Length: 6’ 3”
Rod Blank: High Performance Japanese Toray Carbon
Guides: Fuji KW Guides 10 + Tip
Reel Seat: Fuji
Grip: EVA Split Grip
603-2. PE 0.8-1.5. Jig Max 120g
603-3 PE 1-2. Jig max 150g
603-4 PE 2-4. Jig max 180g
The new Jigstar Slow Jerk slow pitch rods are a complete departure from the first generation model that arrived 3 seasons ago. Available then in only a 2oz model, they were designed purely for the slow pitch jigs used in this style of angling.
The new models are attractively finished in black with a custom cosmetic wrap, and the rod blank is constructed from Japanese Toray graphite with Fuji reel seat and KW guides. The Slow Jerk is available in 3 different weights: 2oz, 3oz and 4oz and are all 6 foot 3 inches in length.
The weight description of these rods is more an indication of the elastic strength they have when fished with differing weights of slow jigs and when slow pitching in a dynamic environment affected by current, depth and wind strength. As an example: at 45 metres a 180g slow pitch jig would not react as crisply on a 2oz as it would on a 3oz.
Slow pitch jigging works best with the PE line directly vertical and not angled away as a result of the effects of wind and current on the boat. A parachute fishing drogue is a definite help in achieving this while drifting; however, electric trolling motors are a convenient solution to this conundrum of wind and tidal flow effect, and they are more available now than ever before.
Initially I tested a 3oz model during the early spring workups in the Hauraki Gulf and immediately noticed that on slow pitching and hooking up, this rod was extremely powerful. I suspect it was designed partly with an eye to the Kiwi habit of powering into a fish with steady rod lifts and then winding back down the gained line while maintaining steady pressure on the fish.
However, it didn’t detract from the rod’s real purpose, of creating the vibrating movements that a slow pitch jig is designed for. I easily slow-pitched a chunky 240g jig in depths of up to 45 metres with that “noodle stick” as my fishing buddy Ian calls it. But with lighter weighted 100g – 180g slow pitch jigs I felt it overpowering them; I wasn’t able to feel them flat-falling through the water column after pitching. But it had strength in reserve through its mid and butt sections, and easily subdued the scrappy kahawai and rat kingfish that lurk around the peripheries of the aquatic smorgasbord.
3 days after a quick text to Chris Wong at BCS Enterprises, a 2oz Slow Jerk rod appeared on my doorstep. But then the weather soured and this, along with a change of employment, meant I wasn’t able to test and compare this rod until 3 weeks later. It meant missing a deadline for publication as my preference was to refrain from just writing a short bio. I really wanted to give these rods a thorough and extreme real-world workout.
The 2oz suited my situation and gave me the tactile response I was looking and feeling for with the 100 – 180g jig weights I prefer to use in the Hauraki Gulf. But more importantly, the 2oz model has got the lowdown grunt to seriously put some hurt on a hooked fish! The lack of lifting power in the butt section was commented on in the feedback that the first generation of slow jerk rods generated from the angling public; Kiwi anglers are not yet ready to adopt the “wind only and no rod lifts” approach to playing and retrieving a hooked fish. We prefer to get some rod leverage into the action when dealing to a hooked fish.
The new models are satisfying to use after a hook set and were effortless to fish with over an insane 4 hour bite period that’ll be stored in my memory for a long time as one of the best ever … at least until the next amazing session occurs! This new generation of slow jerk slow pitch rods have now got the guts to go with the Tai Chi elements of working a slow pitch jig. The 2oz over a glorious afternoon dealt with the XOS kahawai that were stacked throughout the water column in the multiple workups we attended, easily dispatching the rats it stumbled across and manhandling the snapper when the jigs managed to be pitched in their sector of the water column. Surprisingly the larger snapper were rising up to compete with the kahawai in the frantic feeding frenzy as the afternoon lengthened.
I’ve yet to catch a proper kingfish on a slow pitch rod but when it does happen now, with this new slow jerk rod, I’m reassured that it’ll not just continue to bend after hookset but will be able to contribute to the scrap.
These rods are now adapted for our preference of lifting and winding down when angling, without losing any of the reason for its main design of flipping those slow pitch jigsI like the improvements made to the new Jigstar Slow Jerk rods; like Goldilocks, there is a rod in this range that will be not too soft, not too hard but just right for your style of slow pitch jigging.