It should be pretty obvious to regular readers that Hooked Up offers a lot of print space to squid and the associated products that have a definite fanboy following. As the Editor, I see all the new egi gear that comes through and outside of Japan there wouldn’t be many fishing media companies that delve into it as deeply as we do. After 10 years of egi specials, countless reviews and at least 45 squid sessions a year, I have become hard to impress.
Daiwa is one of my favourite companies – I love most of what the company does and I’m a really, really big fan of many of the rods. However, I have always felt the squid jig ranges Daiwa brought into Australia were lacklustre. Emeraldas Nude and Stream are tip run hybrid jigs, not a standard egi; they’re good products – don’t get me wrong – but they’re limited in their application.
About two months ago I was sent the whole range of Daiwa’s new Emeraldas Peak jigs in size 3.5 and told to keep a lid on it until the company had officially released them – it was hard. What I had in front of me was one of the biggest and best ranges of squid jigs I had seen in a long time. Where the Australian and even international trend over recent years had been to refine colour ranges into smaller, more conservative colours, Daiwa has gone all out with 40 new colours – 20 in Peak and 20 in Peak RV (rattle version).
The build quality is outstanding, offering two styles of highly durable cloth, high-quality foils of every colour, strong glow and luminescence, Daiwa’s own Emeraldas eyes, high-quality feathers, an original sinker design and classic crown barbs that are sharp, tough and relatively rust-resistant. There isn’t anything to fault.
The colour range is vast, original and effective, offering a multitude of foil colours from classic golds, reds, rainbows and silvers through to translucent bodies, purples, blues and even a solid white.
The paint jobs are original, vibrant, highly focused on contrast and really do look amazing.
Reviewing 40 colours in a few weeks over peak squid season is impossible, so all I could do is pick out a few that suited conditions and go from there, yet I never took off the first two I tied on. The first was Danger Danger – a green foil with green cloth and strong black contrasting stripes with more subtle grey and yellow markings. A perfect jig for green water, it absolutely slayed all sizes of squid and took a cuttlefish and an octopus. It’s a new instant classic for me; I fished it till I lost it and I’ll be buying a few more.
The second was from the RV series Tropic Budgey, a green foil with a dark back and a bright yellow head. These contrasting colours are really effective in dirty water, and produced many squid on a day where conditions weren’t ideal.
The new Peak jigs fall with great stability on all their axis and have a very easy to achieve hop action that doesn’t require a great deal of input from the angler, making them ideal for beginners or experienced anglers. The colour range is vast and effective and at $19.99 they’re very well priced. They’re currently available only in size 3.5 (which is great for the current big squid season) but midway through next year sizes 2.5 and 3.0 will become available.
Words & Images: Kosta Linardos
Distributed by: Daiwa Australia