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Thread: Circle hooks-straight or offset?

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    Member Kodiakfly's Avatar
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    Default Circle hooks-straight or offset?

    When I use circle hooks, I've always used the typical offset point circle fly hooks. Gamakatsu offers straight eye, with inline point circle hooks. Anyone have a preference for the straight/inline? What's the advantage?

    I use the standard Octopus circle hooks for open ocean salmon flies (cast, not troll) on a strip retrieve.
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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kodiakfly View Post
    When I use circle hooks, I've always used the typical offset point circle fly hooks. Gamakatsu offers straight eye, with inline point circle hooks. Anyone have a preference for the straight/inline? What's the advantage?

    I use the standard Octopus circle hooks for open ocean salmon flies (cast, not troll) on a strip retrieve.
    Next time you are out Halibut fishing try this test. Take a dead halibut and lay it flat like it is on the bottom,
    Then take a regular non offset hook and put it inside the fishes mouth and pull from different angles.
    Then do the same with an offset or canted circle hook.
    What you will notice is the offset or canted hook will hook the fishes mouth easier resulting in a better hooking percentage.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kodiakfly View Post
    Gamakatsu offers straight eye, with inline point circle hooks.
    Eagle Claw offers (offered?) one too. My experience is with them rather than the Gami, so take this for what it's worth. In a single word, they're crap. Never had so much trouble with missed fish, and it didn't matter whether (or how) you set the hook. Let them chew on it and move away; slowly tighten the line; jerk hard. Didn't matter. The offset Mustads I also had on the boat outfished them about 20 to 1. Got smart and put them in the vise and offset them myself, and the catch rate moved right up there with Mustad. Thankfully I only had a dozen of them. Last dozen I bought, too.

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    Member Kodiakfly's Avatar
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    Thanks guys...and good to get some real-world test results. I've done the "dead halibut" test on my hand and yeah, the offset grabs better for sure...and that's what I've always used.

    Just the fact that the straight are made makes me wonder if there's a benefit to them or not...sounds like not and I should stick with what I've been using.

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    Member Blue Thunder's Avatar
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    Okay how much do you offset the hooks, quarter inch, half inch or just slightly. I have never been able to get this question answered. I do most of mine about quarter inch, but not sure if this is enough.
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    I used Mustad as a guide. If I recall correctly, that's about a quarter inch like you.

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    Member Ronster's Avatar
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    Probably a stupid question, but whats to keep the offset facing up when on the bottom? Wouldnt an offset hook thats facing down have a negative affect?

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    You lost me. That has nothing to do with their hooking. Up or down won't matter for beans.

    The reason for the offset is to have the point angled out away from the line of pull so it can grab something as it slides through the fish's mouth. Without the offset the point can "hide" behind the shank held flat in the fish's mouth and not hook a thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronster View Post
    Probably a stupid question, but whats to keep the offset facing up when on the bottom? Wouldnt an offset hook thats facing down have a negative affect?
    The fish isn't sliding across the top of the hook as it lays on the bottom. Picture the hook in a piece of bait. The fish eats the bait with the hook in it so the hook is inside the fish's mouth. When pulled, that hook will slide through the mouth of the fish. If the tip is in line with the shank (as BrownBear said), it has the good chance to just slide right through without catching on anything. If the tip is offset from the shank, it will more likely catch on either the upper or lower side of the mouth as it is pulled. As it catches, the hook will twist and go in deeper. With no offset, you have to get lucky that the fish puts their lip inside the small cap between the tip and the shank when eating.
    Last edited by anchskier; 01-07-2014 at 09:01. Reason: referenced wrong person

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    Member Ronster's Avatar
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    Gotcha, thanks for the explanation. Makes perfect sense now.

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    That's what I was thinking as well, when the fish picks it up, it shouldn't make a difference if it is up or down as it will likely turn up or to the side as the hook is pulled when you tighten up. I got my hands on lots of butt last year and I can't think of any off hand that were hooked in the lower jaw. Usually the side or top.....but it may have happened a few times.

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    I've never particularly found halibut hard to hook on any circle hook I've used. Patience is the key, and believe me, you want them hook in the right spot, not any spot.

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    We always purchased inline circle hooks for commercial longlining for both halibut and blackcod. If they got bent during the longline operation (like when pulled through a de-hooking crucifier) they would be replaced and the bent ones would be set aside to be put in a vise and bent so they were once again inline. For sport fishing I grabbed a few of these bent hooks that had maintained their circle shape but the points were bent over to one side or the other and they seemed to catch just fine. I never conducted any experiements to compare catch rates with inline points vs off-set points but I certainly didn't notice any drop-off in sport fishing production with sharp off-set circle hooks.

    On the subject of offset hook point production, I know a number of commercial salmon trollers here in SE who bend their stainless J-shaped trolling (siwash) hooks so the points and barbs are offset from the line of the shank. They use these modified hooks for rigging both salmon spoons and hootchies. They all swear that these hooks have a higher hook-up rate and the hooks seem to be buried more deeply in the mouths of the fish they catch. I haven't tried this modification yet myself, but I plan to this coming summer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by anchskier View Post
    The fish isn't sliding across the top of the hook as it lays on the bottom. Picture the hook in a piece of bait. The fish eats the bait with the hook in it so the hook is inside the fish's mouth. When pulled, that hook will slide through the mouth of the fish. If the tip is in line with the shank (as BrownBear said), it has the good chance to just slide right through without catching on anything. If the tip is offset from the shank, it will more likely catch on either the upper or lower side of the mouth as it is pulled. As it catches, the hook will twist and go in deeper. With no offset, you have to get lucky that the fish puts their lip inside the small cap between the tip and the shank when eating.

    I strongly second this opinion.

    When fishing smaller fish including salmon the Kahle hook by Eagle Claw is my hands down favorite: http://www.eagleclaw.com/search/node/kahle
    Last edited by ADUKHNT; 01-07-2014 at 16:25. Reason: add information
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    what is the reason for the circle hook compaired to J hooks ????? stop from putting the hook into the fish gut, if the point is off set , will that not defeat the purpose of the circle hook ?? I DON"T KNOW just a question SID

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sid View Post
    what is the reason for the circle hook compaired to J hooks ????? stop from putting the hook into the fish gut, if the point is off set , will that not defeat the purpose of the circle hook ?? I DON"T KNOW just a question SID
    actually Sid, you're right....I just didn't feel the need to get in on this discussion seeing as the general concensus here seems to be guys heavily favoring the offset. I've fished with non-offset circle hooks for years down in Cabo, and they hook up just fine. In fact, one small tourney I fished specifically disallows offsets as they do, in their opinion, defeat the purpose of the circle hook, which as you stated is to prevent gut hooking. Now this is fishing for marlin, not halibut (another reason I kept out of this discussion!) but I don't see how the science is much different. Let 'em eat, tighten up slow, and reel...NO hook set. Sure worked good for me, and a lot of guys I fished around.
    But hey...it's a big ocean...

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    Member NeverLand's Avatar
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    I use the offset. No particular reason. That's what I bought and they work fine.

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    Glad Kodiakfly brought this subject up, especially for salmon fishing as I had a thread running last year on switching to circle hooks when mooching with bait for salmon (sorry fly guys, I am a purist ) Well, I got the Owner Mutu Light Circle Hooks in 3/0 and 4/0 and they worked great, we caught dozens of silver salmon over the summer and NONE were gut hooked, usually 20%-30% are, so they worked as they should, all hooked in mouth, and vast majority in the jaw/lip as a circle hook should. Whether releasing into the water or into the fish box/stringer this is a huge advantage.

    BUT, I don't recall if they were offset, they are all in AK and I am not. I looked online and neither the Owner website or any of the 3 vender websites mention anything about offset or inline. My recollection was that just the tip of the hookpoint was slightly offset...one of you with some of these go check yours!

    Bottomline is I am a diehard circle hook guy now for mooched salmon! We used Gamagatsu octopus hooks in the same sizes in the past, hooked up great, but can't release if hooked in the gut...I imagine they would work as well for trolling, flys too but I'll never find that out!

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Circle hooks were designed to be a self setting hook. They were designed by the Japanese for commercial longline fishing.
    When Alaskan longliners switched to circle hooks for Halibut their catch ratio went up by 30%. ADF&G thought there may have been a population explosion until they discovered it was the hooks that were catching and retaining more not that there were more fish.
    I believe the fact that they do not gut hook as many fish is just an added bonus of the hook design not the reason for it's original design.
    Personally I just as often use a 12/0 J hook rather than a circle hook. I prefer to set my hooks probably more out of habit than anything.
    That and I love jig fishing and in that case J hooks just work better.
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    Yes, somewhat. You'll have more gut-hooked fish on offset circle hooks than on inline circle hooks, though both are probably less prone to gut-hooking than are j-hooks. Down here in the Gulf of Mexico the regulations for reef fish require the use of non-offset circle hooks when fishing with bait.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sid View Post
    what is the reason for the circle hook compaired to J hooks ????? stop from putting the hook into the fish gut, if the point is off set , will that not defeat the purpose of the circle hook ?? I DON"T KNOW just a question SID

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