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

whitty

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I use eyed hooks,for certain baits,hair rigging etc,never smaller than a 16,usually 14 or bigger,I also normally use a Maver hair rig tyer,which is brilliant,once set at the length required it will stay that setting until you change it,please dont take offence over my comments in previous posts one and all...

If i tied a hook for someone else I would want them to have total confidence in it,as i do myself,ive landed big fish of all species on spade ends,these days i dont fish finer than 0.10mm and rarely that,I just dont find it necessary and do always want a chance of landing bigger fish that may be hooked,even 0.10mm isn't that strong,whatever knot you use...
 
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Philip

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I recon the advantages of spades are overstated & outside match circles more people use eyed it seems to me anyway. If they are so much better you have to wonder why everyone does not use them.

It can't be solely down to the tying aspect.
 

whitty

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Because they cant tie them properly maybe,lol,in the present most matches are fished on commercials,its eyed hooks mainly,on more natural venues where maggots and casters are main baits its spades,ive said this before,matchmen dont use tackle because others use it,they use it because its the best for the job,decent ones anyway....

I dont matchfish these days,but i use what i think is right for the job,that applies for barbel fishing,tench,roach,whatever,i dont use sh1te...
 
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bracket

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What an interesting thread and a surprising variety of opinions. Having started match fishing in the late 1950s the most popular hooks used were spade ends in sizes 16 to 26. The main bait being caster or maggot. I have used spade end hooks almost exclusively ever since. I have never had a problem with the design, although some manufacturers products were superior to other, at that time Mustad being the most popular. I could be wildly wrong here but I doubt, even with the advances made in hook specification and design today, the range of spade end hooks available is duplicated in eyed hooks. Certainly I have not found so in the 20 to 24 sizes. With regard to hand tying spade end hooks it is a question of application. I have been hand tying spade end hooks for over 65 years and it has become second nature. I would not entertain using a pre-tied hook. On the rare occasion I use a eyed hook I tie it the same way I tie a spade. The standard advice given when tying spades is that the line must come away in front of the spade. Well do that if you wish but I always have the line coming off the back of the spade. If you doubt my sanity get a tied hook and try setting it in your finger. The line of force setting the hook is directly from the rod to the spade then the hook point. The force setting the hook cocks the hook at an angle and puts the line in direct contact with the top edge of the spade. My way the line comes away from the back of the spade. If you don't believe this try it. Pete.
 

markg

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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.
One of my points and a pretty important one I think. does anyone think spades lose more fish than eyed? Are they more likely to cut off when a fish is pulling this way and that way than eyed?. Especially when you get down to the very fine lines and I have often thought this is a possibility and not worth the risk for a very slight better presentation if it is at all; but I could be wrong.
 
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sam vimes

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I doubt anyone could prove the cut-off theory when it comes to spade end hooks. However, in all the years I've used them, I don't recall ever having a breakage that I would attribute specifically to it being a spade end hook being used. Even when pulling for a break, I've had hooks bend and hooklinks break. However, the breaks are rarely close enough to the hook to even consider it having been cut off by the spade. If I genuinely thought that I was losing fish simply because of spade end hooks, I'd have binned them years ago. However, I'm still using them, and probably always will.

In my opinion and experience, a properly made spade end hook, that's well tied, is no more problematic than the seam of an eyed hook. If a cut off is a genuine possibility (spade or eye) then you've bought poor hooks or decent hooks with poor quality control allowing the odd rogue to creep in. Spades causing cut-offs is an irrational excuse for not using them. It's based on myth rather than reality.
 
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nottskev

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I can't remember ever having a spade cause a cut-off. But I've certainly had line break when the knot has pulled into a badly-closed eye, and I've had knotless knots fail at the hook, too; why they occasionally fail is debated, but fail they sometimes do.

Before the commercials and the popularity of banding, spiking etc hard baits, eyed hooks were very much in the minority, specimen fishing aside, on the shelves of any tackle shop I visited, and I'd have been surprised to find a match angler - match angling being a good barometer of tackle efficiency - using eyed hooks to catch roach, dace, chub, bream etc.
 

steve2

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I use to tie all my small hooks now I find it much easier to buy ready tied and have never had a problem. Can't remember ever losing a fish due to using ready tied hooks.
 

theartist

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I use to tie all my small hooks now I find it much easier to buy ready tied and have never had a problem. Can't remember ever losing a fish due to using ready tied hooks.
I keep some pre tied in my jacket just in case I lose ever lose my spools of home tied on the bank. I think most who tie their own do so because you can't always buy the right hook to the right breaking strain which is also the right length. Tying your own means you can tailor lots of options.

What I noticed when buying pre tied again is that the hooklengths seem much shorter than they used to be as a kid though

I still find it amazing that spades don't cut through line but they don't seem to. Although on heavier lines on sea fish I've seen some abrasion there to make eyed a more viable option
 
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markcw

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Has anyone tried the hook in a loop method of fishing, ?
As for joining hooklengths to mainline ,the two popular methods seem to be 4 turn water knot, great presentation but a nuisance to replace due to having to plumb up again, the other being loop to loop, easier to replace, a friend I fish with uses large loops on both mainline and hook length he reckons he gets a better presentation as the baited hook falls through the water, I have never tried it,preferring to keep loops as small as possible .
 

silvers

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I keep some pre tied in my jacket just in case I lose ever lose my spools of home tied on the bank. I think most who tie their own do so because you can't always buy the right hook to the right breaking strain which is also the right length. Tying your own means you can tailor lots of options.

What I noticed when buying pre tied again is that the hooklengths seem much shorter than they used to be as a kid though

I still find it amazing that spades don't cut through line but they don't seem to. Although on heavier lines on sea fish I've seen some abrasion there to make eyed a more viable option
I haven't bought pre-tied in years ..... but surely it's also way cheaper to tie your own??
 

silvers

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What an interesting thread and a surprising variety of opinions. Having started match fishing in the late 1950s the most popular hooks used were spade ends in sizes 16 to 26. The main bait being caster or maggot. I have used spade end hooks almost exclusively ever since. I have never had a problem with the design, although some manufacturers products were superior to other, at that time Mustad being the most popular. I could be wildly wrong here but I doubt, even with the advances made in hook specification and design today, the range of spade end hooks available is duplicated in eyed hooks. Certainly I have not found so in the 20 to 24 sizes. With regard to hand tying spade end hooks it is a question of application. I have been hand tying spade end hooks for over 65 years and it has become second nature. I would not entertain using a pre-tied hook. On the rare occasion I use a eyed hook I tie it the same way I tie a spade. The standard advice given when tying spades is that the line must come away in front of the spade. Well do that if you wish but I always have the line coming off the back of the spade. If you doubt my sanity get a tied hook and try setting it in your finger. The line of force setting the hook is directly from the rod to the spade then the hook point. The force setting the hook cocks the hook at an angle and puts the line in direct contact with the top edge of the spade. My way the line comes away from the back of the spade. If you don't believe this try it. Pete.
Pete .... does your line come off the "inside" of the shank? ie. the same side as the hook point? or the other side.

I find with the latter that I lose and bump a lot of fish (if the line has slipped round during a session).

I only used eyed hooks in one pattern (Kamasan Animal) in 14 and 16 for barbel fishing.
Every other pattern is spade-end and tied with a matchaman hook tyer. On the bank because I'm lazy.
Most fiddly are b512 in a 24 to 0.06 diameter ... on a winter match with cold fingers !
 

markg

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It seems my question is no, in practice my fears dont don't happen but I am still looking at a sharp bit of metal right next to my fishing line and I just can't like that; I will stick to eyed, practice or not-to my minds eye they look a safer bet.
 

bracket

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Pete .... does your line come off the "inside" of the shank? ie. the same side as the hook point? or the other side.
Line coming off on the point side is the convention way of tying. When I was tying for the the Trade that is the method I used. When tying for myself I always have the line coming off at the back of the spade (the other side to the hook point). When you set the hook on the strike it is not like doing a direct lift with a crane. The hook tilts at the point. The rough geometry is that the force applied through the line can be split into two force vectors. The main one, acting through the line in a direction from the point, via the spade end to the rod is the one that puts the pressure on the fish. The secondary force is along the line of the point and this is the penatrating one that sets the hook. With the line coming off the hook in front of the shank there is a theoretical possibility of the spade cutting the line. In practice, as Sam Vines has pointed out, this does not seem to happen. I like to have the line coming off from the back of the spade. It is a personal foible of mine that I have done for many a year. I have not experienced increased loss of fish by "bumping off" and in my time I have bagged a stack of silver fish. Pete
 

nottskev

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It is a personal foible of mine that I have done for many a year. I have not experienced increased loss of fish by "bumping off" and in my time I have bagged a stack of silver fish. Pete
It's funny you should say that..... I use the Matchman hooktyers, and the last thing I do before pulling the line through to finish off and tighten up, is to wiggle the mainline round to ensure it's in the position you describe. It also seems to help avoid the whipping binding and risking a bit of pig-tailing.
 

nottskev

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It seems my question is no, in practice my fears dont don't happen but I am still looking at a sharp bit of metal right next to my fishing line and I just can't like that; I will stick to eyed, practice or not-to my minds eye they look a safer bet.
You're probably not alone, having some groundless doubt about some part of a rig etc. I've been using poles since they were first imported in the 70's, but I still dislike tying knots in elastic. It's weird stuff to knot, and the knots always look all wrong, compared to knots in line. I've never, after umpteen thousand fish, had a connector come adrift or elastic break at a knot, but I hate re-doing top kits as I always think, that last knot must have been ok, but this will probably fail. Totally unreasonable, but I can't help thinking that.
 
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Philip

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I suspect its easier to manufacture spade ends than eyes in the very small sizes & gauges of wire so the reason matchmen use spades for small baits is because there are very few eyed hooks available below about size 18 or 20.

If they made more hooks with eyes in the very small sizes & wire gauges then you would see more matchmen using them.

As for the hook sitting straighter on the line with spades there is no reason why you cannot use a spade end knot on an eyed hook if you so wish.
 
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sam vimes

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I suspect the principle reason matchmen use spades for small baits is because there are very few eyed hooks available below about size 18 or 20 so its hobsons choice. If they made more hooks with eyes in the very small sizes then you would see more matchmen using them.
It's true enough that really small (22 and smaller) hooks are generally not available. However, I suspect that is largely down to supply and demand. I doubt anyone wishing to use such small hooks would want to use eyed hooks even if they were available. Truth be told, I rarely use a hook as small as a 20. I certainly haven't bought smaller for decades and I'm definitely no matchman. I tend to have a crossover point of about 12 for hooks. Bigger than that will tend to be eyed. Smaller will be spades unless I'm hair rigging a bigger bait.

As for the hook sitting straighter on the line with spades there is no reason why you cannot use a spade end knot on an eyed hook if you so wish.
You can, but you run into the potential problem of line coming into contact with a poorly finished eye closure.

I use spade end hooks for two reasons,

1) They simply look neater and the knot is less conspicuous, especially the way I tend to hook maggots and casters. Whether this really does translate into the improved presentation that people talk about is anyone's guess, but I still cautiously edge towards that way of thinking.

2) The knot tied well is easier to tie without causing line damage and crinkling. I've not found a knot for eyed hooks that ties as neatly whilst retaining decent strength. Of course, you could just whip an eyed hook as if it were a spade, but then it's just an overly bulky hook with a potential cutting edge at the eye.

An angler that's not in the habit of fishing small baits (singly or in multiples), or with hooks of size 16 and smaller, will probably never even need to think about using a spade end hook. Those that do might be well advised to give them a go. There are generations of commie regulars and speci anglers that I doubt would ever need to think about using a spade end hook. However, there are plenty of dedicated river anglers that rarely, if ever, fish anything other than spades.
 

Philip

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However, I suspect that is largely down to supply and demand. I doubt anyone wishing to use such small hooks would want to use eyed hooks even if they were available
The reality is we both don’t know and are guessing. I think your wrong and I recon if the small size were available with eyes then people would switch over to them as they have for larger hooks as its more convenient and easier to tie. As for the supply I think its not there because its more difficult to make a good eye in very tiny sizes.

In addition the eye on a hook smaller than say 20 would be so tiny I doubt it would make any discernable difference to results over a spade. We are talking fractions of a millimeter here.

but you run into the potential problem of line coming into contact with a poorly finished eye closure.
You wrote in some detail in an earlier post how people are over worrying about the line being cut through by a spade end yet you then warn people about the potential to cut off on an eye closure.

I’d say the risk is there for both, make either of them badly and they will all cut you off. If anything I’d say the potential for a bad spade is even worse as there is more exposed thin edge to potentially cut you off. The reality is with good well made hooks its not an issue for either.

1) They simply look neater and the knot is less conspicuous, especially the way I tend to hook maggots and casters. Whether this really does translate into the improved presentation that people talk about is anyone's guess, but I still cautiously edge towards that way of thinking.
2) The knot tied well is easier to tie without causing line damage and crinkling. I've not found a knot for eyed hooks that ties as neatly whilst retaining decent strength. Of course, you could just whip an eyed hook as if it were a spade, but then it's just an overly bulky hook with a potential cutting edge at the eye.
When you get to an 18 or below then I imagine people will be burying the entire hook into say a caster so eye, spade, knot and whatever else is not on view anyway.
I can’t comment on your knot / crinkly lines as that’s down to how you tie your knots. The knots I use the most are Palomar and Knotless and I have very little issue with either of them albeit its fair to say I am probably using thicker lines than you most of the time.

Ok so now I have a question….The thing that intrigues me here is that if Spades really do offer this better presentation then why don’t people use them for larger hooks and baits as well ? Surely if people are that hung up on the microscopic difference that an eye on a Size 22 would make over a spade then you would think they would be equally anal about using a spade in the bigger sizes too.

There appears to be this magic threshold of around hook size 16/14 when suddenly the spade lovers ditch their principles!
 
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Keith M

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If I’m using hooks of size 14 and smaller I prefer using spade end hooks (although I do often use size 14 eyed hooks) and for larger hooks I nearly always use eyed hooks unless I’m using a knotless knot for a hair.

I use caster as bait quite a lot for Rudd and Roach, and I have problems burying a hook inside a caster if I’m using an eyed hook (NB with the point protruding of course), but a simple task with a hook that has a small spade.

An eyed hook not only bursts casters that I try to hook like this but the extra weight of an eye (as opposed to a hook with a small spade) prevents me from using a neutral buoyancy caster that I’ve left out in the air to make it buoyant.
NB: I don’t always want to use my caster hooked in its end like I do a Maggot although I do also hook casters in this way sometimes, it depends on how the fish are feeding.

Plus with other baits like bloodworm, squatt etc. on very small hooks, an eye just adds to the unnecessary bulk and weight of the hook and sometimes makes the bait sink much faster and more unnaturally compared to any loose fed bait that is sinking around it.

Spades are very easy to tie using a Matchman hook tier (or one of the others) if you take the time to learn, or you could always use pre- tied hooks (which also don’t use eyed hooks).

However if you don’t usually need to use very small hooks and very light hooklengths of 1.7lb down to around 12oz (or lighter) to tempt bites or are fishing in the average commercial then you probably wouldn’t need to even use a hook smaller than a size 14 or even a size 16 and so would not even really notice or even need the advantages that a spade end hook can give you on a hard water, even in the depths of winter

That’s how I see it anyway and we all have our own preferences.

Keith
 
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