“Slow Pitch Jigging”. A fishing term three words long that has generated untold articles, blogs, videos, and opinions. It has also been a misused or misleading term that manufactures, tackle builders, and anglers have been working hard to cleanly define. Slow Pitch Jigging is a style of fishing that originated in Japan and quickly captured anglers’ imaginations from all over the world. Prophets and Pied Pipers brought the technique to the USA and it gradually took hold in certain areas of the country like California. Australian based Nomad Design has been involved from the earliest days of this technique due to its proximity to Japan. In this article we will discuss Nomad's theories, equipment, and techniques for Slow Pitch Jigging and why we believe our products are authentic and specific to this style.
It is important to understand that ‘slow pitch’ is not a singular term like ‘fastball’ or ‘meatloaf’. Slow Pitch describes two specific things. First, ‘slow’ refers to a slow and more subtle presentation of the lure and not a crazy fast retrieve or speed jigging technique. Second word, pitch, refers to the technique of loading a proper Slow Pitch rod either with upward rod sweep or a certain number of cranks on your reel which loads the rod and when released ‘pitches’ the jig up through the water column mimicking wounded bait fish fluttering up and then using the Slow Pitch Jig’s unique weighting and shape to fall and flutter down enticingly backwards or sideways.
Getting involved in this distinct style likely means new equipment to most USA based Saltwater anglers. Every piece of tackle needed for proper Slow Pitch Jigging is very specific and unique. Rod, reel, jig, line, braid, leader, and even gloves are purpose built and matched by size and weight to create the perfect set up. There are several tackle companies that provide entire Slow Pitch Jigging ‘systems’ or solutions to work in Harmony together. For example, Nomad’s Rods were designed, tested, and built to be fished with Ammonite Braid which was designed to work perfectly on Nomad’s Slow Pitch Jig.
So why all the bother? Is it worth it? Yes, oh yes! The time and money devoted to Slow Pitch Jigging is worth it! This technique is deadly on almost all deep-water species from reef dwellers to speeding Pelagics. Put simply, it works and often out fishes live bait. It is so successful because of the precise nature of the presentation of the jig. From mid water column to drop offs to deep bottom fishing, there are several techniques to target a zone and present a Slow Pitch Jig enticingly.
For example, the advent of sophisticated Electronics like Side Scan and Active Imaging lets anglers find feeding or migrating fish within certain depths in the water column. Proper Slow Pitch Jigging Braid is marked for depth allowing the angler to use these electronics to find where the fish are holding and very precisely present the Jig. This allows you to effectively fish right where the fish are, not guess. Perhaps the biggest advantage is its effectiveness on NON feeding or inactive fish holding tight to the bottom. Get your jig to the bottom where reluctant fish are holding and ‘pitch’ the jig up like a wounded fish streaking off the bottom and allow it to slowly flutter back down to the bottom. This action draws Mother Nature’s most savage reaction strikes. There are many techniques that will catch actively feeding fish, but nothing catches inactive trophy fish like Slow Pitch Jigging.
The possibilities are endless. As mentioned, Slow Pitch Jigging requires an almost scientific approach and takes certain preparations and tackle. Here is what you need to know about the tackle and some tips and techniques to get you in the Slow Pitch Jigging game!
Lets Talk Nomad’s Slow Pitch Jigging Jigs
There are certainly more grains of sand on a beach than Slow Pitch Jigs, but just barely. There are major manufactures, boutique companies from all over the world, custom jig builders and innovative anglers coming up with new jigs all the time. There are so many to choose from, an entire blog just on how to look for and acquire these jigs is probably not enough. So we will focus on Nomad Design's Slow Pitch Jigs.
The Gypsea is a "back-drop" jig which means it wants to flutter down and back. It has a teardrop shape, ideal for almost all jigging styles. The Gypsea can be worked fast and erratic for mid-water dwelling fish or can used in a more slow and methodical slow-pitch style of jigging for bottom species such as Snapper. The wider body profile makes the jig flutter more on the drop and produces a wider thumping action on the lift. They come in small sizes to very heavy. The small jigs can be worked enticingly on the bottom or mid water column and the heavy jigs get down deep. Nomad jigs come fitted with super strong and super sharp BKK jig assist hooks matched perfectly to the size of the jig and are ready to fish straight out of the packet.
The Buffalo is a slow pitch centre balanced jig also known as a 'flat-fall' jig. This style of jig is ideal when used with a long lift of the rod, and then allowed to flutter on the drop. Since it is centre balanced it will flutter side-to-side looking like a wounded bait fish drawing savage strikes. It works perfectly amongst schools of Tuna, or on reef species on a slow fall near the bottom. Like all Nomad Slow Pitch Jigs they feature tough 5X BKK hooks on the tail.
The Ridgeback An original design from Nomad Design, the Ridgeback is a knife shaped keeled slow pitch jig with a sharp angled 'hump'. This innovative shape and weighting creates an exciting new jig action. It can be worked as a slow pitch jig with the flick of a rod tip or worked fast as a high-speed jig. The innovative new head design creates an unexpected darting movement sideways at the top of each lift of the rod. When used slowly it will flutter before starting to sink quickly, making it ideal for slow pitch jigging applications. The bonus is you can work it fast or slow and it will shoot off to the side giving an erratic action both pelagic and bottom feeding fish cannot resist. Nomad Slow Pitch Jigs come fitted with super strong and super sharp BKK jig assist hooks matched perfectly to the size of the jig and are ready to fish straight out of the packet
Why Nomad Design’s Slow Pitch Jigging Fishing Rods
Slow Pitch Jigging Rods are like the jigs themselves, full of variation, different levels of quality, made by big companies and local builders. They share specific similarities but vary in blank construction and length, components like guides and reel seats, guide layout such as standard or spiral wrap and of course action and speed. These are all factors that determine how the rod will fish and how much you will spend. Nomad Design's Slow Pitch Jigging Rods are purposely built to be affordable, durable, and effective. They are extremely lightweight and built to effortlessly 'pitch' that jig up all day comfortably. Made with Japanese 30 Tonne Toray Carbon and constructed using the super strong Helix30T carbon wrapping system. Sporting Fuji guides and Fuji Winch reel seats.
Spinning Slow Pitch Jigging Rods There are not a ton of Slow Pitch Jigging Rods built for Spinning Reels. But Nomad makes several. Putting a spinning reel on these rods will make some anglers more comfortable due to their familiarity with spinning reels and also can add some versatility if you find the need to cast. The blanks and components are not that different from Conventional Rods.
Conventional Most Slow Pitch Jigging Rods are made for Conventional reels. The advantage is a smaller profile with incredible strength, remember we rely on the reel not the rod to get the fish up top. Some rods have spiral wrapped guide set up however Nomad Design feels the standard guide layout is superior.
What Makes a Good Jigging Braid
Every piece of tackle in Slow Pitch Jig fishing has a purpose and is designed to achieve precise results. There is no room for the 'its only fishing line' mentality. Good jigging braid does not just have to be strong. Diameter, coating, and depth markings are very important attributes that make a big difference. PE line is weaved. The tighter the weave, the rounder and thinner the braid. Nomad Design's Ammonite Slow Pitch Jigging Braid has an astounding industry leading 36 Weaves Per Inch! This allows for thinner diameter yet a stiffer feel. This is key in allowing the jig to quickly descend to the strike zone yet not affect the action of the jig. The straight fall and direct feel of this braid when free spooling improves bite detection and jig presentation to all target species. Color changes every 20ft (3 colors) allow you to fish all depths of the water column with accuracy and ease. If you take the time to put your leader on at the very end of a color or section of colors and not in the middle of a color or section its very easy to do the math and know precisely where your jig is in the water column. Remember our discussion about Electronics.
Accessories Can Make The Difference in Slow Pitch Jigging
The NOMAD DESIGN GLOVES are engineered specifically for the toughest bluewater casting and jigging applications. Featuring double stitching in critical areas, reinforced index finger leather, premium quality soft and durable leather on the palms and super strong breathable fabric on the back of the hands, these gloves are made to last, and made to perform in the toughest conditions.
The NOMAD DESIGN JIG WALLET is purpose built for rigged and ready storage of jigs with hooks attached and features a unique Hook Mesh storage system to keep your jigs neatly rigged and ready for action. No more messing around with having to attach hooks to your jigs, just connect your jig and fish. It also has the ability to add a sleeve (sold separately) to double the amount of storage.
Watch the video below on this page to see the full features of the Jig Wallet and Insert Sleeve system.
The JIG WALLET features 12 individual mesh pockets, which can comfortably store up to 24 large (320g) jigs in the wallet, or by adding the Velcro Insert Sleeve it doubles your storage capacity to 48+ large jigs, or a total of 24 individual pockets.
Each pocket in the sleeve or wallet can also fit up to 4 smaller 80g jigs, so if you had a mixture of large and small jigs it is easy to have 60-80 jigs neatly stored inside this system. Or if you just wanted to store 80g jigs, you would get 96 jigs in the total system with the insert sleeve.
The optional sleeve can also be used separately as a handy jig or lure storage unit, and with its strong waterproof material and Velcro cover it is ready to hold your jigs safe and secure. This jig storage system is built strong for the toughest conditions, and is designed to perform and last when it matters.
More Accessories to Consider
NOMAD DESIGN BKK Assist Hooks-
Hooks are the most elemental piece of tackle in any outfit, but especially in Slow Pitch Jigging. Assist hooks are designed to swing free of the lures tie point by using a corded material that you can loop onto the Slow Pitch Jig. Some jigs are designed to take the hook on top of the lure, some on the bottom, some both. The advantage is the fish can get zero leverage on the lure as its not tightly attached to the lure as you have with a split ring. This also allows for a shorter shanked hook as the need to keep the point away from the body is mitigated by the assist hook being on a cord. Nomad Design uses the best BKK big game hooks and proven quality cordage. Hooks come in sizes 2/0, 3/0, 4/0, 5/0 and 7/0 and there is a chart to determine what size assist hook by Slow Pitch Jig weight.
NOMAD DESIGN Pliers
Safety, Dependability, Functionality, Durability, Strength. There is a lot to consider when it comes to fishing pliers best suited for Slow Pitch Jigging. Being able to quickly and securely grip hooks is important to both angler and fish if you considering catch and release. A good angler needs to know they can depend on their pliers not flexing or breaking or slipping when it comes to dealing with thrashing big game fish. The angler also has to have a pliers that does more than remove hooks or mash barbs. They need to cut line and hopefully be able to change spilt rings and that the jaws meet level and strong to pull very thin line very tight without slipping. Nomad Design's pliers offer everything a Slow Pitch Jigging angler demands. Lightweight strong Aluminum construction with Stainless Steel jaws that have a functional split ring gripper and tungsten carbide cutting jaws for trimming thick mono leader or super thin slippery braid. Comes with a handy holster that never leaves our hip when we are out Slow Pitch Jigging.
NOMAD DESIGN Split Rings
The mighty mini Split Ring. So simple, yet so important. Slow Pitch Jigging is a game of extremes. The points of contact hook, split ring, knot, line, rod, and reel all have to work together as one. Having the appropriately sized split ring is critical to the Slow Pitch Jig working correctly. It is also very important when considering strength. An optimal split ring choice will offer the appropriate strength combined with the right size, not too big to ruin the jigs profile, not too small to inhibit movement. Nomad Designs split rings are made with 302 stainless steel and come in a variety of sizes to fit its lures. Most split ring manufactures will have a handy chart to assist in making your selection. For reference check out our size chart on the split ring page here.