Beachglass Guru

Circle hooks

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36 posts in this topic

11 hours ago, olvart said:

I fish Eagle Claw Circle Sea L 197 mainly because i got a few hundred for pennies each. Mostly 3/0.

While they get the job done they are brittle and they will break on big Drum.

Usually at the beach lip or landing them with max pressure.Have seen it enough to convince me.

Doesn't really bother me on the big fish I am going to release anyway but might bother you.

Also,they rust quickly and must be rinsed after each use.

I've been using an Eagle Claw (don't know the model number--my local shop biuys them in bulk and then puts them in 10-hook packages) for sharks for a few years, and have no problems at all, even when leadering good-sized fish that are still a little green.  Haven't broken one yet,  Of course, I'm using big hooks--#18/0 and #20/0--but given that the size of the fish will be scaled dowsn along with the size of the hooks, I wouldn't expect any problems with bass.  

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7 hours ago, jsbergen said:

This is a good discussion because a friend and I made an aggrement to fish only circle hooks if we decided to chunk. I will say starting out it was not easy to find a cirlce hook that fit my needs and expectations.

-Early spring we were using hooks from the West Coast that were nearly $1.00 a piece and no one carried them anywhere local. 

- Finally hit the jackpot after much trial and error with another circle from Mustad in 10/0. ( Model 39944-BN). Trust me, this is a GOOD circle hook for chunking. 

- For eeling try Gamakatsu inline octopus circle hooks in 6/0 or 7/0 ( Model #360416) 

-Im glad i finally got away from the J hooks as the gut hooked fish was no longer acceptable. To be clear never once do i spike my rod. its always in hand and i would strike very quick with large 10/0 hooks but still had a gut hook approx 1/5 fish. 

- I recall one of the magazines ran a great article on this topic.  Tight lines. 

Mustad is a great hook too. Use what works for you. But to say trust me it’s a good hook with under 1 year experience is being Nieve I will be willing to bet the more experience you get you will not use mustads. Instead of (striking) the hook set, just start to wind slow get tight. I understand your in California try Charkbait Tackle for your tackle. Great place and helpful staff. Good luck glad to see more and more people trying to practice conservation. I respect that 

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Best in line circles I’ve ever used were from Quick Rig company , their variations of model Charlie Brown is as good or better then any hook out there !

Check their website , all first class !

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11 hours ago, PissonDFS said:

Mustad is a great hook too. Use what works for you. But to say trust me it’s a good hook with under 1 year experience is being Nieve I will be willing to bet the more experience you get you will not use mustads. Instead of (striking) the hook set, just start to wind slow get tight. I understand your in California try Charkbait Tackle for your tackle. Great place and helpful staff. Good luck glad to see more and more people trying to practice conservation. I respect that 

Couple things here: I reside here in the North East but at the time could only locate one style of hook that fit expectations this was used mostly on West Coast. This "circle hooks only"was a  season long experiment Fishing the same damn circle hook every time we fished bait. This is more than enough time to evaluate a piece of terminal tackle. This hook accomplished two things: it was large enough to fish big chunks/heads with enough space between chunk and bend. I havent found anything smaller than this 10/0 to fish large chunks on. Lastly, from start to end we had only 2 gut hooks. I firmly stand by the fact of this being a go to hook for fising the surf. 

P.S.  i know this hook is endorsed by atleast one of the premier casters on the entire coast. 

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11 mins ago, jsbergen said:

Couple things here: I reside here in the North East but at the time could only locate one style of hook that fit expectations this was used mostly on West Coast. This "circle hooks only"was a  season long experiment Fishing the same damn circle hook every time we fished bait. This is more than enough time to evaluate a piece of terminal tackle. This hook accomplished two things: it was large enough to fish big chunks/heads with enough space between chunk and bend. I havent found anything smaller than this 10/0 to fish large chunks on. Lastly, from start to end we had only 2 gut hooks. I firmly stand by the fact of this being a go to hook for fising the surf. 

P.S.  i know this hook is endorsed by atleast one of the premier casters on the entire coast. 

If you find a hook that works great. It wouldn’t matter if it was a cheap hook for Walmart. I liked Owner circles  but when we were forced to use VMC tournament in-line hooks in Sailfish tournaments. You practice with that hook. It’s going to be a huge challenge for everyone including me. There are times I liked J hooks with eels or larger chunks of bunker. I do use circle hooks 90% of the time now being forced to use them all the time changes things. One thing to remember that most people endorsing a fishing products have alternative motivation called money. Maybe not cash but free products 

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Circles come in many styles, but I prefer a version with a shorter shank, like the Mustad Ultra Point Demon Circle style. 1x wire for small fish, 4x wire for bigger fish. The hook has to be very sharp or it will slide back out of the fish’s mouth, and this brand is very sharp.

 

Most important aspect to learn when starting out, is to learn how to properly bait the hook. Sounds dumb I know, but it makes a huge difference. You want to leave the hook open and not goobered up with bait. From the tip to the bottom of the bend, wide open and clear of anything. This leaves you will applying back to just the shank. Just not so much that it reaches across the gap too far and chokes the hook.

 

Size the bait to the fish, then the hook to that bait. It is OK to let larger baits hang off the bottom, to dangle from it. Most fish slurp the whole thing in anyways.

 

Something that I learned was that the knot used to fashion the hook on matters alot as well. It has to do with how the hook moves once inside the fish’s mouth. These two knots work to kick the tip towards the fleshy parts and engage quickly. There are two knots that will outperform all others. Snell knots and loop knots. If using dead baits, go snell knot. Live baits use a loop. When I land fish with a snelled knot, hook set in side of mouth. When using loop knots, dead center bottom jaw. Now you can catch fish tying them on other ways, and maybe see no issues, but you will catch more fish using these knots.

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i forgot, avoid circles that have the off set eye. These work against you. Sure the hook hangs straight but that doesn’t help gaining the initial stick. So snelling, you want the hook to be cocked inwards towards the leader. Think of it as completing the cirle. Good luck

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5 hours ago, FishinMortician said:

i forgot, avoid circles that have the off set eye. These work against you. Sure the hook hangs straight but that doesn’t help gaining the initial stick. 

 

Your regs let you use offset circles? 

 

Mustads circles aren't terrible, but I prefer using owner mutus or occasionally the owner ssw circle hook.

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7 hours ago, mwhitt80 said:

 

Your regs let you use offset circles? 

 

Mustads circles aren't terrible, but I prefer using owner mutus or occasionally the owner ssw circle hook.

Yes my regs do. Some sharks different now.

 

If I may, officials insisting on inline circles for all fishermen, and during special tournaments and such, are welcome to do as they please. Inline circles are great for aggressive fish. If saving fish for release is of any concern here, offset circle hooks also perform very well. There will be just a rare instance where an inline might make a difference over an offset, but it would only be on a special fish. It is just dumb legislation to limit circles to just inline types for people having to learn anew, without having the benefits of offset hooks. Not scientific thinking by any measurement that would impress me. Just sounds good to them. Them what get to decide things for the rest of us mostly I imagine. I haven’t had a gut hooked fish in years. All offset circles. Stand next to me and you would agree.

 

Owner Mutus are a great circle hook. I have experience with the Mutu Light, a khale hook Design with a circle hook type of tip and action. The angle with which it leaves the bend, it’s projection away, Is almost 90 degrees, and the hook must flip to manage a penetration. I suspect that this hook has caught tons of fish by now. A solid recommendation to anyone new and learning. You can get Propacks that offer more than just a few and save money as well. Nice choice for bait-n-wait operations.

 

Owner also makes a real devil of a hook called the Mosquito. Just fingering them out of the package and your bleeding. Unbelievably thin and sharp. Big drum would simply straighten the thing out. But little fish, well it is very tricky to spit. Touches anything and the hook maneuvers. I have caught 3 inch fish on them at well over 100 yards. Never really intended for that though. Meant to be stuck into live shrimp pitched under Florida docks. Keep 2/0 and below on them though. They also have a 90 entry angle from tip to bend.

 

VMX has a few designs where the tip to the bend is smooth and graceful Coming back, not an acute angle. Mustad has the Chinese factory contract that makes a nice hook. Ultra Point Demon Circle is designed very well.

 

Anyways I was thinking that this is a pretty cool thread, and I would like to add some content.

 

 

 

 

 

I watched a video on YouTube, that showed a man tying different knots to his circle hooks and testing them by tying a leader to them and dropping them into a tube, then pulling on the leader to pull the hook back out. You can search it. Anyways, he demonstrated that a snelled hook catches the edge of the tube almost every time. Whereas a Palomar to circle hook for instance caught the edge of the pipe only occasionally. Most knots do not catch.

 

The fish must first swallow the hook. Once in his mouth he turns to swim away. The rig tries to pull the hook back out of his mouth once he tightens it up some. It is at this point that the hook moves from where it landed when he swallowed it, towards exiting. If the tip is positioned in such a way that it is forced sideways towards the fleshy areas of the mouth, and encounters something, the tip will obtain a stick and the fish will then begin to try to spit the bait and swim off. Once he realizes that he is caught he will panic and thrash, driving the hook home. This is when you Suddenly notice the rod is wiggling. No need to do much at this point. I advise you to reel up line until you feel the fish getting heavy, then raise the rod in a smooth and easy fashion. At most all you would be doing is ensuring that the hook penetrated down to the bottom of the bend. Easy but firm gets it done.

 

So I watched the video and then I decided to experiment. Snell knots did very well at catching the pvc pipe. The tube is smooth, and it was the manner in which it exited that mattered. Same as a dumb fish, the exiting part. The snell will do this little twirl as it exits, almost magical, and that puts the tip hard into the side, catching. It kind of flips at the last second if that makes sense. It was super easy to do as well and I recommend everyone try it, even if just so they could see the magic of circle hooks. Tie up your favorites, and mine and test them yourself.

 

I tested several of my favorite knots and then also the loop knot, which also caught at a rate significantly equal to the snell, which was almost everytime. The loop knot allows the tip to flip about and flop about. The snell forces the issue, the loop flops about. Other knots can inhibit the action of the circles. Palomar catches fish, sure enough, but you will catch more if you can get the hook tip to encounter something using snell or loop knots.

 

For snelling, the No Knot Snell Knot is very easy to master. If you do UNI knots, you can fashion a UNI to the hook shank, and then pass the leader through the hook eye, cocking it. Lots of options here that are very strong and reliable. The cocking of the snelled circle is exactly what you want. That cocking kicks the point towards the fleshy sides of the mouth. You want a snelled knot to be finished with the tip of the circle completing 3/4 s of a circle.

 

The loop knot can be an issue. Notoriously weak when badly formed. You must be very mindful of exactly what you are doing. Line passing on the wrong side might look OK, but it can also fail. Always test knots by pulling at around half the force equal to the leader material’s strength. No need to stretch the bloody hell out of it, just ensure there are no easy failures. Once the knot is locked it is what it is and stretching the leader isn’t going to make it any better.

 

I have a favorite, but choose one you can actually master. Loop knots are not known for strength, rather freedom. Live baits and such. I use them exclusively for pompanyo and whitling. Once the fish inhales, he can’t spit it and I have very few nibbles that don’t make the sand for me.

 

So my advice is determine your baits, then size the circle to operate with that. A 6/0 choked and jammed is worse than an 8/0 with some room. Dangle baits below the bend if you have to keep a smaller hook. These hooks are actually going to make you a more efficient surf fisherman. A spiked rod and they excel.

 

Let me know if you guys have any questions about these hooks. There is a learning curve involved. The same type of way you learned to booger up the hook tip with worm to catch bluegills in Grandpa’s farm pond, you will learn to not do that with These hooks.

 

 

 

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On 1/3/2020 at 2:01 PM, mwhitt80 said:

 

Your regs let you use offset circles? 

I believe he was talking about up/down eyes. Snelling the wrong way with an angled eye will wreck your hookup ratio.

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Vmc 10/0 8386 ps for beach chunking spiked rods with 3-4lbs of drag work excellent. Haven't tried one for eels yet as they are too thick. Gonna try a smaller size for eels this summer. 

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Being such a huge fan of BKK I wanted to test out their monster circle hooks.. now having them in hand, they seem to be overkill for bass, but I'm looking forward to putting them to use offshore...  I love that they come ringed with a ball bearing swivel.  

 

For quite a while I have been in the habit of ringing all my bait hooks.. I know a lot of guys use ringed hooks for presentation/action purposes, but I find there's a better hookup ratio with a ringed hook...20200107_155920.jpg.e8f1a88dad1d10c49a786956f7ebea30.jpg20200107_155906.jpg.7c7ebcf6ebf6e1c60fb05cf820675bc0.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Also picked up a few packs in various sizes of the standard BKK inline heavy circle.. pics below for comparison purposes.  These hooks I will ring myself before use.. 20200107_155820.jpg.a57d3b5bf780b778043ef2493b4e4212.jpg20200107_155802.jpg.dbdcae97d1457100d5da7abd3ba05ace.jpg

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On 1/3/2020 at 10:35 PM, FishinMortician said:

I tested several of my favorite knots and then also the loop knot, which also caught at a rate significantly equal to the snell, which was almost everytime. The loop knot allows the tip to flip about and flop about. The snell forces the issue, the loop flops about. Other knots can inhibit the action of the circles. Palomar catches fish, sure enough, but you will catch more if you can get the hook tip to encounter something using snell or loop knots.

 

 

On 1/3/2020 at 10:35 PM, FishinMortician said:

The loop knot can be an issue. Notoriously weak when badly formed. You must be very mindful of exactly what you are doing. Line passing on the wrong side might look OK, but it can also fail. Always test knots by pulling at around half the force equal to the leader material’s strength. No need to stretch the bloody hell out of it, just ensure there are no easy failures. Once the knot is locked it is what it is and stretching the leader isn’t going to make it any better.

 

I have a favorite, but choose one you can actually master. Loop knots are not known for strength, rather freedom. Live baits and such. I use them exclusively for pompanyo and whitling. Once the fish inhales, he can’t spit it and I have very few nibbles that don’t make the sand for me.

 

I see you mention the loop knot and the freedom it provides increased the hookup ratio..

I wonder if my ringed hooks are performing in a similar manner.. the nice thing about a ringed hook is, as you stated, the loop knot isn't known for its strength and reliability, while a steel ring is about as strong as it gets.. 

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VMC 7385 7/0 to 9/0 is a great hook. You will find works great and affordable. If you can’t snell I would learn for best hook up ratio. And try to bridle the bait as much as possible  for better hook up ratios. 

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