What to do with slashers like Spanish Mackerels and Wahoos?

Some fish has nasty teeth and cuts off leaders and you lose you jigs.
Yes, I hate it when it happens.
Sometimes it just happens and there’s nothing you can do to avoid it. But sometimes you go after them because some of them are really tasty. What do we do to bring the fish and your jig both home?

I caught Sato Sensei answers that in his jigging workshop.


Use wire leader.

Sato Sensei said “If you use a wire leader, the contacts would probably be 1/5 of the contacts you would get with fluoro leader.”  It’s “The less metal in your system, the more contacts you get” principal.
He also said, “But if you use fluoro leader, you may be cut off 4 out of 5 contacts.” You lose a lot of precious jigs and also lose a lot of precious time in rigging over and over. “Why not use wire leader?” he concludes.

Have 80cm of wire at the end of your leader, and you will bring both your jig and fish home.

But if you can’t get enough contacts with wire leader, the other alternative is to have 3 meters of fluoro #12 as usual, tied to 1.5 meters of fluoro #20 (70lb to 80lb) at the end.  Fluoro #20 is weaker than wire leader but stands much better than #12, and you lose less contacts.

Don’t make fast actions.
Don’t make falls.

Mackerels don’t suck in the bait when they hunt. What they do is, they dash to bait fish with their mouths open. They don’t even bother to aim and bite to catch their preys. They slash fish with their teeth and come back later to collect them easy.  They attack, and they collect.  They are 2 completely different behaviors.  When we get cut off all the sudden during your actions, it’s when they are slashing through the bait fish.

So, don’t make fast actions. Fast actions switch them on, which is good and sometimes you need to risk to do it.  But know that once they are turned on, they will come flying to slash at your jig (and your leader).   And you don’t want to make a lot of irregular falling actions, either. When they come to attack you jig, the falls may get your leader to be attacked. Small, short, soft, slow, regular actions would be great. It’s the kind of actions that Cranky is good at. In other words, you want to play a damaged bait fish.  Invite the collect part, not the attacking part.

Control your line slack in lifting and falling. Don’t get it too loose too long.
Good luck!