Hook lengths

grayson

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I may be venturing further afield this year for some barbel and am interested in any direct experience of different hook length materials and brands . I have plenty of confidence in what I use - 24/26mm Reflo and some 12lb Drennan stuff - but my rivers tend only to be snaggy in the margins , from roots and flood debris . Rocks are rarely a problem , hence wanting to think about other brands . I have seen fluorocarbon recommended and while I love fluoro for jigs and drop shotting , its knots need a lot of care and I am not sure how robustly it stands up to a rocky bottom . I tend to use long hooklengths , as I think most do these days , and use braid main line .
 

whitty

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Fluorocarbon isn't good for abrasion resistance imo,so it's not something I would use,unless I think it is absolutely necessary,hooklengths for barbel are very important strength wise,diameter not so much imo,every item of tackle has to be as near to perfect reliability wise for me,you may need to try several before your happy...
Funnily enough I don't use particularly long hooklengths,though understand their uses,often in very fast water the bait wafts around unnaturally,they do not stop line bites,especially on the feeder or pva bags,also many waters I fish are fairly confined by weed or chod,so everything has to be tightish....
 
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john step

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I didnt manage any barbeling in 2020 but usually on the Trent I like a long hooklink. Thats because due to the current and fishing a bow I am always conscious that the fish may bump into the line.
I use a foot of Sinkbraid in gravel colour and as much good old Sensor as I feel necessary to give the length.
On the swivel linking the two materials I put putty to keep it nailed to the bottom.

If I had the luxury of a smaller river and being able to fish downstream of the rod top I dont think a super long link is so important.
 

whitty

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I talked to a guy who fishes the Trent a fair bet,he told me how he fished normally with a long hooklink(3'),usually with great results,he went one particular session and struggled,he and his mate decided to fish very short hooklinks(6" or less),they both were stunned that they started to catch in two swims,so they out of interest went back to long hooklengths and stopped getting bites,the lesson obviously is that nothing is written in stone,sitting there biteless,thinking your set up is right does not always apply...
 

Keith M

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When I’m fishing for Barbel I often (but not always) use short hooklinks of between 5” and 10” especially when I’m fishing under or close to streamer weed or I’m fishing in water that’s a bit turbulent. I don’t want my bait swirling upwards and I prefer my bait to be near the bottom and not flayling up off the bottom too much and chancing getting caught up in any streamer weed.

Keith
 

Philip

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I have never really been convinced by the trend for long hooklinks for Barbel, of course they work but I think you need to use what suits the situation on the day.

I remeber reading about Tony Miles using hooklinks that were literally several meters long to allow a critically balanced bait to trundle to some fish under an overhang that was impossible to cast to. At the other extreme large Barbel can pick up the entire feeder so in that case inches would be better.

I have gone full circle on hooklinks...I went through a braid stage dating right back to the days of when Kryston silkworm first came out and have now gone back to plain old mono again. On some pressured streaches of the Kennet I used some pre streached lines but I think that was a mistake & I steer clear of those now especially for a fish that can steam off like a Barbel. I like the buffer of a bit of stretch.

As far as fluro is concerned I am not sure it really makes that much difference for a fish with poor eyesight like a Barbel. Although it does sink well I think the disadvantages would outweigh the advantages.
 
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whitty

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Your post Philip echoes everything i've found over years of fishing for barbel.
As for barbel picking up feeders,I can remember fishing the BAA stretch of the Severn at the Eardington(Brook section)on the blockend and maggot,i'd had maybe ten barbel when I started getting drop backs,that then developed into wrap rounds,never touching one,this must have occured fifteen to twenty times with no connection,I tried many different tricks to no avail,then I thought of slowly winding down after giving the fish several seconds taking line off of a fairly light drag,then it all became apparent,slowly a barbels head appeared on the surface only to spit my feeder two feet across the surface,I did this several times to show my mate(the now relatively well known Rob Maylin),then changed to a bigger diameter feeder(half filled)and started catching again,cheeky buggers eh???
 
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Philip

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Thats a great bit of observation Alan about the Barbel spitting the feeder.

I have some little plastic clips tucked away in a tackle box that I think were made by Enterprse tackle for fishing a bait very close to a feeder...no idea if they still make them. Basically its a screw on one end and a line clip on the other. The idea is to screw it into the feeder body then clip your hooklink into it close to the hook. The result is your bait is fished literally next to the feeder creating a bolt effect which then pulls free & you have a normal length hooklink.

I Believe some anglers were using this method for catching wary Chub on some of the southern rivers...fish that had wised up avoid taking any bait that was flowing down away from the feeder as they knew there could be a hook involved and instead had learnt that the safest place was literally to take bait from the feeder itself. The same sort of presentation can be done by tucking the hooklink into a rubber band wound round the feeder.
 

dorsetsteve

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I like flouro, especially in the daylight. The I'm fishing in summer particularly are gin clear. What I actually like about Flouro is it’s stiffness and density. Because of this it sits on the bottom and it straightens out, it’s far less prone to tangling.
 

cg74

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Apart from a few exceptions fluorocarbon line is far more abrasion resistant than standard mono, which is why my first choice hooklenģth line is Ultima Power Steel in 6, 8, 10 and 12lb, as it is fluorocarbon coated.
In less saggy swims I usually go with Preston Reflo Power line in 6lb12oz to 12lb5oz.

As for hooklink lengths, in the main 9" to 15" is my standard fare. As for 3'+, I've never used a hook length that long for barbel. I'd guess the longest would be 2'6"
 

RMNDIL

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Pure fluorocarbon and fluorocarbon coated nylon are 2 very different things though.
 

cg74

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Pure fluorocarbon and fluorocarbon coated lines are different. Yes that's the whole point of combining fluorocarbon and mono. Fluorocarbon traits; very dense so readily sinks, very low stretch, exceptionally rigid and excellent abrasion resistance. So combine those qualities with a nylon or copolymer core and you have (in the case of Ultima Power Steel) a line that offers superb abrasion resistance, low stretch and is reasonably supple.
 
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