Trolling With a Jigging Rod: Is it Possible?

Trolling With a Jigging Rod

Spinning, casting, jigging, trolling… There are a lot of fishing techniques, and a lot of specialized equipment for them too. But can different techniques be performed with the same rod?

Here I would like to talk about trolling with a jigging rod and basically start with answering the main question: Is that even possible?

Good news is that jigging rods can be used for trolling because they have certain features that make them fit for that purpose. Both jigging and trolling rods are strong and relatively short. Using the same rod for both is very popular in saltwater fishing. 

Of course, there are some adjustments you will have to do, but I will get to that. 

Although rods are similar, these two techniques are very different and require different planning and approach. 

Here I will tell you everything you need to know!



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Can You Use a Jigging Rod for Trolling?

I just explained can you use a jigging rod for trolling, but let’s get into specific details. 

First of all, both jigging and trolling rods are short and strong. This strength is especially important for offshore fishing for tuna, grouper, and similar bigger species. 

Trolling generally creates a lot of resistance when lures or live baits are dragged through the water and rods must withstand a lot of pressure. This pressure becomes even bigger when the fish finally bites. 

So, when you decide to use jigging rod for trolling, downsize the lures a bit, and chose those that create less resistance. This is the way to go and that is key for success. 

If you use too big lures that create a lot of resistance, the rod will flex to much and that will ruin the lure presentation. In extreme cases, you may even end up with damaged rod. 

It may seem to you at first that a big powerful jigging rod can withstand oversized trolling lures, but trust me, downsize if you want to be successful. 

You should avoid too much flexing of the rod tip when trolling, and the tip behaviour can be a great indicator of the right trolling lure size on your jigging rod. 

Another issue can be line type. Braided lines are great for jigging because they are not stretchy and offer better control. For trolling, stiff lines like that can be a problem. This is another reason why you should opt for lighter and smaller lures when trolling with a jigging rod

Of course, this different use of jigging rod will also influence drag and gear setting on your reel, so keep in mind to adjust every piece of equipment you are using.

Trolling With a Jigging Rod - Smaller Lures

What is the Difference Between Jigging and Trolling Rod?

There are different types of jigging, but here I will explain the vertical one. That is the most popular jigging technique by far. 

The main difference between trolling and jigging is lure presentation. Trolling creates horizontal lure presentation, while jigging creates vertical one. 

Trolling requires a boat, while jigging can be done from cliffs, piers, or similar structures that are above deeper waters. But jigging can also be done from boats and even offshore for big fish. 

Of course, when trolling, you constantly more over water, while jigging is done while staying in place or gently drifting with the current on a boat. 

Choose trolling when fish are scattered over large area, and you do not know the exact location. This will cover large areas fast. It is also a good technique in rough weather and strong currents and waves, when vertical control of the jig becomes impossible. 

On the other hand, jigging is excellent if you know where the fish (like bass, walleye, etc.) hide, and you can present lure directly over that place. It works excellent in places that are not suitable for trolling, and it works great in calm conditions, especially if done from a boat. 

When it comes to depth, you should choose jigging if the fish are located on the bottom, and trolling if they are upper in water column. 

When it comes to effectiveness, if done right, both techniques are very effective to catch a fish.

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Trolling with a jigging rod is one thing, but using a jig for trolling is something else...

Before I mentioned vertical jigging and vertical presentation. Design of vertical jigs is different that other lures that are meant to be presented horizontally. Their full potential in fish attraction is released when moved vertically up and down the water column, when they flutter and move in a designed way. 

Trolling lures move horizontally and are designed in a way to crate attractive movement when dragged through the water

But there are certain jigs that can be trolled, and certain situations when this can be very productive. Many anglers use jigs when trolling for walleyes, close to the bottom. However, this is done with lower speeds, most often even less than one mile per hour. 

However, if we are talking about big fish and offshore saltwater trolling, these lures are not interchangeable, and jigs are not the best choice for trolling. Such trolling is done at greater speeds and jigs will lose their effectiveness due to unsuitable presentation. Offshore trolling is frequently done with baits such as squid or mullet too.

Trolling With a Jigging Rod - Fish


Nothing should stop you from trolling with a jigging rod if you have the opportunity to do so! Jigging rod will perform well in trolling conditions, especially if you are using heavier quality rods for big fish. 

Both techniques are very effective, and you can even swap between them depending on a situation during your fishing day. 

Just make sure to pack suitable lures for both, and I guarantee you will have a great time on the water!

About Me

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I am Siniša Pintar (friends call me Sina), the guy behind 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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