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Joined: Oct 24, 2008
Posts: 359
Location: Ribble Valley, Lancashire.

PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 8:36 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I have used a form of "bolt rig" for Tope fishing from the boat since the mid 1980's.
I have tried the circle hooks for two seasons matched against the "J" hooks on a pair of matching rods and traces.
The results have convinced me that the hook up rate from "J" hooks exceeded that of the circle hooks for this form of angling on closely monitored rods.
Yes, all the cicle hook ups were in the scissor of the jaw. All the hook ups with the bolt rigged "J" hooks were in the mouth area and easily unhooked. I'm pretty sure about half the runs on circle hooks resulted in a failure to result in a hook up.
A close look at the theory of the hooking potential of the hook explains this situation quite well. The idea is that even if a fish swallows the hook the construction of the hook allows the hook to freely pull back up the digestive tract until it reaches the scissor of the jaw under tention from the line. At this point there is no intervention from the angler that can control if the hook passes over that area with the open hook gape and point presented to the jaw or conversely the bend side of the hook with nothing to set into the jaw. Resulting in my 50% run to hook up ratio.
The "J" hook bolt rig produces almost instant tension to the hook, resulting in the "J" hook usually never travelling further down the digestive tract than the mouth due to the instantaneous nature of the rigs striking.
Commercial line fisherman usally use circle hooks on unattended lines to good effect. However with an unmanned hook such as this, any fish hooked may be a result of more than one engulfing of the bait and hook. Commercial fisherman dont care if the fish they catch have more than one go at taking the bait before being hooked as long as it stays on the hook once it is hooked, which circle hooks by their very design prove excellent at.
My tests have been restricted to angling with closely monitored rods for a single species. Off my results alone I stick with the traditional "J" hooks for my angling for Tope.
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Joined: Mar 24, 2008
Posts: 739
Location: mid-hants

PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 4:46 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I believe matching the circle hook size to the size of fish is very important. A small circle hook is unlikely to get a good hold on a big fishes jaw .
Circle hooks can be useful if you are plagued by small bass etc which have no trouble swallowing a 4/0 j hook and floating away to die after the unhooking.
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Joined: Jun 28, 2013
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:40 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Hi Guys. Originally from Essex I've lived in NZ and Oz for more than fifty years. First post on the forum for me but I fish a lot and browse forums a lot. I note that circle hooks still cause some discussion as to their merits. So bear with me if I repeat what many already know.
AFAIK the first circle hooks were used by the Jap long liners off the coast of NZ more than forty years ago when no-one knew what they were or how they worked. In those days they were the original suicide hooks.
I surf cast off the local Gold Coast beaches and off my deck into the canal opposite. Canals here are quite wide and deep and are tidal so that fish of all types are found in them including Bull sharks. Just for interest Bull sharks grow to around two metres in length and are dangerous but good eating !!
Now to circle hooks. I use them and find them outstanding in nearly all conditions. I don't have any philosophical objection to other types but in the main circle hooks work as advertised and lip hook without the need for striking and this is an important point if you are fishing in the surf here. There is a pronounced tidal sweep along the local beaches here which causes a bow in the line to form. Even using braid it is difficult to know when you have a bite unless the fish actually hooks itself which is where circle hook are supreme. If you use other types of hook - and I use bait holders from time to time - providing you can detect a bite they work well but once a fish has hooked itself on a circle there is no way it can get off.

As to the statistics of which is best I think you might like to read this from a well known guy in NZ.


There is a lot of stats here and note that in conjunction with the NZ fisheries dept they have run a test of more than 60,000 hooks. Circles for long lines, difficult conditions and for outright efficiency shine and are my preferred hook.
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