I like my spring bobber to hang at a 45 degree angle to see the upbite 

Balanced Presentation

​By Joe DeVera


I was lining up my rods for the season when I started thinking about balance and how we've all heard it a hundred times...”balanced presentation”, yet, no one really goes into detail about what it is. So I thought I'd take the time to break down what it means to me to have a balanced presentation (I'm generally chasing panfish so I'm going to be talking in those general terms).

For me, it really starts with my reels and my line. I run with Schooley reels, they are available in several colors so I've coded my Vicious Panfish ice line to each color of reel. Green = 1 pound, red = 2 pound, blue = 3 pound, and yellow = 4 pound (Blue is not available for sale, I spray painted mine). That way before I even grab a rod I know what is on it.

Next comes my jig. It's important to match your line with your jig so it isn't overpowering the line or vice versa. It really is as simple as small jig/small line, large jig/large line.

On my 2 pound Vicious Ice Line I'm going to run a 2.5 or 3 mm jig from Amped Outdoors or one of my Spooky Spider's Roadkill ice flies, a 4 mm on my 3 pound line, and if I'm using 4 pound I'm probably dropping micro spoons like the 1/16 ounce Yukon Spoon from K&E Tackle's Skandia line up.

I do have a couple of 18” rods rigged up with 1 pound test, which I will use a 2 mm on, but generally if the bite is that finicky I will use my palm rods for a more precise presentation.

The reason I match these up like this is because if I put a 4 mm jig on 1 pound test, the jig will stretch the line tighter than a lighter jig will, exaggerating your jigging causing erratic bouncing. Likewise if you use a 2 mm jig on 4 pound test. It won't stretch the line quite enough, this time not doing enough for your presentation. (But then, there are exceptions to every rule, though I won't cover them this time)

I'm a spring bobber guy, so I match my Ice Strong Spring Bobbers with my jigs. Ice Strong offers four sizes that I will utilize depending on what size jig I'm using. A “Pulse”, new for the 2019/20 season for my flies and micro jigs, an Ultra Light for my 2.5 and 3 mm jigs, an original for my 4 mm or the odd occasion that I run a 5 mm, and an XL for when I'm walleye fishing, dead sticking, or using spoons.

Lastly, we come to plastics. I like to match these up as best I can as well. Not wanting to put too much weight on the back end of the jig and throw it off balance. Maki Plastics offers some of their best sellers in both micro and macro sizes allowing you the best opportunity to match the hatch and put more fish on ice.

On my 2.5 or 3 mm jigs, an original Jamie offers the best balance. Using an XL with a jig that size will throw your jig off balance hanging almost vertically when using a surgeons knot whereas using it with a 4 mm will still hang at a good angle enticing even the most tight lipped fish. A plastic that's too small on a jig is more likely to get ripped if it's just nipped where one more suited to that size hook is more likely to stay in place.

Put all of this together and you can watch the fish react on your Vexilar fish finder or Aqua-Vu underwater camera and you will put more fish on ice.

A 3.2 mm jig from Amped Outdoors matches well with an original Jamei as opposed to the Super Jamei

By using different colored Schooley reels I know what test line is on my rod 

Maki Plastics Super Jamei and Jamei