material, there is a huge array of hook link materials on sale today some are very good and some are very poor. Lets start with what I consider the very worst for causing damage to a carp and something I would never fish with or allow anyone to use on our lakes. What is it? Pure braid hooklinks like merlin and edge 2000 as examples and there are many others, now these feel good when you play with them in your hands but once pulled taught they cut like cheese wires. I have lost count of the number of carp I have seen that have been sliced through the scissors of the mouth and some having big cut marks across their cheeks after being played on such materials. Again do an experiment, pull a piece of braid very tightly between your hands and then pull it into your top lip you will feel that it wants to cut into you. Now do the same with a piece of covered braid like camo skin or snakeskin and you immediately feel the difference, because of the covering it doesn’t want cut in to your lip. If you use a quality hooklink material but peel back too much covering you are back to square one. The picture below shows a simple camo skin rig with a tiny little hinge about 2 inches from the hook, this little hinge is made by just breaking back the coating with your finger nails and makes a limp natural moving action on your bait when a carp sucks in your bait, it works I know because I use it all the time. Many anglers peel back about 2 to 4 inches or more of the covering but it really is not necessary and again exposed braid can cut through the scissors of the mouth, I have found that a half to one inch peeled back is more than enough.
How long a hooklink should you use? Well that depends on the sort lakebed you are fishing on and many other factors but my own preference is for about an 8 to12 inch link most of the time.
Stiff rig hooklinks are also good and Korda Hybrid is a great material for making a stiff hinged rig that is very fish friendly.