommend will work. All model numbers webpage links, and prices are subject to change, and are current as of May 2019. Individual part number come and go in the fishing business pretty quickly. I’ll do my best to keep up!
Here are some video segments where you can learn why I recommend the gear that I do:
Jigging Lines and Leaders. Coming soon!
Beginning Meat Fishing
So… here goes. This rig is selected to be really easy for a beginner to use, and to be versatile. At less than $300 it is a bargain, and is the lowest price kit I could put together that I am confident will reliably work for you in serious ocean fishing. It is not at all a traditional slow-pitch jigging set up, and for that style of fishing it will will be pretty far from optimum, but for speed jigging, and general fishing it is a good compromise. It will catch fish for you in a variety of conditions. Like any bargain, it is not the best, but for the person just starting out it will not frustrate you or slow down your learning process. This outfit is useful down to 400 to 500 feet in depth.
Taking the Fine Art of Slow Pitch Jigging to a Fun Level.
This is a much more specialized setup. For the experienced, passionate fisherman this is a good place to break into this style of fishing. Do not expect to cast or troll with this outfit. It is for jigging only, vertically under the boat, with an emphasis on slow pitch. Because this tackle is specialized, and the market small, prices are a higher. You can find a few much cheaper rods on the market, but they really are not true slow pitch jigging rods and aren’t worth buying for that purpose even at the lower prices. At roughly $575 this is a big chunk of change, and might be a bit hard to justify based solely on the value of fish you’ll catch, but you will have a lot of fun with it, and what is that worth??? A 20lb rig very similar to this one has been my “go-to” rig for ocean jigging from 150 to 900+ feet deep. It is very, very light in weight and will not leave your arm falling off at the end of a long day of fishing. I have included options for either a 20lb or a 50lb kit here. Both are useful and fun fishing outfits. The 14HGA will hold about 900yds of 20lb PowerPro line, while the 16HGA will hold about 530 yds of 50lb PowerPro line.
Going to a Higher Level
I almost titled this “The Ultimate” but I realized that was hardly true. For the truly passionate, and/or wealthy, there is much more money that could be spent, but this is as far as I can imagine going. At this price point, it might be worth looking at a custom rod, if you have a local rod builder who knows this kind of fishing. The Black Hole Cape Cod Special series of rods is a very nice slow pitch jigging rod. Pick the one that best matches the size jigs you use the most often.
Taking the previous recommendation and swapping out the rod first, and then—if there is any money left—the reel, gets us this premium setup. The Diawa Saltiga 30 will hold about 670 yards of 20lb PowerPro.
I knew I could get to a grand without breaking a sweat!
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