Over the past few months I’ve been working with VMC Hooks to develop new hook designs. The reason I got into it was because I don’t think enough attention is paid to hooks, and especially to their design, by anglers. Let’s face it, if you don’t stick ’em, nothing else matters.
Now I know you’re saying that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of hook designs on the market. That’s true. But that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about how much attention the average angler pays — or doesn’t pay — to his or her hook. I see it all the time.
Guys will throw baits for hours without checking their hook point or they’ll grab whatever’s handy on the deck of their boat when something else would work better. Some anglers will even go so far as to respool their line so they can get a better hook set but then tie on the same hook they’ve been using all day with their old line, sometimes with a different lure. And how many of you think about whether or not your hook is compatible with the knot you’re using?
Flipping and pitching is an excellent example. Did you know that the most common knot professional anglers use to flip and pitch is a snell knot. I’m guessing that a lot of anglers will find that surprising. But it makes sense when you stop to think about it. It’ll give you a straight pull off the hook shank back to the rod tip and it holds fairly well with the new super lines we’re all using.
The thing is, though, very few hooks are designed for a snell knot. Most of them have a slight gap in the eye which will allow modern fishing lines to slip through if the line slides into the gap. And most of the bait keepers are too close to the eye, if there’s even one on the hook, to make enough wraps to hold your snell in place. Those are serious drawbacks.
We cured that at VMC. We now have a hook that’s designed for flipping and pitching with the design features that you need if you’re using the correct knot. The eye is closed and the bait keeper is farther down the shank.
I’m not trying to just talk about VMC Hooks, although they are the best you can buy. I’m trying to stress the importance of taking your hook choice seriously and trying to make you think about things besides how sharp a hook is or what material was used to make it.
Don’t buy into simplistic hype when it comes to fishing hooks. Sure, it’s important that your hook’s sharp and what’s it’s made out of does matter. It’s just as important, however, to have the right design for the line and knot you’re using as well as the lure your fishing. Conditions factor into this as well.
Hook selection’s one of the most important things we don’t talk enough about. I’m going to work on that over the next few months.