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Spring Hooks About Spring-Loaded Fish Hooks, Traps and Lures Authors Tim Mierzwa and Bill Blauser Historical Perspective of Spring Loaded Fishhooks Spring-Loaded Fish Hooks Spring Loaded Steel Fish Traps Spring Loaded Fishing Lures Photo Album of Lures, Hooks & Traps

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Spring-Loaded Fish Hooks, Traps & Lures
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Historical Perspective...
The first seven patents in the United States of America that pertained to catching a fish, the first being granted in the summer of 1846, were for mechanical fishhooks that were spring activated. These spring-loaded fishhooks were designed to set in the manner of a trap, and to grasp and hold the fish by means of one or more striking hooks when it took the bait, which sometimes resulted in death.

These types of fishhooks were, in theory, more practical and productive than conventional fishhooks for many reasons. They could be used unattended, so that they could be set in the
morning and checked at the end of the day, thus freeing up the time of the person using them, or they could be set in the evening and checked in the morning, thus possibly providing the next day's food for the fisherman's family.

Also, since these fishhooks did not require the fisherman to jerk on the line to set the hook, more than one could be used at a time, as in the manner of a trotline, where any number of these could be hung from a line stretching across a lake, river or other body of water. Another advantage would have been that once a fish pulled on the bait and sprung the trap, it would have been held much more securely than if it had but one hook engaged in it.

Literally hundreds of different spring-loaded hooks have been invented and patented in the United States since 1846, in a range of sizes from only a couple of inches to as big as a basketball, and with from one to more than a dozen additional striking hooks being employed. The materials used in the hooks' constructions were as varied as the mechanisms themselves and included steel, brass, iron, copper, zinc, aluminum, lead, nickel, or any combination thereof. Some of these devices were designed not necessarily to kill the fish instantaneously, but rather to get multiple holds upon it and thus greatly increase the chances of landing it.

As pertains to pre-Civil War spring-loaded fishhooks, which were generally hand-forged, relatively large, and probably expensive at the time, it is debatable as to who would have used them the most, the commercial fisherman, whose intent was to put money in his pocket, or the subsistence farmer, whose family's existence depended upon him putting food on the table day in and day out. What must also be factored into this debate, however, is that the hooks were obviously not used to any great extent by anyone, which is attested to by the fact of their scarcity today.

To learn more about the history of spring-loaded fishhooks order your autographed copy of Spring-Loaded Fish Hooks, Traps & Lures today.