I have some people with the same question about the hook size. I’d like to answer it with this post.

Currently I use Shout 3/0 and 5/0 in power assist. Do you think the 1/0 and 2/0 Decoy Pikes will be strong enough if I happen to hook my dream 20kilo plus Western Australia Dhufish?

I do understand the concern. Most people are surprised to see the slow pitch setup as they are so tiny and thin. But there are reasons.

First, as I posted before, here’s the video of a man catching a 35kg Amberjack with 2/0 size hook. This is Captain Higashimura, one of the top slow pitch anglers in Japan. It takes skills, and a lot of luck too I’m sure, to land a big fish with light tackle, but it proves that it is possible.

RodEvergreen Poseidon Slow Jerker 603-4
ReelShimano Ocea Jigger 2000NR-HG
LineBerkley Fireline Tracer Braid PE2.0 (30lb) Seaguar FC #8
JigDeepliner Freq 300g

He used normal Pike 2/0 hooks. 3 of 4 hooks he had on the jig were broken and 1 remaining hook was extended when he landed the 35kg fish.

Hook Setup

HEAD hook is what catches the fish when the fish bites on the uplifting motion. Head assist is easy to get tangled with the leader.  That is why we use fluoro cored PE for the head assist line.

TAIL hook is what catches the fish when the fish bites on the falls. Fish always like to bite on the front of the motion, which is more fatal. Tail assist line can be plain PE with no core because it’s easier to be swallowed, or it can be fluoro-cored assist cord.
Tail assist helps the jig swim steadily, like the tail of a kite. The longer assist line is easier to be swallowed too. These are the reasons why it’s good to have longer assist line on the tail. But the head hook and the tail hook should not overlap.

DOUBLE hook because ideally one hooks from inside the fish lip and the other hook from outside. If you have them hooked like this, the more fish tries to get away, the more deeply the hooks penetrate from both sides.
Even if not hooked like that, the total 4 hooks work together in a way to “hug” the fish. Dividing all the shocks with 4 hooks helps each hooks stay intact.

Slow pitch jigging wants to use light wired hooks. Because the light wire doesn’t interfere the natural jig movements. The light wire is also easy to penetrate. That property is very important for SPJ because it uses a lot of falls and the fish bites on the falls. The hook needs to penetrate only by the weight of jig on the falls. And in order to compensate with the weakness of the light wire, we use double hooks.

Set up purposefully

So, this is the hook system that Sato Sensei came up with.
Slow pitch utilizes the natural swimming and falling actions of the jig. Because with the center balanced jig, that is when the jig is in horizontal position, and that is when the fish makes the bite mostly. Slow pitch wants to maximize those moments.

So you don’t want to interfere the jig movements. Water resistance is what interferes it, therefore;

  • Use thin line (Usually PE1.2, PE1.5, or PE2.0)
  • Use thin leader (Usually 30lb to 50lb)
  • Use shorter leader (Usually 3m to 5m)
  • Use smaller hooks (Usually 1/0, 2/0, or 3/0)

These are NOT the rules you have to follow. These are just the physics we play vertical games on.

If you go heavier in your system, you will have a better chance to catch bigger fish, but at the same time you will get less contacts.

There are times in the day when the fish is active and when they are not. What I recommend is to have at least 2 tackles. PE1.5 setup and PE2.0 setup, and use them alternately, according to your tactics. Use 2/0 size normally. When you find the fish is not active and want some contacts, switch to 1/0 hook.

It would also be nice if you have 1 more reel with a heavy set, maybe PE2.5 and 50lb leader. Don’t hesitate to take time to switch your reels when you want to go for a big one. When you do, I would use Pike 3/0 Type-R, heavier hook than the normal Pike.

This way, you can “target” for a big score, not just “happen” to hook one. Of course you are not always right. If you can’t catch with the setting you chose, you just need to give it up. You can’t catch a fish that your setup means to target. That’s the game.
On the other hand, there are a lot of times that I’m with a heavy set and catching no fish, while others are happily catching small amberjacks. I have to be patient. I’m waiting for a big wise amberjack behind those babies, and I need to commit myself on that.

Anyway, I don’t recommend any hook bigger than 3/0 for slow pitch. If you ever have an experience of breaking the hooks, that’s when you can think it over and try to see what you can change. Not just about the hook size, maybe it’s maintenance of the hooks, or maybe it’s the way you fight with the fish. Going for heavier and bigger tackle seems like a simple solution. But know that there is a lot of finesse you are losing by doing that.

Recommended Hooks

Hook with Ring Eye

  • Decoy Pike Type-R

Hook with Flat Eye

  • Cultiva Jigger Light Shiwari
  • Cultiva Jigger Light Hold
  • Seafloor Control JAM Hook
  • Kinryu Niq Pro
  • Kinryu Niq Pro Z
  • Takamitechnos Ropera

>> In-depth Study on Hooks

Assemble Double Hooks

>> Assembling Double Assist Hooks

Hope the information helps you! Good luck!