I will often switch back and forth between casting and jigging throughout the day but if I were limited to bringing only two rods, I would bring one jigging and one casting outfit. I feel very strongly that multiple outfits rigged and ready to go will up your catching count. For starters, there are so many different situations on the water that anglers encounter. I may switch from top water casting to sub surface to fast jigging to slow jigging, all over the course of an hour.
If you think about it, a versatile angler uses a rod, reel and lure collection the same way a golfer uses a bag full golf clubs. A driver is a driver, an iron is an iron and a putter is a putter. Each club category has its own set of responsibilities from the longest game to the shortest game and furthermore.
I grew up trolling for tuna and I am not comfortable without at least eight set-ups when I leave the dock. With this collection, I have a rod rigged for every casting and jigging method described in this section. Sometimes, you only have one 30 second widow for the whole day over 100+ miles of cruising. A successful angler has every situation prepared and the right outfit at an arm’s length.
Some Tips on Preparing for a Successful Day of Jigging and Casting
- Start Fresh: I rig up each of these outfits the night before heading out with fresh leaders and newly inspected lures.
- Variety of Colors: You’ll notice the variation of colors, lengths, weights and even leader size on my outfits. This collection has a selection for every situation.
- Variety of Leaders: Big leaders for big fish, small leaders for smaller or more finicky fish. I have a variety of sizes on my rod collection plus plenty of extras on board.
- Variety of Colors: Who can see the whole line up of baitfish in a single trip? I bring greens for mackerel, bones, silvers, violets and blues for half beaks, butterfish and herring. Olives for sand eels and pinks for squid and as an attractor color.
- Variety of Lure Types: I have a variety of lure types; top water plugs, mid-level Hogy Epoxy Jig Lures, unweighted soft plastics and deep and mid-level soft plastics and metals.
- Ready To Swap: Now just because I leave for a trip with the combinations doesn’t mean I’ll return to the dock with the same rigging. I fish with a progressive system. I will start slowly and swap out lures as one starts to work better than others or if I identify specific bait patterns and fish sizes. If one lure is super hot, I might even switch them all over to serve as quick replacements for break-offs. I bring even numbers of every lure so I am ready for a run on one color.
Captain Mike’s “Golf Club” Spread
Casting Rod 1: 4oz 7” Hogy Green Slider rigged on 100lb test fluorocarbon leader.
Casting Rod 2: 6oz 7” Hogy Blue Slider rigged on 130lb test fluorocarbon leader.
Casting Rod 3: 5oz 6.5” Hogy Bone Pro Tail rigged on 100lb test fluorocarbon leader.
Casting Rod 4: 4oz 9” Hogy Olive Harness Jig rigged on 100lb test fluorocarbon leader.\
Jigging Rod 1: 9” 6oz Hogy Silver Harness Eel rigged on 100lb test fluorocarbon leader.
Jigging Rod 2: 5oz 6.5” Bone Hogy Pro Tail Paddle rigged on 100lb test fluorocarbon leader.
Jigging Rod 3: 9” 9oz Hogy Harness Pro Tail Paddle rigged on 130lb test fluorocarbon leader.
Jigging Rod 4: 9” 6oz Hogy Harness eel Olive rigged on 130lb test fluorocarbon leader.
Hybrid 60/60: A medium length outfit with 60lb test braid and 60lb flouro rigged with 5.5” Hogy Pro Tail Paddle, 3oz Bone