My Simple Tandem Hook Rig That Really Works

Tandem hook rigs have become second nature to the big-game fly fisherman. For sailfish, marlin and tuna fishing; tandem hook rigs are a must. Anytime a large fly is used, I recommend a tandem hook rig. Many times fish will hit the back end of a fly rather than inhaling the entire thing and tandem hook rigs will increase the number of hook ups. I have seen and used tandem rigs from many sources and I have came up with one that will hold up under pressure and not fail!

Here's How I Do It

Step 1: To create high quality tandem hook rigs begin with the best materials. You will need a fly tying vise, fly tying bobbin, Sevenstrand 49-strand stainless steel wire, cable cutters, 5 minute epoxy, Eagle Claw # L1182 in size 10/0, scissors, heat shrink tubing, a cigarette lighter and a ruler.
Step 2: Place the Eagle Claw # L1182 hook in the fly tying vise and tighten. BE CAREFUL THESE HOOKS ARE SHARP! Cut eleven (11) inches of 170-pound (for #1 to 4/0 size hooks I use 90-pound wire and for 5/0 size hooks and larger I use 170-pound wire). Bend the wire in half and insert the loose ends into the eye of the hook along the top side.
Step 3: Remove the hook from the vise and rotate the bent end around the hook point and under the hook shank. Pull the tag ends as tight as possible, use pliers to get it really tight. Place the hook and wire rig back in the fly tying vise and secure firmly.
Step 4: With a heavy fly tying thread (I use old braided line that has been removed from my fishing reels) tie the wire down on the hook. Apply heavy pressure to compress the wire around the hook shaft and secure the wire connection. Be sure to completely cover the bend in the wire, this will smooth out the bend in the wire and streamline the wire to the hook. Complete the thread wrapping with a whip finish. Mix some 5-Minute epoxy (Ensure there is adequate ventilation when working epoxy and follow the manufacturers directions fully) and cover all the thread wraps liberally with the epoxy. Rotate the hook in the vise until the epoxy begins to harden, this will ensure that the epoxy cures in a circular manner creating a smooth round surface.
Step 5: After the epoxy has cured completely (allow at least an hour) cut a three and one half (3 1/2) inch section of 3/8-inch heat shrink. Slide the heat shrink over the ends of the wire and down over the eye of the hook until the wire is covered. Apply heat (a blow drier works great) to the heat shrink causing the tubing to shrink to the hook and wire rig.
Step 6: Place the second hook in the vise and secure. Wrap a base coat of thread along the hook shaft. Insert the wire ends through the eye of the second hook. Align the hook points to face in the direction you choose, I choose 180 degrees for this rig. IGFA requires that the hooks be "no less than a hook's length apart". Measure the distance and adjust as needed. Wrap thread around the wire and attach it to the hook as you did previously.
Step 7: Bend ends of wire back under the hook shaft on the opposite side that they entered on. Pull the ends of the wire tight to keep the wire as close to the eye as possible. Insert a dental pick into the eye of the hook to ensure that the wire is pushed as far back as possible in the hook eye. Wrap thread over the ends of the wire and cover completely. Whip finish the completed thread wraps
Step 8: Epoxy the hook wrap as you did in the previous step. Rotate the hook in the vise until the epoxy begins to harden, this will ensure that the epoxy cures in a circular manner creating a smooth round surface. Cover all the thread wraps completely but keep the eye of the hook as clean as possible
Step 9: After the epoxy has cured completely (allow at least an hour) cut a three 3/4-inch section of 3/8-inch heat shrink. Slide the heat shrink over the eye of the hook until the end of the tubing is flush with the hook eye. Apply heat (a blow drier works great) to the heat shrink causing the tubing to mold itself to the hook and wire rig
Step 10: Once completed I attach the shock leader (I use 80 to150-pound test fluorocarbon depending on the game I am after) using a 10-15 wrap snell, this completes the rig and ensures that the wire will not pull apart under pressure. A liberal coat of Fishin' Glue to the monofilament snell locks the line to the hook solidly. I leave 18 inches of line on these rigs (more than enough to tie the hook and shock leader to a class tippet). When I am ready to use this rig all I do is run the shock leader, with the tandem hook rig, through the lure and attach to the class section using a Huffnagle knot. Tie these at home and it will save many frustrated hours on the boat. Debard the hooks as needed or to aid in releasing the fish