A great range of hooks can be applied to canal fishing, with fine wired patterns down to a size 24 at one end, a size 4 treble at the other. I deal with hook sizes in the sections on baits and fish species.
A wide range of hooks are required for canal fishing, from fine-wired mag got versions to forged specimen models.
The same rule applies to hooks as other tackle: buy the best quality you can afford. You can have the best rod in the world, but the hook is your most vital connection.
Chichester Canal Fishing Photo Gallery
Eyed hooks are easiest to use, but in smaller sizes many canal anglers prefer spade ends, which sit beautifully straight on the line and arguably have a slight edge in terms of presentation. The best modern hooks are needle sharp but have a high strength even in lighter gauges.
Often overlooked, the hook is the most vital component in any rig. Smaller hooks should be replaced every session. On a hectic day’s fishing, match anglers will even freshen up by changing to a new hook part way through the session. Larger hooks, such as those on lures, are well worth running a hook sharpener over when they start to lose their edge.
The choice of whether to go barbed or barbless is yours. I have no aversion to barbless, especially for smaller fish species, although a microbarb helps when pole fishing, as a barbless one can slip out in that momentary loss of tension as you unhook sections.