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Lots of hookups but few landed

by bill piatek

I was out yesterday with a UL (not XUL) rod fishing a local river. Tried spoons and #1 french spinners with no luck. Finally switched to Berkley Floating Trout worms on a Cultiva #12 barbless hook and a small splitshot. That was the ticket with either a red or 1 1/2" section of worm wacky rigged.

Had 5 hookups in 5 casts but only one fish landed. All were brought to the surface and 15-17". Then they shut off on red and started hitting pink. But the rig was snagging quite a bit on the rocky bottom. So I tried the Ajing jig heads with the worm. No hits that way so I'm guessing it was the swaying in the current that did the trick.

So next time will be the #8 Cultiva hooks and maybe straight rigged. I also need to change the weight setup for less hangups.

Comments for Lots of hookups but few landed

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Jul 20, 2018
Perhaps a smaller split shot
by: Chris Stewart

My first thought would be a smaller split shot to try to get close to the bottom but not actually down among the rocks. With a floating worm, you might need too much weight to get it down. If you had a worm that didn't float it might work better. I need to try the Power Isome in that situation. I've used them successfully with a keiryu rod but have not tried them with a spinning rod.

Second thought was that I might have a solution to the long distance releases. Turns out C'ultiva has single replacement hooks that have microbarbs. I've ordered some to see how they work. I'd bet there are guys who want to replace trebles but might not want to go all the way to barbless. Microbarbs cause little damage and will result in more fish in the net.

Jul 20, 2018
Landing fish.
by: JJ

I have had similar experiences. Even with the ability to keep pressure on the fish with a reel, the stream bred fish I am catching are fiesty and jump often. Especially the rainbows. I’ll lose some shortly after hook up, and others right at my feet. Only a big deal now that I am taking photos to post. I think the hooks Chris has coming will help, in that I am using a similar treble replacement hook on some spinners, and found even after smashing the micro barb, it leaves the slightest bump on the hook that helps hold them on.


Jul 20, 2018
you guys may be right
by: bill piatek

Micro barbs may be the ticket. I found they were getting off just before landing in the strong current.

Also, the wacky rigging did not give a lot of gap, that's why I mentioned the #8's I ordered

I tried a little lighter shot but may need to go lighter still. Or go to a shot on a dropper so I don't lose the whole rig.

I release almost all of my fish anyway so I still had the fight. I only give them away streamside when requested.

Jul 20, 2018
rigging trout worms
by: Jerry in SC

When drifting a trout worm, I usually nose hook them and rig a drop shot. They will get hung up occasionally but as long as I keep a tight line, I don't have a major problem. Use a split shot as light as possible.

Jul 21, 2018
by: bill piatek

What I was thinking of was a short dropper with the shot pinched on. That way if the rig gets snagged the shot will slide off but I won't lose the hook & worm.

I was really surprised the 2.5 gm Crusader spoon didn't work. They usually do.

Jul 21, 2018
by: Terry Farmer

Hey Bill,
I don't mind the Long and short distance releases either. It's much easier on the fish. The strike and the fight are where it's at for me. I've got some power isome I got from Chris a while back. Gonna dig it out and give it a go with the XUL rig.

Jul 22, 2018
You're so right
by: bill piatek

You're right Terry. I'd rather have that than digging a hook out of a fish you wish you could have released.

Jul 28, 2018
solved it
by: bill piatek

Well I solved the problem.

Fished with a shorter line and high sticked at a 45 degree angle. Also used a Cultiva #8 hook with more gap.

Ended up with 6 from 11-16" in about an hour's time. One of the 16" fish just about pulled the rod out of my hand at the end of the drift.

Also fished a nearby lake that day and got 7 in about 90 minutes on my home brew spinners. All the fish were between 14-16".
Both of these places were stockers but quality fish. Lost one in another pool that was pushing 20" and I assume that was a holdover.

Aug 16, 2018
Replacement single barbed hooks
by: Chris Stewart

The replacement single barbed hooks are now in stock. I didn't order many because I didn't know how popular they'll be, but if you want to try them, they're here.

Aug 16, 2018
by: bill piatek

Thanks for letting me know, I ordered a few packs to try out.

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The hooks are sharp.
The coffee's hot.
The fish are slippery when wet.