Lousy hookup ratio on large squid patterns

SilverFly

Active Member
I'll say, too, that the standard issue big ass cedar plug hook has a way of keeping them stuck, too.

See that's what's not adding up. In several ways
This fly is analogous to a cedar plug. I'll buy the slide or retrieve whacks not sticking. But the troll hits should be equivalent to gaffing in the mouth.
 

Jack MeHoff

Active Member
Thanks. I dunno about the fish lost on the smaller squid with the single. Had the first cast hookup on for 30 seconds or so, solid pressure, no slack, just came off. Another slide hookup off after a few seconds. Then the head shaker that came off right at the boat yesterday.

Probably just bad luck but maybe placing the hook further back would help.... next year.
i have tied lots of coho flys for trolling & found that moving the hook back lessens the chance of fouling the fly. the fish don't seem to mind & the hook is free from the bucktail which hinders the hook up
 

SilverFly

Active Member
I lose very, very few tuna while trolling, regardless of hook. I seem to lose a LOT of fish casting or speed jigging iron. So there may be something to that.
Ive lost my share of jig fish but nothing like my fly ratio this week.

FWIW, I've also caught troll tuna on versions of this fly tied with a single, front 5/0 circle. They were hooked so well I could have hand lined them over the side. The problem is holding a loop the entire time, or setting the drag super loose so the fish can turn to allow the hook to seat before coming tight.
 

gt

Active Member
Ive lost my share of jig fish but nothing like my fly ratio this week.

FWIW, I've also caught troll tuna on versions of this fly tied with a single, front 5/0 circle. They were hooked so well I could have hand lined them over the side. The problem is holding a loop the entire time, or setting the drag super loose so the fish can turn to allow the hook to seat before coming tight.
those in the know have moved to circle hooks for bill fish, sails and marlin. but you are correct, DO NOT TRY TO SET THE HOOK, the fish needs to turn and the hook sets itself. we have the commercial long line fishers to thank for this invention. hook ups for me on halibut was 100% once i went to circle hooks.
 

SilverFly

Active Member
I've just seen/heard them called "double hooks"

Thanks for the link. I'm sure the ones on Englund's website would work just fine but are nickel plated and super cheap (box of 100 is $20 +/- a buck or so). Was also shocked when I couldn't find "double hook" on Tackle Direct but I didn't want to look through their whole hook inventory.
 

Evan Burck

Fudge Dragon
Thanks for the link. I'm sure the ones on Englund's website would work just fine but are nickel plated and super cheap (box of 100 is $20 +/- a buck or so). Was also shocked when I couldn't find "double hook" on Tackle Direct but I didn't want to look through their whole hook inventory.
My preference

 

Evan Burck

Fudge Dragon
Thanks for the link. I'm sure the ones on Englund's website would work just fine but are nickel plated and super cheap (box of 100 is $20 +/- a buck or so). Was also shocked when I couldn't find "double hook" on Tackle Direct but I didn't want to look through their whole hook inventory.
This one here may give you some fun ideas:

1631290063923.png

 

MGTom

Living at the place of many waters
WFF Premium
For what it's worth, I loose a lot more trolling-hooked trout than I do when I'm retrieving/stripping. I've always attributed it to the lack of a manual hook-set, despite the fact that the rod is pumping and bouncing and I'd swear it was as solid of a hook-up as could be.

Seems like the double-hook couldn't hurt. But my gut says you're either getting a very shallow hook-set that's tearing out, or you're not getting penetration and it's falling out.
Might just be the fish on the day? I don't know saltwater fishing but some days I'm getting trout nibblers in the very front of the mouth, and other days nice corner hooks or sometimes tongue.
I get that shallow hookset sometimes when the swing is right below me or on the hang, so maybe something similar trolling?
 

SilverFly

Active Member
Might just be the fish on the day? I don't know saltwater fishing but some days I'm getting trout nibblers in the very front of the mouth, and other days nice corner hooks or sometimes tongue.
I get that shallow hookset sometimes when the swing is right below me or on the hang, so maybe something similar trolling?

Could be, but it happened all 3 days this week. I also had troll hits, and slide/retrieve whacks last year that didn't stick. Like Evan said, standard troll lures (basically big hoochies with a plastic or weighted head) have a very high hook-to-land ratio. As it should be considering these and similar lures have been the mainstay of the commercial troll fleet for decades:

Rigged-clone.jpg

The double hooks are proven so really that has to be the way to go. One key difference with these squid flies is they don't have the weighted head. So maybe the lack of mass is part of the problem? Not that I'm going to weight the damn things, but now leaning towards free-swinging vs fixed hooks.
 

gt

Active Member
interesting, never had a single problem with hoochie fishing. you might try Amazon, i know they carry Owner circle hooks, maybe double hooks as well. seems as though you almost can't miss with this outfit, hard to believe.

when i rig this, i put on two to three beads on the leader and then slide the hoochie down onto the beads. i also use 4/0 hooks, barb bent down. i have never had a single issue with hook sets with hoochie fishing, your experience is a real puzzle to me.
 
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tkww

Member
Could be, but it happened all 3 days this week. I also had troll hits, and slide/retrieve whacks last year that didn't stick. Like Evan said, standard troll lures (basically big hoochies with a plastic or weighted head) have a very high hook-to-land ratio. As it should be considering these and similar lures have been the mainstay of the commercial troll fleet for decades:

View attachment 294928

The double hooks are proven so really that has to be the way to go. One key difference with these squid flies is they don't have the weighted head. So maybe the lack of mass is part of the problem? Not that I'm going to weight the damn things, but now leaning towards free-swinging vs fixed hooks.

Full disclosure: my experience is almost entirely freshwater. But I've found that heavily head-weighted flies come out more often. My theory is that they put mass at the opposite end of the point/bend, and as such they increase the leverage and make it more likely to twist back and forth with head shakes. This opens up the hole in the jaw, and then the hooks comes out.

I'm wondering if the fish biting down is twisting the hook to a more horizontal plane before penetrating, and as such you're getting a very shallow hookset that's tearing out. I feel like the double-hook would help if that was the case.
 

MGTom

Living at the place of many waters
WFF Premium
Could be, but it happened all 3 days this week. I also had troll hits, and slide/retrieve whacks last year that didn't stick. Like Evan said, standard troll lures (basically big hoochies with a plastic or weighted head) have a very high hook-to-land ratio. As it should be considering these and similar lures have been the mainstay of the commercial troll fleet for decades:



The double hooks are proven so really that has to be the way to go. One key difference with these squid flies is they don't have the weighted head. So maybe the lack of mass is part of the problem? Not that I'm going to weight the damn things, but now leaning towards free-swinging vs fixed hooks.
I've enjoyed following the game you guy's are playing. It's not like running down to the creek to try something new, big investment in time with limited opportunities. Good luck with it.
 

Evan Burck

Fudge Dragon
I've enjoyed following the game you guy's are playing. It's not like running down to the creek to try something new, big investment in time with limited opportunities. Good luck with it.
It's an entirely different deal altogether, and very fickle. I was going to be out there in my boat today/tomorrow, but the fickle reports had me second guessing whether or not to burn the fuel, so decided against it. I'm hearing everything from "We got 20 fish just 25mi out!" to "we covered a hundred+ miles and got one." And that can all change tomorrow and every boat could be plugged by lunch.

There's ocean conditions, weather (they are two separate things, but need to be considered together), water temp breaks, chlorophyl zones, etc that all need to be considered. So many pieces to the puzzle. Then when we get down to "should I use lure/fly offering A or B," many of us settle in to what we know works because we're already making such a huge commitment that we don't want the opportunity to be wasted on trying to get cute.
 

g_smolt

Recreational User
I have zero tuna experience, so with that in mind -

The obvious difference between the "commercial troll lure" and your big squid is hook placement. Maybe hang your back hook at the end of the materials?

I can think of a couple technical swing fisheries where you get plucks and nips but no fish unless your hook point is in line with the last bit of material on your 5"-7" fly.
 

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