It’s been over two decades since the concept of vertical jigging was first introduced, yet this innovative approach continues to gain popularity as one of the most exciting ways to get connected. Utilizing cutting-edge technology to develop specialized rods that weigh mere ounces but are practically stronger than steel, today’s power-packed vertical jigging sticks are modern works of art.
With bulletproof components, ergonomic grip designs and the ability to handle substantial loads, the newest breed of jigging rods have been put to the test in a variety of applications. At the most recent ICAST convention in Las Vegas rod manufacturers displayed the latest groundbreaking designs, providing anxious anglers with the most technologically advanced jigging rods ever seen.
p class=”quote”> …ultra-thin rod blank wall development has allowed manufacturers to produce rods that are extremely lightweight, yet still pack a serious punch.
A majority of manufacturers are shying away from old school construction utilizing standard fiberglass blanks and moving toward sensitive blanks featuring composite materials and parabolic action. Designed to withstand incredible drag pressure under extreme loads, parabolic blanks flex uniformly from butt to tip and offer more shock absorption when going head to head against powerful predators.
Due to the rapidly evolving market, leading rod manufacturers have been forced to adopt a “Think Outside the Box” approach to stay ahead of the competition. From volcanic rock and indestructible composites, to single directivity glass and high-quality carbon composites, rod blank materials are constantly evolving. Combined with these high-tech materials, various weaving processes used in blank construction have resulted in extremely powerful rods. Spiral, multi-directional, bias ply and TC-4 rod assembly technology is keeping jigging anglers bent and locked in for the long haul. In addition, ultra-thin rod blank wall development has allowed manufacturers to produce rods that are extremely lightweight, yet still pack a serious punch.
The energy rod companies devote to sourcing such advanced materials enables them to produce stronger, lighter, and more responsive rods that can handle the toughest opponents. In fact, such innovative engineering efforts by leading fishing rod enterprises are enabling anglers to utilize these lightweight workhorses for much more than jigging applications.
Let’s narrow down the rod selection process by determining what size jig and species you will encounter the majority of the time. If you’re working a 100 to 250 gram jig, then a 6 to 6 ½ foot medium-action jigging rod should do the trick for most mid-sized game fish including kingfish, dolphin, tuna and amberjack. Manufacturers also clearly indicate what size jigs work most effectively with any particular rod. However, due to the varying designs in jigging rod blank development you must use these guidelines only as a reference, as rod actions differ from one manufacturer to the next. Experienced jiggers have rod selection down to a science and use specific sticks for specific purposes.
If you’re working aggressive structure or targeting Godzilla-sized amberjack, you’ll want a shorter rod that offers more pulling power. In the world of vertical jigging, a powerhouse jig stick shouldn’t measure more than 6 feet. The general rule of thumb is that the shorter the stick, the more power it has on the business end.
The rigorous action of vertical jigging not only puts incredible strain on your body, but your rod components must also be up for the task. Because of the exaggerated strain associated with vertical jigging, the latest and greatest rods feature the most durable guides ranging from silicon carbide and aconite, to zirconium and supreme ceramics. The bottom line is that anglers fishing braid rely on incredible amounts of drag pressure and demand only the most durable guide inserts.
Foregrip and butt section designs also influence the comfort level of your jigging stick. Ergonomic foregrips can be sculpted in manners that ensure a non-slip grip when tangling with a bruiser down below. Split grip, offshore fishing rods are quickly becoming the latest trend in rod development and many of today’s jigging rods are also offered with this intelligent design. While a reduction in weight is a given, split reargrips also help eliminate chaffing when utilizing an underarm jigging motion. The rod butt sections are also evolving, with the latest locking gimbal butt options providing anglers with the additional leverage needed to end intense battles.
With numerous technological advancements in rod blank construction and components, choosing the right vertical jigging stick is easier than ever. These gems will be sure to rock your world and leave you in amazement at what offshore fishing rod production has developed into. Once you give it a try, vertical jigging will become a staple in your repertoire.