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MontaukTackle
MontaukTackle

Tuna Jigging

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Tuna JiggingAdvances in rod technology and the introduction of braided/fused has completely transformed tuna jigging.  Both conventional (casting) and spinning tackle can be used.  The spinning tackle is certainly easier to use, but the conventional tackle allows the angler to excerpt more pressure on the fish.  The recommended tackle found here is suitable for tuna of 20lbs and up.  Lighter tackle can certainly be used for the smaller tuna.  The heaviest rods can handle some of  the largest yellowfin tuna and most bluefin tuna.  Once these fish get over 150lbs, the angler will certainly need every bit of skill to get these fish to the boat.

High-end reels are an absolute must.  The high speed runs from big tunas will simply melt the drags on many spinning reels.  There are very few “economical” reels that can withstand the punishment.  Line capacity is also a major consideration.  A big tuna can rip 100yds out of a reel in just a few seconds (and they can still dive deep).

Tuna Jigging Spinning Rods

The rod we recommend for tuna jigging is a 5’6″ to 6’6″ spinning rod rated for 50lb braid or higher.  Going to higher rated rods will allow the angler to put more pressure on the fish, but will reduce casting distance and negatively affect the action of lighter jigs.

Tuna Jigging Spinning Reels

The reel must be able to hold at least 300yds of line (400yds+ preferred).  We recommend loading the reel with 50-65lb Spiderwire Ultracast Ultimate Braid.  This is a very tough coated braided line.  It not only casts well, but is resistant to wind knots, and is more durable than any other braid.  The breaking strength of this line is typically much greater than the actual rating.

Tuna Jigging Conventional Rods

The rod we recommend for tuna jigging is a 5’6″ to 6’6″ conventional rod rated for 50lb braid or higher.  Going to higher rated rods will allow the angler to put more pressure on the fish, but will negatively affect the action of lighter jigs.

Tuna Jigging Conventional Reels

The reel we recommend should have lever drag and at least a 5:1 gear ratio.  It must be able to handle 50lb braid or higher.  The thin diameter of the braided lines will allow the jig to sink quickly (and maximize line capacity).  The lack of stretch will ensure the best possible action for the jig.  The breaking strength of these lines are typically much greater than the actual rating.

Leader and Connections

We use a three foot 50lb-80lb fluorocarbon leader.  We connect the leader to the braided line using a 100lb barrel swivel.  The small profile of the swivel virtually eliminates any chance of picking up debris.  Some anglers may want to make a direct connection using an albright knot or a wind-on leader.  The leader should be tied directly to the solid ring on the jig.

Butterfly (Knife) Jigs

There are many styles of jigs and colors.  We recommend having a selection of 6-8″ flat jigs and 10-12″ knife jigs.  We also recommend putting two assist hooks on every jig.  The line and the assist hooks should be attached to the solid (or welded) ring.  A split-ring is used to attach the jig to the solid ring.

Fighting Belts for Tuna

We recommend the Black Magic Fighting Belt and Harness. This is a uniquely designed belt and harness system that helps prevent side-to side slippage while reducing back strain. It offers true seat conformation, more stability and fighting leverage!

Tuna Jigging Checklist

  • 5’6″ to 6’6″ spinning or conventional jigging rod conventional rod rated for 50lb braid or higher
  • Spinning or lever drag conventional reel rated for 50lb braid or higher
  • 50-80lb braided line
  • 50-80lb fluorocarbon leader
  • Butterfly (knife jigs)
  • 100lb barrel swivel

Please contact us if you have questions about our recommendations!


Tackle Recommendations
Click on any of the images or names to visit the manufacturer's website.  Click on the links or retailer logo to see prices or purchase.  If you can't find the product you want, try searching Amazon. Please contact us if you find any broken links!
Rods
Penn Carnage Jigging Spinning Penn Carnage Jigging Spinning
Spinning butterfly jigging rod - 5'6" to 7' - multiple one-piece models suitable for 20-200lb braid - rated for lure weights from 1oz-14oz or 30-400grams
Learn more and buy at Tackle Direct
Learn more and buy on Amazon
Penn Carnage Jigging Spinning Penn Carnage Jigging Spinning
Penn Carnage Jigging Casting Penn Carnage Jigging Casting
Conventional butterfly jigging rod - 100% graphite - 5'6" to 7' - multiple models suitable for 20-200lb braid and jigs from 1 to 14oz (30-400gms)
Learn more and buy at Tackle Direct

Penn Carnage Jigging Casting
Shimano Trevala Spinning Shimano Trevala Spinning
Spinning butterfly jigging rod - 5'8" to 7' - multiple one-piece models suitable for 10-200lb braid - rated for lure weights from 2oz-10oz or 55-270grams
Learn more and buy at Tackle Direct
Learn more and buy on Amazon
Shimano Trevala Spinning Shimano Trevala Spinning
Shimano Trevala Conventional Shimano Trevala Conventional
Conventional butterfly jigging rod - 5'8" to 7' - multiple models (including 2-piece)suitable for 10-200lb braid - rated for lure weights from 2oz-12oz or 55-325grams
Learn more and buy at Tackle Direct
Learn more and buy on Amazon
Shimano Trevala Conventional Shimano Trevala Conventional
Reels
Penn Torque Jigging Penn Torque Jigging
Lever drag butterfly jigging conventional reel - models rated for 12-50lb mono and 20-100lb braid - 5.1:1  5.5:1, and 6:1 gear ratios - 6 ball bearings
Learn more and buy at Tackle Direct
learn more and buy at Amazon
Penn Torque Jigging Penn Torque Jigging
Penn Torque Spinning Penn Torque Spinning
Offshore/surf spinning reel - models rated for 12-50lb mono and 20-100lb braid - 5.1:1  and 5.9:1 gear ratios - 7 ball bearings - waterproof drag
Learn more and buy at Tackle Direct
Learn more and buy at Amazon
Penn Torque Spinning Penn Torque Spinning
Shimano Saragosa Shimano Saragosa
Spinning reel - models rated for 6-30lb mono and 10-80lb braid - 4.9:1, 5.2:1, or 6:1 gear ratios - 5 or 6 ball bearings - waterproof drag
Learn more and buy at Tackle Direct
Learn more and buy on Amazon
Shimano Saragosa Shimano Saragosa
Shimano Torsa Shimano Torsa
Lever drag butterfly jigging conventional reel - models rated for 14-50lb mono and 50-100lb braid - 4.9:1  and 5.8:1 gear ratios - 8 ball bearings
Learn more and buy at Tackle Direct
Learn more and buy on Amazon
Shimano Torsa Shimano Torsa
Shimano Stella Shimano Stella
Offshore/surf spinning reel - models rated for 10-30lb mono and 20-100lb braid - 4.4:1 to 6.2:1 gear ratios - 14 ball bearings - waterproof drag
Learn more and buy at Tackle Direct
Learn more and buy on Amazon
Shimano Stella Shimano Stella
Line
Spiderwire Ultracast Ultimate Braid Spiderwire Ultracast Ultimate Braid
Casting braided line - designed specifically for casting and to eliminate wind-knots - lo-vis green only - available in 10 to 65lb test and 125, 300, and 1500yd spools
Learn more and buy at Tackle Direct
Learn more and buy on Amazon
Spiderwire Ultracast Ultimate Braid Spiderwire Ultracast Ultimate Braid
Berkley Fireline Braid Berkley Fireline Braid
Braided line - virtually no stretch - moss green color - very thin line diameter - available 6 to 80lb test and 110, 300, and 1500 yard spools
Learn more and buy at Berkley
Learn more and buy at Amazon
Berkley Fireline Braid Berkley Fireline Braid
Terminal Tackle
Mustad Rolling Swivel Mustad Rolling Swivel
77900 - Black Rolling Swivel w/round eye - available sizes/rating: 4/144lb, 6/118lb, 8/104lb, 9/77lb, 10/70lb, 12/49lb, and 14/42lb


Yo-Zuri Fluorocarbon Leader Yo-Zuri Fluorocarbon Leader
Fluorocarbon leader  - invisible, durable, max knot/crimp strength - clear  and disappearing pink colors - 4-200lb test and 30/100yd spools
Learn more and buy at Tackle Direct
Laern more and buy on Amazon
Yo-Zuri Fluorocarbon Leader Yo-Zuri Fluorocarbon Leader
Berkley Prospec Leader Berkley Prospec Leader
Fluorocarbon leader - invisible, durable, max knot/crimp strength - clear, blue, pink, brown colors - 20-200lb test and 25/33/75/100yd coils
Learn more and buy at Tackle Direct
Learn more and buy on Amazon
Berkley Prospec Leader Berkley Prospec Leader
Other
Black Magic Belt & Harness Black Magic Belt & Harness
Belt and Harness for rods with 15-18" butts - available in 3 different belt sizes (27-48" 34-58" 42-65") and standard 17.25" or XL Wide 19.5" plates
Learn more and buy at Capt Harry's

Black Magic Belt & Harness
Black Magic Fighting Belt Black Magic Fighting Belt
Fighting belt (plate) for rods with 15-18" butts - includes strap - available with standard 17.25" or XL Wide 19.5" plate
Learn more and buy from Captain Harry's

Black Magic Fighting Belt