What is Slow Pitch Jigging? [Everything for Fishing Success]

What is Slow Pitch Jigging

Jigging is a very broad term which describes one popular and effective technique. However, under the jigging term, there are three main types of this technique.

One of them is slow pitch jigging that I will describe here, and the other two are vertical speed jigging and cast and retrieve jigging.

So, what is slow pitch jigging exactly? It is a technique where jigs are used in a way that you let the lure fall towards the bottom and then jig it back up. Strikes happen on the fall, as the lure mimics injured prey.

Every type of jigging requires a bit different fishing equipment and different approach, and it is used in different conditions.

Slow pitch is excellent for deep water, as the lure requires some distance and time during its fall to create movement that attracts hungry predators.

Here I will explain all you need to know about this fun technique!



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What Exactly is Slow Pitch Jigging Fishing? [Meaning]

What does slow pitch jigging mean was briefly explained in introduction, but here are more details about it.

It is one of the three different types of jigging, and when compared to vertical speed jigging, it is quite new.

Slow pitch originates from far east, Japan to be more precise, and it is excellent for saltwater species. However, development of technique and required equipment enabled freshwater anglers to enjoy this highly effective type of fishing.

It is also done vertically in a water column, but the lure fall is what makes the fish go crazy about it.

It requires depth, at least 30 to 40 feet of water, but you can go much deeper when fishing offshore. This technique Is not suitable for shallow water due to lure construction. For it to flutter, wobble, and move in a required way, you need distance and time to let it fall down.

What is Slow Pitch Jigging - Infographic

How Do You Fish With Slow Pitch Jigs? [How Does Work?]

Fishing with slow pitch jigs is very simple in theory, but in real life you will need some practice.

You can target fish on the bottom, but also fish in the middle of a water column. A simple jig lure eliminates all hard work around natural baits, so it will save you some time too.

This technique, when it comes to lure presentation, requires you to know two important things:

1.) Let it fall naturally and freely - everything is in the fall. Majority of fish strikes will happen here. You should not interfere into the fall. The jig is designed in a way that it will wobble and flutter irresistibly.

2.) Flick it upwards – although almost everything is in a fall, the jig retrieval requires a bit of effort. Flick it upwards slowly, while you also jig the rod. It may happen that you get a strike on a way up, don’t just reel it in. Some erratic movement can make fish interested.

The key is to stay vertical here. If you are fishing in strong currents and you notice your jig drifting away, switch to heavier ones. They must stay directly below your rod tip. And that’s it! Practice makes perfect!

What is the Difference Between Slow Pitch Jigging and Vertical Jigging?

Now you know what is slow pitch jigging, but how is it different from vertical jigging?

Well, vertical jigging is the “original” form, and it is the one that everyone thinks of instantly when someone mentions what is jigging in fishing.

Similar to slow pitch, it is ideal for deeper water, but the lure presentation is different. Firstly, the lure is designed differently, and it has narrower and slenderer look.

These jigs fall fast, and anglers are there to rapidly retrieve them while jigging their rod. Jigging the rod means moving the tip up and down to create lure movement.

In vertical jigging, majority of fish strikes happens on the way up, while in slow pitch that happens on the way down.

In many cases, vertical jigging provokes more aggressive strikes than slow pitch due to much faster and more aggressive lure movement.

Equipment also varies a bit, and for vertical jigging, anglers use different setup.

Slow pitch vs vertical jigging is a comparison that you must understand to choose proper technique that will be better for your specific fishing conditions.

What are the Best Slow Pitch Jigging Rod and Reel?

This fishing technique requires specialized equipment to be effective.

The best slow pitch jigging rod has slow action, and its full parabolic movement enables even load distribution along the lightweight rod blank (here you can check my article about fishing rod parts). Many TOP rod manufacturers make specialized rods just for this.

This rod must be paired with slow pitch jigging reel, which is a conventional reel with narrow spool and high gear ratio.

Alongside gear ratio, you have to consider IPT too. The more line the reel takes with a single turn of the handle, the better it is for this technique. And the last reel feature to consider is line capacity. For deep water fishing, you need very high capacity.

If you are interested in slow pitch jigging combo, I would advise you against it. Such specialized equipment should be paired with a lot of features in mind, and if you get a combo you will compromise on a lot of things. Combos are great for beginners in spinning fishing, or some similar versatile technique.

Shimano and Daiwa have some excellent options for slow pitch rods and reels, such as Daiwa Harrier rod or Saltiga, and Shimano Ocea Jigger HG reel. Keep in mind that these are excellent, but they are on an expensive side.

What is Slow Pitch Jigging - Rod and Reel

What are the Best Slow Pitch Jigging Lures?

This style of fishing requires specific lures too, and they are not the same as those for vertical jigging.

Before you even decide about color or similar features, you must consider lure weight. Every rod (check what fishing rod types exist) is certified for specific lure weights, and you have to be within a given ratio.

Some anglers say that 1 gram goes for every 10 ft of water, however you may need to increase weight in strong water currents.

Slow pitch jigging lures are designed wide and flat to wobble during the fall. While going down, they turn horizontal and make that specific movement that attracts predators. This shape works wonders in fluttering motion, however strong currents are its enemy. If the waters are rough, you will have to switch to more sleek shape.

These lures are equipped with assist hooks (hooks different sizes) that are reinforced with cords to survive hard strikes and hooksets.

And finally, the jig colors. Water clarity and light condition dictate the best one, however, you will not go wrong with holographic finish, chartreuse, or even red. The latter one is only for shallower water.

Any color or metallic finish that reflects sun attracts predators due to resemblance with baitfish scales that reflect light.

In my experience, if you are jigging in saltwater, you don’t have to worry about color as much as those fishing in freshwater.

Does Jig head color matter is a frequent dilemma among anglers, and in my opinion, it does matter, more in freshwater than saltwater.

What is Slow Pitch Jigging - Lures

What is the Best Fishing Line for Slow Pitch Jigging?

Slow pitch jigging setup is not complete without a line.

Before your adventurous multi-day trip, visit a local tackle shop, and fill your tackle box with high quality braid.

Braided lines are thinner and stronger, so your reel will be able to hold more length. If necessary, you can use mono or fluoro leader due to high visibility of braid.

In addition to that, braids are not stretchy, and they enable better feel of the lure, and better control of hooksets.

The best fishing line for slow pitch jigging is the 30-pound braid. That is the most versatile line, and excellent for medium water depth or shallower water. For deeper water and strong currents, you may need to switch to lower diameter.

When it comes to line color, blue or transparent for saltwater is the best choice. For freshwater, go for green. Those are the most versatile options.

You can also check the option of copolymer fishing line

What are the Targeted Fish Species for Slow Pitch Jigging?

Slow pitch jigging is frequently practiced in saltwater, and hooked fish can vary from smaller ones closer to the shore, to really big ones out on the sea.

Among the most impressive targeted species you can find:

• Snapper
• Grouper
• Tile fish
• Barrel fish
• Sailfish
• Wahoo
• Tuna

What is Slow Pitch Jigging - Tuna

Of course, you can get many pelagic fish too, that will often strike your lures in the middle of the water column, sometimes even during lure retrieval.

When it comes to freshwater, you can catch almost any predator, such as:

• Walleye
• Pike
• Trout
• Salmon

Of course, such fish can be caught on much lighter equipment than the one used for offshore saltwater species.

What is Slow Pitch Jigging - Walleye

Is it Possible to Slow Pitch Jigging From Shore?

This fishing technique is often practiced from a boat, where you have enough water depth below you.

However, slow pitch jigging from shore is also possible, but the shore must meet certain requirements.

If you have safe access to some vertical cliffs where water below is very deep, you can practice this technique very effectively.

Steep walls and drop offs, as well as rocky ledges are the best places for slow pitch jigging from the shore.

What I have to mention here is your personal safety. Such places can be dangerous to walk on, especially if wet and slippery, so make sure that you play it safe.


Every type of jigging is a very fun and effective way to land a hungry predator. Now when you know what is slow pitch jigging, you can practice this technique in your area and see how it works!

The only downside is that specialized saltwater equipment can be very pricey, however, let nothing stop you from doing it on your local lake! Freshwater species can also be caught on jigs!

Don’t forget the most important thing here: Everything is in the fall! Let the lure design do the work for you!

About Me

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I am Siniša Pintar (friends call me Sina), the guy behind Slo-fishing.si and eBook writer. This site is base camp for fishing enthusiasts from all over the world. I love fishing and want to share all my stories, knowledge and my experience with any and all potential anglers. Read more ...

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