Circle hooks, also known as octopus hooks, are among my favorite options for everything from drop shot rigs on my local lake to live bait in the salt.
The reason is simple: they improve hookset probabilities and enhance lock up. By dint of their shape and clever physics, they hook themselves without your assistance. And they usually drive themselves home in the corner of the fish’s mouth, just where you want them.
I’m not alone in this preference, and pros the world over love a good circle hook.
The Snell will, and it’s an essential knot that every angler should learn.
The Snell Knot - Best Line to Hook Knot
Table of Contents (clickable)
While many, maybe even most, knots that were designed around the vice-like grip of mono won’t hold in braid and fluorocarbon, the Snell will.
Braid is woven from individual strands of Dyneema or Spectra, and while these materials are ridiculously strong for diameter, they’re also terribly slick. Unlike mono, which bites on itself really well, braid doesn’t exhibit much friction against itself.
And as a result, all braided lines have a tendency to “pull out” under pressure, as anyone who’s tied a mono-only knot in braid can attest.
Fluorocarbon has a similar issue in that it is a very hard material. It also resists the bite that allows a knot to hold, and it’s often necessary to learn a few fluoro-specific knots if you use it as leader material.
But the good news is that the Snell works well in braid and fluoro. Though designed around mono--it’s a very old knot--the multiple wraps and smart design of the Snell distribute stress and increase friction really well, producing a strong connection.
The Uni version of the Snell is stronger than the standard option and a bit faster to tie, as well, without sacrificing hold in slick materials.
The Uni Snell is a very secure knot, even in slippery lines. Easy to tie, fast on the water, and ideal for orienting a circle hook to catch in a fish’s jaw, it’s a knot you can really rely on.
But it can fail, and these are the most common reasons: