It started as an interesting conversation.
A guy who was quietly fishing was discussing his tackle.
A typical UK freshwater fisherman, he had the largest tackle box in the world and his choice of bits and pieces would put a small tackle shop to shame. Yet to what purpose?
I suppose you’ll say it all depends on what he is catching and for sport you’d be right.
For example, here are some well know UK species.
Rudd. Weight: A few ounces to 1 lb. Hook size 20-12
Roach. Weight: 1 to 2 lbs. Hook size 20 – 12
Perch. Weight: 2 to 4 lbs, Hook size: 18 – 8
Bream. Weight: 2 to 7 lbs. Hook size 18 – 8
Tench. Weight: 3 to 5 lbs. Hook Size 16 – 8
Carp. Weight: 10 to 20 lbs, Hook Size 24 – 18
Pike. Weight: 4 to 12 lbs, Hook Size TREBLES 8 – 6
With the exception of Pike, all use a standard design hook.
To give you an idea of size, here is a ‘likkle’ graphic to help you.
You’ll probably need to resize this.
“Why all the different hooks when a small hook will catch a large fish but large hooks only catch large fish.”
The look I got was something akin to looking at a person with three heads BUT this demonstrates the complete difference between “normal thinking” and survivalist.
Hooks have multiple uses apart from fishing for example when survival trapping. Birds that snatch are one favored target BUT they can be used to snag almost anything. Especially when using the trebles!
So what to carry?
Toughie this one isn’t it?
Trebles are a no brainer and size 8 is the most versatile.
As for standard barbs? They don’t take up a lot of room so I do carry the whole range except size 20. That’s for a practical reason though, I can’t see to thread the line!
Monofilament line of around 15 lb is usually 0.35 mm in diameter.
With the stronger 30 lb mono being around 0.50 mm in diameter.
Although the actual size varies with manufacturers.
I find the idiot experts that talk about stripping 550 paracord to make fishing line very amusing. Genuine military paracord has 7 to 9 inner yarns each made up of 3 strands.
OK I’m going to use a bit of TP logic here but 9 yarns x 3 strands equals 27 strands. Divide that into the 550 lb figure, that’s about 20 lbs a strand. Sort of.
Bear in mind it’s not an easy thing to do (unlike what they claim) and threading the hook’s eye takes a bit of finesse (and that’s being polite). It’s not easy so I tend to ‘pre-trace’ i.e. put a length of fishing line onto the hooks prior to storing them. After all it’s a heck of a lot simpler to tie fishing line to paracord and KNOW the expected breaking strain than play at tree hugging.
If it grows its edible to a fish so think berries and grubs.
If it wiggles it’s an attraction few fish can resist.
As for bugs, the fatter the better.
When trapping keep the bits you don’t want to eat.
In nature all food is fair game.
Finally what to do when there is no bait.
Wearing a light color or can you find fur or feathers?
Just wrap a few threads it round the hook and leave tassels loose.
Like the feathers below it’s only too easy to knock up a set.
I’m not a fan of the traditional “bug out and run for the hills” mantra the experts spout YET I’m perfectly happy in the field. Only bear this in mind, trapping is NOT purely for those in the wild and there is plenty of two and four-legged food that wanders the streets and gardens of suburbia or townships.