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Assist hooks used for vertical jigging

One of the most significant jig developments has been the assist hook. The assist hook comprises a wide gape hook spliced to a short, looped Kevlar cord. The cord is usually looped onto the connecting end of the jig so that the hook is positioned behind the head and belly area of the jig. This is an area jiggers believe predatory fish strike which leads to improved hook sets. Another benefit is less snags because of the absence of the traditional tail treble. Many Japanese jiggers believe that predators also attack the assist hook so they often dress the hook like a flasher or fly.

Choose an assist hook by ensuring the hook gape is wider than the jig. Jiggers often use two assist hooks, varying the cord lengths for greater coverage. The first assit hook is set at one third of the jig and the second assist hook is set at two thirds of the jig. Additional assist hooks can be looped in at the tail if you are getting missed strikes when the jig is dropping. The tail assist will fold up against the jig and into the strike zone but a problem is the potential of the jig to tangle with the leader if jigged too vigorously.

There are many ways to make assist hooks, the main ingredient is Kevlar cord. Cut a 30cm length of Kevlar, double the cord then carefully tie a 2 turn uni knot or nail knot onto the hook shank then tighten with pliers. Trim off Kevlar tags and finish off with a short length of heat shrink tubing to protect the knot. Another simpler way is a single overhand knot onto the hook shank, a drop of super glue then heat shrink tubing.

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