Design Shape and Pattern
No matter what the theories around, and sometimes reality of hook choice is many people still pick a hook on feeling, brand association, liking the look of, have always used etc which is fine. If it works stick with it but if you are loosing fish, getting far too many single bleeps etc then you do need to maybe think a bit deeper about what is quite an affordable item for the impact it can have on your fishing results. We all have our favourite manufacturers and patterns and many are similar / identical so I prefer to talk about what ' I ' use NOT what ' you ' SHOULD use manufacturer / tackle company wise . However when it comes to pattern / design / shape I have my own views which I'll detail next .
Long Shanked Hooks . I almost feel like calling it ' longer shanked hooks ' as the really long / curve shank hooks like Carp R Us and I think Fox did ( was it Series 5 ) seem to have been phased out / lost popularity. Like the Bent Hook Rig they had their advocates and their detractors.They certainly were effective at tripping carp up but had a tendency to wind in and cause damage. Now long shanked hooks are nowhere near as dangerous but are not something I like having seen them bed / wind in when taken well back. Great for double baits where you are using a loop and the extra movement helps but as I said not for me. I find the length of most ' normal ' hooks to be long enough and compared to the hooks of yester year almost long shanked in comparison !
Ultra Wide Gapes . A few companies sell these with some anglers swearing by them... or at them ! In theory that super wide gape should offer more hooking potential but that wide old gape ( especially in a large hook ) will be prone to flexing and dropping fish. Personally I find a standard gape fine in most cases . The exception is surface fishing where I find a shorter shank and wider gape brilliant for mixers on top .
Surface fishing in the summer and this one fell to a Wide Gape hook and single mixer
Claw Hooks . ( not a brand push but can't find another way to describe them ). Probably a year plus ago these became available and TBH I thought were perhaps gimmicky BUT in one situation they are my go to hook. When barbless is the rule the shape of the hook ( the apex angle ) and the wide gape keeps the hook in more consistently than any other standard barbless. I guess the apex is less likely to fall out with the multiple angles rather than straight curve ? Certainly worth checking out I promise you on barbless only waters .
Brilliant in barbless as the shape keeps the hook in
In Turned Eye . When I'm using braid ( coated or uncoated ) I do prefer a SLIGHTLY in turned eye on a hook as I feel it helps to flip the hook upon ingestion and bed in when playing the fish. However I avoid heavily in turned eyes as these can wind the hook in too much for my liking. Be aware that if you use a shrink tube kicker it CAN be angled in too much by the in turned eye shape which can drastically reduce the hook's gape and hooking efficiency. Fluorocarbon should not be used knotless knot style with in turned eyes as the angle formed will cause your knot to snap. And if you use it with monofilament the gape will be drastically reduced which can ruin it's effectiveness.
Out Turned Eye . With flurocarbon and monofilament perfect as the gape of the hook is not compromised and the eye angle protects the knot. When I'm using flurocarbon as a hooklength for bottom baits this is my go to design. I don't use it for braid ( supple or coated ) as you are not pulling in a direct straight line and I've seen too many hook pulls ( especially with the Multi rig or Slip D rig ) for my liking.
Curve Shank . All my original Multi Rigs used a curve shank hook but when I added shrink tube I found that the gape was lessened a little too much for my liking. The use of a stiff shrink tube kicker improves the hooking mechanics BUT the natural curve of the hook means the tubing effects the gape. When I want to use a Multi Rig without tubing these are perfect. On clean bottoms when I want the hook and hookbait sat as low as possible these are perfect as you can really sit them low.
An original multi rig with curve shank hook
So a few thoughts on design / shape and pattern that applies to MY fishing but as I always say ... " If it ain't broke don't fix it "