Q: what weight jig should I use?
A: generally use 100g per 100' of water. i.e. 300g jig for 900'. You might need more weight on a windy day or if there is a current running.
Q: where should I tie to the jig?
A: usually at the head of the jig where the assist hook is.
A: usually one at the head of the jig. You could add a second hook also at the top or at the bottom but you increase chances of tangling with the leader if jigged too vigourously.
Q: I dont have the specialist gear, can I still jig?
A: you can successfully jig with what ever gear you have, but you will jig much easier and better with suitable gear. You will soon know when it is time for a tackle upgrade.
Q: why do some jiggers use rubber bands to tie down the assist hook?
A: as the jig drops, it will be attacked by target fish but will not hookup since the assist hook is trailing behind the jig away from the strike zone. A simple way to rectify is to rubber band the assist hook to the side of the jig, that way the hook will always be in position. Another is to attach a second assist hook to the bottom of the jig.
Q: are rubber bands recommended?
A: this is a decison for the jigger to make. Banding the hook will stop the hook from swinging into the mouth of a predator like Grouper & John Dory. Many Asian jiggers belive that predators also attack the assist hook and so it should have free movement.
Q: are high speed 6:1 reels neccessary for jigging?
A: No, in fact I recommend slower reels with 4:1 to 5:1 gears for greater power to wind in heavy jigs and fight big fish. Modern Japanese style jigs are designed to give good action at moderate jig speeds.
Q: which is better - spinning or overhead reels?
A: this decision is up to the individual. Both types of reels are used very successfully for jigging around the world. Which ever reel you chose, you should match it to an appropriate rod.
Q: how should I attach the leader to the braided line?
A: best way is to learn the preferred knots the Japanese have developed e.g. PR knot, FG knot, GT knot, Midknot. These knots result in a very strong streamlined knot that can be wound onto the reel, this way you will have a true wind-on leader which is necessary for jigging. Check our section "articles" for knots. A quick familiar knot is the uni - uni knot but you should tie a bimimi twist in the braid to give you the doubled line to begin with.
Q: how far up the water column should I jig to?
A: this depends very much on where the fish are seen on the sounder. Generally I jig from the bottom up to 10m for Hapuka (Grouper) and 20m for Yellowtail Kingfish. This way you are targetting the zone that these fish normally inhabit although Kingfish can be found throughout the water column.
Q: what jig color should I use?
A: color choice is usually by personal preference. A good guide is to match jig color to overhead light conditions i.e. dull overcast day - dark colors; bright day - silver, chartreuse colors; early morning or late evening - black, purple or luminous colors. It's always a good idea before the first drop to get all jiggers to use a different color in case there is a hot color. You can all switch to that color later.
Q: how do I decide when to use a centre weighted jig versus a tail weighted jig?
A: centre weighted jigs have a fluttery falling action and are best used in shallower waters. Tail weighted jigs are best for deeper water where you need to get down quickly for small targets and defeat the effects of current and drift. Both jigs can be worked quickly for Kingfish or slowly for Hapuka (Grouper) and Snapper.
A: braided line is mandatory for modern jigging. Because we can now jig in very deep water a non-stretch line is neccesary. With braided line, every rod movement will reflect in a similar movement at the jig. Also compact braid means we can now use smaller, lightweight but powerful reels.