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bluelabel

How long's yer hair....?

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There's often a lot of discussion on hair rig length and what constitutes the ideal.... for years I've been using approx 5mm separation on bottom baits and I think maybe it's time to have a play around... I'm rather loath to start tinkering with my rigs, but that said, my bite rate has dropped off markedly over the last couple of years,  so much so that I'm wondering if I'm doing summat wrong... I'm mainly using small PVA  mesh bags of mixed 2 & 4 mm pellet and chops/crumb over a scattering of freebies... have I become too one-dimensional in my approach? or is there summat drastically wrong with this method (I use pop ups a lot and the hookers often contrast the freebies) (DT N-Blend freebies/crumb and Sticky Signature pop-ups) I fish the pop ups fairly tight to the curve of the hook (Ronnies) but on bottom baits I tend to fish a bit more separation, as I have said 5 mm or so... would a longer hair increase my hookups on bottom baits... 

do you think it matters even....?

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You haven't said what rig your using for your bottom baits ? Next question are you missing a lot of bites ? Are you fishing your bottom baits in the PVA bags as well as the pop-ups ? I find with a 14mm pellet on a standard knotless knot hair rig around 15 mm between hook and bait works for me , fished with a PVA bag of mixed sized pellet .

Dave

 

 

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17 minutes ago, cloud9 said:

You haven't said what rig your using for your bottom baits ? Next question are you missing a lot of bites ? Are you fishing your bottom baits in the PVA bags as well as the pop-ups ? I find with a 14mm pellet on a standard knotless knot hair rig around 15 mm between hook and bait works for me , fished with a PVA bag of mixed sized pellet .

Dave

 

 

My bottom bait rig is a standard knotless in mono, about 8"-10" long, I've gone over to longer hooklinks as I have done better on them in the past... fashion dictated a shorter link for a while, but I've gone back to the longer links... with a 14mm bottom bait I'm using a size 8 Fang Twister I prefer the 8 over the ubiquitous 6 as the 6 looks a tad clumsy, I've even dropped down to a 10 on occasion.... I fish the bottom baits with the hooklink through the PVA with the hook pulled back  into the bag and the bait  hanging outside the bag.... I'm using running 2oz leads as some of the waters I fish insist on them. Am I missing bites...? when I get them no....

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I'm thinking that we are using similar rigs apart from I'm on braided hooklnks, I fish mine shorter around 4/5inch , with a small pile of bait the fish aren't moving around much and picking up your hook bait they are not moving around to much and can reject it before the lead comes into play , so either a longer hair(more of a problem to eject) or a shorter hook link (the weight of the lead will help to set the hook and bolt the fish)

Its not gospel , Dave

 

 

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3 hours ago, bluelabel said:

My bottom bait rig is a standard knotless in mono, about 8"-10" long, I've gone over to longer hooklinks as I have done better on them in the past... fashion dictated a shorter link for a while, but I've gone back to the longer links... with a 14mm bottom bait I'm using a size 8 Fang Twister I prefer the 8 over the ubiquitous 6 as the 6 looks a tad clumsy, I've even dropped down to a 10 on occasion.... I fish the bottom baits with the hooklink through the PVA with the hook pulled back  into the bag and the bait  hanging outside the bag.... I'm using running 2oz leads as some of the waters I fish insist on them. Am I missing bites...? when I get them no....

I use a size 4 for most of my fishing, with big or small baits, bottom baits or snowman.

 

I keep saying it, but look at where you are hooking (or losing) fish.

 

If the fish is hooked in the middle of the bottom lip, then the hair length is right.

If hooked at the back of the mouth, or scraped down the back to the middle, or even the cheek, then usually the hair is too long.

If you have hooked the fish right at the front of the lip, or are losing fish then the hair is too short.

 

The hair length gap is the distance between the hook and the bait, so it is that that needs changing.

 

All that gets confused and screwed however, as your background baiting can change how long a hair you need; usually the more groundbait, pellets or particles you use as your baited area may see you need to shorten the hair.

 

Next thing is pop-ups I tend to fish tight to the hook as the mechanics may be different

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I hate the idea of using less than a size 6. 

In my mind the carp, if it decides to take your bait into it's mouth, will do so regardless of size hook (this is presuming you alter the bouyancy of bait and hook together to at least that of the average freebies you have fed).

Once in the mouth, what has more chance of catching hold? A size 10, or a big old sticky sharp size 2?!

Hence the smallest for boilie fishing i'll ever use is a 6, i'll only go smaller for freelining, zigging or floater fishing.

On hair length, on very clean gravel with a big snowman (18mm bottom bait or bigger) and a size 2 I use 10-20 mm gap between bend of hook and bait.  Smallest I use is a 5mm gap, popups included. 

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On 9 June 2017 at 02:08, Big Common said:

I try to gauge how hard they are feeding and go with as long a hair as I can get away with. Around now, when they have seen a few hook baits through the Spring and some have visited the bank. It's becoming noticeable that they are being slightly more careful. Was watching them take floaters the other day, even the freebies got kissed a few times before a few were taken. For bottom baits I would be using balanced or wafter type baits on a shortish hair of about 10mm. For pop ups, over weighted close to the shank and not too high, 1 inch to 1.5 inch popped up.

I don't think you can stick to a certain length and expect good results all the time. Things need a tweak now and then depending on the fish. As mentioned above, hook holds are a helpful clue. If bites are hard to come by, I tend to go shorter on the hair, but that's mainly because I start off fairly long, as I like the separation.

I agree  although the bit about floater fishing I think is standard, they can be very circumspect with floaters anyway.

 

For some reason I have not had good results when using a long hair with dog biscuits, and I almost shank hook them, with an extremely short hair, and the biscuit tight to the hook.

 

 

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