Q&A


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  • "Is there anything different about the Shimano butterfly jig compared to other colored jigs?" -James T.
    "Is there anything different about the Shimano butterfly jig compared to other colored jigs?" -James T.
    A lot depends on which jig you are comparing the Butterfly to. The unique action of the Butterfly jig is created by the design of the jig itself. The sharp edges and angles of the flat surfaces make the jig actually cut through the water on both the fall and the retrieve. It does not really "flutter" as most jigs. Instead, the cutting action gives the jig a very special motion in the water and a very erratic swimming motion.

    As we have seen from experience, fish react very strongly to the action of the Butterfly - even when they are not in a feeding mode.

    By "cutting" through the water, the jig falls faster than most jigs that have a "flutter" action and therefore you can fish deeper zones with a comparatively small sized jig.

    ~Dave Pheiffer
    Shimano American Corporation
  • "I've been thinking about picking up some butterfly jigs. What colors would you recommend?"
    "I've been thinking about picking up some butterfly jigs. What colors would you recommend?"
    Colors are hard to recommend because they are relative to target species.

    As a general rule:
    Pink is very good for snapper, grouper and jacks, especially in deep water - 150' +. Natural colors like the green mackerel, sardine, aji, etc are very good for pelagic species like tuna, mackerel, wahoo, etc. and do very well for most other species when the water is very clear.

    White and Chartreuse/white seem to do very well in off color water for many species and for species that like to feed on squid like California yellowtail, calico bass, etc.

    ~Dave Pheiffer
    Shimano American Corporation
  • "Several weeks back I did an overnight trip and did Butterfly jig a 25lb longfin and several small mahi's. This was the tuna we caught all night. The next morning we had a slow pick of longfins on the troll. I tried jigging on the slide between the hooked fish however I didn't have any luck. The fish were scattered and we didn't mark anything on the meter. However, the smaller 90 & 110 gr jigs have been working well on the inshore scene. Before the blow I had several good mornings jigging medium (8-10lb) bluefish and bass in the rips. They slammed the jigs! Only one problem - I haven't figure out a way to protect losing the jigs from toothy critters like bluefish. Any suggestions?" -Scott P.
    "Several weeks back I did an overnight trip and did Butterfly jig a 25lb longfin and several small mahi's. This was the tuna we caught all night. The next morning we had a slow pick of longfins on the troll. I tried jigging on the slide between the hooked fish however I didn't have any luck. The fish were scattered and we didn't mark anything on the meter. However, the smaller 90 & 110 gr jigs have been working well on the inshore scene. Before the blow I had several good mornings jigging medium (8-10lb) bluefish and bass in the rips. They slammed the jigs! Only one problem - I haven't figure out a way to protect losing the jigs from toothy critters like bluefish. Any suggestions?" -Scott P.
    Fishing the Butterfly Jig on the slide is difficult because the standard jig is designed to work the best as vertical as possible. Of course if the fish are really grouped up and charging the boat it will get bit just fine.

    One way to fish them effectively on the slide is to use spinning gear. Drop the jig on the slide and try to work it as horizontally as possible - spinning gear tends to favor this technique more than conventional gear because it allows for more wrist action. It also will allow you to work the jig sideways as opposed to up and down out in front of you.

    Jose Wejebe often works the Butterfly Jig this way for kingfish and is a believer that spinning gear is advantageous in working the jig in a horizontal fashion.

    Another effective course of action would be to wait until the boat is in a drift on a bite and the fish often will settle in underneath the boat. Then break out the Butterfly and try to pick off a few additional fish.

    On toothy critters, there are two solutions that seem to be working the best.

    1) Tyger wire. This is very flexible wire that comes in multiple sizes. It can be tied just like mono so it allows you to tie directly to the welded ring. Use the smallest trace of light wire that you can get away with. Tie directly to the welded ring and then either tie an Albright to the fluoro leader or tie the Tyger wire to a small Spro swivel and then tie the fluoro leader to the other end of the swivel - again use as small a swivel as you can get away with. The Spro swivels are nice because they have a high test rating and are very small in size.

    2) Single strand wire. Single strand works well too as long as you keep it light and short. Haywire a loop to the welded ring and then Albright the other end to the fluoro leader - again keep it as short and light as possible!

    Owner offers hooks with wire leads on them that work well too if the hooks are getting torn apart.

    Hope these tips answer your questions and help.

    ~Dave Pfeiffer
    Shimano American Corporation
  • "I fish with various spoons and bucktails for grouper and snapper. I just started using the Butterfly jig and have caught some really nice snapper and amberjack, but I can't seem to get to the grouper. If i just wanted to go for grouper and try to eliminate snapper and AJ hookups, how would you alter the technique, and which jigs would you use?" -Bill
    "I fish with various spoons and bucktails for grouper and snapper. I just started using the Butterfly jig and have caught some really nice snapper and amberjack, but I can't seem to get to the grouper. If i just wanted to go for grouper and try to eliminate snapper and AJ hookups, how would you alter the technique, and which jigs would you use?" -Bill
    What I found about the Butterfly jigs for grouper makes sense...just slow down the retrieve. Try not to reel too fast or lift the rod tip in high sweeping motions. I generally drop the lure down to the bottom; let it sit for a couple seconds and then start winding in a smooth rhythmic pumping motion. The key thing is to lift the rod tip with your hand when you are on the downstroke with your reel hand. Depending on the circumstances (drift, depth, etc), only move the rod tip about 12 inches up and down while reeling. Remember you are trying to get the lure to "walk the dog" vertically in the water column. You are NOT trying to lift the lure 6 feet in one fast rod tip sweep or let the lure flutter up and down. Remember smooth rhythmic pumping motions.

    Another way to target grouper is to fish the lure only one third of the way up from the depth you are fishing. In other words, if you are in 150 feet of water, fish the jig up only to 50' from the bottom before dropping back down.

    Lastly is color, one of my favorite for bottom fish is pink and white, although a close second, if not equal, is orange yellow. I hesitate to give favorite colors because much of that changes with the depth and the area you are fishing. I would pick out a handful of colors, slow down the retrieve, keep the jig in the lower third of the water column and THEN see what color works best.

    ~Capt. Jose Wejebe
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