Micro Jigging Explained – Part 2. Assistance with Assist hooks, rigging and accessories

Hooks – one of the strangest things about most of these lures is they don’t come with any hooks (no hooks when you buy them). This, as you can imagine, is for a good reason! There are just as many hook combinations as there are jigs and because of this, you need to select the right one for the job. Before we jump into that, let’s look at how and why these hooks work!

Commonly known as assist hooks, these hooks (or hook if you only have one attached as many do) are connected to your lure via a piece of polyethylene or Kevlar cord. This gives them the ultimate in maneuverability to ‘swing’around and catch your fish in all different types of places.

Assists hooks are attached to jigs via a piece of cord to take the direct contact away from the jig. Big issues arise when you have a hook directly contacting a heavy weight. Nearly every fish as soon as it’s hooked will shake its head. If you have the weight of the lure attached to the hooks then that weight becomes the leverage in which the fish will use to ‘whip’the lure around and tear the hook(s) out! This is certainly the case with treble hooks and metal lures. So by attaching them via a cord you elevate the direct connection and the fish has no chance of shaking free!

Also situating the hooks at the head end means you can drop them right onto reef and not get snagged every time

Back to the reason they don’t come with hooks! This style of fishing is used to catch all manner of sea beasts from little slimy mackerel to massive king fish. Just because its micro doesn’t mean that it’s only for micro fish! Remember, it’s the jigs that are small and so is the majority of what fish eat – more on that in a tick. Because of the variation in fish types, sizes and line classes used in this style of angling, you need to be able to pick and choose your hooks correctly to suit e.g. light line (2 – 5kg) you might chose a light gage size 1 or 2 set of assist hook – medium line class (5 -10kg) you might choose that same gauge hook but increase the size to 2/0 or 4/0 hooks – and for heave micro jigging (yes there is such a thing) you can choose one of the many heavy gauge hooks.

Having the choice of hooks is important because as you’ll see further down the article, you can change them to suit your condition and angling style very quickly and easily – the hooks don’t live on the jigs for ever!

Hook size is also an issue for the new angler to micro jigging. Most of the hooks are relatively small in size comparison to a hook that you would use for the same fish if your where bait fishing. A size 1 heavy gage assist doesn’t look like it would catch a 20kg kingfish but they do. It’s all a matter of ‘horses for courses’! If your fishing a medium line class micro jigging outfit, say 1.0 – 1.5 (10 – 15lb or 5 – 7kg) and fishing 2-kg of drag than you can get away with a relatively small and light gauge hook. On the opposite side of the coin, you couldn’t run that same hook set up on an 40kg (80lb) line class jig rod with 12-kg (24lb) of drag. You might potentially be hooking and landing the same size fish but the drag weights are different and thats the big issue. How hard are you going to pull through the line? Its not the size of the fish that will straighten your hook out its how hard you pull at the other end!

Keeping in mind that a small hook in a heavy gauge steel is very hard to straight because of the leverage points in its design construction. The larger the hook the harder it is to set into the fish past the barb. Light gauge hooks will win every time!

Asist-hooks-2

Great Micro Jigging clip with Owner terminal tackle in Action.

Jig Terminal –

There are 4 main pieces of tackle you need to put this together properly –

1/ The micro jigs.

2/ Assist hooks.

3/ Split rings.

4/ Slit ring pliers.

You simply can’t do the job properly if you don’t have these items. Make sure you don’t skimp on this gear – it will be your undoing if you do!

Cultiva-Jigs-001-1024x683

The gear below is from hook giant Owner. Visit the Owner website for more details

The Micro Jigs –   Cultiva Gekito jigs

Gekito Bottom Weight, Available in 30g, 40g and 60g

Gekito Level Weight, Available in 30g, 40g, 60g and 80g

& Meba Jig Level weight Available in 3g and 4.5g

KJIGS

There are hundreds of jigs out there…find some that work for you but not forget to experiment!

 

Hooks – JD-22 Light & SSF-41 Short, Medium gauge.

ASSIST-Hooks

Premium hook maker Owner has developed a range of ultra light and ultra strong twin assist rigs developed for light jigging. JD-22 Light Jigger assist rigs are forged with spade end and feature TAFF-WIRE™ construction.

TAFF-WIRE™ helps create hooks that are smaller in diameter, yet stronger and harder than ever before.  The single most important characteristic for hook penetration is the wire diameter.  TAFF-WIRE™ hooks are stronger per wire diameter than any hook on the market.

Sizes #1/0, 2/0, 3/0, 4/0, 5/0

http://owner-fishing.com.au/product/jd-22-jigger-light-assist/ http://owner-fishing.com.au/product/ssf-41-short-assist/

 

A selection of high quality split ring pliers designed to work specifically with selected split ring sizes. Correct removal and replacement of rings ensures they stay strong and don’t open on that fish of a lifetime.

SRpliers-Owner

Rings – http://owner-fishing.com.au/product/split-rings/ P-12 size #3- #4.

Pliers – http://owner-fishing.com.au/product/split-ring-pliers/ GP-20 – GP-40.

 

One other accessory that I’ve found useful are things like jig bags. It’s really handy to wrap your jigs up and keep them neat. It’s way to easy to have them crash out of a tackle box and spew across the floor of the boat ending up down the back never to be seen again! http://owner-fishing.com.au/product/soft-jig-case/

Putting It Together – The first thing you need to know when getting ready to toss your gear over board and start fishing is how to tie it all up. Now it’s no big secret and there’s not a special knot that you’ll never be able to tie…it’s nothing like that! What it is however, is putting the knot in the right place. This is important! Always tie to the ‘solid ring’. End of story. Ok, so you’re not 100% with me. Check the picture below for an idea.

assist-rig-rigging

Tying to the solid ring is the only way to fly!

So there are 3 potential places that you can tie your line to but only one place you really want to tie to. For the sake of changing jigs quickly (and Im just about to get to that bit) if you tie to the lures eye directly, to change jigs you’ll have to cut your line and tie a new knot. If you tie to the split ring, you’ll have to do the same thing – cut off and re-tie the knot. If you tie to the solid ring you don’t have to re-tie anything at all and your back in the water in less than 10 seconds with a completely different jig on! Why is this important?

Most of the structure you fish when doing micro jigging is found on a fish finder. A lump, hump, reef, pinnacle, wreck, sunken boat, pile of old fridges what ever it is that is attracting the fish you want to catch, you’ll need to see it on the sounder first. In a reef pinnacle or reef drop off situation, you could be up on top of the reef in 20 meters of water fishing away with you 20 – 30 gram jig and then as you drift off this point it will no doubt get deeper (for arguments sake). In this situation you can burn your jig to the surface and quickly change the weight of your jig to 60 grams and be back in the action, fishing water that you otherwise wouldn’t be affective fishing with that lighter jig. This is the reason you should always tie to the solid ring. It allows for a very quick jig change and more fish in the boat as a result.

 

Next and final part to Micro Jigging Explained. Adam brings it all together with tackle and technique. Stay tuned.