There aren’t many anglers who set a rig up without a hooklength on it these days, but very little attention appears to be paid to the length of it.
Over the years I have found that certain lengths complement different types of fishing and getting it wrong can lead to fewer fish going in the net.
This week I reveal my ultimate guide to hooklengths...
This length gets a lot of use on commercials in different scenarios. The obvious one is the Method feeder. It needs to be short so that the fish takes the bait, attempts to move, and instantly feels the weight of the feeder before it hooks itself and bolts off. You wouldn’t get that deadly effect if you used a longer hooklength.
This is also perfect for fishing down the margins and up in the water on the long pole. There are times when you might need to set your rig as shallow as 9ins, so if you have a long hooklength you won’t be able to run the float down the line to that depth.
If I am fishing the pole on the bottom, this is the length I will use. The bulk shot will sit a couple of feet away from the hook and a couple of smaller dropper shot to slow the fall of the bait will be sat below. Where the hooklength knot is located is often the best place to put your bottom dropper shot – far enough away from the bait so the fish don’t detect it but close enough to help it register bites.
One of the problems with short hooklengths is that there is less line so it comes under more pressure when you hook a big fish. When fishing the waggler or bomb you won’t have the cushion of pole elastic so you need to use a slightly longer hooklength to avoid breakages on fairly light lines.
This is my starting point when fishing for bream on the feeder. The species will sometimes refuse to feed close to the feeder and this length makes sure the hookbait is sat slightly off it, but close enough to still be noticed by the shoal.
If you are getting indications on the tip but no proper bites then shorten it to 12ins. If you aren’t getting any signs of fish at all then lengthen it to 2ft because the fish could be sat further away from the main bed of feed.