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The CARPology Debate Part 4

Straight point (Kevin Nash gives his views) vs. beaked (that's Danny Fairbrass's corner)

Danny Fairbrass: beaked points

Why choose a beaked point over straight one? Imagine a beaked point as an animals claw, it is designed to grab its prey and hold onto it. Nature tends to get things right or the animal becomes extinct! So we can safely assume that a curved 'claw/hook' will hold in better than a straight one. Personally I think it's because as the hook penetrates it 'curves' in, this means if the line goes slack or the fish shakes its head the hook must 'curve' back out again which is less likely to happen than if the point was straight.

There is of course a payoff, a beaked point may not be pointing into the flesh as aggressively as a straight point so it may not prick the fish as quickly making it potentially easier to eject as the hook has taken moments longer to find purchase. If you lay a beaked pointed hook in the palm of your hand the point will be angled away from your skin, lie a straight pointed hook next to it and you will see its point is facing more towards your skin and an outpointed hook will do so even more (try opening the gape of a straight pointed hook to see what I mean). So once a beaked pointed hook has taken hold you are probably more likely to land the fish but a straight pointed hook is more likely to convert a pick up into a hooked fish but may result in a few more hook pulls.

Some people like myself and Damian love beaked pointed hooks like the Wide Gape, others like Tom Dove cannot land a fish on them. This suggests that he is setting them up wrong or they just don't suit the way he ties his hooklinks. He prefers the Kurv Shank. That suits him so he sticks with it and that's what I recommend you do: if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Kevin Nash: straight points

I favour and use exclusively straight pointed hooks. The way I look at it is whilst a beaked point ensures without doubt better hook holds as the curved point pulls the hook in deeper, you are less likely to prick a carp on a hook point that is slightly curved in than when using a straight point. I proved this to myself in the nineties noting I had a significant increase in takes on rods with straight point hooks against rods with beaked points. I then dramatically increased the take rate on the straight point hooks when I had them sharpened by a jeweller – i.e. it was clear evidence to me that my super sharp hooks 'were catching' in the carp's mouths as they sucked my rigs or whilst blowing them out, whereas hooks with curved points would simply bounce out.

I liken a beaked point to a circle hook, not so severe I know but designed for when a fish grabs the bait and hook nailing itself against the tensioned line. When I started using the Chod Rig the curved point seemed the way to go and certainly the fish I landed were deeply hooked, however I was concerned at the number of single bleeps I was receiving that didn't materialise into takes. As I have said on many occasions, right or wrong, I take the view that any indication could have been a failed pick-up rather than, for example, a liner. I started messing around making my Chod Rigs up using Nash Fang Twisters. The number of single bleeps dropped off whilst the take rate increased so I would suggest even with the Chod Rig carp will after a bit of hammering approach and mouth it cautiously and in this situation a straight point has much more chance of pricking the carp than a beaked point.

If any reader wants to experiment with straight points on the Chod they may be interested in how I tie it. Instead of the hooklink exiting the eye toward the point I thread the hooklink through the eye away from the point. I've included a photo of my 'back to front' Chod Rig, note the perfect angle the hooklink leaves the Twisters' eye – devastating! Hope it helps.