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Thread: What size hook for Kenai Sockeye

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    Default What size hook for Kenai Sockeye

    I am about to sit down and tie up some rigs for reds. We fish near Soldotna and i am just wondering what size hook you use.

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    Member Raptor_1's Avatar
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    I think hook size is less important than leader length and the size of your weight. Adjusting the length of your leader and the amount of weight until you start catching fish is the key to catching reds. You want just enough weight to tick the tops of the rocks. Of course using a size 16 hook is not what you want to do but I've caught reds with size 6 and 8 octopus hooks with a little yarn on them by adjusting my leader length to get into the fish. I always go with at least a 30" leader and the deeper I fish the longer my leader. In Soldotna I'm using at least a 36" leader or longer. Using gargantuan hooks will only make you snag more fish. Adjust your leader length and put less emphasis on hook size and you'll increase your catch. There is also a definite technique to catching reds. Its more than just chunking your weight/fly out there and letting it drift down stream.
    Alaska: We're all here cuz we're not all "there"

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    I use size 2.

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    Are the reds running already? I use a size 3 hook and 6-8ft leader. Longer the leader the better. Its kinda like a gillnet.

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    Member Col. F Rodder's Avatar
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    there was a posting last year concerning using circle hooks, instead of traditional J hook. They claimed that they were hardly ever foul hooking Reds. Has anyone else experimented with this?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Col. F Rodder View Post
    there was a posting last year concerning using circle hooks, instead of traditional J hook. They claimed that they were hardly ever foul hooking Reds. Has anyone else experimented with this?
    That would be me....

    Out of 126 sockeye NOT ONE was body snagged.

    None by the tail
    None by the belly
    None by the back
    None by the dorsal
    None by the pec

    They all looked just like this....










    .
    .
    .
    .
    .

    100% jaw hooked!



    This was such a remarkable revelation. My oldest brother, the family's "sockeye-flosser-extraordinaire", will never fish a std J-hook for sockeye EVER again.

    Every fish hooked in the mouth, every fish controllable even in swift current, no prolonged battles dragging fish in sideways or bassackwards, non-mortal hooking wound providing easiest access for swift and efficient de-hooking.

    What's not to like?
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
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    The KeenEye MD

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    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
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    To understand the mechanics/dynamics of the hookup, watch this vid...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-gk9-IXTjw



    Yes, I fully realize folks are NOT presenting flies to bonafide biters when flossing Kenai sockeye, so PLEASE disregard any reference to biting fish. Fast fwd to 1:28 to see how circles can be elegantly applied to sockeye flossing.
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
    http://www.piscatorialpursuits.com/uploads/UP12710.jpg
    The KeenEye MD

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    Not sure about these recommendations for size 2 and 3 hooks. Does anyone even make a 3?

    Hook sizes generally go 8, 6, 4, 2, 1, 1/0, 2/0, 3/0, 4/0 etc.

    The most common hook size I see used on the river for reds is a 3/0 octopus, but I have seen plenty of "rippers" upsizing to as big as 7/0 or 8/0. God only knows why... better odds of biting one in the back with a bigger gap? No thanks!

    FYI the circle hook featured in my pics is a Gamakatsu Nautilus Circle in 2/0.
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
    http://www.piscatorialpursuits.com/uploads/UP12710.jpg
    The KeenEye MD

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    Member TYNMON's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    That would be me....

    Out of 126 sockeye NOT ONE was body snagged.

    None by the tail
    None by the belly
    None by the back
    None by the dorsal
    None by the pec

    They all looked just like this....










    .
    .
    .
    .
    .

    100% jaw hooked!



    This was such a remarkable revelation. My oldest brother, the family's "sockeye-flosser-extraordinaire", will never fish a std J-hook for sockeye EVER again.

    Every fish hooked in the mouth, every fish controllable even in swift current, no prolonged battles dragging fish in sideways or bassackwards, non-mortal hooking wound providing easiest access for swift and efficient de-hooking.

    What's not to like?
    I think what the fine Eye Doctor has left out of the equation is the size of the weight and the fishing location combined with technique make as much difference as using the right size and shape of hook, I just modify a octipu style hook to be a cirlce hook and it works just fine. I learned to do this in Alaska's fly only water to meet the minimium 3/8" gap for kings and reds.

    I fly line and right leader length to the leader and right leader length to the fly (hook) make a huge difference. Ultimately you want the presentation to fly just off bottom to thread them through the mouth. My clients and I have caught countless sockeye that have swallowed a fly or hook with yarn on it when the presentation is dead drifted or just starting to swing. If sockeye don't bite then why do so many hit ginormous Kwikfish and egg globs in the king fishery?? I tell you what try fishing prawns on your sockeye rigs and dead drift them and you will be amazed how many sockeye will eat a prawn.

  10. #10

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    [QUOTE I just modify a octipu style hook to be a cirlce hook and it works just fine. I learned to do this in Alaska's fly only water to meet the minimium 3/8" gap for kings and reds.QUOTE]

    Do you just use pliers to bend the octipus style hook around to modify it to a "similar" to circle hook with a 3/8" gap? What size hook to you start out with to get your 3/8" gap and lastly do you have any problems with breaking hooks while bending them? I know that some of the chemically sharpend hooks are more brittle than others.

  11. #11
    Member TYNMON's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskan Fly Guy View Post
    [QUOTE I just modify a octipu style hook to be a cirlce hook and it works just fine. I learned to do this in Alaska's fly only water to meet the minimium 3/8" gap for kings and reds.QUOTE]

    Do you just use pliers to bend the octipus style hook around to modify it to a "similar" to circle hook with a 3/8" gap? What size hook to you start out with to get your 3/8" gap and lastly do you have any problems with breaking hooks while bending them? I know that some of the chemically sharpend hooks are more brittle than others.
    Use ;ineman pliers, the non chemically sharpened hooks work better you can make anything from a 5/0 and smaller and bend it down to make it a circle, I also typically give it a twist.

  12. #12
    Member FishGod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TYNMON View Post
    I think what the fine Eye Doctor has left out of the equation is the size of the weight and the fishing location combined with technique make as much difference as using the right size and shape of hook, I just modify a octipu style hook to be a cirlce hook and it works just fine. I learned to do this in Alaska's fly only water to meet the minimium 3/8" gap for kings and reds.

    I fly line and right leader length to the leader and right leader length to the fly (hook) make a huge difference. Ultimately you want the presentation to fly just off bottom to thread them through the mouth. My clients and I have caught countless sockeye that have swallowed a fly or hook with yarn on it when the presentation is dead drifted or just starting to swing. If sockeye don't bite then why do so many hit ginormous Kwikfish and egg globs in the king fishery?? I tell you what try fishing prawns on your sockeye rigs and dead drift them and you will be amazed how many sockeye will eat a prawn.
    I could not agree more! Every year I travel across Alaska and watch sockeye chase and crush my shrimp patterns. My sockeye are hooked either in the tip of the nose, on the tongue, or down their throat so deep you can't see the fly. Rarely do I get them in the sides of the mouth. The vast majority SMACK them at the end of the dead drift swinging, NOT RIPPING, towards shore. I've had sockeye chase my shrimp patterns at the end of the swing into 6 inches of water before crushing my fly. When I teach fishing classes I try to beat the shrimp idea into the students head. Since sockeye are/were plankton and krill feeders, give them what they used to feed on. Last year while coho fishing I picked up three sockeye with one on a K-13, one on eggs and a bobber, and one on a Vibrax size 5 all in the same day. I still can't believe people think sockeye don't bite.
    Your bait stinks and your boat is ugly

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    Is this what you are talking aobut with a shrimp pattern?

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    Quote Originally Posted by kgpcr View Post
    Is this what you are talking aobut with a shrimp pattern?
    Personally I like some of the bone fish patterns better. What I mean by shrimp is prawns you buy from the store, they tend to hold up better if they are cured.

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    15307[1].jpgcrazy_charlie[1].jpg Variations of Crazy Charlies is what I tie
    Your bait stinks and your boat is ugly

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    What size hook are you tying those on? Thanks for posting pics!

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    Looks like a great set up Doc! I picked up some Gamakatsu circle hooks on Friday and tied up 25. I will be heading down to the Kenai Friday!

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    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    That would be me....

    Out of 126 sockeye NOT ONE was body snagged.

    None by the tail
    None by the belly
    None by the back
    None by the dorsal
    None by the pec
    Have you found those hooks in any of the shops in Soldotna?

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by limon32 View Post
    Have you found those hooks in any of the shops in Soldotna?
    Trustworthy Hardware used to carry them. It has been a couple years since I was in there though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tjfslaughter View Post
    Trustworthy Hardware used to carry them. It has been a couple years since I was in there though.
    Thanks, I picked up some at Sportsmans, the isle was too crowded at Trustworthy to even look. Interesting to note that all the 2/0 hooks were gone! I picked up some 1/0 and #1 to try.

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