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Thread: Assist hooks for Halibut jigs

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    Default Assist hooks for Halibut jigs

    I have a question about assist hooks for halibut jigs. How do you think a 10/0 Gamakatsu octopus hook would work? Would it be stong enough to not straighten out on a good fish? I am thinking being I am fishing 65lb line I should be OK. I have a bunch of them and would like to use them up if they will work. What are your thoughts on them?

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I think the wire is a bit thin on them for large fish. I prefer to use owner hooks as they have thicker shorter shanks. Use heavier line than your main line as the line gets chewed up and you want something stiffer than braid as the assist hook can tangle in your main line of the stinger line is too limp.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kgpcr View Post
    I have a question about assist hooks for halibut jigs. How do you think a 10/0 Gamakatsu octopus hook would work? Would it be stong enough to not straighten out on a good fish? I am thinking being I am fishing 65lb line I should be OK. I have a bunch of them and would like to use them up if they will work. What are your thoughts on them?
    Size-wise, would probably work OK. Being octopus style, you need to find a way to rig them so the line and shank stay in-line. Most stinger hooks are straight shanked with a straight eye, think siwash style...and in my experience tend to hook fish that don't otherwise get the hook in the mouth. I'm not very proficient at jigging for halibut however...more ofthen than not I have herring on a circle hook, but I've used stinger hooks there as well, and they are often on the outside of the fish.

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    For large vertical jigs I use Gamakatsu Big River siwash hooks...you will never bend one on a fish....and as a bonus they are sticky sharp.

    The beauty of assist hooks is the ease of hooking fish that aren't committed to the bite or are not even big enough to take the jig. When fish strike there is suction involved and often times they will pull the cord/hook into their mouths before even making contact with the jig. Example here at about 5:44 of this video...
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    Quote Originally Posted by AK2AZ View Post
    For large vertical jigs....
    That's where I use them. When times or tough on flat calm days, "flopping" the jig buys extra fish. No hook on the bottom of the jig, assist on top, lower it to the bottom until it just touches, then lower the rod tip so the jig flops over. Raise the rod to stand it up and maybe lift it slightly off bottom, then flop it again. You can feel it happening with braid and a decent rod. Never seen the advantage of assists used other times on the vertical jigs.

    I also add longer assists to bucktail, rubber tails or hoochie jigs when I'm getting short strikes.

    The price of the danged things offends the heck out of me though. I quit buying them and make all my own using any hook, leader and length I want.

    Dirt easy crimping wire or snelling plain old braided Dacron in a loop, then a hunk of shrink tube to stiffen it up if you want, or just to cover the snell and protect it. I figure I make a season's supply of assists for less than most guys pay for a single pack.

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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    I use the big rivers too. I tell my wife that all a fish has to do is look at em and they are hooked!

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    If you want to make your own, double a hunk of old-style Dacron line and use it to tie a Bumper Knot, the loop out through the eye and adjusted to the length you want. Slip on a piece of shrink tube and hit it with a heat gun, and you're done. Takes about as long to do the job as it did for me to type this.

    I like the old-style Dacron because it's incredibly abrasion resistant and cheap. Got about 300 yards of 80# sitting on an old broken halibut reel, so pretty much free. Haven't tried it yet, but I have a couple of spools of "knot-able" wire leader. Should be able to use it the same way without the fuss of crimps.

    I see zero reason to pay the price of admission for factory-made assists.

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    I have some Kevlar 250lb line that works great! I tie a few different knots depending on if is a straight eye or up turned eye so i get a straight hook pull. Brown Bear i could not agree more about making them yourself so you dont have to pay the bandit price they charge for them! What size Big River hooks do you use?

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    Quote Originally Posted by kgpcr View Post
    I have some Kevlar 250lb line that works great! I tie a few different knots depending on if is a straight eye or up turned eye so i get a straight hook pull. Brown Bear i could not agree more about making them yourself so you dont have to pay the bandit price they charge for them! What size Big River hooks do you use?

    What's your source for that Kevlar line.....? been looking to redo some flutter jigs I bought that have crud assist hook line.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kgpcr View Post
    What size Big River hooks do you use?
    None of them. I prefer Owner Cutting Point hooks. Yeah, they're more expensive, but they're lots sharper and they stay sharp a lot longer. I use 10/0 for the largest jigs, dropping down as small as 5/0 for smaller jigs. In fact it's the one and only hook I'll use for trolling and mooching, too.

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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    I bought my Kevlar line from B&J's but I bet you can get it at any of the sporting goods stores in town.

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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    I think my big rivers were 7/0 and 8/0. Not cheap.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    None of them. I prefer Owner Cutting Point hooks. Yeah, they're more expensive, but they're lots sharper and they stay sharp a lot longer. I use 10/0 for the largest jigs, dropping down as small as 5/0 for smaller jigs. In fact it's the one and only hook I'll use for trolling and mooching, too.
    Dittos on the owners, and I mostly use the 6/0 and 7/0 though many of my jigs have commercial stingers.





    Unfortunately a ~100 pounder broke off and took this jig as lip jewelry.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

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    One word of caution on assists, whether homemade or store-bought. Because you're rigging them to the top ring on the jig, stiffness is important. Too soft and there's a good change the hook will reach up and wrap itself around your line as the jig sinks fast toward the bottom. I handle the stiffness issue with the length of the shrink tubing I use. Problem solved. Just don't make the mistake of using soft braid or mono, then not adding any shrink tube to stiffen.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Dittos on the assist hook needing to have a sufficiently stiff leader. I've found dacron is too limp and will tangle with the main line on the drop. Kevlar seems to be just stiff enough, but does get chewed up over time. Here's another on roustabout jig with a fresh owner assist hook

    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

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    Where are you guys hooking to your mainline at? The splitring?

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    Yup, split ring to the mainline, solid ring to the assist, it let's the assist flop around instead of twist up.

    I've been using gangion line with rubber tubing, only issue is it's tough tie knots, so I'm gonna try the Kevlar next.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I hook my mainline to the solid ring with a corkscrew swivel, easy to change jigs. I know the speed jiggers swear you should use a mono topshot and tie the topshot to the jig, but I haven't found the corkscrew swivel to be a problem with the jigs action, though I don't speed jig.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

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    One tip for late season halibut, as in right now:

    We always end up with leftover troll herring in the freezer. You can have a ball and turn in some great halibut catches adding a longish (depends on the size of the herring. I have them up to 6" long) assists to the hook bend on a bare leadhead jig. Pin a herring by the head, then stretch the assist back to pin again just in front of the tail.

    Bounce that jig along the bottom while drifting, and hang onto your hat. You'll even have to suffer through an occasional feeder king mixed with your halibut.

    We've tried the same rig earlier in the season for halibut. It works some of the time, but for whatever reason, it's really effective this time of year as the halibut are starting to drift back into deeper water.

    BTW- Those longer assist hooks are another very good reason for making your own.

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    I tie my own as well.
    I use 200# and 300# Kevlar assist line from western filament.I buy it on 100' spools.
    This is the same company that makes tuffline.
    I mostly use Eagle claw hooks.
    They have made their hooks much better the last few years.
    I buy them in bulk from their overstock. I get good prices buying 2000+ at a time.
    I used to use the red assist line but it is harder to source.I bought some on EBAY but it is harder to find elsewhere.
    I use a drop of super glue then some heat shrink tubing when tying them up. Mostly because I can and it makes them that much better.
    I buy the heat shrink in bulk spools from AIH. I get a discount there and that makes the price pretty good.
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