If ever there was an item of tackle that perfectly illustrates the benefits of keeping things simple, then for me it would have to be the Terminal Contact Hooks from Pallatrax. Simple, effective and designed to fool the fish, not the angler!
Don’t get me wrong, I fully appreciate that there are loads of different hooks and hook arrangements designed to overcome certain problems anglers are faced with on specific waters, but for me you can’t beat simplicity. I think many carp anglers – not to mention a few manufacturers - have a habit of trying to overcomplicate things, and use techniques and methods above and beyond those actually required to pick up bites. If I had a pound for every time I’d witnessed an angler on the bank pulling their hair out because their new-fangled pick up, drop back, dip in & drop off rig was not working quite as it should, I’d be minted.
My advice is to cut all the crap, and sort yourself a standard bottom bait rig and a standard pop up rig and take it from there. Why use a rig that’s been designed to overcome a problem that you yourself aren’t faced with? Far better to keep things simple in the first instance and then start tinkering if necessary. As a general rule, I would say time is far better spent learning watercraft than tying up the latest wonder rig.
What you want is a good strong dependable hook that does exactly what it says on the tin – and for me, the standard Terminal Contact Carp Hook from Pallatrax is just the ticket. There’s not a thousand different designs to choose from – there’s just one, available in all sizes and in barbed or barbless. Perfect. With its short shank, straight eye and slightly in-turned point, the hook lends itself to countless approaches and is just as happy being used for hard fighting river barbel as it is specimen carp.
I’m not saying it’s the only hook I ever use, but when I’m faced with a situation where I just want to get a nice simple set up out to a fishy looking spot, nine times out of ten it’s the first one I’ve reached for over the last couple of years. I’ve found it just as effective on stiff rigs as I have supple braids, and it’s become a firm favourite for a huge amount of my fishing.
They say there’s no fish that fight as hard as those which have never been hooked before, and on my own syndicate water which I stocked a few years ago, a good deal of those I’m currently catching are seeing the bank for the first time. The battles have been absolutely ferocious – and then some - and it’s become the norm for rods to be ripped from rests as these fish give it everything during the battle in a bid to shed the hook. I’ve had some of the best battles of my life on this water and in every instance where I’ve used one of the Terminal Contact Hooks; it’s performed admirably without fail.
I have a few friends that always seem to be questioning their hooks; ones that open up, ones that snap, ones that are packet blunt, ones with a poor finish and ones that blunt really easily – yet they keep using them? Get a grip! I draw my hooks from a very small circle of manufacturers on the basis that they have never let me down, they always come out of the packet sharp and ready to go and they remain durable and robust in use. Should they ever let me down in a situation where I think they should not, then they will very quickly be dropped from my tackle completely, never to return. You can’t keep forgiving bad tackle just because it’s a top brand – ditch it and move on!
Happily, I can report that I’ve never had any problems with the hooks from Pallatrax despite them having been exposed to some seriously testing situations and, as a result, my confidence in them knows no bounds.
Available in sizes 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14 & 16 Barbed and 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14 & 16 Barbless
Priced at around £3.25 for a pack of 10.