Surface iron and poppers sit on unused setups as they fill up rod holders on offshore trips. You never know when those long sought after gamefish might pop their heads up and start boiling all around. But how about those days the treasured schools decide to stay down? Enter the Shimano Flat Fall Jig! The vertical technique is nothing new to offshore anglers. Still, Shimano Butterfly Flat-Fall Jigs have that effect of tantalizing fish on the free-drop. Take a closer look at how anglers are fishing the flat-fall jig as well as size and color preferences in the following passages.
The Shimano Flat Fall Jig
Product: Shimano Butterfly Flat-Fall Jigs (Various Weights & Color Patterns).
Overall Ranking: 91 out of 100.
Price: Standard to similar iron lures.
Company/Owner: Shimano, Inc.
Intro To The Shimano Flat Fall Jig
Offshore anglers have many different styles of jigs to choose from. The jig that ends up on the end of their line depends, of course, on the situation at hand. Sometimes tuna and other ocean species feed in that middle section of the water column. For whatever the reason, the pressure or weather system keeps them away from any surface activity. During these times, anglers are finding that the Shimano Flat Fall Jig produces a reaction where other jigs fail. Why is this the case?
When you target a rockpile and drop down to rockfish on the bottom, you might bounce something like a Cribbs Jiggs Orange Glow/Black Tiger. All you need it to do in the water column is have enough weight to make it to the bottom. Likewise, fishing for Jack species like yellowtail can call for heavy iron that descends quickly. Anglers drop down lures like a Kicker Jigs Tetrafoil, then race them back to surface as fast as humanly possible. It’s the speed of the retrieve that helps entice a reaction. But the purpose of a Shimano Flat Fall Jig is to get fish to bite as it falls, and it produces a strange falling motion indeed.
A Peculiar Falling Motion
The wide design of the Shimano Flat Fall Jig along with its balanced distribution of weight makes it flutter as it falls. While some lures tend to torpedo down or sink uneventfully, the flat-fall almost sways from side to side. It can torpedo momentarily but will catch an edge and return to that butterfly-like pattern. It’s not hard to see why a finicky tuna might decide to try to make a meal out of one.
Learning To Fish The Shimano Flat Fall Jig
For the angler that is just starting to cast a jig, getting bit on the drop is an unexpected experience. It may even be confusing depending on the behavior of the fish. The advantage of using a Shimano Flat Fall Jig is that the fisherman knows what to watch out for. More often than not, a bite on the drop results in a sudden burst of line off the reel. Click into gear, start cranking, and you’ll know if the fish is on.
The other circumstance anglers look for using the Shimano Flat Fall Jig is also a change in drop rate, but it’s the exact opposite of a speed burst. This happens when a fish takes the jig and sits there or heads back towards the boat. Either way, your spool will stop spinning. Your line will go slack as if you hit bottom, but don’t let it fool you. When tuna fishing, there’s often no bottom to worry about but be aware of depth when it applies. Click into gear and keep reeling until you feel either the fish or your jig.
Shimano Flat Fall Models, Specs, & Features
Shimano marks their Butterfly Flat-Fall jigs as models BFLFF, followed by the weight in grams, then ending in the pattern designation. When browsing flat-fall jigs by model, the abbreviations below denote the pattern type:
AV – Black/Anchovy
- BS – Blue/Sardine
- CW – Chart/White
- GS – Green Silver
- HQ – Phantom/Squid
- PB – Pink/Blue
- PS – Purple Silver
- SE – Sand Eel
- SG – Super Glow
- ZG – Zebra Glow
Before the abbreviation for the pattern type will appear the weight. Anglers choose from weights of 80, 100, 130, 160, 200, and 250 grams. All patterns come in all weight sizes, depending on availability.
Beside the different weights and patterns, all Shimano Flat-Fall Jigs come with a top ring. Directly below the molded ring is a fake fisheye, on one side only. Next comes the body of the jig and it finishes with triple rings. The first ring is also part of the mold while the second two attach. Dual single-shaft hooks tie on the third ring with a braided fiber. These two hooks oppose each other or sit next to each other, depending on the position of the jig.
Features Of The Shimano Flat Fall Jig
10 Different Color Patterns
With ten patterns representing most of the saltwater baitfish species, anglers can match to their territory. From anchovy to sardine, squid, eel, and 2 glow in the dark options, anglers have a good range to pick from.
6 Weight Sizes
Weights on the Shimano Flat-Fall Jigs range from 180 to 250 grams with 6 different choices. This gives anglers the ability to fish deep water or shallower reefs and rock piles. Weight may also assist anglers who need a slower or faster fall to produce a reaction among certain species.
Owner Dancing Stinger Hooks
When fishing jigs, hook quality is an obvious concern. It isn’t uncommon to find great iron patterns that use sub-standard hooks. The two Owner dancing stinger hooks on a Shimano Flat Fall Jig are far from standard. Owner manufactures arguably the strongest and sharpest hooks on the market today. Both Owner hooks tie on to what appears to be a stainless steel ring (unconfirmed) with 250-lb Power Pro assist.
Steel Rings & Durable Iron Mold
Though nowhere does it state the rings are stainless steel, neither do any customers complain about rusting or corrosion. This points to stainless steel since Shimano Butterfly Flat-Fall Jigs are for use primarily in saltwater. Molds are durable and the paint is resistant to chips, though sharp teeth and metal clanging on metal will take their toll.
Different Rigging Styles
Anglers prefer a variety of rigging methods when attaching the Shimano Flat Fall to their main line. The most obvious is to tie directly to the single ring using a San Diego, Palomar, or Improved Cinch Knot. Alternately, anglers can tie to the mold ring on the hook side or use a swivel in either combination. Use a fluoro leader or tie directly to mono or braided line, it’s up to you. Some anglers prefer to remove one of the Owner hooks but suggest not using treble hooks. They can alter the desired presentation.
Pros & Cons Of The Shimano Flat Fall Jig
The most prominent benefit to using the Shimano Flat Fall Jig is their action on the drop. Shimano describes it as a wobble, but the result is a longer presentation in the drop zone. Very durable jigs, their range of colors and weights offers a wide range of uses for anglers. The flat fall can be especially deadly when anglers are able to match size and color to bait the gamefish are keyed in on.
Though the lighter Shimano Flat Fall Jig models can fish near the surface, it will require a fast retrieve to keep them up. It’s true that flat fall jigs can hook up on the vertical or diagonal retrieve and even on topwater. It is, however, not their best use with action on jigs like Tady, Candybar, Kicker, and Salas.
Best Time/Situation For Use
The Shimano Flat Fall Jig works well in any situation where fish show a bit of spread in the water column. The opposite of this is when the fish are all up top, and though they may still hook up, they lose their primary use. What’s more, they don’t provide the same action as good surface iron will. The best use for the flat fall is when fish are subsurface and spread out a bit on the up and down.
Shimano Customer Support
Unlike rods and reels, you won’t find service for Shimano Jigs. You can provide feedback or request information from a technician using their onsite Contact Form.
Defects in craftsmanship follow the return policy of the retailer (usually up to 90 days).
Consumers should understand the risk of losing their jigs exists in almost every condition and they are not replaceable from normal wear and tear.
Verdict On The Shimano Flat Fall Jig
91 out of 100 offshore anglers approve of the Shimano Flat Fall Jig
From East Coast to the West Coast, more and more anglers are adding the Shimano Flat Fall Jig to their collection of gear. Dealing with stubborn tuna that refuse to feed up top requires innovation on the part of the angler. Using a flat-fall jig takes a bit of getting used to but they prove to deliver on the drop, on the bounce or flying through the water.