For Tony Orton, nothing beats the experience of a kingfish hitting your jig. However, the fun can be short-lived if the connections are poor. This month, Tony takes us through how to tie an assist rig you can trust.
Jigging is a fun and very productive way of fishing for kingfish, snapper and tuna. A lot of my biggest
kingfish have been caught on jigs way down deep, and a lot of brute force and a bit of luck has been required to stop to these trophy fish from busting off. When you hook-up and the drag has been put up to sunset, you need to have faith in your connections, especially your assist hook and the terminal around it.
When buying jigs, some come pre-rigged with assist hooks, and some don’t. Some assist rigs are good quality and some you will struggle to trust if hooked up to a fish of a lifetime.
I like to make my own rigs as it means I am in control of how long my assist line is, and what hook I use. Personally, I like a longer rig, about one third to half the length of the jig, and I like to use a big, strong and super sharp hook. It’s also great to be able to make spares as they can wear out or get ripped to shreds by packs of barracouta.
This is the assist rig I have been using for many years, and it’s never failed me. It is simple to tie, super strong and one I have a lot of faith in.
1) With a couple of jigs in need of new assist hook rigs, it’s time to get into it. I use 300lb Kevlar cord that can be found at most good tackle stores, hooks to suit the jig you’re using and the fish you’re targeting, a ring and grommet, 180lb split ring, split ring pliers and cutters.
2) Lay the Kevlar cord beside the hook and form a loop that is approximately 100-120mm past the eye of the hook (this depends on the length of your jig and how long you like your assist rigs).
3) Roll the loop around and back over the hook shaft and Kevlar cord to form the start of your assist line knot.
4a) Roll the loop end around the shaft of the hook once and then pull it back out the loop.
4b) Next, roll the loop end around the shaft and out the loop for the second time.
5) Pull the loop and the tag end tight. While it is tightening, wvyou can roll the twist around so that your twists lay a lot smoother and in sequence to produce a better looking and more compact knot. At this stage you can also adjust the length of the loop by either pulling more out to make it bigger or pushing it back into the knot to make it shorter.
6a) Give the knot an extra tighten – I pull the tag ends with pliers while my fingers are in the loop pulling in the other direction.
6b) Cut the tag ends to length; I usually leave 10mm as a tag end.
7) Pass the cord loop through the hook eye from the ‘back’ and out the point side. Attach your ring and grommet (or just a solid ring) and split ring so your new self-made assist hook can be attached to the jig.
8) With just 5 - 10 mins of work and I have two jigs all ready to go, and a spare assist hook rig just in case I need to change it out during a hot bite. I know exactly what I am using – I can see the knot, and it’s a rig I can trust in the heat of battle.
To see this knot being tied in real-time, visit https://youtu.be/rCoYz6805JM.
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