#1 - circle or 1/0 circle
I use rubber bands for braces.
Don't care for Senkos, they are way to soft and expensive. less expensive ones are just as effective and don't tear up or off after every fish.
If your senkos are getting soft they have been exposed to heat. I keep the ones I am not using in the fridge. Sun tears them up quick so when I fish with them I keep them out of direct sunlight. Also, I think that other brands certainly catch fish, but its hard to get another worm with the rate of fall a senko has.
never tried the ones with weed guards, The Gamakatsu have them too but neve bougth them.
I have the owner Wack hooks w/ weed guard and I also use Gamy circle hooks both in size 1 the work well w/ the o rings. I'e pulled up a 6# LMB w/ the circle hook and a 5# SMB [who didn't want to be netted!] on the weedless, all hooked in the corner of the mouth. I rarely see swallowed hooks w/ these two types.
When one is almost swallowed reach up thru the gill w hemostat or needenose on the side the hook eye points toward and pull the hook back down toards the gill and the hook will come out. I did this and recovered senko, oring and hook when all I could see was about 1/8th "below the eye.
4th Generation @ Kamp.
3D - There are STILL a few deer left! You need to pry them out of the developments!