Over the last decade or so hook lengths seem to be getting shorter and shorter with the self-hooking rigs proffered to watching the quiver tip move slightly and a lightning quick strike being made.

Being somewhat stubborn, I still used a longish hooklink when bream fishing up until very recently, yet watching other anglers success with helicopter rigs and hook lengths no longer than my middle finger, knew I had to switch. Having done so, a short hooklink is now my first approach on big stillwaters, especially when targeting specimen bream and it’s a method that I have full confidence in, especially on those days when they aren’t really having it, as one suck, a slight lifting of the head and guess what, the hooks in the bottom lip before they even know what’s happening!

Don’t get me wrong, on some days a long hooklink will score, however these are rare compared with a short one and if like me, you are an angler still swearing by old methods then take a leaf out of the modern day angler, they really do know what they are up to! 

Colin Sheppard

  1. Thread a Xitan Super Stopper or Float Stop onto your mainline. 

2. This is followed by a King Feeder size 12 Micro Swivel. 

3. Thread another Super Stopper/Float Stop onto the mainline. 

4. Pull the Stoppers together trapping the Swivel. 

5. Remove 10 inches of Cenex Hybrid Power Mono from its spool to create the hook length.   

6. Pass one end through the back of a size 16 Sphere Beast barbless (or micro barbed if allowed) hook. 

7. Make at least seven twists of the hook length around the shank of the hook before passing the remaining end once again through the back of the hooks eye.

8. Moisten, tighten and trim the knot.

9. Thread a Micro Tapered Sleeve onto the hook length, narrow end towards the hook.

10. Pass the tag end through the eye of the Swivel so that the hook length is just two inches in length.

11. Secure the hook length to the Swivel with a Six Turn Blood Knot.

12. Moisten and tighten down the knot.

13. Pull the Micro Sleeve down and position over the Swivel.

14. Connect a 25 – 50g Big Pit Large Feeder to the end of the mainline.

15. The finished rig should look like this.

16. Ideally the hook length should be positioned so that when it’s pulled down alongside the mainline, the hook sits just above the feeder swivel, any lower and it will get caught in the feeder.  

The components you are going to need include:

King Micro Feeder swivel

Rubber Stoppers

Cenex Hybrid Power Mono

Micro Tail Rubbers

Sphere Beast Hooks

Big Pit Feeder