TO THE POINT There’s greater awareness than ever that hooks need to be as sharp as possible. Fang hooks require no additional sharpening from the packet, and come with sticky sharp points but any hook point will deteriorate in use. Catch a bream and your hook is no longer as sharp as it could be. Retrieve a rig and it catches on the lake bed as you lift it off bottom, no longer as sharp as it could be. Pull a hook repeatedly into PVA sticks – no longer sticky sharp. Check your hook points every time you retrieve and recast or rebait. If the hook scores your nail under gentle pressure the point is still keen.
RIGGED UP AND READY Understanding that hooks are easily degraded through use means you need to be prepared to change them more regularly. A good supply of pre-tied rigs before a session encourages you to change hooks however often it’s required. If you don’t have a well stocked rig board you’ll find excuses not to change rigs to a sticky sharp fresh hook, and it will cost you fish. Getting through more rigs and a few more rig materials is a small price to pay for catching more fish because your rigs are always at their most efficient.
THE LONG AND SHORT OF IT Hook holds can be easily improved by altering the length of the hooklink. It’s fashionable to use short links, but they also limit how far a hook is taken into the mouth by a feeding carp, and sometimes hook holds close to the edges of the lips or in the scissors can easily pull free. If your hooks are close to the edge of the lips, add an inch at a time to the length of the links and see if the position of the hook changes. Optimum length depends on the size of the carp, the nature of the bottom and the feeding situation but improving hook holds often means longer not shorter links. www.nashtackle.co.uk