I don't believe that the rod lift is as important as following the jig down with the rod tip and having a jig that flutters well enough to descend slowly. Here are some tips that have worked for me.
Use a rod designed for jigging, shorter and stiffer than a mooching rod. I use the Lamiglas Puget Jigger and have for many years. They are lightweight enough to hold onto all day and have enough backbone to deal with the occasional 20+ pounder.
When you have reached the end of the upstroke, with a properly fluttering jig you can easily follow the jig back down with the rod tip. If the line goes slack and you're not on bottom, reel up and set the hook. These fish almost always hit on the jig on the way down, and will spit the jig in a flash.
Let your jig rest on the downstroke for a couple of seconds before lifting again. The salmon may have seen the jig and is swimming to it and if you raise to soon, they'll miss it. Also, I have found that the bigger blackmouth, 10 pounds and over will take a jig that has been rested. I was showing my nephew one day how to follow the jig down and when I passed the rod over to him, with the jig resting, he/I hooked into an 18 pounder.
I've spent a lot of time at Pt. No Point in the winter and observed many successful jig fisherman let the jig rest on the downstroke.
Be sure to get rid of the treble hook that comes with the jig and put on a big siwash. This results in better hookups and easier releases for the shakers.
Color can be a factor, but the tried and true chartruese green and white is a killer. I also like to use some chrome and maybe a chrome with blue for contrast. Try some different kinds of jigs too. Pt Wilson's are great and so are Krippled Herring.
Stay on top of the jig, keep your line vertical. This may mean using smaller diameter line and/or motor mooching with the current.
The last tip, use the smallest possible jig to reach the bottom with and stay between 5 and 10 feet of the bottom. Less than 5 feet from the bottom will result in more hookups with bottomfish than salmon.
[ 01-02-2002: Message edited by: seacat ]