For many years when I fished at deep-water destinations outside of the tropics — such as in British Columbia, Iceland and Norway — I only used metal jigs in various shapes, sizes and colors for species like cod, halibut, lingcod and rockfish. However, I don’t think I’ve used a jig on my last dozen trips; instead I favor dropping weighted shads such as the Storm Wildeye Giant Jigging Shad and the smaller Storm Ultra Shads.
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I find several advantages to using rubber shads versus metal jigs. When using the larger sizes, you catch bigger fish, as the small fish simply can’t fit the big lures in their mouths. Also, jigging often results in foul-hooked fish; with shads, almost every fish you catch will be cleanly hooked in the mouth. Finally, when fish bite a metal jig, they immediately realize it’s not real. When they grab a rubber shad, most remain interested for surprisingly long distances before finally eating the bait.
The larger jigging shads typically weigh in excess of 16 ounces, and they can measure 12 inches or more in length. Smaller weighted shads range from 6 to 8 inches long and weigh 4 to 6 ounces.
I fish heavier shads using a 20- to 30-pound-class boat rod matched with a Shimano Torium 16 or 20 high-speed reel, which makes cranking lures from deep water as easy as possible. I load…