For those anglers who like to target kingfish on a regular basis, jigging will be definitely one of your go-to options. Owning a quality jigging set is much like owning a motor cross bike. The gear has to be tough, lean and have the speed to get you out of trouble. The jigging action is hard on the reel and rod, as it’s fished with aggression as you work the lure up.
Kane Tapper from DeCoro Fishing Supplies was quick to appreciate the brutal efficiency by which jigging can produce big fish. He also realised early the need for tackle that could stand the rigours of jigging over time. Kane therefore saw the potential in Accurate reels as a reliable jigging reel. These reels are fully CNC machined out of 6061 T6 Aircraft grade aluminium, with 714 heat treated stainless gears and main shafts. Patented heavy twin carbon drags provide amazing stopping power. After many hours spent chasing kings and using Accurate and other brands, Kane built a sound knowledge on their strengths and problems. We Kiwi fishos fish them much differently to the US market that they were designed for. Under Kane’s direction and input Accurate has built a model to suit our jigging style. This included a sealed AR bearing, longer arms, larger rubber knobs, over size drag levers that push right to sunset without having to push the strike button, removed cast control button and clicker for more comfortable palming of the reel while jigging and gear ratio choices of 4.1:1, 5.1:1, 6.1:1.
Developed from this, the new reel is the Accurate DFS Slammer, available in three sizes; BX400XN, BX500XN and BX600NN.
Kane invited me to try them out on a day trip to White Island. I hadn’t been there for a few years so quickly organised to get down in early Feb. We went out on a boat belonging to one of Kane’s mates, Charlie Champness, who was an avid kingie angler. It also turned out that Charlie’s boat was a Quintrex walkaround that I had helped test for the mag some years before, small world.
We left Whakatane over the bar at 7:30am and the conditions were good. Upon arriving at White, Kane advised to use the BX500XN paired with a JigStar Katana PE3-6 rated for 150g-400g lures. It definitely looked the part and felt a well-balanced combo. JigStar rods are also Kiwi designed by jigging guru Chris Wong. There was also a larger BX600NN with JigStar Ninja, but I definitely have a preference for the smaller reels when jigging these days.
We started jigging as Charlie positioned us over the reefs and there was good sign showing on the Furuno. After an hour jigging we hadn’t even had a hit. We changed jigs and fishing spots and I finally caught a small rat that was released, which didn’t offer much resistance on the outfit. Charlie was working hard to put us onto biting fish and I finally hooked up to a solid kingie that powered off. Charlie commented that I should try and get him up quickly as there had been a lot of sharks around. Bang! Too late, the taxman took his cut. We retied a 300g orange Zest jig and first drop I hooked up again. Mr Shark cut him off at the pass again. Damn it. So we shifted and tried in shallower to no avail. After lunch we headed back to the same foul and I hooked up on a nice fish, again on the orange Zest. Finally no sharks here and I played the fish up, enjoying the fight on the BX500XN and Katana. The drag was smooth but powerful, stopping the fish from reaching the bottom. The rod had the grunt to lift it and put the hurt on the kingie early. Soon a nice 13kg fish was in the icebox. Charlie then caught another similar fish which he made look easy on the larger BX600NN.
It was now late afternoon and we had to go soon. Kane and Charlie joked I was running out of time for that 30kg-plus fish, when suddenly on a shallow part of the reef at 45m I got hit. I wound up fast and it came up tight but didn’t run. After a few more winds it woke up and took off fast. I pushed the drag way up on the Accurate and the weight was unbelievable! It pulled so hard and gave massive head shakes. It reefed me, but Charlie quickly positioned the boat over it and I short pumped it and somehow managed to get it out with the drag and rod maxed out. My arms and back were aching under the strain. This was a big kingie. I started gaining line and lifted it up away from the bottom, amazed it hadn’t busted me off in the foul. It was getting closer to the boat when PING! The line broke at the jig knot. Gutted. That was some fight and the reel and rod stood up to it. It was the best first-up test a rod and reel could get and it passed, giving this angler confidence it would handle larger fish.
Overall, a tough day fishing at the great White Isle grounds. But from what fish we did encounter, the Accurate DFS Slammer is one jigging reel to consider this year.