Jigging, 'Rigging, but no Highsticking

April 30, 2018

Jigging, 'Rigging, but no Highsticking

It's a constant effort, getting our tackle range just right. There's no magic bullet, because there’s so many variables. Weight versus strength, for rods. Weight versus line capacity and drag, for reels. And very importantly these days, price. With one particular combo it’s all come together beautifully:

Chris hooked up off West Head

Our Ryobi 8000 reel and Hercules rod. Way back when we first started our tackle business, I wanted to offer the perfect boat rod and reel combination. So I contacted a bloke who'd earned the respect of everybody on the Sydney Angler website for the big fish he’d caught on jigs. Here's Tim with the biggest king I've ever seen taken off Sydney's Twelve Mile Reef:

Big kingfish from 12 mile reef

Tim generously offered to bring a stack of gear out for a run on my boat, so I could try different rod/reel combinations and decide what worked best:

Rods stacked in the front of boat

I got a chance to try out everything from mild to wild, that day. But the three things we focused on were simple:
Light weight;
and price.
Big fish will find any weakness in your gear but heavy rods and reels aren’t always the answer. I’ve seen too many blokes get knocked up, jigging with heavy gear in deep water. The rod had to be no longer than six feet. Because longer rods transfer the advantage of leverage from the angler, to the fish:

Hooked up within the heads, Sydney

Weight of the combo was crucial. Fishing every week means I get to see a lot of guys, using a lot of gear. And particularly with jigging, I’d seen so many blokes using rod and reel combos so heavy that they quickly got tired. Sorting a light but powerful outfit was a top priority:

Ryobi Warrior 8000 with rod on the scales

The line size decision was easy. Big kings, jewfish, snapper, amberjacks and the like are often in shallow water.  Meaning one hot run and they’re into structure. 30 pound line just doesn’t have the muscle to keep a big fish off the reef. Here’s Darryl using the overhead version of our Hercules rod on a solid South Head kingfish:

He was successful:

Darrel with a big kingfish off the cliffs at Vaucluse

Line size? Gotta be 50 pounds. 30 often sounds like it will do the job but when a king fish, tuna or mackerel takes off you’ll be glad you’ve got the extra insurance. I’ve been fishing Crowdy Head on the NSW mid north coast over the last couple of weeks, using this combo. Fishing solo a lot and have been very glad to have the edge 50 pound line gives you:

 Fighting fish while trying to film and net them yourself is quite a handful:

Mackerel Tuna on the boat deck with Ryobi 8000 combo 

Let’s talk about specs. Firstly, the rod. Our Hercules jig stick has been constantly refined. Over the years we’ve changed the guides, changed the gimbal (from metal to lighter plastic), and thickened the fore grip so it really fills your hand:

Hooked up off shore with the Ryobi 8000 combo

Length: five feet six inches long
rating: 24 kilos, but works well with 15 kilo line
Profile: slow and even. The whole rod absorbs shock, you can feel the flex under the grip
Weight: 270 grams
options: available in overhead and spin models
configuration: two-piece with foregrip join, meaning cheap delivery by post
Price on its own: $130

Hooked up offshore again with the Ryobi 8000 combo

and the reel:
Ryobi Warrior 8000
Gear ratio 5:1
Drag 8.0 kilos
Ball bearings 7
Weight 550 grams
Supplied prespooled with 190m 50-pound colour change braid
Price $155
Note: reel currently supplied with silicon knob

Ryobi 8000 reel profile

Rod reel and line is $275 with delivery by post at cost. That’s for a light powerful combo that will do the job and won’t break the bank. And if you do hook Mister Big, you’re in with a chance. Here’s Glenn at Weipa with the best fish taken so far on this combo (which we know about):

Marlin caught on the Ryobi 3000 combo

Like to know more? Check it out at this link:



Thanks for reading,
Andrew Hestelow
Managing Director

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