Freestyle Kaburas The next big thing in jigs
Always eager to learn about new methods and tackle, NZ Fishing
World editor John Durrant spent a day with the guys from Catch Tackle and their Japanese guests to see a new jig in action.
Snapper lures and jigs are well and truly engrained in the New Zealand fishing psyche and with the array of different styles on offer, it would be easy to assume that there’s not much space left for something new but that would be completely wrong.
Catch Tackle – the fullas behind the hugely popular Auckland charter operator Wave Dancer – have been working on something a bit special for a while now and they’re just about to release it in New Zealand. NZ Fishing World was the first magazine to try out this mysterious new jig and who better to show how to use it than the inventors themselves.
Freestyle Kabura rigs are the jigs that have been taking the Japanese fishing market by storm and the reason for that is simple – they are amazingly effective.
Like a cross between a traditional strayline rig and an artificial lure, these new jigs were developed by Japanese angler Teck Poh Ong of Japanese firm COH Fishing.
The coloured sinker, which runs freely on the leader, acts as the jig. The assist hooks are tied on after the line is threaded through the sinker. One of the really clever bits about this jig is the ceramic sleeve, which stops the line from getting frayed as it moves up and down the line. It’s so clever, in fact, that they have a patent on it.
One of the major benefits in this application is that there is little or no strain when the fish bites, which in turn increases the hook-up rate. Kyle Jacobs, product manager at Catch Tackle and one of Wave Dancer’s skippers, explained: “We originally went over to Japan to find a new product in the inchiku-style category but that quickly changed.
“When we spoke to the guys at COH about what they and everyone else was using, everyone was talking about the Kabura style of jig. It was so popular.
“In New Zealand we still see the inchikus and slowjigs as quite a new product but the Japanese have had these for years and they’re quickly moving to the free-running methods.”
Taking them Down Under
Kyle explained that after a few trips with their Japanese hosts, he and Catch Tackle director John Donald were set on bringing them to New Zealand.
“It was just incredible to see how effective they were. At the start of the trip, we looked at these things and I thought, ‘I’m not sure about this’ but by the end of it we had been convinced that these were the next big thing. The thing that impressed the most was how they seemed to consistently pick up fish, even when other methods were quiet.”
On their return from Japan, the Catch fullas immediately set about planning a New Zealand launch. An intense period of research and development and New Zealand testing followed and culminated in the visit of a large group of fishers from COH Tackle. NZ Fishing World joined them on one of the Wave Dancer boats for a day of testing and was blown away by the effectiveness of the Kaburas. Judging on the performance of that one day alone, it would be fair to say that they will be the next big thing in jigging.
Fished properly, these jigs just seem to pick up more fish. Of course, when you’re fishing next to a team of fishos who designed the product, it makes things easier.
Given that the new freestyle Kabura jigs are such a novel idea, and that they seem to be so wildly effective, it would be a real surprise if they didn’t make a serious impact with New Zealand fishos.
freestyle kaburas were deadly on snapper.
john durrant with a kaburacaught snapper.