Pinning for Lakers
Almost... how to use a centerpin reel to jig for lake trout!
As if regular jigging for lakers weren't enough, I slapped an Okuma Aventa VT1002 centerpin on my jiggin' stick and went looking for lake trout. The reasoning as follows:
In my mind, it combines the advantages of a baitcasting reel with the fun of a fly reel. Baitcasters are good for jigging because of the free spool feature- if anything happens to the falling jig it is much easier to see. The reel continues to pay out line even though the jig has stopped and you get a loop of line on the water. This doesn't happen with a spinning reel, and it's hard to detect the lighter hits. The centerpin reel has this feature, smoothly paying out line is what they are made for.
A centerpin has no drag, no mechanical advantage. If you hook something it's just you vs. the fish- no gears in the way, no cork drags. Popular with steelhead fishermen here in the U.S, I was happy to find a reel that would let me jig for lakers and fight them by hand! I now know why fishermen who use them love them. With a little thought I decided it's the same reason I drive a standard transmission. It's not for everyone- line and reel control is more challenging for sure- but oh, boy, is it a blast!
The advantages go further than the drop, too. If drifting into deeper water and you lose contact with the bottom, simply move your pinky out of the way and the jig drops down again. You can feather the drop, or your jigging motion, all while maintaining a sense of touch with your jig. It doesn't stop there- you also have an infinitely variable drag system literally at your fingertips. If these technical matters weren't enough- I won't deny the biggest advantage I think the centerpin has- pure straight fun! The sense of pulsing power as a big laker sounds for bottom is unreal.
This style of jigging is definately worth trying if you are looking for a challenge or are bored with your regular reels... fish on everyone!
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