Giko Soft-Bait Rod


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The popularity of the Microwave V1 and V2 rods (based on the famous American Tackle Microwave guide system) has led to many happy and successful soft-baiters, but some anglers said they believed the concept would be even better if incorporated within a lighter-weight version. This saw Paul Senior combining with super-keen fisho Wayne Downer to come up with the necessary product: the Giko. This rod’s slightly lighter action and overall weight make it perfect for ‘fun’ fishing around our coastline and islands!

Other features: The Giko offers great length for improved casting capabilities and line control, as well as for converting more bites into hook-ups. Good butt length enables powerful twohanded casting, also combining with the compact fore-grip to provide decent leverage when fighting strong fish. The Giko is fitted with several lighter-weight components, which combine to create a lighter soft-baiting ‘weapon’. In particular, the reel-seat is super light and has cut-outs both sides, exposing the blank so bites can be transmitted effectively through to the angler; the triangular cross-section also makes for surprisingly comfortable gripping over longer sessions. The rod’s grips and butt-knob have been reduced down to the bare minimum, again saving on overall weight. A removable and adjustable section of EVA has been placed on the skeleton butt, providing protection to the rod while placed in the rod holder. Still not convinced? The Giko breaks down into two sections at the fore-grip for improved transportation and storage capabilities and comes with the latest textured graphite finish.

Specs: Length, 2.38m; casting weights, 7-28g; suggested line weights, PE 1-1.5 (5-7kg).

Associated products: All saltwater Z-Man soft-plastic luresFleasLightbulb Jig HeadsSecret Sauce, and OA Rod-Butt Protector.

On-the-water tips: The keys to successfully casting and retrieving soft-baits come down to:
  • Casting good distances to cover more area so you encounter more fish. • Identifying good casting angles (which can be all around the boat, depending on how the tide and wind affect your boat’s drift and the descending lure) so your soft-plastic can reach the bottom whilst maintaining some line tension throughout the descent and while jiggling it back along the bottom to the boat.
  • The lighter the jig head chosen, the longer it can remain up off the bottom or out of the weeds, where it can be more easily seen, but depth, current and wind mean anglers often have to increase lure-head weight to overcome these natural hurdles. You’d be surprised how many snapper bite Z-Mans as they descend.
  • Watching your line at all times, as it tells you when something is biting the lure (generally well before the rod tip does), usually twitching, jolting, slackening, or zooming off. These signs are hard to detect if the line’s slack.
  • Having a good hook-up technique. Keep your rod tip low and pointing along the line so the wind doesn’t blow it around as much and you stay nice and direct to the lure. If the line behaves unusually in any way, a quick handle wind will either make the snapper hang on harder to the lure (it feels as if it’s trying to escape) or encourage it to bite the moving lure again. In both cases, your tip will be pulled downwards, signaling it’s time to firmly lift the rod and hook-up. When retrieving along the bottom, always return your rod back to its inline position as soon as possible after each rod-jiggling movement