It’s not easy to get fishermen to change their ways, and when Gamakatsu came to market with the assist hook concept, many anglers were skeptical. We’ve been programmed to think inside a very small box when it comes to the types of hooks we use and how they should be attached to our lures. Assist hooks looked alien to us, they looked odd, many anglers resisted the change. But, as time passed and more anglers began to sing their praises, it became obvious that there were real advantages to using these free swinging singles tied to the ‘wrong end’ of the jig. Fast-forward to today and assist hooks are standard issue across a wide array of jigging styles; from codfish to black sea bass, from yellowfins to tilefish and now they are gaining speed in striper fishing and even micro-jigging for porgies.


For those that still lack the confidence to make the jump over to assist hooks here’s some food for thought—you really have to think about it. Nearly every species of gamefish aims for the head when they strike their prey—they do this because they want to kill their target, but also because they want to swallow it head-first so that its gills and fins will not flare and injure their throat on the way down. Rigging your jigs with one treble affixed to the rear of the bait puts you at a disadvantage before your jig even touches the water—a rear-positioned hook ensures that your hook is not in the target zone when that fish of a lifetime sets its sights on your jig! That fact alone makes you want to try them doesn’t it?

Then we come to the leverage factor. A treble (or single) hook attached via a split ring can only freely twist about 270 degrees before it starts to work against the jig, the fish and the angler. This translates to a lot of torque that you, as the angler, have no control over. Once that hook twists and the fish runs hard while you’re trying to stop it, the forces exerted quickly multiply past the point of the limitations of your tackle and you usually end up with a limp line. A simple act of physics is to blame here and it is the incurable fault of the traditional hook and split ring connection. Swap that treble out for a set of assist hooks and you have two razor-sharp Gamakatsu hooks, swinging freely on short leaders of rugged polyethylene braided line and that fish can death roll like a crocodile if it wants to and the leverage exerted on the rig will not change. And there are other advantages too; they are less likely to snag bottom and the single hooks tend to inflict less damage on fish that will be released.

700 series Hooks

This new generation of Double Assist Hooks from Gamakatsu comes in five series that are tailored and tweaked to compliment specific styles of fishing. The 700 Series is tailored to the biggest fish with sizes ranging from 3/0 to 5/0 and leaders testing out between 110- and 160-pound test. The hooks are coated in Nano Smooth Coat which ensured the deepest penetration on the hookset. The leaders are tied to a smooth-welded solid ring which virtually eliminates leader wear and completely eliminates the possibility of ring failure. You’ll want to drop down to the 530 Double Short series if you’re speed-jigging or using another method that utilizes exaggerated jigging motions with smaller jigs.

530 Double Short series for speed-jigging

The polyethylene leaders sport a fluorocarbon core that keeps the leader stiff, this in conjunction with the shorter leader lengths goes a long way to reducing tangles. These are available in sizes 2/0, 3/0 and 4/0 with 110-pound test leaders. And if you’re working larger baits in the same situations the 530 Double Long series carries all the same features with longer leaders to properly position the hooks on a larger target. If you’re getting into the micro-jigging movement, you’ll want to grab a few packs of the 540 Double Bait Plus series.

540 ‘s are best micro-jigging

These come in sizes between #2 and 1/0 and the leader lengths are staggered to provide better coverage when those little mouths give your jigs a timid peck on the cheek. Beyond that, the hooks are adorned with fish skin dressings that make them look like small baitfish on their own, drawing more attention and more strikes. Like the others they feature a solid steel ring to protect the leader and to provide smooth and unimpeded action. For those times when you want to step up a size from micro, Gamakatsu has you covered with their 560 series.

560 series hooks

These come in sizes from #2 to 1/0 and feature very short-yet rugged-leaders of just 1/8-inch of 100-pound test polyethylene leader material. These also feature the super-smooth and super-strong solid ring connection and the unmatched quality we’ve all come to expect from Gamakatsu hooks.

At this point, no one is going to deny that assist hooks are here to stay—Gamakatsu has taken the concept to whole new cutting edge. Tailoring these five series to maximize hookups depending the size of your jig and even your target species. Fishing is a game that keeps changing, stay ahead of your field of competitors by playing on Team Gamakatsu.

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