Sunday 11 February 2018

Unfinished Business — The Width of a Circle

I assure you, the picture above is no joke. That is a real hook — the 'Mustad 39937NP-DT Giant Demon Perfect Circle Hook' — and one that will set the big game shark hunter wanting mako, hammerhead, bull, tiger and great white on his personal best list, circa £150. God forbid they should ever lose one! 

It illustrates perfectly what a circle hook is and what a circle hook does. Imagine that a great white hits a bait and takes it down the throat along with this hook. The point is set at an angle of 90 degrees to the shank and there's a six inch gap between. Because the point is facing in this direction it cannot easily catch on anything unless it hits something to turn around. So the hook is drawn out of the throat and back into the mouth where steady tension brings it to the closed jaw. Because the line is pulling backwards against the shark's forward motion (hopefully!) it is drawn into the very corner where both jaws meet. Then it turns and catches around one of them. Usually the lower, in my experience.

But it only pricks. The fight is what makes it penetrate because there is no striking necessary, in fact that would be a mistake because the fish might be facing you or the hook might not yet be aligned correctly and the hook would pull straight out. You'd just take up the slack line, let the hook find its place, and do its work.

If you struggle with the very idea of a circle hook, then I hope this helps?


  1. ... and have patience. After a life time fishing the urge not to strike is a very difficult muscle memory to overcome. Check out Jeff's earlier articles on circle hooks, they really helped me. Couple of points that can get missed - point the rod at the taking fish and use a hook size that allows the hook point to remain clear - both has made a big difference.