A hook is an absolutely crucial part of any rig. There is no one right answer when you’re choosing a hook. If you ask a few anglers chances are you’ll get a different answer from each one. The choice depends on many variables: the fishery, your chosen method, the kind and size of your lure. You should also take into account your rod, line and the weight if you’re using a self hooking rig. Most importantly any hook you use should be incredibly sharp. Territory hooks from Mikado can meet even the most rigorous criteria.
I’ll start with my favourite hooks this season, which I use in most of my rigs. Wide Gape is the best model for big carp. It has a short shank and a wide bend, which guarantees a better hold on the fish in case of a long and hard haul. I think this is one of the best hooks for when you’re fishing in big reservoirs, usually far from the bank. Perfect for making leaders using both soft and stiff materials.
In order to increase effectiveness in self hooking rigs you should add a bit more weight so the hook can set correctly. “A bit more” means at least 100g. Of course, this also depends on all the variables I mention before and you have to keep that in mind. I’ll describe my test rig, which helped me get a few big carp this season over 200 m from the bank, to paint a clearer picture.
The fishery is a big reservoir with a gently sloping bottom full of surprises like sticks and tree stumps covered in the ever-present zebra mussels.
The rig has to be particularly strong in these conditions. A fluorocarbon Nihonto 045 leader with a no.2 Territory Wide Gape hook is attached to the main rig with a swivel mounted on a safe clip. The bottom in my spot is quite firm so I weigh my rig down with a typical 170 - 200g weigh on a clip and a 15m casting leader made of Nihonto 050 - 060 fluorocarbon. The choice of the main line depends on the season. In the spring, when the water is still free of surface weeds, I use an Octa Braid 026 braided line and later in the year I switch to a Territory Crystal 035 monofilament with a fluorocarbon coating. My reels are of course Lentus ADs attached to three meter poles, perfect for placing the rig in your spot with a boat. In the next installment of “Mikado Carp Fishing Hooks” I’ll describe the Long Shank - irreplaceable when it comes to very popular fisheries.
Mikado Fishing Team