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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Solved My Hook Pull Problem

Question:  Why have I been having so many hook pulls?

Answer:  The length of my hair rig was too short.

I have been targeting carp in my fishing efforts for more than 3 years at this point and never in that time have I had so many hook pulls. In fact, I once went more than 6 months without a single hook pull.

During my session on Sunday I figured out a solution to the issue I have been experiencing.

I am very particular about my hooks. I like sharp, micro barbed hooks that are bronze in color and coated in the non-stick PTFE treatment. I change hooks every other session and sometimes in the middle of a session if I sense that my hook has become dull.

I tried sharpening them myself for a while, but tired of that quickly and decided to just buy hooks when they are on sale and change them out regularly. It's so difficult to catch nice sized carp consistently, I made a decision not to let the hook stand in the way of a new personal best catch.

I am also very particular about how I tie up my hair rigs and I often tie hair rigs in groups. I sit down with a goal to tie 5 or 6 at a time, which helps me have more uniformity in the rigs. I have found out this summer that uniformity can be a help or a hindrance. I have a bunch of consistently tied hooks, which is great, but I did not take into consideration that the most recent batch I tied up have a slightly shorter length for the hair.

I have discovered that it doesn't take much to throw a kink into things.


I have always tied my hair lengths at 3/4" and used 3 pieces of corn (1 fake and 2 flavored maize). After closely inspecting my current batch of rigs I discovered that my hair length is shorter than 3/4" and is actually closer to 1/2" or 5/8" on some of them.

That is a problem sometimes if you fish with 3 pieces of corn, as I have concluded after about 15 hooks pulls over a 3 session time period. Using 3 pieces causes the corn to rest too closely to the hook and impacts positive hook holds. If the hook hold is weak then the chances of a hook pull increase significantly; especially in summer when there are more weeds, moss and lily pads in the carp swims. But luckily it's an easy-to-fix problem that can be remedied by fishing with 2 pieces of corn (1 fake and one flavored maize). This adjustment caught 6 carp for me on the shorter hair rigs on Sunday.

With that knowledge I can now fish confidently with 2 pieces or 3 pieces of corn, depending on the length of the hair rigs I am using.

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