Don't understand the difference between the #2 brass clip and stainless master clip. Why use one or the other? I assume their primary purpose is to secure the hook assembly to your BC so why the more expensive master clip?
If you are in a strong current, where a reef hook can be most advantageous, it can be difficult to release a standard double ended bolt clamp in an emergency(due to the high tension created by the current rushing over you while anchored). The benefit of the master clamp is it will still release, regardless of tension, by simply squeezing the two long sides together (like a striker for a propane torch).
Scott: the "master" clip is essentially a quick release clip, which is likely a good idea. By sqeezing it, it will release from your BC, as opposed to normal #2 clip. I ended up going with it and am glad I did.
I have not used this reef hook yet,but bought the one with the easy release master clip rather than the one with the brass clip which may be more difficult to release under water. That is the only difference between the two hooks that I can see besides the price. Hope that helps. Personal preference.
In a strong current, it may be difficult to pull the traditional clasp off of the bc because you will have to pull against the drag of current on your body. Its a bit like having to pull a kite out of the sky on a very windy day. The master clip does not require pulling against current to release from bc.
The stainless steel master clip is designed to be released while under tension. To release the #2 brass clip, the diver must pull himself against the current to create enough slack in the line to unhook it. In a strong current, this can be very difficult. The stainless steel master clip is released by squeezing the two sides and forcing the pin clear of the slot. In a very strong current, this is the only way to release the drift line. The stainless master clip is the safer of the two options.