Thoughts on ganged hooks

I have been thinking about a problem I have with commercially made gang hooks. I use three 5/0 for salmon. Some gangs bait easily others are difficult. The trouble with the difficult ones is getting the shank of the first hook to slide on the shank of the second - it catches so it is hard to bait up and get the bait to present well. Add a bit of sand and it gets quite irritating. I am wondering what the difference between the easy and difficult ones is. I always get gangs with a bent shank at the eye and that helps. But the problem persists.

I am wondering if the problem is less pronounced with straight limericks rather than the ones with the slight "suicide" type bend. If I find the best hooks I might buy a hundred and make my own gangs.

Cheers, Bill

Mike17's picture

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Tue, 2020-06-09 09:34

 I use tarpon hooks for all my gangs they are strong and don't bind up.


 Use The Force

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 Are you using the proper

Tue, 2020-06-09 09:40

 Are you using the proper pliers with the cones to open the eye?   then closing the eye round not with any flat spots.

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Tue, 2020-06-09 10:12

There are plenty of cheap and nasty gangs around that will let you down, as mike says the tarpons can be ganged yourself but make sure you do a good job with the right tool.
I have used the shogun open eye ganging hooks that are available in certain shops if you hunt around and they are a pretty strong gang hook that doesn't open, have caught some decent Mullys on them. The mustad open eye ganging hooks are also ok but can be blunt out of the box

Gamakatsu gangs are also Junk in my experience

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Another vote for Tarpons

Tue, 2020-06-09 11:02

 I also gang Tarpons successfully.  Be carfeul not to open the eye any further than necessary as it may weaken the metal, and then close carefully so they remain round as said above.

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Tarpons for the win

Tue, 2020-06-09 11:11

 Always used tarpons and never had much problem. My pliers have the eye opener on it which is adjustable. I've got it set to the perfect depth to just open the eye enough without affecting the strength of the metal. 

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Tue, 2020-06-09 15:54

Thanks guys. I will have to get some and experiemnt.


carnarvonite's picture

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Side cutters

Tue, 2020-06-09 16:49

 I use side cutters to open the eyes on tarpons, much easier than using the eye openers on fishing pliers

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Heat can help

Tue, 2020-06-09 18:39

 I used to make a lot of gangs, mainly the old Mustard imerick pattern hooks and occasionally in later years Tarpons. What everyone has said here is really good advice. Open minimally, close while trying to kep the eye round. 

Sometimes you'll need to experiment with bending the eye down a ceratina amount, so the next hook slides through it sort of perpendicular, rather then at an angle Simply makes the  hole as bigf as possible. However, I used ot find that I could make good gange just using my hands ,to open eyes and bend everything the way I wanted, up to a hoo size around 6/0/ Beyond that the force needed tended to give you  a few snapped hooks (me being a bit heavy handed). One solution that worked for  opening and bending the bigger sizes was to take the temper out of the hook steel, by heating until red hot, with a gas torch. Made everything more maleable. The only reason I used to gang bigger hooks was to fit them to gar I was fishing for large tailor from shore. So maybe 5-6/0 at the head, then one or two 7-8/0 and back down to 6/0 at the tail etc.  So for even very big tailor you only need 10kg line in general, hence the softening of the hook steel form heating the 8/0 wasn't a problem. Later years I did the same with bigger hoos to troll whole tailor for mackerle in the tropics, but they don't need much drag either. Maybe not so good if you fish heavy and I don't know if all this applies to modern high carbon steel hooks. Anyway, hope you enjoy solving it for what you need. A few nights or weekends  mucking aorund and you'll nail it.

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thoughts of ganged hooks

Tue, 2020-06-09 20:09

 use straight shanked hooks, other wize your gangs will spin as your winding it in, then you will devellop twists in your line, your trouble with geting the bait on is because the eye has been squeezed in to far stoping the hook from pivoting freely, good luck, leave some fish for us, cheers Don.

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ganged hooks

Wed, 2020-06-17 20:07



If you are worried about spinning put in a swivel, i used gangs wih a swivle for year when fishing with my alvey, worked pretty good beach fishing and on snapper behind passage rock.



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Can always slightly flatten

Tue, 2020-06-09 22:22

Can always slightly flatten barb and work it thru the eye of other hook and then get a blade to point barb out again.

 As said above I reckon its the eye being to small to adjust gangs for bait which is probably your hassle.  45' bent eye should take alot of the hassle out tho? never had trouble with offset hooks myself. some hooks have a smooth coating allowing easier baiting with gangs, in the nicest way maybe you have to work on your baiting technique aswell, as you really have to manouvre the hooks into the bait with the crappy gangs. If I need them now I just get the mustads or kmart ones. Always need to check the eyes and barbs tho!


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All good advice guys - the salmon have gone awol though!

Wed, 2020-06-10 12:25

Thanks everyone. The salmon seem to have departed so I have time to mess around with the rigs. I will see what I can find in Albany to make my own. I used to make my own decades ago with a hole punch to open the eye and pliars to close. I have noticed that the packet gangs often have the eye slightly flattened. I also suspect the straight shanked hooks will be less likely to gum up with the sand. Looks like I will have to mess about with the eye as well as sharpen the hooks.

timboon's picture

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 The Mustad pattern 31077 I

Thu, 2020-06-11 05:51

 The Mustad pattern 31077 I think it is is a great hook of all sizes for ganging...


Good beach fishing for mullys/snapper etc when you are a chance of getting a Bronzie or Schoolie around...


At least you are half a chance of landing it with gangs...


If its just Salmon you are chasing just snell em up....

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never thought of that

Sat, 2020-06-13 12:11

I had to do a search to see what you mean by "Snell them up". I always thought a snell knot was for whipping eyeless hooks to the line. I would have to practise that for a bit I think. Two 5/0 hooks snelled on 25 lb mono would be formiddable. I don't use the gangs for anything except salmon.

Cheers TB!

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 I've always used Tarpons and

Thu, 2020-06-11 11:04

 I've always used Tarpons and never had an issue. Like Carnarvonite I just use sidecutters to open the eyes. Much quicker and easier and this opens the eye just enough.

sea-kem's picture

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 Yep Tarpons are the only way

Tue, 2020-06-16 07:50

 Yep Tarpons are the only way to go imo in a 5/0 set up.


Love the West!

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We used triple ganged 6/0

Thu, 2020-06-18 08:59

We used triple ganged 6/0 Tarpons when fishiing out deep for Jewies with a lot of sucess. We uses them at the bottom of the rig with mulies and many times catching the fish on the last hook. Hook up ratio over all was the gangs with a mulie allways caght better than than the big single hook with fresh ocy.

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 Mr Pus the only issue I have

Tue, 2020-06-30 21:24

 Mr Pus the only issue I have using gangs for demersals without teeth is I think you can present the bait better with snelled instead of ganged... I don't see the need to gang when you can sneak unless there is the odd toothy critter.

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I never realy thought of

Wed, 2020-07-01 15:42

I never realy thought of snelled as I dont know how to tie the knots, I used gangs as they are easy to make. I will give it a shot and see how they go.