​​Ocean Tackle International

Advanced Performance Saltwater Tackle

When targeting billfish, switching to a Raptor assist hook is a no-brainer.  I like these up on the front of the lure and will generally attach the assist cord directly to my swivel/split ring combo rather than to the popper itself.  The rear hook can be a Raptor single, another assist hook, or no hook at all.  The idea is that the assist cord will remove the hard connection between the hooks and popper. This should reduce leverage and help keep the fish attached when they're going ballistic on the surface.

I like using the 10/0 size with the assist and single hooks here.  The wider and heavier, the better.  These are small hooks for billfish, so you'll need all the luck and help you can get.

A Raptor assist hook is a great addition to a lure when targeting fish that tend to go airborne, like mahi-mahi.  Larger tuna can put enormous pressure and torque on the lighter wire of a treble hook.  The wider gap, and heavier build keep the single hook from deforming under those pressures.  The assist cord also keeps the lure from creating leverage and becoming dislodged.

The Goanna is pictured with the 8/0 size assist hook.  Using the glow model also adds a bit of flash to the lure.

This is probably the most basic change you can make to your lures.  The treble hooks were directly swapped with the Raptor Lure Hooks.  All of our lures can utilize these hooks when your #1 focus is catch and release.

The Maguroni is pictured with the 6/0 size lure hook.  This size works well with the Mini poppers and the Wave Dancer swimbaits.  The 8/0 size is great with the mid-sized poppers like the Goanna. And the 10/0 hooks are great with the larger poppers and baits like the Sea Dragon and Thunnus.

Why change your hooks?

OTI poppers and swimbaits come rigged and ready to fish right out of the box with either 250# or 300# split rings and 4X strong treble hooks.  But sometimes the situation calls for a single or assist hook to be used.

Catch and release anglers will benefit from the use of single hooks because they are much safer and easier to remove.   There will also be much less damage done to the fish.

Anglers targeting billfish and larger tuna can benefit from the heavier gauge, and wider gap that a single hook offers, giving you a much better purchase into these larger fish.  The assist cord can also reduce the leverage that the fish can gain when the hooks are directly attached to a lure.

Whatever your reasoning, single hooks can be an excellent alternative to the supplied treble hooks.

Alternative Methods to Rig Your OTI Lures