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Rigs
14 Jul 2017
by CARPology
Do curved shank hooks cause damage?
Is it the hook or the angler using them who’s causing the damage?

The big question

“My syndicate board is forbidding certain hook types as of this year, and since I don’t really agree on one of them, I would really like your guys to tell me if I’m wrong. The new rules are: ‘No bent hooks, long shanks or curved hooks allowed’. Now, I can live with the bent hook being forbidden due to the bad press after damaging fish. For me the long shank is still a question mark. I haven’t had a problem myself, but I can understand the concern about the angle of pressure during a fight.

“However, I do really disagree with the board on curved hooks – Korda Kurv, Fox SSC and the like. I’ve been fishing for approximately eight years now with this hook type and only once have I had to treat an injury caused by the hook. One is one too many, but who can improve these statistics?

“Have you ever heard of mouth damage being caused by a curved hook? I would really appreciate your contributor’s opinions on this subject. Am I wrong or is the board being ‘too careful’?”
Peter De Buyser, Belgium

Mat Woods

“I’m not always convinced that mouth damage can be avoided by using certain hook patterns and have certainly never seen any issues using curved shank hooks. I’m a huge advocate of an aggressive curved shank and the Avid CRV is my first choice for almost all my fishing. Before that I used the Gardner Mugga extensively, and also the ESP Curve-Shanx. Not once could I say those hooks caused an issue.

“I’m a huge advocate of an aggressive curved shank and the Avid CRV is my first choice.”

“Indeed, I’ve probably seen more mouth damage with anglers using Chod Rigs in heavy weed, when the lead stays on and collects the weed. This makes that 2oz lead into a 10lb lead sometimes, which can ‘drag’ the hook along further than you’d like. Does that mean Chod Rigs and out-turned eye hooks should be banned? I’m not so sure.

Mat tinkering with the hooking arrangement

“The main issue with the longer hooks, I think, is how the eye can sometimes get caught in the net. As you lift the fish it causes a big tear, which is not ideal. For this reason I understand the ban. But as for the curve shanks, I think that’s a bit behind the times!"

Jason Hayward

“This sort of thing is very emotive and always generates different views and the odd heated discussion. In MY opinion, the board of your syndicate is being overcautious. I do believe some patterns of hooks are indeed indicative of causing mouth damage, such as the original bent hook like you state, but I would indeed have to take issue with them over the banning of short shank type hooks, like the Korda Kurv etc.

“It is of course possible to cause mouth damage with ANY type of hook just by using it with the wrong tackle, or in the wrong situation, or indeed the wrong hands! But in my opinion, the short shank type hooks that have been banned give some of the most secure, solid, hook holds that we, as anglers, could want/need. This is also “beneficial” (if you get me) for the carp, as a secure hook hold is one that is not going to tear, rip etc., which is the action that causes the damage, which none of us want to see.

“I sell an awful lot of hooks each year through Specialist Sharpened Hooks and very often get feedback from customers. One of the most popular patterns I sharpen is the Gardner ‘Mugga’ and I know from talking to loads of experienced anglers that buy these from me, that when the ‘Muggas’ go in, they stay in. I know for fact that these lads would never use anything that would harm a carp, and indeed I would not sell them if they did!

“So go back to your syndicate board and show them this – it just may help.”

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