River anglers - hooklengths when float fishing..

adriang

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
Nov 5, 2018
Messages
830
River anglers, when fishing, what length? pre-tied? do you put a telltale on them? any preferred brand?

I think the background to this, is that with so much time on my hands, I'm mulling over whether to make up a load of pre-tied hooklengths as prep for the new season and/or when we can get back out (I was thinking rivers, but this is probably relevant for still waters also)

I don't know where I got this from, but I've always taken the approach of 'thou shalt not put any shot on your hooklength'. From memory, I recall the thinking was with the earlier generation of prestretched lines, they were more delicate, and this was to avoid weak spots and so forth, even with nbr 8s and 10s being smaller. (I can't use 10's nowadays anyhow).

I always used to fish with my lowest telltale dropshot just above the hooklength knot, and I've always tended to fish with a hooklength of about 30cm. It would only be shorter if I've retied a hook and (lazily) not replaced the whole hooklength.

This implies I'd never (or only through said laziness) have a dropshot any closer than 30cm. (and as I've typed this, I'm already thinking this would be the wrong approach when when the actual purpose of the dropshot is to show the bite..)

Dave Harrell has posted a couple of great articles on FaceBook recently on shotting approaches for both waggler and 'top and bottom' and I noticed he will put a telltale shot on this hooklength, perhaps 8 inches (15cm?) from the hook.

As some context, I've been out of the UK for many years, only returned to regular coarse fishing last year. Many things have changed, including line and hook length technology.

This has got me thinking... should I make up a load of varied lengths, stick with the 30cm and put tell tales on the hooklength, are there hooklength materials that are more resilient, etc, etc..

Q to the river anglers out there.. how are you doing it?
 

davylad

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
Nov 7, 2011
Messages
6,621
I'm certainly not saying I'm right, but I almost always had a shot on my hook length when fishing rivers. That was also using lines down to a 1.1lb bottom.
 

Silverfisher

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
Mar 10, 2019
Messages
11,543
I use pre tied hooklengths and put the lowest shot just above where it joins the mainline same as I would on stillwaters, only difference being that lowest shot can vary in size a lot more on rivers.
 

13sparky

Active member
Site Supporter
Joined
Dec 13, 2017
Messages
89
18 inch for waggler ,12 inch for stick ,6 inch for pole , yes i do put a no 10 on the hook length when the bites go iffy
 

Silverfisher

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
Mar 10, 2019
Messages
11,543
Sorry forgot the lengths of those I use, the drennan ones are 25cm and kamasan 30cm.
 

tipitinmick

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
Jul 15, 2009
Messages
16,816
8" was good enough for Frank Barlow so, it's good enough for me. And yes, Frank did occasionally put a number 10 on his hook length.
 

NoCarpPlease

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
Aug 2, 2006
Messages
4,530
18 inch for waggler ,12 inch for stick ,6 inch for pole , yes i do put a no 10 on the hook length when the bites go iffy
Pretty much this, although it’s approx as I don’t pre-tie other than having full rigs ready to go.
I have no qualms putting lead shot on hook lengths. For non toxic I’ll use it above 0.11 .
I’ll go up to 3 no. 6 bunched at 3 inches from the hook on occasion.
I use Shakespeare AML that I purchased in bulk from climax tackle a few years back.
 

ravey

Regular member
Joined
Mar 3, 2011
Messages
747
I generally use an 18" hooklength for stick and waggler. I prefer the extra stretch tht you get with a longer hooklength. I will put a small Stotz on it if needed, as they are made of nice soft lead and can be moved easily if required.
 

smiffy

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
Mar 26, 2009
Messages
3,813
I always err on the longer side. 18” or so with maybe one or two droppers. The thinking behind this is that river fish will often see a bait coming from a long way off and I want it to behave as naturally as possible. Any join from mainline to hooklength or big shot near the bait can,maybe,effect the presentation I’m looking for. Competition for food can have a bearing on how I present the bait also. Plenty of fish means I can be more positive with shotting for example.
Hooklengths will vary according to target species but 0.10 to 0.18 will cover most situations. I still use silstar matchteam.
 
Last edited:

MarkW

Regular member
Joined
Jul 30, 2011
Messages
1,324
On running line rigs I've stuck to 22" for over 40 years and I'm not changing. I tend to only put lead dust shot on the finer hook links, 0.10mm and below but would use tin shot (no. 6 and above ) on 0.12mm upwards. The legendary Ivan Marks used hook links up to 5ft for on the drop fishing but what did he know...…..
 

NoCarpPlease

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
Aug 2, 2006
Messages
4,530
what indeed? Jim Baxter wrote about a similar thought process for roach fishing on the Witham in the rising antenna.

one thing I will add is that nothing is rigid ... you Have to adapt to what the fish will accept on the day. Sometimes my tell tale shot will be nearly 3ft from the hook.
 

trotter2

Regular member
Joined
Feb 17, 2011
Messages
2,803
There is no right or wrong way it's all down to you and how the fish want it.
But it can make a big difference so I carry different lengths from 6in up
On running line rigs I've stuck to 22" for over 40 years and I'm not changing. I tend to only put lead dust shot on the finer hook links, 0.10mm and below but would use tin shot (no. 6 and above ) on 0.12mm upwards. The legendary Ivan Marks used hook links up to 5ft for on the drop fishing but what did he know...…..
Mark you don't happen to know what length Ivan used for the stick. It's a detail that seems to be missing in his two books.
 

MarkW

Regular member
Joined
Jul 30, 2011
Messages
1,324
There is no right or wrong way it's all down to you and how the fish want it.
But it can make a big difference so I carry different lengths from 6in up

Mark you don't happen to know what length Ivan used for the stick. It's a detail that seems to be missing in his two books.
Ivan never says (I have all his articles) and I get the impression he just tied hooks up on the bank as he saw fit; if I remember I'll try asking one or two of the other Likely Lads.
 

mickthechippy

space cadet
Staff member
Site Supporter
Joined
Apr 23, 2008
Messages
17,488
still following the advice that I read many moons ago in

"float fishing" by Billy Lane

what was good then still holds relevance today
 

trotter2

Regular member
Joined
Feb 17, 2011
Messages
2,803
Didn't a few of the Nottingham lads use "yard bottoms" in their day?
Yes apparently so. Yard bottoms were standard at one time a lot of the old books mention 1 yard bottoms. Hooklenghts have became shorter over time.
 

davylad

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
Nov 7, 2011
Messages
6,621
If I'm fishing a commercial, I'll use hook lengths down to maybe 3", so I can get the bulk right down if fishing the bottom. Sorry that's off topic. :(
 
Top