River anglers - hooklengths when float fishing..

Sam Vimes

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I've always disliked putting shot on hooklinks. Like most, I'd invariably use hooklinks of 12" or longer. However, once I started to use micro swivels, and then quick change micro swivels, to connect mainline to hooklink, I started to vary the hooklink length to use the micro swivel in place of the last dropper. If I want to vary the shotting pattern and position of the dropper, I simply vary the length of the hooklink. I'll go as short as 4" if I'm fishing shallow water, especially if I'm aiming to fish hard on the bottom. If I'm fishing deeper water, or want a bait to fall more naturally through the water column, the hooklink will be longer. There are plenty of ways to skin a cat.
 

Kojak

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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?

Mine are all tied at 6” (150mm) that gives me a telltale shot 6” from the hook and if I want that telltale further away then simply move it up the reel line giving no weak spot on the hook length itself?
 

Dave Spence

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Mine are all tied at 6” (150mm) that gives me a telltale shot 6” from the hook and if I want that telltale further away then simply move it up the reel line giving no weak spot on the hook length itself?
What if you want it closer mate?
 

Kojak

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What if you want it closer mate?

Very rare on the river but when on still waters I’ll pop a number 10 on the hook length down to within an inch from the hook as this gives great bite detection and also will help with tow if you lay it on the deck
 

Silverfisher

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Wouldn’t have thought it would ever cause any problems if quality line just never felt a need to have shot that close to the hook myself.
 

HALTON DANGLER

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one thing thats important with river hooklengths is the gap between the dropper shots on hooklink, a quick wat to get even gaps, make fist with hook bottom of fist, place shot,make fish on that shot place next shot and so on till you reach your bulk, that way each shot will be same distance apart and will get less tangles
 

Anglingman

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If you are tying simply for pleasure fishing then make them at either 12" or 18" and then simply cut down if you think there is an advantage for having a shorter hooklength.

My benchmark was 12" (float or feeder) but I never had any concerns about putting tell tale shot on hooklengths, somedays you need a shot 2" away hard to tie that short a hooklength :)
 

MarkW

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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.
Finally got an answer: in the late 60s Ivan was using 2.6lb Bayer main line on the stick with 18" hooklinks of 1.1lb Bayer, tied at home, for the Trent.
 

trotter2

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Finally got an answer: in the late 60s Ivan was using 2.6lb Bayer main line on the stick with 18" hooklinks of 1.1lb Bayer, tied at home, for the Trent.
Fantastic Mark same I think as Billy Lane.
Looking forward to some new YouTube videos from you on the River. ?
 

stickfloatkev

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Is it a bit of a no no to have a number 8 dropper 6 inches from the hook on a 18 inch hooklength?

That's what I always do when fishing stillwaters. Or is it just pointless on a river? I like having the last dropper close to the hook and tie my hooklengths to a longer length when float fishing. Just what I've always done as my pole rig hooklengths are around 5 inches and I have no shot on the hooklength for them. I think my hook would feel lonely if I didn't have that telltale shot close to it?
its about the conditions on the day mate and the venue . i tie my hooks on the bank and carry several different sizes of hooks and line. sometimes if im dragging well overdepth to slow a float down, i may use a longer hooklength with a string of number 10 shot along it . but on some days you could be fishing a 4 foot deep swim that pushing througgh , then you could use anything up to 4,5,6 aaa or more and use a very short hooklength of maybe 6 inches and bulk the shot just above it to get the bait down to the fish . its all about adapting your tackle to the conditions on the day and the venue . with a bit of experience , you will suss out some venues and know what sort of a rig you will need .
 

Tallshort23

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Use as light as I can get away with normally a 1.1lb. 12" and always use a tell tale shot a third of the way down. To be honest on the Trent these days you need to be a bit careful going to light and the fish don't seem as tackle shy as they once did. I used to use 22 or 20s B511 on the stick. Now you can get away with B611 18.
 

stickfloatkev

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theres no hard and fast rules. for example if im fishing a bolo or waggler i will connect my hooklength by way of a micro swivel . this prevents the hooklength spinning up and also acts as a dropper shot . in this case i wont use a dropper shot below the swivel
 
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