Can a Jigging Reel be Used for Live Bait Fishing

The answer is yes, but you have to consider a number of things.

When it comes to fishing, selecting the right equipment is crucial for success. Among the various types of fishing reels available, jigging reels are often associated with vertical jigging techniques.

However, anglers often wonder if jigging reels can also be used for live bait fishing. In this article, we will explore whether a jigging reel is a suitable option for live bait fishing and discuss the factors to consider when making your choice.

Understanding Jigging Reels

Jigging reels, also known as vertical jigging reels, are designed for a specific type of fishing technique. They are typically equipped with high gear ratios, powerful drag systems, and sturdy construction to handle the demands of vertical jigging.

This technique involves dropping a heavy lure (jig) vertically into the water column and then rapidly jerking it upwards to imitate the movement of wounded baitfish, enticing predatory fish to strike.

Can a Jigging Reel Be Used for Live Bait

While jigging reels are primarily designed for vertical jigging, they can also be used for live bait fishing in certain situations. However, there are a few important considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Line Capacity: Jigging reels usually have a relatively small spool capacity, as they are designed for use with thinner braided lines. Live bait fishing often requires heavier lines and longer casts, so it’s important to ensure that the jigging reel you choose has adequate line capacity to handle the fishing conditions you’ll encounter.
  2. Gear Ratio: Jigging reels typically have high gear ratios, which are ideal for quickly retrieving jigs from deep water. However, when using live bait, a slower gear ratio may be more appropriate, as it allows for better control and finesse when presenting the bait to fish. Consider whether the gear ratio of the jigging reel is suitable for the specific live bait fishing technique you intend to employ.
  3. Drag System: Jigging reels are known for their robust drag systems, which are necessary for battling strong fish during vertical jigging. While a powerful drag is an advantage when live bait fishing, it should also be adjustable and sensitive enough to provide a smooth and controlled line release when a fish takes the bait.
  4. Sensitivity and Precision: Live bait fishing often requires finesse and sensitivity to detect subtle bites and provide precise bait presentation. Jigging reels may not always offer the level of sensitivity and fine-tuning required for such fishing techniques. Consider whether the reel’s design and features align with your desired level of sensitivity and precision.

Choosing the Right Reel for Live Bait Fishing

If you primarily engage in live bait fishing and occasionally dabble in vertical jigging, it is recommended to invest in a dedicated live bait reel. These reels are specifically designed to meet the demands of live bait fishing, offering features like larger spool capacities, slower gear ratios, precise drag systems, and enhanced sensitivity for improved bait control.

By choosing a reel specifically tailored to live bait fishing, you’ll optimize your chances of success and have a more enjoyable fishing experience. It’s worth noting that having multiple reels for different fishing techniques can be advantageous, as it allows you to match the equipment to the specific demands of each fishing style.

Conclusion about Can a Jigging Reel be Used for Live Bait Fishing

While jigging reels excel in vertical jigging scenarios, they can also be used for live bait fishing under certain circumstances. However, it’s important to consider factors such as line capacity, gear ratio, drag system, sensitivity, and precision when deciding whether a jigging reel is suitable for your live bait fishing needs.

Investing in a dedicated live bait reel may offer better performance and a more satisfying fishing experience in the long run. Remember, choosing the right reel can make a significant difference in your overall fishing success and enjoyment on the water.

FAQs about Can a Jigging Reel be Used for Live Bait Fishing

Q1: Can I use a jigging reel for live bait fishing if I change the line capacity?

A1: While increasing the line capacity may help accommodate heavier lines used in live bait fishing, it’s important to consider other factors as well. Jigging reels are designed with specific gear ratios, drag systems, and sensitivity that may not be optimal for live bait fishing. Simply changing the line capacity may not fully address these considerations. It’s recommended to invest in a dedicated reel specifically designed for live bait fishing for the best results.

Q2: Are there any advantages to using a jigging reel for live bait fishing?

A2: Jigging reels do offer some advantages for live bait fishing, such as a powerful drag system and robust construction. These features can be beneficial when dealing with larger or more aggressive fish species. Additionally, if you already own a jigging reel and occasionally engage in live bait fishing, you can certainly use it with proper consideration for its limitations. However, dedicated live bait reels often provide more suitable features and performance for this specific fishing style.

Q3: Can I adjust the gear ratio of a jigging reel for live bait fishing?

A3: Most jigging reels come with fixed gear ratios that are optimized for vertical jigging techniques. While it may be possible to find jigging reels with adjustable gear ratios, they are not commonly available. The gear ratio of a reel significantly affects the speed of line retrieval, and using a jigging reel with a high gear ratio may not provide the desired control and finesse required for live bait fishing. It’s generally recommended to use a reel with a gear ratio specifically designed for live bait fishing techniques.

Q4: Can I use a jigging reel for other fishing techniques apart from vertical jigging and live bait fishing?

A4: Jigging reels are specifically designed for vertical jigging, and their features and construction are optimized for this fishing technique. While they may not be the ideal choice for live bait fishing or other finesse techniques, they can be versatile enough to handle other styles such as bottom fishing, trolling, or casting heavy lures. However, for the best performance and optimal results, it is advisable to use a reel specifically designed for the intended fishing technique. Specialized reels will offer features tailored to the specific demands of each fishing style.

Q5: Can I use a jigging reel for saltwater live bait fishing?

A5: Jigging reels are commonly used in saltwater fishing, including vertical jigging in deep offshore waters. While they can handle the challenges of saltwater fishing, it’s important to consider the specific requirements of live bait fishing. Factors such as line capacity, gear ratio, drag system, and sensitivity are still crucial for success in saltwater live bait fishing. Choosing a reel that meets these requirements, whether it’s a jigging reel or a dedicated live bait reel, will enhance your chances of a successful saltwater fishing experience.

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