Tying spade end hooks and hooklengths,or the inability to.

whitty

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I am still finding it hard to comprehend how some anglers(Mike for one)find it so difficult to tie spade end hooks,I know quite a few tie them by hand,something I can't do,but with relatively cheap hooktyers available it's a job anyone can do,if not on the bank like me,certainly at home in the living room,if you can't grasp it from the instructions,you tube will show you,crikey you can put it on your TV and have a birds eye view,I'm sure I could teach someone to do it in a short time...
 

mikench

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Guilty as charged. I’ve tried, not very hard admittedly, but even with a hook tyer I fail. Like marrying Nigella it was not meant to be.
 

s63

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I have the onset of arthritis in my fingers and am hopeless with knot tying bar a few exceptions that do the job for me, however I have become quite proficient with a matchman hooktyer, still use readymade most of the time though.

Another fishing forum has gone on at length about the Gizmo product and in discussions related it’s surprising just how many anglers can’t get on with the matchman tyer. All the videos I’ve see show you how to do it, so why do people still get it wrong? It’s very easy to make just a few tiny mistakes in the process, a video showing the right way plus all the wrong ways would be helpful.
 

rich66

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I can do them with a matchman hook tyer at home, but wouldn’t attempt to do it on the bank. I make up hook lengths 10 at a time all same length bs hook size etc. Only use spade ends 16 downwards.
I found a bit of electrical insulation tape in the jaws where the hook is gripped helped a lot, stops the hook moving around.
 

whitty

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I take it you mean 16's and smaller Rich?I use 14 and smaller,I tie on the bank,I've used and use matchman,drennan,a tyer I don't know the name of and my two handmade versions of the matchman made of aluminium and brass,by me,I have no problems tying hooks down to 24's,though rarely use smaller than 22's these days,I like tying on the bank because I the to the length I want on the day,or venues requirement,tactically...
 
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theartist

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What's the advantage of a spade end? Is it worth the bother?
Good question, for me a spade sits better and the knot is less visible with lighter lines so is much better for shy biting fish with baits like maggot, hemp and small pellet

I still think eyed hooks offer stronger knot options with heavy line and if say it's buried in bread or meat the size of the knot doesn't matter
 

rich66

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I take it you mean 16's and smaller Rich?I use 14 and smaller,I tie on the bank,I've used and use matchman,drennan,a tyer I don't know the name of and my two handmade versions of the matchman made of aluminium and brass,by me,I have no problems tying hooks down to 24's,though rarely use smaller than 22's these days,I like thing on the bank because I the to the length I want on the day,or venues requirement,tactically...
Yes 16 down to 22’s is my norm, I’d like to have longer hook lengths than I do at the moment 8” I’m sure I’d get a better presentation. But until I can warrant/afford a new hook length storage thingy then I’ll have to put up with. I doubt I could replicate exact lengths on the bank or even a decent knot lol. My fingers are not as nimble as they used to be so I like to make my life a bit easier.
 

whitty

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I've discussed this with Philip before,but as you say Rob for smaller baits the spade end lies straight down the spade,hanging straight giving a better presentation,I don't find the knot weak,but tying a size 8 in a spade end say would be poor.

To add,I'm very meticulous with my hook tying,be it spade end or eyed,I don't leave long tags,apart from the knotless knot lol.
 
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sam vimes

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I can, just about, tie spades by hand. However, I never became proficient enough at it. I always found it unnecessarily fiddly. However, I do still tie all of my own hook lengths. I also tie them as I need them on the bank. The Drennan hook tyer is my weapon of choice. I've got them scattered through all of my different tackle boxes.
 

nottskev

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No offence to Mike, but I can't see the problem either. Using a hooktyer must be on a par with ....peeling a potato? Tying shoelaces? You've still got to want to do it, though, or you'll give up when the first couple aren't perfect and you realise it takes a few minutes practice.

Using spade ends? It gives you access to a whole world of hooks of all patterns and strengths (with eyed for very heavy duty). Spade ends sit nicely and tying your own lets you put whatever hook you like on whatever line you need. It also saves you a small fortune.

If I ever use commercial-style hooklengths - knotless with bait bands etc - I still do my own, even though I can see why some prefer to avoid the more fiddly job. But why you'd pay to have someone tie a straightforward hook on line beats me.
 

mikench

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None taken but I still cannot do it. I did sit down one day with some super spades but the end product was, to be blunt, poor. Ian has tried to show me and he makes it look easy but I’m useless .i can tie shoelaces, peel spuds, change a plug, set up a rod and even replace the tiny screws on the arms of glasses. I’m happy to be buy prettied as life is too short.
 

nottskev

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I agree it's too short. It takes me longer, on the odd occasion I ever tried them, to get hooks to nylon out of their packets untangled than it does to tie a hook on. So - whatever extends your life-span :)
 

markg

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I have used the tucked half blood knot as far back as I can remember for sea and coarse. For almost every type of tackle as well, joining two lines is basically two half blood knots. I have never had a problem’ maybe the odd badly tied one has gone astray. I find it simple and quick to do. I can see a spade is slightly smaller in bulk and maybe neater but does it make that much difference? I also never like the look of what looks to me like a sharp edge to the spade. It probably is not and the knot does not rub on it but what’s in the mind’s eye if you know what I mean. These are reasons why I asked is it worth it. I could be convinced maybe. I understand more hook choices may be open to me but I am happy with eyed, they come in various enough shapes for me and my usual hook choice are the Drennan, eyed ones. I never have problem tying one on even in pretty adverse conditions, maybe lately a bit through getting dodgy health wise but even tied at home it has to be easier..
I have tried a few readymade to mono lately, I find they get tangled when taking them out, maybe I am a bit cack handed but I remember when trying these when I was young this often happened as well, I think it is a false saving because of that but those a bit more dexterous, probably not.
 

rayner

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I had a real dislike of spade end hooks years ago and preferred to stick with dubbed straight shank , eyed hooks were only used if I fished a bomb. The simple fact that spades give far superior knot strength soon altered my thinking.
Strange now how I now only use eyed, not only that I only use the knotless knot to tie any hooks I use,
It's true I only fish commercials now and I've discovered that the fish are more suspect of heavy feeding than the size of hook. A larger hook gives me the chance to use eyed hooks. I never use hooks smaller than an 18s, an 18s now looks like a 16s to me.
I would never call anyone who prefers ready tied hooks, we all have our own way of doing things.
I can't believe anyone who says they can't tie spades though, truth is they just don't want to.
 

whitty

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I'm afraid it really does make a difference,you don't have someone giving you a battering on spade ends,you can catch fish on anything on the right day,just look at the way a knotless knot sits,it's fine when you have lump of bread or meat on,different with a single maggot,especially on the drop,to be honest it doesn't matter to me if people want to fish with inferior presentation,as long as your happy with what you do,it's like not being able to fish a slider,I reckon I could show someone who could already fish a float reasonably well in an hour,I fished on one all day yesterday,no tangles,no issues,apart from the fish not starting to feed until 2.25pm,but 14 reasonable roach,2 tiny perch,but one lump 2lbs 3ozs,anyone who wants to learn can,for a small fee,nothing....lol
 

markcw

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I use a Matchman hooktyer ,cheap cheerful and simple to use, I did use what came free with hands at one time, they are called fingers, As for eyed hooks I will use them if fishing next to snags for margin carp, the reason being is that there is a possibility of the the spade end cutting into the line if a fish takes you through some rushes or weeds.
 

wetthrough

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Having had a snap off when it I thought it shouldn't have happened with spades back when I got back into fishing I've been using eyed. I was never really confident about my spade tying skills anyway, didn't find it particularly easy. If you put enough tension on the line to enable you to tie it tight the bull nose of the Matchman pushes the knot towards the spade. I've recently been giving spades another go with a Stonfo hook tyer which has a smaller nose and happy enough with the results, they look OK. However, with fluorocarbon I find the regular spade knot significantly weaker than an eyed hook with a half blood knot. Tried a snell knot and it compares well with the eyed+half blood but it does take me two or three goes to get it right. Onn of the disadvantages of eyed knots I've found is that the knot can slip round the eye and end up lodged where the loop finishes. Winkling it back round the sharp edges of the loop end doesn't fill me with confidence.
 

Mark Wintle

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I use an Esi-Tie bench hook tier (circa 1975) at home with hook packets with two hooks per packet. I can use a Matchman tier on the bank OK. I have tied by hand but can't seem to master it completely. With the hook tiers the secret is in the tension; too tight and a pig tail, too loose falls off. I wouldn't be without spade ends for roach fishing, indeed for almost all of my float fishing. I'm using 22s (the real size 22s) to 0.08 a lot in winter on stillwater - forget eyed! I also get the hook link length that I want ie 22".
 
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