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Bending an offset circle hook

greyreefsharkgreyreefshark Posts: 550 Officer
Do you feel bending an offset circle hook to make it inline would compromise the hooks strength? 


  • poncedoradoponcedorado Posts: 540 Officer
    no, as long as you're careful to not make any deep scrapes/gouges in it if you grab it with pliers in order to bend it
  • LostconchLostconch Posts: 988 Officer
    Vice and a leather or hard plastic mallet. But I would just buy some straight ones
  • greyreefsharkgreyreefshark Posts: 550 Officer
    I wanted to get those Owner “Hybrid” Mutu circles because they are between the thickness of the Light and the Regular Mutu but they only sell them in the Offset. 
  • John McKroidJohn McKroid Posts: 3,242 Captain
    Bending metal will weaken it, but doubt if just done slightly will unlikely be enough to change the outcome of catching the fish. Back before circle hooks were readily available(70's) we would bend our Mustad Kirby hooks on our rockcod rigs to make them more shaped like circle hooks.
  • Kokosing LoverKokosing Lover Posts: 1,055 Officer
    It depends on the particular metal that the hook is made out of.  Some hooks are just fine being bent back and forth (within reason) and some can't handle it at all.  Owner hooks (which I use for most things) are made of a hardened steel, which makes them relatively strong for their thickness and stiff/resistant to bending.  This also makes them brittle.  They will bend to a certain extent and then come back to shape like a leaf spring, but bend them past that point and they're done.  Once an Owner hook is bent out of shape, bending it back into position is a recipe for disaster; they WILL snap.  They're great hooks, but they're not meant for everything.  I use their light jigheads for inshore as well and once you bend one of those, you might as well toss it.

    Are you trying to use these hooks for tarpon, sharks or tournament purposes?  Because if these are not the case, leaving them offset isn't really going to matter and no one, and I mean NO ONE, will frankly give two $#!ts if you're using offset vs. non offset.
  • greyreefsharkgreyreefshark Posts: 550 Officer
    Kokosing lover, I will be using them for Tarpon.
  • greyreefsharkgreyreefshark Posts: 550 Officer
    Thanks for that input man. I think I’ll just steer clear of that Owner offset. With that hardened steel, it doesn’t sound like a good idea.
  • poncedoradoponcedorado Posts: 540 Officer
    For what it's worth, below are we use for tarpon with good results. They are inline circles made by gamakatsu, very similar to the popular Owner SSW series. 


  • rangebeardrangebeard GainesvillePosts: 8 Deckhand
    What’s supposed to be the advantage to using an offset circle hook?
  • kayakerinkeywestkayakerinkeywest Posts: 627 Officer
    It makes it so it works like a j-hook and can allow the hook point to connect anywhere versus an inline Circle which requires getting caught on an edge.
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  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 4,378 Captain
    Had to laugh when I read this thread since I prefer slightly off-set circles for tarpon...  A few years back blue water anglers launched a campaign to require anyone fishing billfish tournaments to use only in-line circles.  They were very successful and now you can hardly find an off-set circle hook.  As a result I'm forced to buy in-line circles these days (Owner SSW circle hooks) then off-set them myself - just slightly...  You have to be careful since as noted super sharp, super strong hooks (mostly premium Japanese hooks...) are also brittle and will break on you if you're not careful when hooked up on a big fish...  I like smaller circles for redfish and other species but avoid them if we're fishing live bait (those same ladyfish...) for big snook since a circle on a big snook will tend to attach itself to a big snook's tongue instead of the jaw resulting in a fish lost at the boat... 

    Funny thing, when we're using livebaits (ladyfish from 10" up to about 13" long) with the rod in a rodholder in gear with full fighting drag... every big tarpon is hooked in the dead center of the upper jaw - not in the corner of the mouth the way circles are supposed to set up.... In fact the hook is the only thing in the fish's mouth - a solid lip hook almost every time.. 

    Funny thing, part two... circle hooks in sharks are impossible to remove from  a live shark at the boat if you prefer to leave that toothy critter in the water at boatside... so you end up cutting the leader and the shark keeps that circle... With a J- hook I can remove the hook from almost any size shark easily with the right tool (an old Arc de-hooker, 18" long...) and the shark swims away with no hook in its jaw... 

    Where we fish, along the Gulf coast of the Everglades between Cape Sable and Lostmans River most days - there are so many sharks that you end up hooked up with one or two every day so I get lots of practice removing hooks from lemons, bulls, and blacktips.  Yesterday our biggest speckled trout was nearly to the boat when it got grabbed and all my angler could do is hold on while the shark took that poor trout for a long run before leaving us the head (which I swear weighed almost one pound... ).  Just nothing like the 'glades... 
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  • MulletMaster239MulletMaster239 Southwest FloridaPosts: 873 Officer
    edited April 24 #13
    What’s supposed to be the advantage to using an offset circle hook?
    I’d say as far as tarpon go, what the OP is targeting..there isn’t really an advantage of an offset. You run more of a risk of the hook sticking in a weaker area or getting a shallower hookset (such as ‘skin hooking‘ one on the roof of the mouth rather than clean through the top lip) and pulling the hook toward the end of the fight. With an in-line circle hook you’re more likely to hook up in a more solid area. At least that has been my experience. I prefer an in-line hook and I haven’t had any noticeable difference in hookup ratios between the two styles but I have noticed I land more fish with an in-line hook since I started tracking the results. Was 22 for 22 during one point, and that’s fishing from shore where they’re tougher to land. So for me I like an in-line hook. If offset is all I can get then I want one just very slightly offset to the point where it isn’t really noticeable at first glance.  I also prefer a narrow gap for two reasons one is because I also think it will hook on to a more solid area, and two because if I am in a situation where I need to apply heavy drag such as keeping one from going under the bridge on me or horsing one away from a boat lift, the hook may start to open up and it doesn’t take all that much for the hook to come out once bent out of shape, especially at a higher drag.  But ideally 10 lbs max is what I fish my drag at.
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