Who doesn’t love targeting squid, whether it’s off the rocks, on the boat or a local jetty? Chasing them is on my to-do list on nearly every boating adventure, and I love to adapt with new techniques to get more strikes. New technologies are always developing, and they can change your ideas of how these animals hunt.
Yamashita has updated its popular Egi Oh Live Search 490 Glow and Egi Oh K jig ranges, and earlier this year I decided to try them out. The Live Search 490 now has new colours and a tin sinker, and the Egi Oh K now has shallow and super shallow versions and new UV glow colours (called ‘keimura’ in Japanese). I’ve been using Yamashita jigs for a number of years and have found them to be reliable producers, and I wanted to find out whether these new models made a difference or if I should stick with the originals.
The results were interesting.
For both jigs I used a Shimano Zodias 6’8 3-5kg rod paired with 8lb braid and 10lb fluorocarbon leader on a Shimano Stradic 2500 ci4 reel. For this kind of fishing your rod needs to have some give and flex for the action that’s needed to get the jigs moving around.
I tied on the Egi Oh Live Search 490 first. The colour range is excellent, and I decided to start with the orange colour. Although the 490 picked up squid throughout the day, it really came into its own for those first light squid that were actively hunting their prey. The jig’s 600Hz rattle and glow, coupled with a sharp darting action, was deadly.
However, when the squid were a bit flighty and wary, the 490’s sound/rattle tended to spook them. In that situation, I replaced the 490 with my old Egi Oh Live jig without the rattle, and sometimes dropped down a size if the conditions allowed. While I definitely will keep the 490 as my go-to for when the squid are actively feeding, I will continue to rely on my quiet jigs in most situations.
The second product I tested was the Egi Oh K, which has a rear hydro fin for better stability on the sink. I selected the purple colour and tried it on a day when the conditions were a bit rougher, which is when you need a jig with a steady, natural sink rate. Squid can be easily put off by an unnatural looking bait.
The Egi Oh K’s unique rear fin helped to create a natural flutter as the jig dropped down. As the day progressed and I was faced with some choppy seas and a howling southerly off South Head in Sydney, the K secured some great live baits in the nasty conditions. This model is available in sizes 2.5, 3.0, and 3.5, in regular, shallow and super shallow versions. My favourite colours are gold tape, red tape and UV body.
All in all, I found the Live Search 490 and Egi Oh K to be simple to use, easy to cast and very responsive to the smallest amount of action you create by whipping or lifting the rod. They’re simple enough for the novice squid fisher and technical enough for the more advanced. I matched these with long 6’8”-7’ foot rods to really allow me to whip the jigs around. You want a fair amount of give in your rods for when a big squid decides to start pulling some drag!
When it comes to the price, these jigs are middle of the range, and are great quality for the price. They retail from $15-$20 at most stores, and their high quality and clever design makes them significantly more effective than cheap jigs.
Overall, I have been very impressed with the continuous innovation in Yamashita’s squid jigs. If you’re looking to target a new PB calamari or just want to try out this exciting form of fishing, I highly recommend them. You can view the full range at www.ejtodd.com.au.