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I can't make my mind up with circle hooks.

Maybe regular users of these type of hook or the newly converted or even those who can't abide them will help make my mind up.

I've read a study report into their effectiveness (or otherwise) without it settling the matter one way or another. It would appear the Jury is still out on this one.

I'm a dyed in the wool user of "J" hooks and don't lose too many fish due to slipping of the hook even using barbless. My main target is Tope but I do occasionally get a deep hooked fish. I aim to cause as little damage as possible to any fish I catch, so would circle hooks solve this problem? Are these hooks as effective barbless?

I would welcome any information good or bad.

Tight Lines !!
 

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All I can say mate is that I was unsure of them too, but I have been to the states where their use is more widespread and read a few bits and bobs about people over here using them too. The reports I read were a bit mixed, heard of anything between an inreased hookup rate to dropped fish but decided to give them a wee trial in March. They've been in my box of hooks ever since and are gradually taking over from all my J hooks. Personally I've had a real increase in my hookup rate, no problems even with really small fish and despite the difficulty of threading a worm on I'll not use anything else now for the majority of my fishing. For me they are first out the bag and my rigs with J hooks have been religated to "backup".

Now saying that I've not had any big fish on them yet (I live in hope!) so can't absolutley vouch for them, however they are used widley in the states for bigger species with no problems.

I'd suggest doing a wee trial, get some and fish them side by side with J hooks and see what works for yourself (I alternated between a rig with J hooks and circles at first)

J hooks will allways have a place in my tackle box, but circles definatley get me more lip hooked fish, which is better for the fish and means I get more time in the water and less mucking around with rigs which means more fish!
 

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although i have not fished for tope using circle hooks i ahve used them for some time now on the beach nad would defo recommend them as all my fish have eith been lip hookked or in the corner of the mouth and none have been deep hooked, a fair few peeps use the 8/0 circle hooks for tope and blues round the west wales coast and have no probs unhooking fish hope this helps mate
 

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I use Sakuma 8/0 circles for Tope fishing. Excellent hooks I changed to them to avoid deep hooked fish. All have been hooked nice in the corner of the mouth so works for me. Not noticed any issues unhooking.
 

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Have more confidence in circle hooks now that i have been useing them for about 3 months, i now replace all of my j hook rigs with circle hooks as they seem to hook up better.not that i catch much though but my catches have improved since useing circle hooks.
 

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I tried them for the first time on Wed night after Whiting, I used size 2/0 Lip grips and Mackerel strip as bait, the hooks are heavy duty and I thought they may be no good,but I was wrong as I caught 28 Whiting and 2 Dogs, only one fish took the hook deep, so now I'm convinced that they deffo work,as Whiting are sods for swallowing hooks, you must tie them them correctly for them to work and keep the bend of the hook free of bait, I used the double overhand loop method with 30lb Amnesia as Whiting can spin the snoods, give them a go and you will then not bother with the J hooks anymore
 

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i dont catch much fish these days but when i do , i use size 4 circle hooks on my bottom snood and a size 2/0 j hook on the top snood all the fish im lucky to catch all fall to the bottom circle hook size 4 lip or side of jaw hooked , but seem to lose allmost all my bites on the top j hook so that tells me to change completly to circle hooks , tight lines all
 

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Well worth trying Circles as they definately worked with those hungry Whiting, the Lip grips are very strong hooks and can handle big fish with no problems, they are also fairly cheap and because if the way they are made they don't blunt or snag so easy when reeling in across shingle etc on the sea bed
 

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Hi Meanstreak ,

i tried circle hooks a few times , but 'till now i'm not convinced ... i think it might be because i just tied them wrong (=like other hooks) . Though i find them a bit of a pain to put a bait on , specially worms on a needle , i still want to try them if it can reduce numbers of deep hooked fish . I've done a little search on the net , is this the knot you use for circles : http://explore.fishwest.net/684/tying-the-homer-rhode-double-overhand-loop-knot/ ?

Thank's

Gert
 

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I first used circle hooks overseas fishing livebaits for Dorado. Despite my total incompetence in keeping the line tight (meaning on 2 occasions I did not even notice I had a bite for c 10 seconds) I caught 8 out of 8 bites - up to 40lb. All were hooked in the corner of the lip.

I haven't tried them at home until recently, simply because I had plenty of hooks already. On a recent trip out of Weymouth we had an hour or so after Conger on the slack. I had recently bought some size 9/0 Eagle Claw. I only had one bite, a Conger in the high 40's hooked in the corner of the jaw.

Based upon this limited experience I would say they are definately worth a go. Not sure I would bother with delicate baits such as worm. Also I'm not sure how they would work with something like a Mackeral livebait (without using a huge hook) but perhaps I just need to give it a go - they did work for the Dorado, but the google eyes we were using as bait were quite small by comparison.
 

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The easiest way is to tie a loop knot, push the loop through the eye of the hook from the front, then put it over the hook so its locked, it's a fail safe way, the longliners do it that way as changing hooks is easy as no knots to tie, also if you make up your rigs the hooks can be put on later saving tangles, you can also double hook the snoods this way making effective pennells
 

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i've been using them for several years since bringing a load of 6/0s back from the states for the cod fishing and now i use them for everything from dabs up to 16/0 circles for the skate! i wish that sidewinders and jigheads had them fitted cos when i use them i really notice the big difference in dropped fish! just remember tho don't strike with circles just slowly wind and let the fish hook itself, should be a great hook for the winter cod guys using grip leads as more of the slackliners will result in hooked fish,i'd say use 2 sizes bigger for the circles tho cos the gape is smaller than j hooks.
cheers,bill
 

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i always use circle hooks, wouldn't be without them, also amazing hooks are the sakuma chinnu's
caught my biggest bass on a circle hook , and all my fish this season have been on either circles or chinnu's and my catch rate has improved dramatically since changing over:thumbs:
 

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The easiest way is to tie a loop knot, push the loop through the eye of the hook from the front, then put it over the hook so its locked, it's a fail safe way, the longliners do it that way as changing hooks is easy as no knots to tie, also if you make up your rigs the hooks can be put on later saving tangles, you can also double hook the snoods this way making effective pennells
it depends on the thickness of your snood line and the hook eye not all ways possable i tryed to do a snell knot on mine but all most impossable becouse of the small hook eye , perhapes the hook eyes are much bigger on a 3/0 hook , i'll have to wait and see iv got some circle hooks on order right now ,, size 3/0 and 4/0
 

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I have been using circles for several years now, they have been brilliant, usually i use owner mutu light, in sizes from 6 to 5/0. have had more than 30 large cod form the shore up to 25lb, almost every single one nicely hooked in the scissors, and hundreds of coalfish, flounders, dabs etc.. I have never bothered with snelling as i rarely fail to get a hook up as long as i don't strike, just tie the hooks on with a blood knot like any other hook. If i was missing fish i am sure i would try a different knot but i honestly haven't found the need so far.

Make sure that you keep the bend clear so that the hook can turn and catch in the corner of the jaw, I try to nick baits just once through the thin end and use a dvice, or bind the bait on above the hook or on a hair below the hook if the dvice isn't suitable, which is rare.

sometimes small fish such as dabs just don't give enough drag to turn a circle and hook the fish, which can be pretty annoying when you lift them out of the water and they fall off, but it doesn't happen that often.
 

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try using them as the top hook on a pennel. but only put a max of 2 line wraps around the hook shank
 

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it depends on the thickness of your snood line and the hook eye not all ways possable i tryed to do a snell knot on mine but all most impossable becouse of the small hook eye , perhapes the hook eyes are much bigger on a 3/0 hook , i'll have to wait and see iv got some circle hooks on order right now ,, size 3/0 and 4/0
Lip Grips have large enough eyes to do the loop method on, they are heavy duty jobbies but still catch fish,I used 30lb Amnesia , bit tight pushing through but easyier if you nip the end of the loop
 

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I've been using circle hooks for the last 2 years and they are all I use now.

The important thing is not to strike (as mentioned earlier) and just to tighten up on the fish. Most of the time they hook themselves.

I use from 1s to 4/0s for shore fishing and my hook-up rate has improved by about a third using circles. I've made up some muppet rigs for the boat using circles also but they are difficult to use with jellies.

I always snell my hooks as when I did my research snelled hooks came out best for hook-ups in the info I read. (It works for me!)
 

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The loop method is no different to snelling, try it, its a lot less fiddly to tie and if using fish as bait it don't slide up the snood,
 

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depends wot size circles and wot make as sakuma's can be awkward when using worm baits especially on the smaller sizes like 1/0's
 
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