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Dan Konig

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I have a Vanuatu trip planned next year with Ocean Blue.

I am considering getting a new heavier jig combo for doggies whilst there.

At present my heaviest combo is a Smith AMJ52H with an Ocea Jigger 4000P, but I feel like the rod does not have enough guts to really slow down a large doggie (not talking record size here, but a solid one).

I am looking at a Jigging Master Evo Titanium 300 and a Jigging Master PE5N. My questions are:

1) I am looking to fish PE6 - is the 380m of PE6 that I'll fit on this reel going to be enough for most of the spots I'm likely to visit for doggies in Vanuatu?
2) Is there a big enough difference in backbone with this rod to make it worth getting in addition to the 52H I already have?
3) is this combo as a whole likely to be serious enough for my purposes or should I be looking heavier?

The OJ has much more line capacity (I have 550m of PE5 on it at present vs 400m that the JM can hold) but only half the max drag of the JM - though I am sceptical about the JM's drag rating.

Any input appreciated.



Yewleong Tan

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Hi Dan, as you know I have a JM pe5n on my smith, haven't caught many big fish yet but looking at pushing it's limits in a couple of weeks (got a small trip planned) only running pe5 atm and about 8kg drag, will let you know how it goes

Cheers Yewie

Wayne Brown

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Dan, you will find it an interesting experience. I was with Ocean Blue last Month in Vanuatu and whilst the doggies where not "turned on" whilst we where there, can certainly share some thoughts on tackle.

Basically the max we were jigging in was about 120 meters, so line capacity is not your primary concern...stopping them before they reef you is!

My initial jigging outfit was my JM PE 4 loaded with 60lb JB hollow (typically breaks at 80lb ish) PR knot to 120lb leader. Rod Black Hole Cape Cod Special 350gm.   I love my JM reel and think highly of the PE 5n which is also really nice to jig with. It certainly has plenty of line capacity and drag capability. What it does not have and what we found to be crucial for getting hits was speed. 4.0:1 ratio just does not provide the speed "we" required to get consistently hit.  My spare overhead reel (a demo chinese made overhead which I was testing for a friend) had a much faster gear ratio at 5.7: 1 and generated at least 3 times as many hits as the JM. As such the JM was retired for the trip.   

The guide showed us his jigging style which was put the but in the gimbal, pump, wind as fast as humanely possible, pump, repeat.

Rod wise, we had one rod explode, doggies test gear to the limit,  JM's are fine and I am sure there are plenty of good options but I would be working out how much drag you can hold and working my way back from there. If you can hold PE 8 great match a rod that can run that effectively.  I had no issues with my Black Hole which proved virtually unbreakable.  The Smith would probably be fine if you manage the rod bend in the initial run (I have not fished that model so leave that with you).

Lastly we had 4 guys fishing for doggies and targeted them for a number of sessions over probably 3 of those days. We landed zero fish with every fish just handing us a beating. On the sea mounts we were fishing they are apparently pretty good size fish (plus 30kg) and I would believe it, some fish I had so much drag I could not lift my rod and still got smoked in 5 seconds!  You will need to bring jigs, size did not matter as much as speed for us but you did not need 400gm jigs with most of us fishing 190-250gm

To summarise I reckon no matter what you use it will hurt with this type of speed jigging. I can jig for Kingfish all day but was a wreck after an hour of speed jigging for doggies. The other option is troll baits and pop for them, those were the only ones we landed.

Good luck.