Hooks, Hooks, and more Hooks!
There are many types of hooks on the market at the moment from several manufacturers, they all serve different purposes with each having its own unique style. I will be looking at some of the leading brands that are tried and tested that have the qualities that every angler needs.
It’s a good idea to choose a few different patterns and to stick to them for most of your fishing as no one hook can do it all. Keeping your choices as simple as possible will allow your mind to be more focused on your fishing if you know your hooks are the right one’s.
Once you decide on which hooks you will use most of the time then it may be a good idea to make them hooks your priority. I am not saying that one hook is more important than another, I am just trying to help remove the confusion when choosing your hooks and to simplify your tackle box.
Maggot, Caster and small bait hooks
For winter fishing on more natural venues like canals or non-commercial waters where a more delicate approach is needed, then the Kamasan B510 or Gamakatsu All Round hooks would be a good choice. These hooks have a slightly longer shank to help to unhook smaller fish easily and also feature a nice round bend for the hook bait to sit perfectly on. They are also very sharp and will reduce any bait damage to softer baits. These would be used in a spade end pattern to help aid presentation by keeping a straighter line from line to hook. One of my favourite hooks for silver fish would definitely be the Gamakatsu Black, very lightweight and can be used in winter or to create a slower falling bait when fishing shallow with maggot or caster in spring when the water is still clear and the fish are a bit more reluctant to feed.
For summer then using a slightly stronger hook is the norm as the fish tend to not be as wary and feed more aggressively. Gamma Pellet or Kamasan B911 F1 hooks are an excellent choice and can be used for both smaller baits and also baits such as soft pellets.
Pellets are by far the most used and affordable baits that are widely available. You can fish them hard or soft and each style will have a hook to suit.
Soft pellets are usually used on a lighter hook, but still strong as the size of fish may vary considerably, When lifting and dropping with these hooks the bait can act more naturally when falling again getting you extra bites when the bait is settling on or near the bottom. Again the B911 F1 hook could be used as it is still light enough to get bites from wary skimmers or roach and has the strength to land smaller carp and F1s. An alternative would be the Guru Super LWG in a spade end version for expander pellets or for fishing shallow. A very versatile hook while still being both strong and lightweight.
An eyed hook is usually a must when hair rigging baits as the eye lends itself easily for tying knot less knots. These can be used with bait bands, bayonets or bait stops. When fishing up in the water in summer then the Super LWG, or the F1 in an eyed version would be a good choice for pellets or the Kamasan B911 for banded maggot or caster.
The super MWG is often used when fishing the pellet waggler as it is a slightly stronger hook for those ferocious bites you can encounter when the fish are really having it in the summer months. It can also be used in winter on the bomb or feeder when fishing banded pellets where a lighter hook is needed when bites are at a premium.
For Hair rigging on the method feeder or straight lead then the QM1 is a good hook, this can also be used when targeting big fish on the pole when dobbing or mugging passing fish in summer. It has a very good hook hold and usually reduces fish losses due to its unique shape.
This is where you need a solid hook that will hold when fishing for bigger F1s and carp. These hooks take no prisoners and need to be sharp and reliable as on some days you may not get second chances. Kamasan animal or G point Carp are renowned for strength and durability and can be used in the margins when fish need to be landed quickly or stopped in their tracks from speeding off into nearby snags. G point make a slightly lighter hook in the form of the G Point Power, This would be a good alternative when the edge carp are more cautious or it can be used when fishing a little lighter but still with big baits like meat, corn, or large worms on the pole at close range in open water.
Many hooks nowadays have a PTFE coating and can help to keep the point sharper for longer, this will in turn help keep the hook lasting longer. No hook will last forever and you will still have to change your hooks quite regularly to help reduce bumped fish especially if you are fishing matches. Most top match anglers may change their hooks several times in a match if needed.
Hooks to Nylon
Modern times has seen a change in manufacturers creating ready tied hooks to nylon that take away the hassle of tying your own hook lengths. Some anglers prefer to tie their own to create the perfect spacing between hook and bait when hair rigging as the small details in angling can make a difference, or to simply tie them on their preferred diameter of line.
Kamasan and Guru now have an excellent range of ready tied hooks and usually have the experience of some quality match anglers backing their design. These hooks to nylon are excellent when changing baits quickly when using the method feeder where several hooks can be baited ready for the next cast. They also come in shorter lengths such as 4inch which can also be difficult to tie for some anglers. The knots are uniform and give a good hookhold giving the angler more confidence when using them for bigger fish.
The choice is yours
So, whether you tie your own hooks or buy pre tied one’s then there are a vast number of hooks available for both the match angler and the more casual angler. These are a few of my favourite hooks patterns and I know that many top match anglers and even England international anglers use these hooks as part of their tackle.
You need a hook that will not let you down when those extra fish matter. Each angler will have his own preferences to style and hook choice and will always have his or her “go to” hooks. I hope you find value in my findings and you can up your catch rate next time you are on the bank.
Good luck all
And keep catching!