Buyers Guide to Ready-tied Hooklengths

No time to tie your own? No worries, today’s ready-tied versions are quality products. Here’s our ultimate guide to what’s out there

Buyers Guide to Ready-tied Hooklengths

by Angling Times |

Battle of the bands

Arguably the most popular hair-rigging method out there, not all bait band hooklengths are the same, with varying levels of quality and uses – be it for pulling through soft baits like meat or pinging over a wafter or hard pellet on either pole, waggler or feeder. Here are the top contenders on the market today.

Matrix MXC-4 18-ins X-Strong Band Rigs

A wide gape PTFE-coated hook with a straight eye makes it a superb choice for pellet waggler and bomb fishing. Uniquely tied with a band in a loop that is bound under the whipping on the shank for improved presentation, durability and strength. Tied to 18ins lengths of Power Micron and pre-wound on an EVA spool which fit straight into Matrix EVA storage cases.

+ Band in Jamie Hughes’ whipped loop knot gives arguably the best durability possible

+ Spools are compatible with EVA storage system__

+ Three popular hook sizes of 16, 14 and 12

+ Unique loop and whipping knot negates the need for silicon on the shank

- A little pricey, but you do get what you pay for__

Price: £4.49 for 8, www.fishmatrix.co.uk

Matrix MXC-4 18-ins X-Strong Band Rigs
Matrix MXC-4 18-ins X-Strong Band Rigs

Middy Pole Pellet Band ‘Em

Using Middy’s medium gauge though surprisingly strong KM-1, the bands on these vary in size to match the hook, meaning a greater section of baits can be used. Tied on a twizzled loop, a knot unique to Middy, to add strength and ensure the hook remains in line with the shank.

+ Unrivalled value hooklengths with eight in a pack

+ Bands match the hook size, so suitable for all baits from casters to big pellets and wafters

+ Strong and straight twizzled loop on band for superb strength__

+ Ideal 6ins length for the pole without cutting down__

+ 12ins-long versions tied to KM-2 hooks available for pellet waggler fishing

- Not compatible with any hooklength storage system

Price: £2.95 for eight, www.middytackle.com

Middy Pole Pellet Band ‘Em
Middy Pole Pellet Band ‘Em

Guru QM1 banded

Synonymous with Method feeder fishing, the famous QM1 hook is available in many pre-tied formats, including on bands. Super sharp and PTFE-coated, these unique shaped hooks are designed to prick more fish and reduce hook pulls on self-hooking presentations. The 4ins Method feeder versions fit the Guru rig cases, while the longer 15ins bomb versions come on colour-coded EVA spools which fit the Guru Rig Box. Eight hooks in each pack.

+ Silicone on the shank keeps hair straight and allows hooking angle to be adjusted

+ Quality bands are super durable and stretchy

+ Fully compatible with Guru hooklength storage systems__

+ Bands are tied in loops which reduce breakages in landing nets__

- Rapidly reduced hookhold when moving down the sizes__

- A bit too heavy for smaller fish

- Premium price for a premium product__

Price: £3.49 - £4.49 for eight, www.tackleguru.com

Guru QM1 banded
Guru QM1 banded

Maver CS 25 and CS 26 Band Hair Rig

The CS 25 is a heavy-duty bagging hook available in sizes 16 and 14 to strong 6ins lengths of 0.16mm and 0.18mm, making them perfect for pole and Method work. The equally strong CS 26 hooks in sizes 18, 16 and 14 are tied to 12ins of line and are designed for bomb and pellet waggler fishing. Both patterns are exceptionally well tied, with 5mm hairs to 3mm bands and a sliver of silicone on the shank.

+ Cost-effective

+ Silicone on the shank ensures a straight hair with optimal hooking angle

+ Two similar hooks, each tailored to specific methods__

- Not compatible with any storage system

- A 4ins version of the CS 25 would be a great addition to the range__

Price: £3.25 for eight, www.mavermatch.co.uk

Maver CS 25 and CS 26 Band Hair Rig
Maver CS 25 and CS 26 Band Hair Rig

Preston KKH-B banded

Based on the original cult PR36, this is an exceptionally strong hook tied to the even stronger Reflo Power Line! Perfect for hair-rigging, the out-turned eye allows the hook to hang straight, which is especially important when pole fishing. Available 4ins long on magnetic sticks which fit right into Preston’s Mag Store storage boxes. Eight hooklengths on a stick.

+ Great hookhold in smaller sizes__

+ Superb for pole fishing and small to mid-sized Method fish__

+ Compatible with Mag Store boxes__

+ Bands are tied in loops which reduce breakages in landing nets__

- Longer versions for pellet waggler fishing would be welcome__

- Silicone on the shank would be a great addition on the bigger sizes

Price: £3.99 for eight, www.prestoninnovations.com

Preston KKH-B banded
Preston KKH-B banded

3 ways with pre-tied hair rigs

It’s not all about the band! There are other great alternatives for hair-rigging out there and these are available pre-tied too! These are our three favourites and here’s how to use them.

Bait coil

The Miracoil is a small spring-like attachment on a hair, perfect for moulding soft baits around, preventing them from coming off on the cast, yet leaving the entire hook free from the bait to ensure it is not masked in any way. Although primarily designed for pole fishing, these can be used on a bomb or waggler too.

Middy Paste Carp

Price: £2.89 for six, www.middytackle.com

Bait coil
Bait coil

Bait stop

Similar to the original hair rig but with the stop permanently attached. A small needle pushes the spike through the bait and out the other side, where its ‘T’ design stops it pulling back through. Superb for all soft baits that could otherwise pull off a band.

Preston KKM-B Magstore Rapid Stop Hair rigs

Price: £3.75 for eight, www.prestoninnovations.com

Bait stop
Bait stop

Bait Spike

In the search for a better presentation than a band for boilies, the spike was born. These allow the bait to be attached lengthways, keeping the width of the bait within the hook gape. The added weight helps to pin down wafters at one end, making them sit up enticingly off the lakebed.

Guru 4-ins QM1 Bayonet ready rigs

Price: £3.99 for eight, www.tackleguru.com

Bait Spike
Bait Spike

Our pick for natural waters

Preston N20

Wide gape, straight-pointed barbed hooks in a black nickel finish, tied 1m long on Revalution spools with Power Line for feeder work and 6ins long with Accu Power for pole fishing.

Sizes: Mag Store 12, 14, 16, 18. Revalution 12, 14, 16, 18

Price: Magstore £3.25 for eight, Revalution £3.99 for 10, www.prestoninnovations.com

Preston N20
Preston N20

Guru Pole Special

This fine-wire, super sharp, black nickel, barbed hook has a surprising amount of strength, especially in the bigger sizes. Tied to N-Gauge line, these 8ins hooklengths cover everything from pinkie canal to caster reservoir fishing.

Sizes: 22 to 0.08mm, 20 to 0.09mm, 18 to 0.10mm, 16 to 0.11mm, 14 to 0.13mm

Price: £3.25 for 8, www.tackleguru.com

Guru Pole Special
Guru Pole Special

Kamasan B611

An extra-strong, wide gaped, barbed pattern ideal for maggots and casters in small sizes right up to tares, corn or worms in larger sizes.

Each hooklength is 12ins long, making it a great pole, waggler, stick float and Bolo choice when bigger fish are the target.

Sizes: 22 to 1lb 8oz, 20 to 2lb 8oz, 18 to 3lb, 16 to 3lb 8oz, 14 to 4lb, 12 to 5lb

Price: £2.85 for 10, www.drennantackle.com

Kamasan B611
Kamasan B611

Korum River Hair Rigs

Japanese Supersteel wide gape hooks tied to strong abrasion-resistant mono – a great choice for big baits for big chub and barbel on bomb or feeder. Each hooklength is 1m long, comes on a water-resistant spool and includes a sliver of silicon on the shank for the hair length to be adjusted.

Sizes: 12 to 10lb, 10 to 12lb, 8 to 15lb

Price: £2.99 for six, www.korum.co.uk

Korum River Hair Rigs
Korum River Hair Rigs

Guru LWGF Special Feeder Ready Rig

The perfect bream feeder hook. A sweeping bend and inturned point gives the black nickel pattern a great hookhold. Supplied on an EVA foam spool in 1m lengths for river work, they can be shortened down for stillwaters or when fish are feeding confidently.

Sizes: 20 to 0.11mm, 18 to 0.13mm, 16 to 0.13mm, 14 to 0.15mm, 12 to 0.15mm, 10 to 0.17mm, 10 to 0.19mm__

Price: £4.49 for eight, www.tackleguru.com

Guru LWGF Special Feeder Ready Rig
Guru LWGF Special Feeder Ready Rig

Sensas 3530

Claimed to be the finest wire hook on the market, this long shank barbed pattern has found favour with canal and drain anglers looking for high numbers of small fish or looking to get bites when the going gets hard. Each hooklength is 8ins long and comes on a card rig board.

Sizes: 24 to 0.06mm, 22 to 0.06mm, 20 to 0.07mm, 18 to 0.08mm, 18 to 0.10mm

Price: £2.90 for 8, www.sensas.com

Sensas 3530
Sensas 3530
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