What’s a tackle without a hook? This piece of equipment is so familiar that many tend to underestimate its importance. But this is a very important component of any fishing equipment, and spinning is no exception.
Do you need beards?
The goatee is an integral part of any hook, preventing the fish from freeing from it. At least, this is generally accepted … But I have a different opinion on this matter. You’ve probably noticed that many wobblers of the Land of the Rising Sun, designed mainly for fishing for trout, have barbless hooks. This was done with one goal – to minimize injury to the fish when removing the hook, when fishing according to the “catch and release” principle. In this regard, the Japanese people are very scrupulous, and the life of a living organism, such as a fish, is often in the foreground for them. And what about us?
And we somehow do not really think about the fact that a perch with half-torn lips from large anchor-like hooks, “set free”, is unlikely to survive. Therefore, the first thing to do is replace the beardless hooks with the “correct” ones, arguing that there are much fewer retractions. I often catch perch with barbless hooks and have many reasons for using them. The number of fish coming off does not increase compared to conventional hooks! I specifically compared two completely identical Rigge 35F wobblers. One with beardless hooks, the other with regular hooks. And somehow I didn’t notice the difference: almost all the perches reached my hands. But unhooking such hooks is a matter of seconds. And you can let go of the striped whole and almost unharmed. Or such a well-known wobbler like the Smith Camion SR, which initially has barbless threesomes. It is significant that last year’s two-kilogram asp, which sat on this miniature wobbler by the very edge of the lip, was confidently pulled out of the water after several minutes of struggle. Quite a weighty argument, isn’t it?
To the question about the size of the hook
A common truth known to all: the smaller the hook, the better it hooks the fish. But even here, not everything is as simple as it seems. The size of the hooks directly depends not only on the size of the lures equipped with them, but also on the rigidity of the rod. At one time I was fishing ide with a short and very hard (“bass”) spinning rod among the river snag, but I just could not understand where such a huge number of descents came from. It got to the point of ridiculousness – out of ten fish hooked on the hook, I “poured”. But as soon as I changed the hooks on the wobbler for larger ones, the number of descents was halved! There was a minimum of retirement with another rod, two feet longer and softer …
If the wobbler initially has small triple hooks, you can try replacing them with single hooks a couple of sizes larger. In general, a larger single, all other things being equal, holds the fish no worse than a small threesome. The main thing here is not to overdo it, otherwise we will lose very important wobbler qualities, but more on that later. The size of the hooks on large lures, such as a 10cm minnow or 15 “rubber, should match. I equip various non-hooks with 4/0 hooks – this way the fish gets through better.
Once, after some spinning competition, I got various small things as an incentive prize – hooks, fasteners, etc. Among other things, there were Hayabusa offset workers. These hooks, of rather dubious quality, were sent by me to the farthest pocket of my backpack, just in case. And now this case turned up. At that time I was fishing with a jig in a snag, and the stock of offset makers that I had with me sold out like hot cakes – it was quickly hung over the bog oak. And then it was Hayabusa’s turn. One bag of these hooks was enough for me for that fishing trip, and for several subsequent ones. Quite simply, the offset makers were made of very soft wire, which I could easily unbend with a 10-pound cord, thus keeping the baits.
Many people for fishing in snag are advised to slightly “heat up” the forend of the hook over the flame of the lighter. Then the wire becomes much softer and bends quite easily. I prefer to use fine wire hooks without finishing them this way. In addition, if you overheat a little, the hook will become very fragile and simply break even with a slight load. And hooks made of thin wire, in addition to being unbent on the hooks, also pinpoint the fish more reliably.
Whenever I get any new bait, the first thing I do is look at the quality of the hooks. Unfortunately, on many even branded lures, which cost more than one hundred rubles, the quality of the hooks leaves much to be desired. There is only one way out – to replace them with sharper and stronger ones. I also often re-equip the lures when the hooks are in the wrong size initially, or when I just want to replace the hook with some other type. But such re-equipment is not always justified. I would not advise changing the hooks on the smallest wobblers, even if, in your opinion, they are “wrong” – single, without barbs. Or, since you have decided to replace them without fail, treat this with due attention. The wobbler is a rather capricious bait. Some manufacturers, especially Japanese ones, adjust the size and, accordingly, the weight of the hooks with which their baits are equipped to hundredths of a millimeter.
Any deviation from these parameters, as a rule, entails a deterioration in the working qualities of the wobbler: either it begins to sink like a stone to the bottom, then, on the contrary, it floats to the surface with a cork, or it stops playing altogether as intended. Therefore, on small, expensive wobblers, it is better to leave everything as it is. But the main idea that my own experiments with re-equipping lures led me to is that the hook may be an inconspicuous, but very important element of the tackle. What you should never skimp on is hooks. They live, as a rule, for a very short time and belong to the article of consumables, but in many respects they determine the result of fishing.