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Lure Review

Shimano Lucanus Jigs: Deadly and Just Plain Fun to Fish

Date: 8/27/09
Tackle type: Lure
Manufacturer: Shimano
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: 8.25 - GREAT

Two seasons after the Shimano Lucanus jigging system was first introduced we explore how the entire system has performed for us in comparison to traditional techniques. We also take a closer look at the actual jigs themselves and see just how they stack up over the long term.


Shimano Lucanus Jig Specifications

Type Metal Bottom Fishing Jig
Colors/Patterns 8+ available
Sizes(weight) 2 - 7oz.
Hooks Owner
MSRP $14.99 - $17.99

The Lucanus jigs are deceivingly small but even the smaller 2oz. lures can catch big fish

Impressions: The Lucanus system followed Shimano’s successful Butterfly System introduction and was designed to give anglers a new way in which to target bottom species. It was designed to turn what many saltwater anglers view as “meat fishing” into something more along the lines of “sportfishing.” Rather than introduce just the lures Shimano had the capabilities and resources to introduce an entire system that included the lures, rods, reels and even the line itself with the acquisition of Powerpro. Though the system was first designed to be used with mono lines to allow fish to really take the lures many anglers, myself included, preferred the sensitivity of braid with the series, and instead just tied leaders to give the Lucanus jigs some more give and a higher element of stealth (not that rockfish are the most line shy species to begin with).

The Lucanus jig comes armed with a pair of small Owner hooks

When it comes to the right reel anglers can use their existing Calcutta B or TE reels to fish the Lucanus jigs or purchase the Calcutta TE 400LJV jig reel which is dedicated to this technique. While anglers have some choices in terms of reels the Tescata rod series that is designed for the Lucanus system is integral to fully experiencing this technique. The Tescata rods were created by the team at Shimano with very specific tapers and powers to accommodate the different Lucanus jig weights which vary from 60-200 grams. There are a wide range of rods in the lineup but all retail for $199.99 and come with a Limited Lifetime over the counter warranty.

The Tescata rod reminds anglers exactly what it is made for

The Tescata rods are made out of high modulus TC4 graphite and make use of Fuji Alconite guides. The reel seat is finished with soft touch paint for extra grip and comfort and the foam grips are actually sculpted for comfort while jigging. One of the coolest features tying the rods in both with the Shimano reels and the jig themselves is the 360 degree hook hanger that allows anglers to safely hook in both hooks into the grip. This hook hanger is not only very functional and keeps the Lucanus jigs safely secured but always within reach but also features the same machined aluminum highlights that are instantly recognizable as they are borrowed from the Calcutta TE series. The Tescata rods are all very light (ranging from extra-light to medium) giving anglers the ability to detect structure and even subtle bites on the jig skirts.

A pair of glowing eyes attract attention to the jig in deep water

Real World Tests: With a Plano box full of different Lucanus jigs and a Tescata rod I fished for two seasons targeting a variety of rockfish. On many trips we ran two anglers with conventional tackle (shrimp flies, bars, and diamond jigs) and two anglers fishing nothing but a single Lucanus jig. In addition to these tests for effectiveness we also employed the Lucanus jig in shallow water applications where we targeted specific species like Cabazon inhabiting the kelp beds right off the coast.

The Tescata rods feature an extremely light tip that showcases bites and keeps fish pinned on the small hooks

The Lucanus Jig: The Lucanus Jig was developed by studying jigs that commercial fishermen in Japan were using to target high quality fish. Taking a closer look at the actual jig itself anglers will find a high quality finish on a small lead based body. The jigs are deceivingly small and an 80g/30z. jig looks much smaller than a 3oz. traditional diamond jig. The finish is extremely detailed with varying colors all painted on a coated aerodynamic head that is designed to sink quickly but also stabilize rapidly when retrieved. On the head is a pair of glowing eyes for extra strike triggers in deep water, and long silicon skirts give the lure more action. A dual eyelet design allows for different rigging options.

The Lucanus jigs are easy to cast underhand

Rigging: Prior to fishing the Lucanus system a little preparation can go a long way. Rather than spend the time to rig in the field I found that tying leaders prior to heading out made it easy and quick to change out jig colors or sizes. I prefer to use 40-50lb braided line tied to a mono leader and the Lucanus jig. During the tests I also tried Fluorocarbon but didn’t observe any difference in the number of strikes or the quality of fish.

There are two eyelets so the Lucanus jig can be fished alone in shallow water or as a drop shot in deep water or fast moving current

Next Section: Rigged and ready to fish









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