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Rod – For jigging the best length for a rod is from 1.7m to 2.4m with a light but fast action. With jigging the boat is generally drifting around or stationary so a longer rod makes it easier to play the fish as it will circle your boat. The rod should be physically light to hold as you will be holding it all day, it needs to be stiff near the butt bit flexible near the tip so you can work your flies.
Recommended: Kilwell Xtreme II Jig Rod, TiCA TC2 2.4m Jig Rod or TiCA Red Back 2.4m Jig Rod
Reel – With jigging you are constantly altering the amount of line in & out, as your boat drifts over the contours of the lake bed, so a small overhead baitcasting reel is by far the easiest option to use. Again you will be holding the reel all day so the smaller the better. Other important features are a thumb line release button and auto gear engagement.
Recommended: Surecatch Santana, TiCA Sculptor or TiCA Thalds Reels
Line – 4 to 6kg (8 to 12lb) braid is the best option, as there is no stretch you can feel exactly what is happening at the bottom of the lake, so a strike should be an instant hook up. The better quality lines will be thinner and an option is to get a braid with coloured markings at 5 metre intervals, so you can accurately fish the correct depth.
Recommended: Surecatch LiveFibre Braid, Surecatch Vibromax Multi Colour Braid
Rig and Flies – The jigging rig on the end of the line consists of a 2 to 3m 5kg fluorocarbon backbone with three 4kg fluorocarbon traces branching off at even intervals with a fly attached to each. At the very bottom attach a 1 to 2oz. sinker, use the lightest weight that gets your flies down and holds them down if drifting. Similar to fly fishing you will need to “match the hatch”, so the flies you choose will be similar to what the trout are currently feeding on, ask your tackle store owner.
Recommended: Ready to Fish Kilwell Freshwater Jig Rigs – Ginger Mack, Jack Sprat, or Grey Ghost.
Boat Speed – The best jigging is done while drifting slowly past an underwater reef or area that holds fish. It is important to have a fish finder to pin point the fish, you can aim your drift so your flies go straight through holding fish. If there is a breeze you may also need to deploy a drogue to slow the boat, or anchor just upwind of the area then release the anchor warp until in position, over the smelt and trout.
Rod – Similar to a trolling rod but you can go lighter in action and your line is shorter. The best length for a harling rod is around 1.8m with a slow and soft action. 1.8m is a good length not too long to become clumsy in your boat but still long enough to angle away from the boat to prevent tangles when harling.
Recommended: Kilwell Xtreme II Harling Rod
Reel – The most popular reel is the Alvey 455 centre pin style reel. Even easier to use is the Alvey 426BENZ, it has a one-way drag system, the reel winds in easily but as the fish runs the drag comes on automatically, just set the drag and forget it. By far the easiest to use is the Kilwell JD300 reel which sits on top of the rod and has a high speed retrieve rate, a one way drag and a line-laying system to prevent tangles.
Recommended: Alvey 455B, Alvey 426BENZ, Kilwell JD300 Reel
Line – Generally the line will be attached by your friendly tackle store. A standard harling reel will have 2 to 5 “colours” of “Leadline” a multi coloured braided line. The lead in the line takes your line down deep and the coloured line is in 10m increments so you can vary the length and depth of the line. The trace is often joined to the leadline with a small #12 swivel and will be 10m to 15m in length. Another line option popular with the fishing guides is Deepwater Express, a tungsten filled flyline with a braided monofilament core.
Recommended: Imperial 27lb Leadline, Deepwater Express
Lures – Large harling trout flies are the best option in hook size 2 or 4.
Recommended: Parsons Glory or Green Orbit Flies or Rabbit Patterns
Boat Speed – The slower you can troll the deeper your line will sink, but generally 1.0 to 1.5 knots or 2.0km/hr (walking speed) is considered a good speed.
TIP: A Fish Finder (sounder) is a must! This will show depth – smelt – trout depth, speed & temperature. Get to know your fish finder – it’s a BIG advantage to a serious angler.
Rod – A trolling rod is around 1.7m in length with a slow and soft action, not too long to become clumsy in your boat but long enough to angle away from the boat to prevent tangles when trolling. The action of the rod is important to see when your lure is “working”. Your rod should “nod” gently when trolling speed is just right.
Recommended: Kilwell Xtreme II Trolling Rod
Reel – The most popular reel is an Alvey 456BMK2 centre pin style reel. Even easier to use is an Alvey 456BE it has a “one-way drag system”, the reel winds in easily but as the fish runs the drag comes on automatically, just set the drag and forget it. By far the easiest to use is the Kilwell JD300 reel which sits on top of the rod and has a high speed retrieve rate, a one way drag and a line laying system to prevent tangles.
Recommended: Alvey 456BMK2, Alvey 456BE Reel or Kilwell JD300 Reel
Line – Generally the line will be attached by your friendly tackle store. A standard trolling reel will have 10 “colours” of “Leadline” a multi coloured braided nylon with a lead wire core, which will be spliced to a dacron backing line. The lead in the line takes your line down deep and the coloured line is in 10m increments.
Recommended: Imperial 27lb Leadline
Lures – There are four important points for trolling lures:
Recommended: Tassie Devil, Kilwell Turbo, Zed Spinner or Bingo Lures
Boat Speed – The slower you can troll the deeper your line will sink, generally 1.6 to 1.8 knots (2.6km/hr) is considered a good speed. Hold your lure at the side of the boat to check the action before releasing it further back.