Standard hook strength



There's been a couple of threads recently about hook choices and I'm talking in general terms here and not in relation to giant carp or hook 'n hold barbel etc.

Can I say something on hook choice in general which I think has something to do with many a lost fish and which I've been meaning to say for some time but have struggled to find the words?

My own personal opinion, born from my own experience of losing many a head shaking and notorious for the act big perch, is that we occasionally fish hooks which are too fine a wire for the job in hand because they have become the standard.

My own justification for this observation being the standard wide gape Kamasan B911 with worm for afore mentioned stripey.

I lost way too many fish on fine(er) wire hooks before moving on to the 'X' versions where the problem all but eradicated itself.

So what's the conclusion?

Well, on all but a couple of memorable occasions on the finer wire the hook has appeared to be of its original shape after a lost fish but I genuinely believe that there is some returnable 'give' which bounces open the point when the pulls are so close together, enough to still return to the original position whilst allowing enough for the gape to open and the fish be lost.

A bit like earthquakes where solid ground liquefies and buildings sink because the shocks are so close together, before returning to solid ground.

A long shot?

Well, I'm struggling to find an alternative explanation for my own drastic reduction in losses after changing 'up' to stronger hooks.

Don't get me wrong...

The fine wires have their place such as a slower rate of fall when fishing on the drop but has 'standard' become a bit of a buyer beware in relation to the above?


Well-known member
I do get what your saying about the bounce/bend in lighter gauge hooks Ste, though I don't know if it would actually happen when the hook is set correctly...maybe it could.
Perch do have that membrane between their lips though and a finer hook may rip out of it easier, especially on a larger perch where the membrane is larger.
I've always used Super spades, animals or super specialists for my perch fishing and not usually any larger than a size ten and mostly a size 14's to 12's. Even when live baiting I usually use a 14's and have very carefully hooked the bait as lightly as possible, in the same sort of way you could push a hook through your skin without making it bleed in the hope that the bait fish will be ok when I strike the hook out of it and into the perch. I've never seen any of the bait fish i've used dying or dead so I do think my method works ok, I hope so anyhow :).

I know this is ball all to do with your post Ste but I don't like using treble hooks for perch as they often get all three points in their mouths and make a real mess of them, ripping the membranes between their harder lippy bits. I swap the hook on my lures now and only use single hooks when lure fishing for 'em.


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I'm another for the B911X, I have every confidence in it for the larger fish and can't remember being let down. I'll also use the the three Ian mentions with confidence - unlike, I'm not going there...................;)


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Its a very interesting theory Steve and one that could imo happen if the fish is hooked but the hook isn't right in if you see what I mean, if the hook has only penetrated just past the point (likely to happen on boney mouths) there would be plenty of scope for the rest of the hook to flex changing the angle of pull on the hook.


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Personally I'm more concerned about the shape/pattern of the hook than the guage of the wire. I think hook patttern/size is more of an issue when we are suffering hook pulls.

I lost more barbel from the Wey this year than i landed and i don't generally suffer hook pulls from barbel. Having thought about it quite a bit I'm inclined to think it was the hook pattern that caused the problem. I was trying some Owners that Big Dave put me on. Look the part and are very sharp but if they don't stay in then what use is any hook ?

And big perch are right up there with big roach when it comes to spitting hooks out. If only brim were as good at it !

Graham Elliott 1

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Vive le difference. And I'm not talking brexit here.

I use size 8 hooks for livebaiting for perch. And also when using prawns.

I also use barbed. As they tend to hold into the throat area where many perch end up hooked. They suck in food they don't graze.

Also the writer of the Perchfishers Steve ? Considered barbless twist in flesh and damage the fish considerably.

Fine wire hooks? I only use them for silvers and grayling.

I use my barbel hooks for perch Raptor D7's. I didnt lose one this closed season pool session including a 3.11(on prawn)

So as I said. Vive le difference and long may it be so.:rolleyes:


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I used to use B911x but have now been using the Guru MGW ptfe coated hooks and so far am very peased with them dang sharp i can vouch for that i use Eyed hooks not had much problem with escapees since usingb the Guru hooks prior to that i was having a mare of a time with fish getting off the hook before i got them netted .

PG ...


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I think you may mean 'Spring'. Virtually all hooks (I say virtually only because I have never ever seen all hooks available !!) have some spring in the wire. A bit of give. It's easy to see and feel when putting the point under a thumbnail and trying to gradually gape the hook and then releasing the pressure before it's gaped. It springs back to shape. Or put the bend around a pin (paperclip even) or point into an eraser or piece of wood, pull against it and then release pressure.

This may well be the diameter of the wire, the thickness of the wire, the grade of steel used, whether round wire and not forged (forged are stiffer, less spring) and, very importantly, how the wire has been tempered. If they make the wire too hard it can snap. If they don't temper it enough then the wire can be soft and hook open out.

With everything, it's a balance.


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There's too many variables to compare hook pulls than just the type of hook, clearly changing hooks worked with your set up, method and bait.There's something about wide gape hooks that, unless the bait needs it i'll avoid. I use tiny kamasans when after perch on maggot yet don't lose many. I wonder how the heck that is when I look inside the perch at the hook hold sometimes.

As for barbel their mouths are almost 'anti eject' and it's very rare to suffer pulls nearly all lost barbel are a result of foul hooking.


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Playing devils advocate here, how can anyone know that? by the very fact the fish is lost where the hook was can never be known.
True Crow the only proof would be to have an underwater cam when amongst the barbel. I'm only going on experience of seeing them in clear water and how a foul hooked fish feels when on. Don't want to go off the perch topic but i'll stand by what I said proof or not.


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It's true some hooks spring open especially if a fish is not properly hooked. I hooked 3 carp on Tuesday, none came out as the hook straightened enough to pull out.
Fishing for roach I use Colmic hooks with a 4 elastic, the hook straightened before my .08 broke.
Hooks that I used to use with the method were 911s until it was explained to me why I was losing fish. The hooks were springing open.
I changed to Korum and the lost fish was no where near as many.


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As for barbel their mouths are almost 'anti eject' and it's very rare to suffer pulls nearly all lost barbel are a result of foul hooking.
The ones I lost were not foul hooked I can assure you ! I was really hacked off as I agree, barbel are very rarely lost due to hookpulls.

I think I said at the time after losing 3 in a row I couldn't remember the last time I'd lost a barbel to a hook pull. I remain convinced it was those damned hooks. I wont be using them again.


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[FONT=&quot]I think the concept of hooks flexing open but returning to their original shape when playing a fish is totally possible. After all its just a bit of wire. Pull it hard and it may flex open but spring back..pull it even harder and you get to the point where it bends past the point of no return and stays permanently out of shape. The problem is worse with finer wire as that will have more spring & bend easier than thicker wire. [/FONT]
So yes Steve I think some fish will be lost due a hook micro-flexing open and shut during a fight. How often is anyone’s guess but I think it can and does happen. [/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot]With regard to Perch, the other thing to keep in mind is the heart is in the back of the gullet. Its further forward than allot of fish and Steve Burke in particular used to warn about not using fine wire hooks in larger sizes for Perch as you could puncture the heart of a deep hooked fish and kill it. I am not totally convinced as I think the problem will apply to any hook not just fine wire but its worth being aware of. [/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot]The other point with respect to Perch which Tigger made is the membrane in the mouth. I remember losing a Perch which I got to the surface and I could clearly see the membrane had split. The hook point was protruding into thin air and just a strip of flesh was left resting in the bend of the hook (if you see what I mean). The fish lunged, the line went momentarily slack and the hook just dropped out. [/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot]Generally [/FONT]I don’t like using fine wire hooks for anything that going to pull back hard as I simply worry it will open. That’s why I use Super specialists for most of my fishing. I have only had 1 of those open on a fish and that’s only because I was using totally unbalanced tackle. Big strong line and a very small hook. I was basically asking for it !