Flat fall/slow fall jigs

Was wondering if any one had used the new flat fall jigs from Shimano and Williamson?  They sound appealing in that they are supposed to flutter slowly down on the drop and don’t need to be worked like a traditional vertical jig. Just drop through the strike zone, reel up and let it drop again. My 20 year old son and his buddies can work a vertical jig for hours but it wears me out pretty quick:-)
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Replies

  • mtbrider85mtbrider85 Posts: 335 Deckhand

     http://theintrepidangler.com/video-dry-tortugas-party-boat-wreck-fishing/

    I'm interested in this as well, but it seems really similar to the method of bouncing larger bucktail jigs offshore for muttons/grouper, which can be done for about half the price, and its very productive :)

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  • capt.cohocapt.coho Posts: 17 Greenhorn
    the Raku jig from williamson is a killer. Amazing action.
  • benwah22benwah22 Posts: 96 Greenhorn
    It's a similar idea to bouncing a jig off the bottom, but much more precise, and better matched  to the sea conditions given the hydrodynamic principles of the newer slow pitch jigs.  The offerings in the US from Shimano and Williamson are about 4 years behind in design from where slow pitch jigs are in Japan.   It is not a cheap endeavor, but is extremely productive, and you can fish them all day.  

    If you are  on a budget, you can work a simple hammered diamond jig in the same fashion as how slow pitch jigs are worked, and they are also very productive, though maybe not as much so.  As the old saying goes, "It's not the arrow, it's the Indian."  When learned to be fished well, a slow pitch jig in the hands of a skilled angler will out-fish bait.  
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  • XafXaf Posts: 978 Officer
    I have seen a lot of guys using them with great success.  I'm trying to learn how to use them but haven't had much luck. (But then I have never been much of a jig fisherman.) One thing I have noticed is that most guys that are using them have a selection of styles and weights of the slow pitch jigs to match current, depth, etc.
  • NorthernNorthern Posts: 784 Officer

    All good info above.  Slow pitch jigs fall slower than speed jigs because of their shapes, unless you control their decent with some spool pressure.  This slower decent makes it more difficult to stay vertical with the jig, in deep water,  if the is much current.  Staying vertical with slow pitch jigs is even more important than staying vertical with speed jigs.

    Speed jigs are excellent for species like Tuna , Wahoo, Cuda, Mackerel, Amber Jacks, and other pelagics. 

    Slow pitch jigs were designed to target more of the bottom dwelling species like grouper and snapper type fish. This technique takes a lot longer to become very proficient at, and there are a lot more "fall" designs than speed jigging has.  Many top anglers in the Pacific and South China Sea have proven that they can catch fish faster on slow pitch jigs than live bait, but there is a high learning curve.  Tackle for slow pitch jigging (if you want to excel) is also more exacting, expensive, and hard to find.  The best rods still need to be ordered and shipped from Japan.  There are some available in the U.S., but not the best.

    Unfortunately, most of the best teaching videos (on U-tube) have their audios in Japanese.  Most jiggers that feel that the technique isn't highly effective, either haven't learned the best usage of the different shapes, and weights of jigs, or they are failing to keep vertical contact with the jig.

    On a free drifting boat, in deep water, you will still catch fish, but not near as many as a boat that is using a controlled drift.  With a high level of boat control,  you will definitely out fish live bait.

  • AftershockAftershock Posts: 180 Deckhand
    Poking around the Keys forum up here in Palm Beach.   I was fishing on some structure off Big Pine in December and caught a variety of fish on a Shimano butterfly jig including small little tunny every drop.  Nice king about 15 lbs, red grouper about 12 lbs. flag yellowtail.  They not only hit on the drop but if you reel up vigorously they hit it then too.  It was a blast and I had constant action, out-fishing the live bait.

    Used Shimano jigging rod with Penn Clash spinning reel.
  • AOKRVsAOKRVs Posts: 1,732 Captain
    I have two set ups: Accurate BV300 on a Tsunami Spiral rod and a BV400 on a Pinnacle Spiral
    Both are very lightweight and the 400 is a 2 speed which I used to bring in this grouper in Dec.




    This is the BV300 - very small but lots of power.



    Mainly on Shimano jigs
    Speed jig is like a fleeing bait - flat fall is like a wounded or dying bait
    Only downfall is that the toothy fish inhale them
    If on a budget you could use a cheaper reel. The rod is more important.
    The Tsunami Rod was about $100 and the Pinnacle $185


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  • wvanglerwvangler Posts: 54 Greenhorn
    Thanks for all of the responses. Ordered and received several of the Shimano jigs.  Have a question about rigging.  On regular speed jigs which we have been fishing for several years we tie directly to the solid ring which also has the assist hooks attached. This is usually attached to the thinner/lighter end of the jig.  The Shimano package and the few videos I can find show tying to the ring molded into the jig with the assist hooks at the other end attached with a split ring to a solid ring.  This doesn't seem to make sense to me.  I thought the idea of the solid ring was to remove the possibility of the split ring failing under the load of a big fish.  The assist hooks are also far shorter than on the typical speed jigs. Wondered how those of you who have been using the flat fall jigs are rigging them.  Thanks.
  • benwah22benwah22 Posts: 96 Greenhorn
    edited March 18 #10
    You're not going to break the split ring unless you have garbage split rings. I've only had two fail ever. 

    How I ring my slow pitch jigs, and how I would recommend you doing:

    Leader > ball bearing swivel > split ring (on this split ring you will have a solid ring with your hooks, so they can move independently) > jig. 

    On lower portion of jig > split ring > solid ring with hooks on it. 

    The split ring on top helps with a quick change of a jig using split ring pliers. 

    Word of advice, if you move the jig too quickly the lower hooks will tangle on your mainline. 

    Although my top hooks are a little jumbled here from the fight, you get the idea:

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  • wvanglerwvangler Posts: 54 Greenhorn
    Thanks for the response. I guess I don’t understand what the purpose of the solid ring is. Why not just tie the assist hooks to the split ring if you are not going to tie the leader to the solid ring?  We have always run leader>solid ring with hooks. The solid ring is then attached to the jig with a split ring. Not trying to be difficult just trying to learn. Thanks again for the reply. 
  • benwah22benwah22 Posts: 96 Greenhorn
    edited March 19 #12
    Two reasons. The solid ring has nothing that can chaff the assist cord. Secondly, it allows for the assist hooks to swing freely, so there is no issue with the hooks being wedged out by the fish in a fight. 

    Having the split ring also allows for a quick interchange of jigs with solid ring pliers so you do not have to constantly retie.
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  • CountryBumpkinCountryBumpkin Fla. Piney WoodsPosts: 1,316 Officer
    Thanks for sharing that's good info........how much mono do you usually run from the swivel to your braid?

    I say......I say son.......new & improved my tail feathers.

  • benwah22benwah22 Posts: 96 Greenhorn
    Fluoro. Four wingspans
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  • CountryBumpkinCountryBumpkin Fla. Piney WoodsPosts: 1,316 Officer
    Got it......thanks.

    I say......I say son.......new & improved my tail feathers.

  • tsaddictiontsaddiction Posts: 84 Greenhorn
    The shimano flat fall is the most impressive jig I have ever used.  Wahoo,trigger,redfish ,snapper grouper.    It has been as effective as live bait.   Lot more work.   But love it.   
  • TugasTugas Posts: 106 Deckhand
    I think I’m going to try slow pitch . Benwah can I message you a couple questions 
  • benwah22benwah22 Posts: 96 Greenhorn
    Sure
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  • wvanglerwvangler Posts: 54 Greenhorn
    The shimano flat fall is the most impressive jig I have ever used.  Wahoo,trigger,redfish ,snapper grouper.    It has been as effective as live bait.   Lot more work.   But love it.   
    Just curious how you use a flat fallback jig for reds?  Most of the red fishing I do is in 3’ or less of water. Deep is 6’. Thanks. 
  • Bhaizlett123Bhaizlett123 Posts: 50 Greenhorn
    What size ball bearing, spilt ring and solid ring do you recommend getting?
  • Bhaizlett123Bhaizlett123 Posts: 50 Greenhorn
    Also what size of assist line and size hooks would you recommend for slow pitch jigs?
  • NorthernNorthern Posts: 784 Officer
    The size of the jigs vary a lot, but you should try to use assist hooks that have a gap that is slightly wider than the jig, at the point where the hook touches the jig.
    Assist cord is often kevlar line.  I use 100# cord on my 3/0 hooks and 250# on my 4/0 to 9/0 hooks.  It's good to  always have a few assist hooks that have 7 strand wire instead of all kevlar.  Mackerel and Wahoo easily bite through Kevlar.

    The jig size that you use is more dependent on the depth and current that you will be fishing in, rather than the type of fish that you are after... 100 gram in 100ft, 200 gram in 200ft for example.  Heavier still in strong current.

    Split rings at the top of the jig just have to be big enough to allow free movement of the jig. It is just used to connect the jig to the solid ring.  The assist hooks  and the split ring are both connected to the solid ring.  Again, it just has to be large enough to allow free movement of both.  They are plenty strong, even in small sizes.
  • Bhaizlett123Bhaizlett123 Posts: 50 Greenhorn
    Thanks for your response, very good to know. I will definitely keep that mind. but i saw benwah22 using a barrel swivel for slow pitch jigs, was curious what size of barrel swivel he was using?
  • benwah22benwah22 Posts: 96 Greenhorn
    edited April 12 #24
    If using a barrel swivel from leader, I use a size 5.

    If using a solid ring from leader, i use an Owner size 6.5

    For jig hooks I use an Owner size 5.

    For split rings I use Owner size 6.

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  • Bhaizlett123Bhaizlett123 Posts: 50 Greenhorn
    awesome, thanks, last question, for the jig hooks, would you get the circle or live bait size 5?
  • NorthernNorthern Posts: 784 Officer
    Bhaizlett.....  You seem to be trying to get this to a "One size fits all"  rigging.  That isn't how it works.  There is no "one size" hook, assist cord, split ring, or solid ring that works on all jigs or for all fish. Please reread my above post... slowly.
    Here is some additional info:

    Hooks: Again read above post and look at the picture below.  Those are the style hooks to use.  Do you see how the sizes vary according to the size of the jig?  The correct strength of the hook to use (ability to resist bending) is also dependent on your intend prey, and how tight you will have your drag set.

    Assist Cord:  This varies in # test and length; this is based on the length of the jig, and size of the intended fish. Shrink tubing the cord is optional, but you will have far less hook tangles if you use tubing. 

    Solid rings: Again read the above post.  The size necessary is dependent on the diameter of the assist cord, if you are attaching 1 or possibly 2 assist hooks to it and the size of you split ring.  The solid ring needs to be large enough for all of these to hang fairly straight and move freely.  Solid rings are very strong.  You can go as small as will achieve this freedom of movement.  See range of sizes in picture.

    Split rings: Ideally, these should only be used to attach the jig to the solid ring.  They are often the weakest link if assist hooks are attached to these.  However, if you are going to have a swivel in the rig, having the assist hooks attached to the split ring may be necessary. (see picture of gold Vortex with swivel below)  Go high quality here.  I'd recommend using split rings that test out at 1.5 to 2 times the # test of the line that you are using.

    Swivels:  Only use these on jigs that have a lot of rotation.  For example, the Williamson Vortex jig shown in the picture is designed to spin on falls and retrieves (Hence the name Vortex).  Without the swivel, this jig will make your line a mess.  Most slow fall jigs, on the other hand, either have a fluttering of zig-zag pattern on falls, and will not twist your line to a large degree.  You need to know the action pattern of the the jig to know if you even need a swivel.  Don't use anything that you don't need.  More is not better.  If you need a swivel, again go high quality.  Ball bearing style is a must, and again test out at at least double the test of your braided line and fluorocarbon.   The solid ring on the swivel must also be large enough to allow freedom of movement for the hook/ split ring. of movement for the hook or hooks.
  • Bhaizlett123Bhaizlett123 Posts: 50 Greenhorn
    Wow man, thanks alot for that explanation, that definitely helps alot, now i know pretty much what to get, i'll get a few different kinds and definitely read up on the action of the jigs i have. GREAT HELP!!! thanks a lot, appreciate it!!
  • capt.cohocapt.coho Posts: 17 Greenhorn

    what size are you guys using for bottom fish like muttons
  • benwah22benwah22 Posts: 96 Greenhorn
    awesome, thanks, last question, for the jig hooks, would you get the circle or live bait size 5?
    You would never use a circle hook jigging.  When you set the hook it would pull right out of the fish's mouth.  

    Also, I think Northern hits the mark on a lot of points, but it seems that his post is geared more toward traditional vertical jigging.  For purposes of slow pitch, I respectfully disagree with some of what he said, in particular, the use of swivels.  After extensively using a solid ring connection, and a swivel connection, a swivel is superior. It allows for unfettered action on the jig and allows for the fish to spin freely without twisting your line during the fight and on the way up.  

    If you plan to do vertical jigging, then what Northern said holds.

    With regard to hooks, I rig my jigs with two top, and two bottom hooks.  If using larger jigs in deeper water, I will go to a single upper and lower hook.  Always J hooks, never a circle.


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  • wvanglerwvangler Posts: 54 Greenhorn
     This discussion has been very informative.  The vertical jigging that we have done in the past has been almost entirely over wrecks.  Wondered about possibly drifting the reef edge in 90+ deep water,  dropping a jig down while the boat is anchored up yellow tailing, and dropping a jig down offshore when we find a floater with lots of life or a  large weed mat. These seem like they could be productive also.
  • NorthernNorthern Posts: 784 Officer
    Vertical and slow pitch will both work well just off of the reef  in 50 to 120 ft.  At least off of the Big Pine area, in winter months, it worked well.  Muttons and Grouper usually won't chase a jig as far so slow pitch (flat fall) jigs will usually be better.  I have caught Muttons speed jigging though.  In the winter months, when the Kings are there, you will lose a lot of jigs to their bite offs.  You can add wire and a wire assist hook, and fish for Kings when that happens.

    Slow pitch (flat fall) jigs jigs have a wide range of techniques for how they can be retrieved..  Characteristics of the jig, jig size, depth being fished, current, and personal preferences, all come into play.  If you think that you would like to improve your jigging game, I highly recommend that you look up "slowing jigging", "slow pitch jigging" , "flat fall jigging"
    (or anything like that) on U-tube..  You will find a lot of videos from the western Pacific, South China Sea, Australia and New Zealand,  plus the Mediterranean Sea.  Most of these won't be in English, but some will have sub-titles.  You will see a variety of different techniques being used, and in some instances, explanations as to why it is being used.  The fish being caught are different species than ours, but they are often reef fish.  Those techniques work here as well.

    Several of the videos are done by field testing teams for the slow jigging manufacturing companies.  Try stopping the videos anytime that they are showing the jigs, so that you can get a better look at them.  This will help you match jig styles to jigging techniques.  You will notice that none of them are using swivels in their slow pitch jigs.  Lots of different hook set-ups, but no swivels.  But hey, that's your call if you want to use them.
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