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ICAST 2019 Update Coverage

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Lure Review

Daiwa’s take on the Premium Saltwater Rubber Jig, the Daiwa Conch (continued)


Daiwa also specifies that you can add a split ring and treble hook to the bottom if you want an additional trap hook. In some areas like ours this would be a violation of having only two hooks on the line when targeting rockfish so make sure to check your local regs. But in general we were not a fan of this idea and in our tests this particular setup immediately made the Conch much more prone to snags.


The jig sits horizontally when whished as opposed to many competing lures that sit vertically facing downwards


Overall the Conch jigs fished very similarly to the Lucanus jigs and because you can get them in such a wide range of weights you really can mix it up depending on the current. I typically found that I had the most success going as light as possible to keep the lure tracking at the same rate of the drift.


Two hooks are hidden within the lure's rubber skirt


There wasn’t a need to go big just to get down faster, and while the larger heavier lures did make it easier to feel the structure below they didn’t necessarily translate to catching bigger fish, in fact the smaller sizes (as long as the hold in the current) were just as productive when it came to quality and more productive when it came to quantity of fish. This isn’t a lure you need to fish fast, instead I found that subtle lifts with the rod were all it took to incite strikes but it is important to keep it moving at all times. Even slow movements are enough to keep the lure from snagging up or getting wedged in between crevices but starts dragging the Conch and your just asking for a cardio workout trying to pull it free.


The skirt flares widely in the water


Durability: The one area where the Conch definitely beats the Lucanus jigs is in the durability department. These little Conch jigs have a less angular design and seem to roll off structure better, in fact the Conch jigs look better than a number of traditional painted irons after the same amount of time in the water. The Lucanus jigs look great out of the box, in fact I think the finish is more detailed and better looking than the Conch but that finish lasts all of ten minutes jigging in sharp rocky structure before the finish starts flaking off. The Daiwa Conch can take a beating and both the painted finish on the lead body and the silicon skirts hold up surprisingly well over time. The abalone eyes are also recessed and also stayed intact very well. 


After fishing on the bottom the lure does take damage but held up better than the competition


Price & Applications: In terms of value any jig like the Conch and Lucanus really cannot be considered a good value, these are “premium” jigs after all and are more expensive than traditional irons. They definitely are not as easy to lose however and because they do not snag up and have to be broken off as much can make up some of the delta when attempting to justify their more expensive prices. These jigs can be fished in both shallow and deep water and are good for a wide range of species including Snapper, Sea Bass, Drum, Grouper and Cod, basically any predatory fish that likes to hunt on the bottom.


The "Pearl" pattern mimics squid well


Ratings: (We've re-calibrated our ratings standard for 2008 and have included a key at the bottom of the following matrix as a guide):

Daiwa Conch Jig ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality The Daiwa conch jigs are well constructed with quality materials and take a beating pretty well. The finishes are not quite as detailed as the Shimano Lucanus jigs however 8
Performance Fun to fish and good for quality but when it comes to sheer numbers standard shrimp flies still catch more fish. The Conch Jigs are a nice alternative to traditional bars and do not hang up nearly as much 8
Price More expensive than traditional irons but they don't snag up as often and the Conch jigs proved to be more durable than competing offerings including the Lucanus jigs 7.5
Features The Daiwa conch jigs feature two tie down points and a flaring skirt design. The lure's best feature is the ability to fish the lure slow without it hanging up due to the more horizontal presentation than many of the competitors. When it comes to finish the lures come in five colors that are more basic than some of the more multi-layered finishes found on competing lures 7.5
Design (Ergonomics) Easy to fish this lure can be used in both shallow and deep water in a range of different currents to target a variety of deep structure holding species 8.5
Application When other jigs don't work the Daiwa Conch jigs are a good alternative when a slower more subtle presentation makes sense. I am not a fan of using a trap hook below the jig as it just makes the lure more prone to snags unless you are absolutely not going to make contact with rocky structure. At the end of the day the Conch proved more durable than competing lures but was outperformed when it came to strikes by the Shimano Lucanus 8

Total Score

Ratings Key: 1 = terrible : 2 = poor : 3 = lacking : 4 = sub par : 5 = mediocre : 6 = fair : 7 = good : 8 = great : 9 = excellent : 10 = unbelievable!
For More Details of the updated rating system visit our explanation here


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

+ Skirt flares attractively in the water - More expensive than traditional jigs
+ Horizontal presentation helps keeps hooks from snagging - Did not get as many strikes as some competing rubber jigs
+ More durable than competing jigs  
+ Can be fished slow for more subtle presentations  
+ Makes rockfish fishing a lot more fun  


Conclusion: The Daiwa Conch jigs are good but are they as good as the Shimano Lucanus jigs? Not out of the box. While more durable these jigs didn’t seem to deliver as many strikes as the Lucanus jigs, time and time again the Lucanus jigs were able to produce more fish when fished side by side with Conch jigs of similar patterns. Interestingly over the time as the lures became damaged the Conch strike/catch ratio caught up and on some days was able to surpass Lucanus jigs. What’s the difference? We removed the skirts and noticed a drastic reduction in strikes, once the skirts on both jigs become damaged the strike curve falls off. The skirts on the Lucanus jigs broke off a lot faster than those on the Conch, partly because the bands were thicker and snag up taking damage from the lure’s own hooks which ultimately makes them easier to tear.


The Daiwa Conch jigs are best fished slow and can get into high-snag zones where saltwater bottom fish hide and wait to ambush prey


Over the course of our tests the Daiwa Conch was able t stand up to the rigors of deep sea fishing and contact with even the nastiest rocky structure did little to damage the lures finish or effectiveness. The Daiwa Conch is yet another quality example of a premium jig option that can be fished in place of standard irons. The Daiwa can be fished a variety of different ways to target a wide range of fish but is most effective when worked slowly.


Looking for the Daiwa Conch Jigs? Try Hi's Tackle Box









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