The humble squid has become a more and more popular target species throughout Australia. This popularity has provided a plethora of options for anglers when it comes to the number and quality of jigs available. I am a squid jig addict. My collection of squid jigs has grown over the years to the point where I think I could squid fish every day for six months and not use the same jig twice. I made a conscious decision that enough was enough. I didn’t need any more. That was until the AFTA show this year. I was drawn to the Dogtooth Distribution stand (the distributer of Valley Hill in Australia) by their display of squid jigs. The Valley Hill jigs caught my eye; particularly the Rocketeer Slicer, which offers something a little different from a standard jig.
The Rocketeer Slicer has two main differences from a standard jig. Firstly, it has a casting system that can be used to gain extra distance. It’s a simple rubber toggle that you place on your line before attaching the jig. Before casting you slip the toggle onto a prong, which comes off the tines of the jig. This elongates the jig, pointing the weight of the jig forward, so you can maximise your casting distance. I have to say that although this is a cool feature, I can’t see me using it; it casts well enough without it. The feature that excited me the most was the duel tow points on the nose of the jig. The duel tow points provide two key adjustments. Firstly, they provide a change to the angle at which the jig sinks, and secondly, how it reacts on the retrieve. This versatility really appealed to me.
In the field
Squid can be pretty dumb at times, but some days can be really tough. On those days you really hope the jig you have on may prove to be the difference from the person next to you. With the Slicer, I have to say so far, so good. I have had a few tough outings but I have still managed to bag a few when other anglers haven’t. The duel tow points are a fantastic feature. As most of my squidding has been land-based, I have used the tow point furthest from the nose. It provides maximum angle while the jig sinks (keeping the tines away from structure) and provides a strong side-to-side action during the retrieve, keeping the jig in the right zone for a longer period.
I have been impressed with the Valley Hill jigs that I bought. I limited myself to a few of the 13 colours available and, because the squid fishing in QLD tends to be shallow water, I purchased the 3.0 sized jigs rather than the 3.5. They have a medium to slow sink rate, and because I use a Mustad Fastach clip it’s very easy to take advantage of the duel tow points. Retailing for around $20, the Rocketeer Slicer fit into the medium price bracket for jigs. They have good quality components and I have had a few squid like them so much that they cuddled them all the way to the shore.
Go to www.dogtoothdistribution.com.au to check out the range and to find your nearest stockist.
– Peter Jung