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Snelling circle hooks

Paragon1Paragon1 Posts: 510 Officer
Frankly I'm not a fan of circle hooks, but due to the regs we've gotta use them. A friend of mine was saying that Snelling them results in more hookups, but I find this somewhat counterintuitive. The circle hook works by letting the fish pull the hook into place instead of the fisherman. As such I'd presume you would want to use a terminal knot that permits the most freedom of movement for the hook, so, some form of loop through the eye. The reason I think this is it facilitates an infinite number of angles from which the hook can engage. It would seem to me that Snelling, especially with heavier line, would make the hook less likely to engage due to it being locked in place relative to the line.

Does this make sense or am I overthinking this? Seems like a fun topic to discuss/debate.
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Replies

  • Jack HexterJack Hexter New Port RicheyPosts: 5,048 Moderator
    Commercial fishermen have been using circles a lot longer than they have been mandatory for us, and they always snell. I used to think like you, but began snelling about 5 years ago and my hook up ration increased. I now snell most all hooks.
  • capt louiecapt louie citrus countyPosts: 10,358 Moderator
    Here is one way to do it. A uni knot to the shank of the hook.
    Jack is right about the commercial guys doing it. I spent 15 days on a longliner once and that's
    where I seen it.





    http://forums.floridasportsman.com/showthread.php?26603-Tips-and-Pointers-Please-share-your-winning-tactics/page2

    post # 20
    "You'll get your weather"
  • 91tiger91tiger Posts: 555 Officer
    I use circle hooks extensively for live baiting tarpon. Before my trips I always would pre-tie a bunch of leaders, all of them snelled. One trip I got busy and didn't have time to pre rig a bunch of leaders. To save time out on the water I just tied them with a conventional knot...our hook up ratio was awful with the non snelled circles. After going 2 for 11, I snelled the next hooks that went out and we got good hook ups on the next 4 fish that ate. Pisses me off because they were really on fire that trip, we could have really had some sore arms.

    I agree with you logic but I fall in the category that snelling works much better, at least on Gamakatsu circles that have the offset eye that is set up for snelling.
  • gumgatorgumgator Posts: 124 Officer
    capt louie wrote: »
    Here is one way to do it. A uni knot to the shank of the hook.
    Jack is right about the commercial guys doing it. I spent 15 days on a longliner once and that's
    where I seen it.





    http://forums.floridasportsman.com/showthread.php?26603-Tips-and-Pointers-Please-share-your-winning-tactics/page2

    post # 20

    X2 on the Uni-Snell
    a733be5f-c7db-41a8-912c-98a88c9a32ca.jpg
  • capt louiecapt louie citrus countyPosts: 10,358 Moderator
    91tiger wrote: »
    I agree with you logic but I fall in the category that snelling works much better, at least on Gamakatsu circles that have the offset eye that is set up for snelling.

    True. An offset eye (bent away from the barb) causes the line pull to be inline with the hook shank and the snell connection is strong.
    The cam action comes with a straight eye circle like shown.

    When I'm flipping baits for bass I snell and use a straight shank hook passing the line through the front of the eye.
    With a pegged weight it really snaps the hook forward. Would work good on a knocker rig I bet ?
    "You'll get your weather"
  • Panhandler80Panhandler80 Posts: 8,378 Moderator
    Snelling helps. The last thing you want is an infinite number of angles for the line to be able to pull on. With a conventional knot the line can slip about the eye. This could result at a time when the hook is ready to be set in mouth but if line has migrated, it might not pull in IN LINE with circle hook. Your idea about being even worse with heavy line is 180 from truth as well. Heavier you go, the more snelling maters. Make sure you Snell right direction.

    Little test with say 80 pound... Snell a hook and tie on a hook. Put make half a fist and drop circle hook in hole. Pull out of hand with line at various angles and see which one grabs skin more readily. Snell will because it makes the hook shank an extension of the line... Which means the stiffer the line, the more likely that force of tug is pulling point / gap directly into fish mouth. A knot that can move around is not extension of shank and force could direct tip away from area to hook.

    Just do the hand test, you'll see.
    "Whatcha doin' in my waters?"
  • Anclote KeyAnclote Key Posts: 2,354 Officer
    The hand test sounds painful.
    The two best times to fish is when it’s rainin’ and when it ain’t. –Patrick F. McManus
  • capt louiecapt louie citrus countyPosts: 10,358 Moderator
    The hand test will make you a believer.
    "You'll get your weather"
  • LocomanLocoman Posts: 44 Greenhorn
    Panhandler80, how about you taking a video of the hand test and post the results. Please use a hook size that is easy to see.:rotflmao
  • tarponhuntertarponhunter Posts: 404 Deckhand
    Ive also heard that loop knots are they way to go. I've been using those more recently because they are easier to tie and haven't really noticed a change in hook-up ratio. Anyone else use loop knots?
  • Doc StressorDoc Stressor Homosassa, FLPosts: 2,680 Captain
    It's funny, I always snell but my partner Troutman57 always uses a loop knot. We both hook up grouper with about the same frequency (>90%). I use a nail knot to snell, but the effect is the same as Louie's uni-knot.

    I think that as long as the barb of the hook can turn toward the leader, either because of the cam action of the snell or because the loop lets the hook swing freely, the effect is the same.
  • TarponatorTarponator Under a BridgePosts: 17,011 AG
    For tarpon, we (i.e. people who fish on my boat) have noticed NO substantive difference in hookup ratio based on the type of knot used, and we've experimented extensively with snelling, clinch knots, and loop knots. Our sample size is more than 500 tarpon bites.

    FWIW, hook type (manufacturer and size) is FAR more important than how you attach it to the line.

    IMO, and based solely on our own direct experience....Mike
  • hossmosshossmoss Posts: 1,322 Officer
    I use turned-eye non-offset Gamakatsu Octopus circles almost exclusively and snell. It seems I miss just about every *&#@ big fish that bites.


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  • NauticalWheelerNauticalWheeler Posts: 445 Deckhand
    OK, what about turned-eye hooks (snelled, or uni-to-the-shank) vs. straight-eye hooks using a regular knot attaching only to the eye?

    The latter is what I generally use (with a San Diego jam knot) as I pretty much suck at snelling and it has always made sense to me that if you do have the turned eye hooks, they should be snelled. Because of that, I have always gotten the straight eye ones, but I could be convinced to try a turned eye w/ a Uni.

    A SD jam knot, pulled tight, has some resistance to rotation.
  • snookaffinitysnookaffinity Naples, FLPosts: 1,183 Officer
    Tarponator wrote: »
    For tarpon, we (i.e. people who fish on my boat) have noticed NO substantive difference in hookup ratio based on the type of knot used, and we've experimented extensively with snelling, clinch knots, and loop knots. Our sample size is more than 500 tarpon bites.

    FWIW, hook type (manufacturer and size) is FAR more important than how you attach it to the line.

    IMO, and based solely on our own direct experience....Mike

    Which hook do you recommend?
    "It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt." - Mark Twain
  • tilemantileman Posts: 1,133 Officer
    I like to use this type circle, line comes straight off the shaft
    Here's ta swimn' with bowllegged women!
  • reel stamasreel stamas Posts: 6,153 Admiral
    tileman wrote: »
    I like to use this type circle, line comes straight off the shaft
    ^this^
    There should be NO Commercial Fishing for any fish species considered 'Over-fished' , 'Undergoing Overfishing' or Subject to Recreational Seasons, Limits, or Closures... Game Fish Status IS the Answer !!!
  • Panhandler80Panhandler80 Posts: 8,378 Moderator
    That's pretty much what I fish with most times. I'll use a more traditional circle hook for some fish and unique bait applications. Huge live baits for big jacks is one example.
    "Whatcha doin' in my waters?"
  • Jim311Jim311 Posts: 4,961 Captain
    I just use the Rapala loop knot and I catch plenty of fish with it. I think it's better than say an improved clinch knot but I am a serious doubter about whether or not a snell is necessary. Make sure to use hooks with eyelets that are welded shut.
  • SouthboundSouthbound Posts: 61 Deckhand
    Paragon1 wrote: »
    Frankly I'm not a fan of circle hooks, but due to the regs we've gotta use them. A friend of mine was saying that Snelling them results in more hookups, but I find this somewhat counterintuitive. The circle hook works by letting the fish pull the hook into place instead of the fisherman. As such I'd presume you would want to use a terminal knot that permits the most freedom of movement for the hook, so, some form of loop through the eye. The reason I think this is it facilitates an infinite number of angles from which the hook can engage. It would seem to me that Snelling, especially with heavier line, would make the hook less likely to engage due to it being locked in place relative to the line.

    Does this make sense or am I overthinking this? Seems like a fun topic to discuss/debate.

    Try using the octopus circle hook. The offset shaft/eye keep the line and hook aligned. This will fix the problem you wrote about previously.
  • tilemantileman Posts: 1,133 Officer
    you could also crimp the leader and leave a loop at the hook
    Here's ta swimn' with bowllegged women!
  • DogDocDogDoc Posts: 686 Officer
    X 2 (X8) on the octopus circle.
  • INTREPID377INTREPID377 Posts: 3,737 Captain
    Paragon1 wrote: »
    Frankly I'm not a fan of circle hooks, .

    Once you learn how to use them, you'll become a fan. Honestly, my hook up ratio with circle hooks is probably north of 90%. It's gotten to the point that it seems nearly impossible to miss. There's a learning curve as to how long to let a fish run, how to apply drag, rod angle, etc. but once you get it you'll wonder why you waited.

    Oh, and yes. Snelling helps. Make sure the line exits the eye on the same side as the hook. The idea is to "complete the circle" and it will latch on the jaw like nobody's business.
  • SnaphappySnaphappy Posts: 1,427 Officer
    I snell bent back hooks whether circle or not. However when having to use light leaders for say line shy tuna I use circle hook without a bent back eye and just tie a regular uni knot. Reason for this is it gives me a little more protection from small teeth chaffing knot and cutting off.
  • High LifeHigh Life Posts: 4 Greenhorn
    Does snelling affect the ability of live bait to swim naturally? It seems to me a loop knot always helps baits (live or artificial) move more naturally. Is snelling more of an application for cut-bait/bottom fishing?
  • tyxpxtyxpx Posts: 390 Officer
    Your supposed to use circle hooks? That's a regulation now?
  • tears143tears143 Posts: 89 Greenhorn
    tyxpx wrote: »
    Your supposed to use circle hooks? That's a regulation now?

    For reef fish in the gulf coast. For live bait.
  • tyxpxtyxpx Posts: 390 Officer
    That only for Deepwater reef fishing? Like grouper snapper fishing offshore?

    You supposed to use them live baiting grouper and stuff from shore also?
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