Micro barbed hooks. Barbless hooks. Gripz hooks.
Following a recommendation from an on line reader about Pallatrax Gripz hooks, I bought some and tried them out this week.
From looking at the pictures, I must admit that, at first, I was very doubtful about the claims of their hook retaining capabilities.
Instead of a barb these hooks have a flattened area where a barb would normally be, and this area contains small grooves running crossways on the inside of their wide gape.
My doubts about their holding capacity disappeared when I was unhooking my first tench on Friday morning. There was a definite resistance when removing the hook that is completely absent with the normal barbless hook. After 10 tench that morning, to me, there is no question about their holding capabilities. They are equally as effective as a micro barbed hook and easier to remove with no discernible damage.
Perhaps this leads to less dislodging in a fishes mouth and re hooking whilst playing a fish but, this is almost impossible to prove on one trial morning but it is looking very much in their favour.
On this alone I cannot help but recommend them.
As to causing causing less damage to the mouth of a hard fighting tench, this is another matter of which I have yet to come to a conclusion. The larger wire diameter may help. Certainly the fish I landed had no visible injuries once the hook was removed, bar one that was hooked in the corner of its mouth where there seemed to be a previous and partly healed injury.
The wire they are made from is of a larger diameter than your Drennan Specialist hook but less than other Pallatrax products, but amply strong enough for the job for me to have the utmost confidence in them. They have very sharp points making effective hooking with the minimum of force.
At 20 pence per hook, they are not cheap but what price are you willing to pay for the best treatment of your fish?
It remains to be seen how easily one of these hooks will detach itself after a line break. One would assume that its self releasing capacity is inversely proportional to its retention properties. I suppose it will be decided by how many anglers catch a fish with a Gripz hook already attached as opposed to other hooks. But in my experience this almost never happens, whatever the hook. This will be the hardest bit to prove one way or another. Perhaps the answer is to minimise hook length failures in another way.