HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT LINE FOR YOUR JIGGING REEL
I often get asked questions like, “What line class do you use for jigging?” or “What size leader do you recommend?”. These are valid and important questions I won’t hesitate to answer. If you are new to jigging on a boat, let me get you a step ahead and have you increase your hook up ratio.
First, I’ve seen it many times and experienced it first hand getting my jigs “hung up” or stuck on the bottom when I was first starting to jig. I’ve learned many new things through my clientele who have come out with me on private charters in the past. I’ve seen clients with high quality jigging setups hooking fish 50% more than a set-up not geared to jigging. Some may say it’s the lure, and some may say you are presenting the “bait” or jig properly. Presenting the bait or jig is very true so the question is what is the ideal setup for jigging on a boat?
There are different setups for jigging, which I will write about in another post. I will talk about what line is ideal to spool on your reel. Braided line is a must!! Never use monofilalment as your main line. Monofilament has stretch and you will not feel the jig movement or the fish bite at the bottom. Braided line has very little to no stretch at all so you will feel the slightest bump at deeper depths. I started using the“moss green” Power Pro braided line you will commonly see in most tackle shops locally. I noticed when I would drop the jig down to a depth greater than 150’, my line would be at an angle as it feeds out of the spool. I later learned that the thickness in the braided line had a lot of drag in which the current would pull the line in it’s direction and the jig will not be sinking straight down to the bottom. That explains why I lost jigs to the bottom before knowing I was already there. Imagine a big “bow” in the line and your jig already on the bottom. By the time you figured out you’re finally on the bottom, you now yank your pole and tighten up the slack the current has taken and before you know it, you are dragging the jig over the rocky bottom. Stuck!! You’ve just lost a $20 jig to the reef and now you have to snap the leader line and re-rig your setup on a rocking boat.
Now I want to explain why I changed my line from the entry level braided “moss green PP” to a higher quality braided line. I personally use Shimano Ocea EX8 PE3 on my deeper jigging setup (200’+) and the same brand PE2 on my shallower setup (150’ depth). There are other brands like Daiwa Saltiga 12 strand which is probably superior to the Shimano Ocea EX8. These lines alike are very slick (water resistant), thin in diameter (low drag), higher strand braided (sensitivity), color coded (depth markings). Since changing to these lines, I am able to feel the slightest bump of the jig, I reach the bottom quicker, and less jigs lost. Now I can focus on catching fish and working the jig properly.
You’re all probably wondering how much do these high quality lines cost? Yes, they are expensive but in the long run, it’ll save you money on losing your expensive jigs to the reef. A 400m spool of Shimano Ocea EX8 PE3 is about $90 on ebay. Do your research on other brands of braided lines that have similar characteristics to the ones I mentioned here. There are other reputable brands I have not tried but have heard are just as good. Spend the extra coin on your main tackle since you know it’ll last you a long time before you would need to replace it.
Thanks for reading my blog. Now go out and Get Hooked!