Shimano Ocea Jigger LD 2500MG & Game Type J

I must confess, as we loaded up our arsenal of fishing gear for the Three Kings – including big Shimano Stellas and Ocea Jiggers – I had written off the comparatively petite Shimano Ocea Jigger LD 2500MG and Game Type J PE6 jigging/livebaiting set. “Rig up the big Stellas and that PE8 Ocea Jigger, thanks boys,” I told the deckies. “Chuck that little set up top for now, we probably won’t use it much for those big kingies.” How wrong I was!

The reel

The ’24 Ocea Jigger LD 2500MG has been designed specifically for jigging with a large, ergonomic T-type handle knob, compact and lightweight body, and finer details to make for comfortable handling like a palming side plate smaller than the handle side plate. Don’t let yourself fall into the same trap I did and be fooled by its small stature, however. Despite its body size being comparable to the Ocea Jigger 2000, the Ocea Jigger LD 2500MG achieves an impressive maximum drag force of 20kg.

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The Ocea Jigger LD 2500MG’s drag is easy to operate and silky smooth, even when going ‘past the button’ on a rampaging fish.

Of course, one of the highlights of this reel is that it’s the Ocea Jigger range’s first foray into the lever drag realm. While the star drag Ocea Jiggers are well-regarded, many anglers simply prefer the functionality of lever drag reels. Lever drags are quicker to adjust and visually easy to control. In addition, their drag performance does not suffer from power loss due to heat generation during an extended fight – helpful when targeting powerful fish like kingies. In conjunction with its other features, Shimano reckons the LD 2500MG’s lever drag system reduces the loss of drag force by up to 25% when compared to Ocea Jigger 2000.

The structure of lever drags means that handle rotation becomes heavier as the drag force is increased. However, Shimano claims the newly developed Infinity Drive (essentially a double drag structure with two drag washers) in the LD 2500MG reduces the weight of the handle rotation in high drag settings by 30% compared to conventional models. The Ocea Jigger LD’s 105mm cold forged handle arm also delivers a jigging-friendly fast retrieval rate of 107cm per crank.

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The large, ergonomic T-type handle knob, compact and lightweight body, and finer details make for comfortable handling.

There are some more unconventional features, too. The stopper button (that stops the lever securely at strike and reduces the risk of over-tightening the drag accidentally) can be turned off on the LD 2500MG – a handy function for anglers who want instant access to high drag settings to stop big fish.

The Ocea Jigger LD can be customised in another way, too. If you replace the standard drag cam that is initially built into the product with the included light line cam, the change in drag force will be smoother, making it better suited to lighter line (PE 1.5-2.5) applications such as slow-pitch jigging.

The final intriguing feature is a spool lock mechanism. Although it is operated by a switch that entirely resembles a standard reel ‘clicker’, this mechanism completely holds the spool in place. I wouldn’t recommend using this for fish-fighting purposes, but it would prove useful in cases of snagging the bottom!

The rod

The Shimano Game Type J B566 Overhead Jigging Rod that was paired with our test reel is a one-piece rod rated for use with PE6 braid. The high-carbon blank is made with what Shimano calls Spiral X. This construction consists of three layers: a blank made of vertical fibres, an inner layer, and an outer layer. The inner and outer layers both consist of carbon tape that tightly winds the blank diagonally in opposite directions. What does this mean though, you ask? Essentially, it makes for a robust and lightweight rod. The rod is fitted with high-quality Fuji series SIC guides on stainless frames, a Fuji reel seat, and comfortably shaped EVA grips.

The Game Type J’s firm tip enabled solid hook-up rates and the moderate-fast action provided plenty of lifting power for a PE6 rod.

Performance

Upon picking up the Shimano Ocea Jigger LD 2500MG and Game Type J PE6, my first impressions were that it felt very light and precisely balanced. Our first efforts using this combo involved jigging in 120m of water with a 300g jig. The set was easy to jig with, even with the fast drift making it impossible to keep the line vertical. The rod perhaps didn’t have the tip sensitivity some very keen jiggers would desire from a PE6-rated jigging rod in order to get that perfect lure ‘flick’ with each lift, but with the 300g jig at the upper end of the rating scale, this wasn’t an issue. The LD 2500MG’s large handle knob and long handle arm made for comfortable rotations, and the compact body minimised any twisting or discomfort.

While designed primarily as a jigging set, often our kingfish simply want the real deal! And so it was on this trip, with most of our success stemming from livebaits. Slow-trolling big livies around islands and reefs in only 20-40m of water is a game not for the faint-hearted, and the compact power of the LD 2500MG set was well-received by all anglers aboard. The drag was easy to operate and silky smooth, even when going ‘past the button’ on a rampaging fish. And the Game Type J PE6 rod seemed to come into its own when livebaiting. The firm tip enabled solid hook-up rates and the moderate-fast action provided plenty of lifting power for a PE6 rod.

The experience with the Shimano Ocea Jigger LD 2500MG and Game Type J PE6 set was so much fun that I’ve recently purchased one for my personal arsenal. It’ll be perfect for engaging modest kingfish foes around the Hauraki Gulf, yet still capable enough to join me on more remote expeditions.

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You can find out more here.

Specifications

Shimano Ocea Jigger LD 2500MG Reel

Features

Gear ratio:

5.7

Drag (kg):

20

Weight (g):

690

PE line (PE-M):

3-670; 4-500; 5-400

Retrieve per crank:

107cm

Handle length:

105mm

Bearings:

8/1

You can find more information on the Ocea Jigger LD 2500MG here.

__________________________


Shimano Game Type J B566 Overhead Jigging Rod

Pieces:

1

Length:

5'6"

Line weight:

Max PE6

Lure weight:

Max 300g

Guide type:

Fuji

Reel seat:

Fuji

You can find more information on the Game Type J here.

__________________________


May 2024 - Nick Jones
New Zealand Fishing News Magazine.
Copyright: NZ Fishing Media Ltd.
Re-publishing elsewhere is prohibited

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