I have a question from one of our readers. He’s starting his slow pitch game and trying to figure out which slow pitch or long fall rod to buy.

I discovered there is a long fall jerker by evergreen. Would you recommend that instead of Slow pitch jerker 603-3? What would be the equivalent?

… I also understand that long fall can be used in most currents. Would you say that because of that, long fall jerking can catch a lot more fish than slow pitch jerking? Can this rod also be used for slow pitch jerking? (I think so but I better check) and if so, would not this rod be more versatile? And I should get this rather than slow pitch jerker?

I’d like to share my answer to him here because obviously he studied and understands the game very well even though he hasn’t tried yet, and because I realize that there are certain things I must be misleading or not explaining well enough in my articles.

Long Fall is more versatile?

The long fall can be used in more range of currents?

— Yes, this is true. Because Long Fall is always supposed to be in soft action tone. The jig can be heavy and the weight range is big to adjust to the different currents.

The long fall jerking can catch a lot more fish than slow pitch jerking?

— No, this is not always true. You should think of Long Fall Jerk as a part of SPJ tactics.

Can this rod also be used for slow pitch jerking?

— Yes and no. Can do slow pitch with long fall jerker but it’s bound to be very limited. The rod is long and it’s always in soft action tone.

The long fall technique is basically a simple method. Lift it all the way, and let it free fall all the way without reeling. So the long fall rod is longer than slow pitch rod to maximize the fall length.

The long fall technique can be applicable in tough situations with a lot of water influence. You have a lot of line slack in the water and your small actions would be canceled by the water influence. The long fall technique can move your jig simply because the stroke is longer. Also because you can put on the heavier jig and you can just do the simply long lift and long fall.

In slow pitch, you want the rod to kick back to pitch the jig at the end of the lift. With this whipping action, the jig is released to swim on its own on its belly. The heavier jig cannot be kicked up by the rod power, and the jig doesn’t play the hangtime and immediately starts falling. But because the falltime is long in long fall method, it still works with the jig’s natural falling performances.

Keep in mind that long fall is still a variation of slow pitch jigging. In slow pitch, typically the rod actions are done in a range from 2 o’clock to 4 o’clock. (Pointing the rod to the horizon, I’m trying to project, is 3 o’clock.) It can be all different, 1 to 3, 2 to 5, and 12 to 6. And this 5-hour, 6-hour range of motion is categorized as long fall technique.

I am not talking about the rod now. I’m talking about the technique.
You can do long fall technique with Slow Jerker, and you can do slow pitch technique with Long Fall Jerker.

Disadvantages of Long Fall Techniques

So the long fall method can be applied in more tougher situations. But there are certain disadvantages.

It’s a simple long slow lift and long fall. Fish may like it or not at the time. You never know until you get a contact. But it’s safe to say it gets pretty boring when you are not getting any contact. There’s little you can try and change if you stick to 6-hour motion range.

Secondly, it’s a slow game to develop. One lift moves the jig maybe 2m upward. One drop moves 2m downward. One turn of reel and one lift moves 2m + 70cm. And the drop 2m… It takes maybe 90 seconds to search 20m range. While your friend may do 2 raps in that range and catch fish before you.

Actually, I don’t recommend a long fall rod if you are free-drifting. I did say long fall works in fast currents. But that’s based on you are controlling the drift somehow to stay vertical. If you are free-drifting and the wind is pushing your boat away from the jig constantly, long fall doesn’t work well. In long fall technique, there are so much time you let the jig free fall from the top to the bottom. So much time without tension in the line. This is not good when you are being pushed away from the jig.

The Long Fall rod is more versatile than slow pitch rod?

When you play different tactics in search for the fish, you try anything from high pitch, slow pitch and to long fall.

Is the long fall rod more versatile?

The answer is clearly “NO”.

A lot of people misunderstand that long fall rods are more versatile because, when you look at the rod spec, long fall rods seem to have the bigger jig weight range. It’s totally wrong to think that long fall rods are more versatile than slow pitch rods. The jig weight range seems big because long fall technique can be done in any soft action tone. Long fall technique doesn’t require the whipping action.

The 7′-long Long Fall rod is sometimes too long and too slow to play different actions with different weights and types of slow pitch jigs. It’s rather a specialized rod for the long-fall end of the wide range of slow pitch tactics.

So in reality, anglers usually combine slow pitch and long fall with a slow pitch rod first. And if he finds long fall may be efficient, he may switch to a long fall rod, with a heavy jig in soft action tone, and focus on long fall for a while. That’s how we use it.

Slow pitch rod is better?

If you are just starting slow pitch jigging, I’d say slow pitch rod is better because you get to play and learn all different tactics and applications with this length of highly-resilient, thin-walled, parabolic action rod. Anyone who’s reading this article should be enthusiastic enough. But if you are recommending a rod to a friend who’s not so eager, a long fall rod may be better as the simple lift and fall with that stick can treat him a very nice gift.

I understand that in many countries there’s no fishing boat with spanker, sea-anchor or any other method to stay vertical. Just free drifting by the wind. And the fishing field is shallow under 50m. In that case, get yourself a slow pitch rod 1 or maybe 2 size heavier model.

For example, at 50m from a spankered boat, I’d choose 603-2. But 603-3 or 603-4 should work better in free-drifting situation. You can try long fall techniques with a long fall jig like Gawky and Cranky, maybe 200g size. Because the current pulls up the line, the jig will not fall so fast as you may worry. Finding the right jig weight to the present current is the key factor than anything else, I think. Of course there are other different tactics to play in this free-drifting shallow game, but 603-3 or 603-4 are rather more suitable than 603-2.

I really want to emphasize that slow pitch jigging is a vertical game. You really need a way to keep your vertical line. But if you don’t have the boat, you just have to be creative. And a lot of people have been trying and very successful as well.

Slow Pitch Jigging is a structure of understanding vertical jigging game. Plan, prepare, set up, and apply well and purposefully. Always try different things and be creative until you hit it. And enjoy every step of the way.

Hope the information helps you! Good luck!