We are smack bang right in the middle of spring and if you're a bass fisherman and don't know anything about the skirted jig craze going on at the moment in Australia, you really have been living under a rock. I am a mad keen tournament bass angler and these lures here have accounted for a lot of big bass for me over recent years. In saying that, they're not just for bass. All of our Aussie natives will eat a well presented, skirted jig at certain times.
Now I've been asked this question a ton of times: "What is the right outfit for fishing a skirted jig?" So I want to run you guys through my Daiwa outfits I use. I also want to be very clear on how I fish a skirted jig. All the movement of the jig is done with the rod. The reel is only ever used for winding up slackline or winding a fish in. Hence, why getting the perfect combination of sensitivity and power is required in the right rod. You need to be able to feel the bite strike down through that fiber weed guard and muscle those fish out of that tight cover.
First up we have the TD Commander Basilisk. 7'1" in length, it's a two-piece butt joint rod, medium power four to six kilos, fast blank. This guy comes with all the Daiwa bells and whistles. We've got the Air Sensor Carbon reel seat, titanium stripper guides in the lower section with AGS carbon fiber guides on the top. This blank is built on the X45 technology with 3DX in the lower power section down here, eliminating twist, preventing the blank from losing its round and giving this an extremely powerful light feeling rod. All in all, this makes the rod incredibly sensitive and unmatched when it comes to transmitting bites through to your hands.
All these features makes the blank fairly responsive and a little stiffer than the other models that I fish. This makes it better suited for a 3/8th to 5/8th ounce skirted jig. It also doubles as my empowerment spinnerbait rod. The real punchy action has no trouble pumping out big spinnerbait blades into an oncoming wind. Retailing at $499, this Commander is your premium jig rod.
Next is the TD Zeroes. There are two models in this range which I love for fishing a skirted jig. Both are medium weight, 5-18 grams casting weight, 3-8 kilos on a fast taper blank. Both are two-piece butt joint, but the big difference is the length. One is 6'11" and the other is 7'2" and I use these in different scenarios.
The shorter 6'11" is essentially my close quarter rod. This is the guy that I'll use out of a kayak or when I'm fishing in rivers. I'm six foot tall myself, but I find that slightly shorter length helps when it comes to casting accuracy and also skip casting. We know river fish hold super tight to structure, and your casts need to be spot on.
The 7'2" model right here is better suited for impoundments. Longer casts for stealthier presentations in clear water and also covering ground. This is one of my favorite outfits. Slightly more forgiving than the Commander. So these rods are a little better suited for 3/8th to half-ounce jigs I feel.
The Big T
The final model is a Tatula 7'0" medium 4-6 kilo fast action blank against two-piece butt joint. But, this has a slightly softer action than the TD Zero and the TD Commander, making it a little better suited for lighter jigs; so around that quarter to 3/8th of an ounce weight is ideal. It has a long butt section for tucking up underneath the arm, striking down on those fish. And it also comes with this cool spiral wrap grip here, so that rod is never going to slip in your hands. The slightly softer action of the Tatula range also means it doubles as one of my moving bait rods, so I also throw the 3/8ths Stees Cover Chatter on this guy as well.
Match any of these rods with the Diawa high-speed bait caster or at least seven-speed or quicker, some 15-pound J-Braid, 12-pound J-Thread leader and you've got yourself a deadly skirted jig outfit. All these outfits have a place in my front deck, and I'm sure you guys will love them also. Check them out online or get down to your local Daiwa dealer right now, while the spring bite is still on.
Meet Peter Phelps
A gun bass angler on and off the tournament trail Peter Phelps cut his teeth many years ago catching bass on jigs in the Hunter Valley lakes and loves nothing more than sharing the technique with those keen to discover the fun of bass on jigs.