ANGLER’S MAIL is number one for tips and tricks. Here’s a quick guide on when to use what hooklink and their advantages and disadvantages.

A bit of thought about hook lengths before you go to your chosen venue can greatly increase your chances of catching.

Before I take you through the different hook links, I’d like to point out that some spools of line will have instructions on them, advising you on the most suitable knot for the material being used – read them well, they are recommended for a reason!

Monofilament-Hi-tech hook lengths used by match anglers are quite often overlooked by pleasure and specimen anglers.

They are normally pre-stretched and very low in diameter and, as a result, give you a better bait presentation. Fishing maggot and casters on these types of lines allows the bait to fall through the water naturally because of the fine diameter.

There are hundreds of hook lengths available on the market, and a couple that I personally use are Silstar Match Team and Maver Genesis.

Fluorocarbon-has the same light index as water, and as such, is virtually invisible.

It is also very dense and fast sinking which, when used as a main line for carp and barbel fishing, can be very effective, especially when the water is very clear and the fish are at range.

As this line sinks like a brick, it helps with tackle concealment, pinning everything down. There are various brands on the market and X-Line is one of my favourites. Korda Contour is another popular one.


Korda’s N-Trap is available in various colours to match closely the venue you are fishing. It is extremely supple and can be used for all kinds of rigs. The inner braid is  aerospace-grade woven Dyneema – the most reliable and hi-tensile material available and is normally used for combi-type rigs when the end 1-1.5 in. needs to be supple.

Drennan Sinkbraid is exceptionally limp and soft, ideal for rigs for carp, barbel, bream and tench.  It is constructed with a combination of Dyneema and heavier micro filaments which sink well and ensure your hook length hugs the bottom.

Drennan Carp Silk is very supple and has a soft silky feel, which is good for fishing maggot rigs for wary carp.

Drennan Carp Dacron is probably the softest and sinks the fastest of all the popular braids.

Wire-Wire traces are used for pike and predator fishing only, and the various types and makes have different characteristics.

E-Sox Super Trace has a woven core of 7-strand, fine stainless steel which is then coated with a nylon polymer to improve kink resistance and flexibility.

Drennan Soft Srand wire has micro filaments of stainless steel woven to form a braid type material which is so soft and supple that it can be knotted, when most other standard wires normally have to be crimped or twisted.


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