When fishing for carp the strength and sharpness of the hook is vital but also the size and shape must suit:
- the bait set up you are using
- the depth you are fishing
- the size of the carp.
Matching the Hook
Carp are very shrewd and the angler must try and fish with the smallest possible hook option whatever the conditions.
Getting the hook size absolutely right is about balancing it with the size of the bait you are fishing with and the size of the fish you are trying to catch. Conditions on the bottom can also change the type of hook an angler must use.
Sizes of hooks go from size 12 at the smallest end of the scale up to Size 2 at the biggest. The space between the hook point and the shank of the hook is called the gape. The ring at the front of the hook is called the eye. The main bar of the hook is called the shank.
Some hooks have barbs on the point of the hook that prevent the hook from moving back out of the fish’s mouth once it has penetrated the flesh. These variables can help the angler set up the right rig for the right conditions:
- width of gape
- length of shank
- direction of eye.
As a general rule equate the size and strength of the hook with the:
- size and scale of presentation required
- the conditions in the fishery
- the target fish.
There are hundreds of different hook types on the market but it is best to keep it as simple as possible. The carp angler should have about four or five different hook types, each option in a number of different sizes.
Brands Worth Noting
The brands to look out for are Shimano, Korda, ESP, Owner, Fox, Nash, Guru, GLT, Raptor and Carp RU. These all have a wide range of options but are generally made of the best quality wire.
The carp hook is normally an eyed and slightly curved short hook. They can be barbed or barbless and come in different metal types and finishes.
The sharpness of the hook is an important consideration when buying and you should be careful to select the sharpest you can find.
Some hooks are packaged so that they are set on plastic inserts side by side which help to keep the hooks sharp and help in selecting the hook you need.
For all anglers the most frustrating element of the sport is losing a fish so correct hook selection is important to prevent fish throwing the hook.
The colour of the hook is also important as very often hooks can be too bright for the conditions and easily raise suspicion among the carp.
The hook with too much shine can be given a more matt finish by painting it with indelible marker pen. Alternatively buy dull or black painted hooks. Some hooks are coated in Teflon which stops reflection. These tend to be very strong and come in the full range of sizes but can be more expensive.
The eye of the hook can be turned down or straight. Depending on the bait, the angler should select the relevant hook for the depth fished and the technique adopted.
What to Look Out for When Buying Hooks for Carp Fishing
Barbed or Barbless?
Some fisheries won’t allow barbed hooks and many anglers feel that the barbless hook allows the fish to be returned in better condition
Carp are ingenious at throwing the hook and finding ways to lose the rig. With a barbless hook the chances of this happening are greatly increased.
Often a carp will grab the bait but only get a light prick from the barbless hook. When this happens the carp will shake its head vigorously and the weight of the attached bait flicking from side to side can help work the hook out of the fish’s mouth.
With a barbed hook the barb only needs to penetrate a short way and the carp will be unable to eject the rig. Whisker barbs, which are very thin and short, allow the fish to be released with relatively little damage to the mouth during the fight.
Easy to damage fish
Return fish in better condition
Less chance of losing fish
Much greater chance of losing fish
It is worth spending more money to get the sharpest hooks but then the hook must be kept in a dry and secure place to keep it sharp.
Hooks are often damaged when thrown into a tin and then suffer from damp and rust if water gets into the container. A sharp hook will drive into the fishes flesh quicker but will also allow the angler to release the fish better as they are easier to extract.
Furthermore, a sharp hook actually causes less damage to the fish’s mouth as the incision made is generally smaller.
Strength and Hook Wire Thickness
Generally the bigger the hook is in size, the heavier and thicker the wire used will be.
Getting the balance between the thickness of the wire and the size of the hook is vital as the weight of a hook can seriously affect the way the carp rig fishes.
While having the thinnest hook possible is a good thing, the hook must be strong enough to be able to survive a long battle with a big fish without straightening.
Many carp hooks available have an inward facing eye. These can be used in a number of different fishing situations, angling techniques and rigs. When tied properly this type of hook turns easily in the carp’s mouth and hooks the fish quickly and efficiently.
The shanks can be of varying lengths so even when using very long shanked hooks the combination of quick turn and greater area means this is certainly one of the most flexible and effective all-round patterns.
The upturned eye is usually used when fishing with stiff rig bait presentations. This really helps to keep the bait at the proper angle when tied to rigid mono lines.
Hooks can also be straight-eyed but these are rarely used. They are useful if the angler is trying to take fish off the surface of the water. The hook can be glued to floating baits with the point directed away from the bait. This lets the bait bob on the surface with the hook out of the water and out of view of the fish. This method is often adopted at fisheries that are heavily fished and the carp have become ‘bait shy’ and wary.
Improving the hooking capability of the straight-eyed hook can be improved by creating a shrink tubing line–aligner. This is a complicated procedure and is probably the reason that most anglers prefer to use the inward facing eye pattern.
Bent Shank Hooks or ‘Nailers’
These are carp hooks with a bent shank and an inward-facing eye. They are very effective in hooking fish and so are usually used in heavily fished water where the carp are wary.
Many anglers refuse to use them because they believe that the bent-shanked hook or ‘nailer’ causes more damage to the fish’s mouth.
Carp Fishing Hook Checklist
Barbed or barbless?
Inward-facing eye for most carp fishing
Match size of fish
How to Buy Hooks for Carp Fishing on eBay
Now that you've worked out which Hooks you want, find them quickly on eBay. While you shop, don't forget Tackle, Fly Tying Tools/ Materials, Bait, Bivvy/ Accessories, Line, Nets. To start shopping, go to the Sports and Leisure category. Click the Sporting Goods portal and click Fishing.
Categories: The Categories list on the left side of each page will help you narrow down your listings by item type. You'll find links for Clothing & Footwear, Coarse Fishing, DVDs, Fly Fishing, Sea Fishing, Tackle Boxes, Universal Accessories, Videos, Trophies, Vintageand Other Fishing. As you refine your search you'll be able to narrow down your choice by subcategory.
Product Finder: Use the Fish Hook Finder to quickly narrow down item listings by type of hook, brand, model and condition (new or used).
Keyword search: Search eBay listing titles for specific words. For example, if you want to find new fish hooks, type the keywords "new fish hooks" (without quotation marks) into the Search box. Click "Search title and description" to expand your results. Visit eBay's Search Tips page for more tips on searching with keywords.
If you can't find exactly what you want, try browsing eBay Stores or tell the eBay Community what you’re looking for by creating a post on Want It Now, or save a search on My eBay and eBay will email you when a matching item becomes available.
Buy Hooks for Carp Fishing with Confidence
Make sure that you know exactly what you’re buying and understand how eBay and PayPal protect you.
Know your item
Read the details in the item listing carefully.
Remember to add delivery costs to your final price. If you’re buying a high value item, check that the seller will insure it until it is delivered to you.
If you want more information, click the “Ask seller a question” button on the seller’s profile or the “Ask a question” link at the bottom of the item listing page.
Always complete your transaction on eBay (with a bid, Buy it Now or Best Offer) otherwise you will not be covered by eBay Buyer Protection.
Never pay for your eBay item using an instant cash wire transfer service like Western Union or MoneyGram. These are not safe ways of paying someone you do not know.
Know your seller
Research your seller so that you feel safe and positive about every transaction.
- What is the seller’s Feedback rating?
- How many transactions have they completed?
- How many positive responses do they have?
- What do buyers say in their Feedback?
- Are they positive about the seller?
Most top eBay sellers operate like retail shops and have a returns policy.
- Do they offer a money-back guarantee?
- What are their terms and conditions?
In the very unlikely event that you do not receive your item or it is not as described, eBay Buyer Protection your purchase price plus original delivery cost.
Fishing for carp is a highly skilled and challenging sport that can often involve days’ and nights’ fishing with a wide range of different baits, rigs and presentations at varying depths.
All equipment should be as good as is affordable. More than anything it is worth investing in hooks that are of the highest quality.
Poorer quality and cheaper hooks will go blunt or rust and if made of poor quality wire will often straighten or snap whilst playing a fish.
It can often take a long time to hook a fish particularly in fisheries that are regularly fished where the carp have become very wary.
It is, therefore, very important that, after successfully persuading the fish to take, it does not get away because the hook is not strong enough or is in someway defective.
Bigger discounts are available if greater quantities are purchased.