Tackle Tips – Hooks I Use

Over the years I’ve come to appreciate the performance that specific hook designs provide. By and large I’ll use a black nickle hook for its strength and resistance to corrosion but a softer bronze hook works well too in special circumstances. Red hooks have found their way into my tackle bag too. I haven’t been able to prove that using a red hook has caught me more fish but I am convinced it hasn’t lost me any. In that respect I’ll use them interchangeably with the black and bronze hooks. Let’s take a look at the hooks I use and why:

Gamakatsu Octupus Circle Inline 2/0

This is my hook of choice for both the drop-shot and wacky rigs. For the drop-shot rig a 1/0 size was a little small for the drop-shot tubes. Once I moved up to the 2/0 size the hook ups were better and it has become my confidence hook ever since. This hook does double duty on a wacky rig too. Again, not being satisfied with the performance of a 1/0 size (I lost a largemouth we could have used in a tournament) I chose to bump the size up to a 2/0 hook and it has performed perfectly ever since. The Octupus Circle works OK but I prefer the Inline version where the hook point is bent inward just a little. This has real advantages for keeping the bait from getting hung up on weed growth when wacky rigging. I’ve used the same hook without the Inline feature, on the same structure and was frustrated with how it would snag the weeds on nearly every cast.

O’Shaunessy Offset Hook

Here a 3/0 size is my choice for Texas rigged worms, skirted twin tails, creatures and all like soft plastics other than tubes. I use a bronze hook because that’s what I “grew up” with and have confidence in.  It is a softer hook which bends easier but the point makes excellent penetration and it has never let me down.  I have no problem with using a black nickle or red version though and will also use a 1/0 or 2/0 size in special circumstances.

EWG Offset Hook

This is my hook of choice for Texas rigging tubes.  I found out the hard way when I was loosing bass on Texas Rigged tubes with an O’Shaunessy bend hook.  The EWG (extra wide gap) gives the thicker plastic of a tube some space to travel when the bass bites which in turn exposes the hook point.  In a pinch I’ll use the EWG on other soft plastics with confidence but it does expand the profile of a more slender bait and alters the natural action.

(c) 2010 Wayne Carpenter

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