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September 23, 2008

Masters of Metal

Sport Fishing convenes an international jigging symposium - and takes notes!


This, in part, reflects the deeper water that Zingarelli customarily fishes along with the use of jigs up to 12 ounces. "Longer, lighter rods," he says, "are better in shallower, clearer water." And the angler does travel with various outfits that allow him to fish a variety of situations, including rods soft enough to have action with lighter jigs. "Some anglers believe that one jigging rod fits all. Unfortunately, that's not true," Zingarelli says. "For example, stiff rods don't deliver good action to jigs in shallow waters. I learned that the hard way."

 Among Zingarelli's strategies:

  • Use wide-gap assist hooks. "Many anglers make the mistake of using hooks with too small a gap, so their hook ends up wrapped around the jig body," Zingarelli says. (On this point, Yuki agreed emphatically.) This may very well mean switching out the assist hooks that come standard with some metal jigs.
  • Vary the action if one retrieve isn't producing. "Think of a jig as a surface lure that works on a vertical route. You can walk the dog, pop it, twitch it, jerk it - exactly the same things you might do with topwaters," says Zingarelli.
  • Try different colors. "Jig color is important. For years, I didn't care but learned once again that I was wrong." Look for jig colors that contrast with conditions and try different shades."