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they don't need to be really strong (unless you plan to use the trace to lift tope) even VMC light circle hooks or Eagle Claw L2400 will do.
but there seems to be no harm in them being thick in the wire (doesn't seem to put the tope off) unlessyou are fishing live mackerel.

I'd suggest you don't use offset or reversed / kirbed circle hooks as they can gut-hook fish (note you can straighten-up the offset in Varivas Full Circle hooks - you just have to take it carefully/slowly to not snap the hook)

If you don't like circle hooks (and can't change your mind) the next best thing (IMO) is the Varivas BMX 8/0 with the barb gently crushed (and don't worry if the barb snaps off, as long as the point is o.k.)
 
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I quite like using Cox and Rawle Meat Hooks for Tope and Conger.
As RT points out a much finer guage hook for livebaiting.
They are a little heavy in the guage, but never had any problem with them.

If you hit Tope quick enough you only tend to get them in the scissors anyway.
 

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Finding the information very usefull, as i aim to do a lot more Tope fishing this summer. I have only being fishing for tope a few times with some moderate success, but have always used traditional J-Hooks either the Mustad O'Shaugsey or Mustad tope & ray hook in a size 6/0. I was thinking of using circles this year though, and changing from 150lb mono to a 50 or 80lb wire trace. On a personal basis i would like to know the best set up for a tope trace, as last year i had a few 'hang ups' where the fish took and ran, but the dropped or spat the bait. Hopefully i will get a few bigger ones this year as the ones i took last year were 'pups'.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Finding the information very usefull, as i aim to do a lot more Tope fishing this summer. I have only being fishing for tope a few times with some moderate success, but have always used traditional J-Hooks either the Mustad O'Shaugsey or Mustad tope & ray hook in a size 6/0. I was thinking of using circles this year though, and changing from 150lb mono to a 50 or 80lb wire trace. On a personal basis i would like to know the best set up for a tope trace, as last year i had a few 'hang ups' where the fish took and ran, but the dropped or spat the bait. Hopefully i will get a few bigger ones this year as the ones i took last year were 'pups'.
wouldnt the wire trace shred the mouth of the tope though ?
 

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I think that most successfull tope anglers prefer to use nylon coated mono which is crimped than heavier mono. I used 150lb mono which was knotted and was told by someonw in the know that this was not the best way to make a tope trace.
 
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