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Treacodactyl

Does hook size matter?

Within reason does the size of the hook matter too much? While perusing some mackerel feathers I noticed that they are often on quite large hooks, size 3/0, whereas the advice I've been given is to use a size 1/0 hook and I've got some lures even smaller hooks down to a tiny 6.

I know I tend to underestimate the size of mouth on a fish like a mackerel but size 3/0 hooks still look a bit large to me. Will they be fine, will they just catch large specimens or will they be yet another reason why I don't catch much! Rolling Eyes Laughing
dpack

i tend to use small strong hooks that hide in the bait apart from the sharp bit

most premade feather traces are shoddy ,make your own is easy and fun
Bebo

From my coarse fishing experience, the smaller the hook the bigger the number of bites but the lower the proportion that you'll land. But then I rarely used anything bigger than a size 16 and have been kniwn to use a 22 on occassion. I once landed a 7lb pike on a size 18 with a 2lb breaking strain hooklength. Pure fluke that it took a small roach I was reeling in and that its teeth didn't cut through the line.
Dabinett

If you're only after mackerel then it doesn't really matter too much. They can open their mouths pretty wide and they will hook themselves on pretty much anything.

However, with feathers there is a range of other species that will take them, so there is an argument for going smaller or bigger.

Things like garfish, launce, herring or smelt you would be better off going for small hooks, perhaps size 4 or 6. These will still get the mackerel but pick up the little species too (most of which make great live bait).

On the other hand, if you are in an area where bass, decent pollack or scad are about then you'd be better off with about a 3/0.

Personally I tend to go somewhere in the middle, around 1/0 give you a decent chance with everything.

And yeah, as said above, making your own is cheaper and better quality, and there are all sorts of things you can use. Just make sure you use strong hooks and about 50lb line for the rig body if you're beach casting.
dpack

small was not very specific

for most things off the shore 8mm to 12 mm diameter point to shaft

long shaft for feathers ,short for bait

very strong ,well shaped to lock in,very sharp ,stainless steel hooks are my first choice
windyridge

I thought that size mattered in all things Wink
SmattyB

Agree with Dabinett, I've used size 12 launce feathers and caught bass up to 3lb (by accident) not ideal, but modern hooks are really good quality. 1/0 - 3/0 will cover most beach & rock fishing, long shanks for worm baits and short for fish strip & crab.

One note, stainless steel hooks are mentioned in the thread, I would steer well away from stainless steel. Carbon steel hooks rust to breaking point in salt water in a matter of a week or so. Stainless steel will last for a heck of a long time. if you loose gear, loose a fish in a snag or any other reason, it's best not to have it as a hazard for years.

M.
Bodger

You miss the point, which is what the fish might very well do.

Hook sizes and designs of hook have been developed after decades of experience, inorder to catch particular species and sizes of fish. There is quite an overlap of course and while one hook may very well catch a variety of fish, you should try and use the right tool for the job.
From experience, too big a hook will lead to missed fish ( they can't fit it in their gob ) while too small a hook will also lead to missed bites too. The latter is because it doesn't have the power or is so small that its pulled out of the maw without coming into contact with anywhere to hook into. The other problem that using too small a hook leads too is the bait and hook being swallowed completely which often demands major surgery and unnecessary discomfort to your patient.
Treacodactyl

Thanks for the replies. So, erring on the smaller side sounds best as I know there's herring (do herring come close enough insure to catch from the beach?) about and I'm sure I've seen garfish.

Thanks for the comments on stainless hooks, I often walk the beach at low tide and usually collect a few old rigs to throw away so I know what you mean.
Bodger

In all my time fishing, i've only ever seen one herring caught on a hook. I'll be interested to hear how you go on.
dpack

i see the problem with stainless but have not found the strength and shape needed in carbon steel (big wrasse can break carbon hooks they will bite etc ) and as i mostly slide float or spin or dangle i dont lose many hooks

re the swallow the hook issue ,it aint a problem to em once they are hauled in and bashed on the head ,i have a hook it eat it policy and do not fish catch and return on moral grounds , barbless lip hook is only fun for the (expletive deleted ) rod holder ,not the fish

i do not see fishing as sport ,it is hunting and as such i try to use the kit that gives the kindest kill which to my way of thinking is whatever gives a high chance of a fast kill once contact is established

ps i have collected much more kit than i lost ,very rarely buy leads,floats etc , i we make a rule to collect more than we lose we improve things and it is reduce and reuse
and collect miles of tangled mono ,nets etc Wink

pps if using a weight to land on the floor a lead can be attached with a line weaker than the rig and main line so as if snagged the rig comes home and the weight stays out Wink Wink
Dabinett

Thanks for the replies. So, erring on the smaller side sounds best as I know there's herring (do herring come close enough insure to catch from the beach?) about and I'm sure I've seen garfish.

Thanks for the comments on stainless hooks, I often walk the beach at low tide and usually collect a few old rigs to throw away so I know what you mean.


What area are you fishing in, and over what sort of ground?
Treacodactyl

Thanks for the replies. So, erring on the smaller side sounds best as I know there's herring (do herring come close enough insure to catch from the beach?) about and I'm sure I've seen garfish.

Thanks for the comments on stainless hooks, I often walk the beach at low tide and usually collect a few old rigs to throw away so I know what you mean.


What area are you fishing in, and over what sort of ground?

I'll be fishing in North Devon, the beach I'm most likely to fish has sand at very low tide, then a ridge of rocks which is covered by a couple of meters of water at high tide, and then very large pebbles. So I plan to float fish for mackerel and gars to start with.
Dabinett

Thanks for the replies. So, erring on the smaller side sounds best as I know there's herring (do herring come close enough insure to catch from the beach?) about and I'm sure I've seen garfish.

Thanks for the comments on stainless hooks, I often walk the beach at low tide and usually collect a few old rigs to throw away so I know what you mean.

What area are you fishing in, and over what sort of ground?

I'll be fishing in North Devon, the beach I'm most likely to fish has sand at very low tide, then a ridge of rocks which is covered by a couple of meters of water at high tide, and then very large pebbles. So I plan to float fish for mackerel and gars to start with.

Sounds ideal for bass and pollack too:)
Moniar

I always use the small multi coloured shrimp rigs which have size 1 hooks. I use it for mackeral, garfish, coalfish, codling, pollack, and baited up for dogfish and black bream.

I have caught 20 or so herring with the same rig in one session - fishing off the kayak in middle of the menai straits on xmas eve two years ago - you have to retrieve the line a bit more clowly as they tend to come off the hooks as their mouths seem to be soft. They are very tasty grilled or fried the same day - and I put a load in the freezer to use as bait for conger huss and thornback rays in the spring.
Treacodactyl

Well, as I've got all my equipment sorted out now I think I'll try and have a practice in the next few weeks. I'll try a basic sliding float rig with some of the smaller multi-purpose rigs and see what happens.

Thanks for all the advice everyone, anyone have a recipe for seaweed? Laughing
dpack

some seaweed is very nice Wink SmattyB

I can recommend 'seaweed and eat it' by Fiona Houston and Xa Milne, not exclusively seaweed, but quite a good chapter with some pretty good recipes too.

M.
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