Beachglass Guru

Circle hook rigging - to bridle or not to bridle

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A fair amount of guys I talk to have very limited experience with in line circle hooks.. with the changes to the fishing regs for bass this upcoming season I thought maybe this is a topic worth discussing..

 

For many years I would rig my bait on the hook.. just like baiting any other hook... last spring while fishing big chunks I was struggling w my hookup ratio.. a buddy of mine suggested bridling the bait below the hook.. I tried it and it immediately improved my catching significantly.. 

 

Since then I have been using a small piece of picture wire, fastened to the hook shank, that holds my bait just below the hook... a bridle....

 

I know a lot of guys prefer a rubberband but I'd rather not be constantly loosing rubber into the ocean.. plus I find that the thin wire holds the bait much better when casting... 

After trying this method I cant see myself going back (eels and clam being the only exceptions)..

 

What are your thoughts folks?

 

How do you rig? What's your preferred bait rigging technique for circle hooks? 

 

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These are very popular here.

Easy to make.

For rigging a head bait you need a bait needle to pull the wire dangle through.

Foam helps if you are using fillets or similar in that you have something to build a bait around

 

 

2667-8 Wire dangles.jpg

bait-holder-dingle-dangle-floats-rigging-rocksurf-saltwater-sinkers-hooks-terminal-tackle-big-catch-fishing-medical-equipment-rolling_525.jpg

Bait needle for dangle.jpg

mullet head on dangle, clipped sinker.jpg

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Somehow I knew ZAFisher would like this thread. LOL. The Dangle is very popular in some places, and is catching on over here now, too. It is a system that solves several of the issues involved with casting large baits at distance. The foam trick is cool if you are willing to spend the time necessary to wrap the bait properly. If you try it, I would suggest make the wrapped baits up at home, and that way you aren’t doing it while also trying to fish. Bait thread that gets dirty turns bad long before the roll gets used up. You must keep it clean.

 

I use bridles when fishing live baits, like fingerling mullet. This so that I can use a hook that is fat enough to hold the fish I am targeting, without having to overly damage the little bait fish. This allows the baitfish to remain more active and lively for much longer. Keep in mind that bridling also allows you to drop down a few sizes in hook size, simply because you don’t have to goober up the hook with the bait. The fish seem to just slurp the whole mess right on down no problem. I imagine some species would be more difficult, but a bass would take it readily.

 

The first time I saw a bait hanging well below a circle, I knew right away it wouldn’t work. Surprise...... it worked very well. Don’t be nervous about trying the technique of hanging baits down, or bridling, or Dangles, as they all work very well. The new rules regarding circles will only work to reduce your catches if you fail to learn a new style of presentation. Embrace the idea and develop your style, and you will wonder why you were ever worried. I wouldn’t even consider baiting up a standard hook today.

 

If you want to see something totally crazy, search for the salmon fishermen that put fish eggs onto the line ABOVE the circle hook. The fish take the eggs, and then as they swim off the line slides through their mouths, with the circle hook catching them from the OUTSIDE of their mouths. Crazy and they do it for conservation reasons.

 

The biggest hurdle to overcome is all the things you think you know about baiting hooks. Forget all those things, and keep the hook open. From the tip around to the middle of the bend, free and open. This allows the hook to obtain the initial stick, and then to penetrate down to the bottom of the bend. Filling the gap with bait works against you, not for you. If your bait is too large for the hook, you must compensate in some way. This is why hanging baits, Dangles and bridles are used today.  

 

From there it becomes a simple matter of how you ‘hook’ the fish. Most of the time, the fish is completely hooked up before you notice the rod twitching in the spike. Don’t do anything fast. Simply reel line until you feel the weight of the fish, then raise the rod tip up easily but firmly. Avoid a fast setting of the hook, as sometimes the fish hasn’t hooked himself already and you might jerk the bait out. I give a quick set only once I am sure he is on, just to ensure the hook penetrates completely.

 

There is a learning curve associated with Circle hooks. Baiting up and setting the hook are the two aspects that you should focus on. Again, forget the lessons you learned as a kid, and try something new. I think many of you will wonder why you hadn’t started using them years ago.

 

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4 hours ago, FishinMortician said:

Somehow I knew ZAFisher would like this thread. LOL. The Dangle is very popular in some places, and is catching on over here now, too. It is a system that solves several of the issues involved with casting large baits at distance. The foam trick is cool if you are willing to spend the time necessary to wrap the bait properly. If you try it, I would suggest make the wrapped baits up at home, and that way you aren’t doing it while also trying to fish. Bait thread that gets dirty turns bad long before the roll gets used up. You must keep it clean.

 

I use bridles when fishing live baits, like fingerling mullet. This so that I can use a hook that is fat enough to hold the fish I am targeting, without having to overly damage the little bait fish. This allows the baitfish to remain more active and lively for much longer. Keep in mind that bridling also allows you to drop down a few sizes in hook size, simply because you don’t have to goober up the hook with the bait. The fish seem to just slurp the whole mess right on down no problem. I imagine some species would be more difficult, but a bass would take it readily.

 

The first time I saw a bait hanging well below a circle, I knew right away it wouldn’t work. Surprise...... it worked very well. Don’t be nervous about trying the technique of hanging baits down, or bridling, or Dangles, as they all work very well. The new rules regarding circles will only work to reduce your catches if you fail to learn a new style of presentation. Embrace the idea and develop your style, and you will wonder why you were ever worried. I wouldn’t even consider baiting up a standard hook today.

 

If you want to see something totally crazy, search for the salmon fishermen that put fish eggs onto the line ABOVE the circle hook. The fish take the eggs, and then as they swim off the line slides through their mouths, with the circle hook catching them from the OUTSIDE of their mouths. Crazy and they do it for conservation reasons.

 

The biggest hurdle to overcome is all the things you think you know about baiting hooks. Forget all those things, and keep the hook open. From the tip around to the middle of the bend, free and open. This allows the hook to obtain the initial stick, and then to penetrate down to the bottom of the bend. Filling the gap with bait works against you, not for you. If your bait is too large for the hook, you must compensate in some way. This is why hanging baits, Dangles and bridles are used today.  

 

From there it becomes a simple matter of how you ‘hook’ the fish. Most of the time, the fish is completely hooked up before you notice the rod twitching in the spike. Don’t do anything fast. Simply reel line until you feel the weight of the fish, then raise the rod tip up easily but firmly. Avoid a fast setting of the hook, as sometimes the fish hasn’t hooked himself already and you might jerk the bait out. I give a quick set only once I am sure he is on, just to ensure the hook penetrates completely.

 

There is a learning curve associated with Circle hooks. Baiting up and setting the hook are the two aspects that you should focus on. Again, forget the lessons you learned as a kid, and try something new. I think many of you will wonder why you hadn’t started using them years ago.

 

I think this is an important topic, especially with the change in regs.. there's a lot of good information in your comment.. Much appreciated.. I've seen circle hooks become a very frustrating issue for some guys over the years.  I'll admit I was never really a fan until I started bridling.  I started using them for conservation purposes only.. now that I'm more comfortable w them, it's a non issue for me.. 

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1 hour ago, recoil said:

How will this work with bunker chunks?

Works great.  Those were the large chunks I was referencing in my comment..

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5 hours ago, FishinMortician said:

Bait thread that gets dirty turns bad long before the roll gets used up. You must keep it clean.

 

Keep thread in a small medicine bottle / flip top container with a hole drilled/melted through the top or through the side, through which you pass the thread.

Keep a folding / collapsible (easy to carry) bucket of water at your station and toss the container with thread in it into the water.

Keeps it clean and easier to use

Latex "thread" is very nice, I use medium and thick, ultra thin stuff is like spiderwebs - frustrating

 

latex bait thread.jpg

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5 hours ago, FishinMortician said:

If you want to see something totally crazy, search for the salmon fishermen that put fish eggs onto the line ABOVE the circle hook. The fish take the eggs, and then as they swim off the line slides through their mouths, with the circle hook catching them from the OUTSIDE of their mouths

I remember watching a video fly fishing for anadromous fish (Steelhead if I recall correctly) small unadorned hook below the fly hooked up, not the fly itself

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On 1/5/2020 at 1:31 PM, ZAFisher said:

I remember watching a video fly fishing for anadromous fish (Steelhead if I recall correctly) small unadorned hook below the fly hooked up, not the fly itself

Yes, the large beak they have allows for a hook set using sliding leaders. A circle hook catching from the outside is crazy. Their bite action is different from the fish I have, but still impressive that it could be done.

 

I am wondering why everyone hasn’t been using circles for years already. Bait-n-wait operations will never be the same for those that haven’t tried them yet.

 

I am afraid that they are not yet ready for Dangles and such though. They will get round to asking, but it will be a while.

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On 1/4/2020 at 10:09 PM, ZAFisher said:

This method uses nylon coated multi strand wire

 

 

Great video.  Thanks for sharing.  This is a new technique to me.   I've always had the sinker on a slide as opposed to connected at the bottom 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

3 hours ago, Beachglass Guru said:

Great video.  Thanks for sharing.  This is a new technique to me.   I've always had the sinker on a slide as opposed to connected at the bottom 

The difference in casting distance you can achieve with a clipped bait vs one flailing around is dramatic.

Works for big baits and small ones

If you clip like this the hook length must be shorter than the sinker length.

Neat trick is to use a lower breaking strain line for the sinker length/snood, if it gets stuck you only loose the sinker.

Give it a try.

Edited by ZAFisher

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1 hour ago, recoil said:

Are these available anywhere in the U.S.?

I wasnt able to find them available stateside... but I didnt really look all that hard..

Just playing around last night I was able to make a dozen of them in about 15 minutes..

All I needed was some light gauge wire and shrink tube.  Both of which I had on hand.. 

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