Tying the Circle Hook

jim isbell

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jun 25, 2015
1,253
512
113
63
Anaheim, CA
Name
Jim Isbell
Boat
19' Campion/115 4 stroke Yamaha
Have you ever notice that on some days, every bite with a circle hook leads to a lost fish? And yet, on other days, it seems everything sticks? At least fore me, it was proven it was the way I was tying the circle hook. Years ago, with a "Guide", I lost--or never hooked, every single Tarpon I was fishing for. Every one. Later, I looked at his snell, and saw he had it backwards. YOU MUST GO IN, through the eye, on the BARB SIDE. Think of the line as a straight pin, think about it. As the line pulls tight, it acts just like a hard, pin, either opening up the hook, or closing it tight. It matters, big time. Next time out with the circle was for Yellowtail, here in SOCAL. Not one fish lost, not one. And not one time, did a bite not lead to a hooked fish, not once. They say the problem with circle hooks is the large percentage of fish not hooked, I think that has a lot to do with how you tie the snell.
 

TEAMFISH

JUST ADD WATER
Aug 17, 2006
1,857
1,009
113
54
TORRANCE
Name
DAVE
Boat
25' Skipjack Fisherman
I call B.S. without pictures:rolleyes:
 

fishkilr

on the water
Aug 27, 2012
2,662
3,136
113
long beach,ca.u.s.a.
Name
alby
Boat
None
No one in so cal snells circle hooks.
One of the main reasons guys use circle hooks is to keep the teeth from chafing the line by hooking in the corner of the jaw and keeping the line including the knot outside of tooth range..
Snelling your circle hooks puts your connection directly in harms way...
As for using circles on yellows it never made sense to me to use a circle hook on fish with no cutting teeth that I'm not planning on releasing..
Throwin it in gear and swinging as hard as I can to me is the biggest rush of fishing and circle hooks take that rush away..
 

Ali

Master of Nothing
Admin
Apr 24, 2003
22,181
5,454
113
9
San Diego
Name
That Guy
Boat
31' Innovator
This is a debate as old as time. We don't miss many bites on the circles so I don't worry about it.

That said, my boys out of venice catch a shit load of bigger tuna and they 100% snell. Florida guys are about 50/50 from what I have seen.

For me, I'd rather have a good hookset from the get go rather than hooking them somewhere that will lead to heartache later on.
 

jim isbell

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jun 25, 2015
1,253
512
113
63
Anaheim, CA
Name
Jim Isbell
Boat
19' Campion/115 4 stroke Yamaha
No one in so cal snells circle hooks.
I do, out of Long Beach, San Diego, north as far as Ventura, and so on. The people I fish with also do the same; maybe we are odd men out, I don't know.
 

ShadowX

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Oct 10, 2010
1,388
788
113
Los Angeles
Name
Alex
Boat
None
This is voodoo science!!! Burn it!! Burn it now before its too late!

To be practical, you need to run some experiment where one hook it tied on your line is one way and another hook 6 inches away is tied the opposite direction. If you are getting only 50% hookups on one hook but 100% on the other, you may have a point.

I seriously doubt the way the hook is tied is the cause of the bad hookups. The fish may be line shy on some days and not taking the bait entirely. Another possibility is the fish is smaller and they peck away at the bait instead of taking a bite and run. When you are fishing on different days, there are too many variability. The water condition may be different, different temps, different area, different bait or bait size, different tackle setups, on and on. You need to set up a controlled experiment in order to get meaningful data.
 

jim isbell

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jun 25, 2015
1,253
512
113
63
Anaheim, CA
Name
Jim Isbell
Boat
19' Campion/115 4 stroke Yamaha
This is voodoo science!!! Burn it!! Burn it now before its too late!

To be practical, you need to run some experiment where one hook it tied on your line is one way and another hook 6 inches away is tied the opposite direction. If you are getting only 50% hookups on one hook but 100% on the other, you may have a point.

I seriously doubt the way the hook is tied is the cause of the bad hookups. The fish may be line shy on some days and not taking the bait entirely. Another possibility is the fish is smaller and they peck away at the bait instead of taking a bite and run.
You could be right Alex--what I did was tie it both ways, then sat there at the table, with one at a time, in my hand and pulled. I could see the one hook, being held between my thumb and finger, rotate one way, and the other rotates the other way. Still, not proof I admit. Then again Alex, hardly voodoo science.
 

ShadowX

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Oct 10, 2010
1,388
788
113
Los Angeles
Name
Alex
Boat
None
You could be right Alex--what I did was tie it both ways, then sat there at the table, with one at a time, in my hand and pulled. I could see the one hook, being held between my thumb and finger, rotate one way, and the other rotates the other way. Still, not proof I admit. Then again Alex, hardly voodoo science.
Technically, to be valid, you may need two identical pole setups. If two hooks are tied to the same line, you won't know which hook got bit. To make the experiment more unbiased, you need someone else to hold the rods and count the hits. The problem is that you're already biased and may unconsciously skew the results. The best way to test is a double blind test where the person testing does not know which hook is tied which way. However, that is not likely possible since you can tell when you unhook the fish. That is why you need two other people to do the experiment and you don't tell them what the differences are. Either that or you switch rods setups every hour.

Its not an easy experiment and I question the way the hook is tied that leads to the results. It may have a very slight improvement, but that hard to validate. The only way to substantiate your claim is to say that you always had a 50% hookup rate with the original way you tied the hook and you always have 100% hookups with the new way you tie it. Obviously that is very questionable and hard to believe.
 

jim isbell

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jun 25, 2015
1,253
512
113
63
Anaheim, CA
Name
Jim Isbell
Boat
19' Campion/115 4 stroke Yamaha
Technically, to be valid, you may need two identical pole setups. If two hooks are tied to the same line, you won't know which hook got bit. To make the experiment more unbiased, you need someone else to hold the rods and count the hits. The problem is that you're already biased and may unconsciously skew the results. The best way to test is a double blind test where the person testing does not know which hook is tied which way. However, that is not likely possible since you can tell when you unhook the fish. That is why you need two other people to do the experiment and you don't tell them what the differences are. Either that or you switch rods setups every hour.

Its not an easy experiment and I question the way the hook is tied that leads to the results. It may have a very slight improvement, but that hard to validate. The only way to substantiate your claim is to say that you always had a 50% hookup rate with the original way you tied the hook and you always have 100% hookups with the new way you tie it. Obviously that is very questionable and hard to believe.
Here is the GREAT news: no one is asking you to believe it, it was shared because my catch rate more than doubled--way more than doubled, when I noticed by pulling both tied hooks one turned IN, one turned AWAY from the fish's jaw. On the water, it worked, or as you correctly pointed out, SEEMED to work. So what I saw is shared, hell, this is a fishing forum, the results offered free of charge. What does surprise me is that, without even tying it both ways and simply pulling and seeing if one turn in, one turns out, you find it "hard to believe". Well again, no one is asking you to believe it--don't.
 
  • Like
Reactions: egarratt

fishkilr

on the water
Aug 27, 2012
2,662
3,136
113
long beach,ca.u.s.a.
Name
alby
Boat
None
This is a debate as old as time. We don't miss many bites on the circles so I don't worry about it.

That said, my boys out of venice catch a shit load of bigger tuna and they 100% snell. Florida guys are about 50/50 from what I have seen.

For me, I'd rather have a good hookset from the get go rather than hooking them somewhere that will lead to heartache later on.
Just like recreational fisherman I've seen commercial guys get pigeonholed into doing something a certain way that defies logic..
Those Louisiana guys have as much chance of convincing me that having your line wrapped around the shank of your hook is a better setup to prevent line chafe as they do of getting me to wear white deck boots..
Just like those east coast guys will never convince me that pulling on a fish from the rod holder is the best way to prevent breakoffs and pulled hooks.especially when the fish is within 50 ft....(its been shown that landing 1000 lb bft stand up style very doable and allows you to react much quicker to trouble)....
 

swami 805

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Mar 9, 2016
2,666
2,982
113
65
805
Name
Bill
Boat
sunk it
I snell hooks that have the eye bent like octopus hooks and circle hooks if they have a bend. If the eye is strait I don't. Pulling straight to the shank seems to make sense to me but it could be a half baked theory. Maybe I'll get Ray Charles to test it for me but I'd need one more blind guy for it to be valid I guess.
 

mullet

Metal Fabricator
Jan 10, 2006
3,659
3,259
113
San Fernando Valley
Name
Mike
Boat
19"Gregor
If your missing fish with a circle hook you need to quit swinging and let the hook do its thing.
The only hooks I Snell are octopus hooks to make a egg loop for steelys and salmon.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JohnnieB

finsane

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Oct 11, 2005
1,121
829
113
California
Name
Dennis
Boat
None
I've had no trouble with using the tried and true san diego jam, I prefer not to over think it.
 

RKBridges

Newbie
Feb 22, 2017
36
17
8
45
Florida
Name
Tally
Boat
RKB
IMG_0987.JPG
IMG_0986.JPG

Here's how to tie the circle hook with a snell. The key is the offset eye. As the line tensions, it pulls the hook into position perfectly. Ive found, BY FAR, biggest downfall of the circle hook is user error. It's comical to watch guys fish the circle hook. They just can't help themselves!! Haa. Each to his own though. All I use for live bait

IMG_0986.JPG IMG_0987.JPG
 

Day0ne

Well-Known "Member"
Dec 24, 2004
929
347
63
73
Texas
Name
David
Boat
233 Formula Shadowdancer
I think the OP is correct and not just with snells. Circle hooks are required for a lot of fish in the Gulf of Mexico and many bottom rigs are tied with dropper loop type setups, passing the eye of the loop through the eye of the hook, giving it a twist and passing it around the shank again. A commercial fisherman/party boat skipper showed me the difference between passing the eye of the loop through the barb side vs the back side of the hook eye. Passing through barb side of the eye hooked many more fish even though I think doing it the other way looks like it will work better, it isn't. This doesn't apply to octopus style circle hooks with the bent eye.
 

effigy

Well-Known "Member"
Jul 18, 2007
771
518
93
Oregon
Name
Mark
Boat
Which one? Too many....
This is voodoo science!!! Burn it!! Burn it now before its too late!

To be practical, you need to run some experiment where one hook it tied on your line is one way and another hook 6 inches away is tied the opposite direction. ......................... You need to set up a controlled experiment in order to get meaningful data.
Ding ding ding!

Mr Shadow, would you believe that your suggestion.....has acually been done?In the Pacific NW (OR, WA, Alaska) there is a huge commercial halibut fishery (Paific halibut). Longlines are used with miles of hooks....and each hook is tied to a tippet with a loop that is noosed to the hook.
The IPHC (International Pacific Halibut Commission) does a lot of reserach on....Pacific halibut. They have a researcher there named Steve Kaimmer, a.k.a. "Halibut Steve."
Through his research, which is very scientific, they have determined that when you put the loop through the FRONT (tip / barb side) of the eye of the circle hook, it results in a 30% increase in hooking versus putting th loop through the back side. It has to do with the way the hook rotates / levers upon final penetration.
So there!

If you are a true fishing nerd fanatic, check this out:

http://www.iphc.int/research/biology/hook.html


 
Last edited:

NaClLife

Fish whisperer
Feb 13, 2015
251
100
43
32
Huntington Harbor
Name
Brian
Boat
Shamrock 246 Walkaround
Ringed circle hook all day long for bait fishing on the surface. As light of line possible and a good rod that doesn't bend in two. Good ole four count and set the drag. Done deal.
 

mullet

Metal Fabricator
Jan 10, 2006
3,659
3,259
113
San Fernando Valley
Name
Mike
Boat
19"Gregor
Just make sure the ring goes thru the hook the right direction and your golden
:D
 

Latest posts