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How much force can you put on a carp and how strong do hooks need to be?

I’ve been prompted to write this after seeing a company testing hooks by hanging weights from them. Now, fair play for actually doing some testing but they are snapping 50lb+ braid during the process. I asked why they were putting such excessive force on the hooks and explained that you’d struggle to put 4lb of pressure on a hook - this they didn’t accept. Thankfully, Kevin Maddocks did a test in his book Carp Fever, where he tied his line to some scales and then lent in to the rod to see what force he could generate at those scales (hook point). His results were very similar to the test curve of the various rods he tested. Further to that, the greater the distance from the scales even less force was applied. Now, you can pull a rod past its test curve but you are at a distinct mechanical disadvantage with 12ft of carbon. You can feel like you’re really leaning in to a fish but the negative leverage of the rod drastically reduces the effort you’re putting in at the hook end. There’s a reason why sea fishing boat rods are very short - to reduce that negative leverage.

Let’s also consider that if you are using the average carp fishing line of 15lb breaking strain, and it doesn’t snap when you try to stop a carp, you aren’t putting 15lb of pressure on the it. If you use mono you also have the stretch and elasticity to contend with.

A few months back I tested a number of branded Wide Gape hooks against Sharp/Carp Punk ones and they all maintained their shape until 10-12lb. After that there was some visible deflection. I’m glad to say that the Sharp/Carp Punk ones held up very closely to the best two on test Fox and ESP. There was only about 1mm of deflection with these 3.

Hooks are made from long lengths of wire wrapped round a special mold. It stands to reason that in that length of wire there will be minute faults / weaknesses that may not even be visible. It is these faults that may lead to a hook bending out - it’s just the nature of the product and how it is made. Considering the millions that are made it is a very reliable process though.

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