Sides will make smoked lox, bellies and tails hot smoked.
Aiming for 48h for lox. Will check/taste how firm they are.
Yes freezing hot smoked salmon before vac packing is a good tip as it help it to keep its shape and stops it from breaking apart. As Dave says, it is best to cut open the pack before thawing as the structure of the fish is quite delicate after hot smoking and this helps to prevent it from being crushed/crumbled as it thaws.
With cold smoked salmon though it is best vac packed before freezing (especially if it has been sliced) as it helps to natural oils to distribute more evenly throughout the fish. When cold smoking a whole salmon side the tail, being thinner, is often a little drier than the thicker parts. When sliced and vac packed together it helps to more evenly distribute the oils and ensure that all of the slices are equally succulent. When thawing cold smoked fillets or slices of salmon you no not need to open the pack first as the fish still has enough of its structure to hold together.
When cooking lightly cold smoked salmon steaks they work well as boil in the bag straight from the freezer.