Good-Looking Hooks from Eagle Claw, Gamakatsu,
Mustad, Owner, TTI, VMC
Swimbait Hook. Eagle Claw showed me their new
swimbait hook, available in 3/0 to 7/0 and in several different
Eagle Claw swimbait hooks have a single-wire barbed spear that
is a little easier to center within a bait, and baits can be
re-used since the spear doesn't tear soft plastics up as much,
says who adds that the Eagle Claw barb gets in deep and holds on
tight to swimbaits.
The offset neck of the swimbait hook provides a little more
room than most other hooks. This ample neck room comes in handy
with many of the wider-bodied swimbaits, advises
Eagle Claw Swimbait hooks.
Swimbait Hook Kit. Eagle Claw is offering a kit
containing an assortment of three of each size swimbait hook. The
assortment makes a lot of sense, since finding the perfect size
hook for each different swimbait model is a hit-and-miss
proposition, So having an assortment of different size swimbait
hooks in a kit is a smart idea.
weighted LL92. Eagle Claw now offers an offset
shank worm hook with a molded-on shank weight. What Eagle Claw
makes more use of, which other vendors don't yet, are chartreuse
hook finishes. Chartreuse hooks are going well for Eagle Claw,
says. the company.
It's a color that's always used as an attractor on lures. So
chartreuse hooks make sense to me. I'd like to see more of them
from other hook vendors too.
LL97 Short Shank Wide Gap Wacky Hook. What's worthy
of special mention here is Eagle Claw's wacky hook comes in a
wide range of sizes from #4 up through 6/0. There are certainly
some 'maestros' I know in Mexico (where bass pros are sometimes
referred to as 'maestros') who would probably love to tie on some
of these larger 4/0, 5/0 and 6/0 hooks to wacky rig 6 and 7"
Senkos for double-digit bass.
Like everyone, we recognize the enormity of the swimbait
market right now, says John Burgi of Gamakatsu, and we've added
several new hook models geared toward swimbaits.
Superline Spring Lock. Based on the already
proven Superline EWG hook, designed for braided line. It has a
new 28 degree eye with a stainless steel corkscrew to hold soft
baits securely. Available in 3/0 (1/16, 1/8), 4/0 (1/16, 1/8),
5/0 (3/16, 1/4), 6/0 (3/16, 1/4), 7/0 (1/4, 3/8). NS Black
Monster Weighted. One of the biggest, baddest
bass hooks out there, developed with a heavy wire, and high
carbon steel, to give it the strength needed for monster hook
setting power! Has a slightly higher hook point needed to
accommodate those larger and thicker baits used for big bass.
Available in 5/0 (1/8, 1/4oz), 6/0 (3/16, 1/4oz), and 7/0 (1/4,
3/8). NS black finish.
Superline EWG. Introduced last year (2008) in
limited sizes, Gamakatsu has expanded this hook model for 2009 to
include weights of 1/16 and 1/8 in hook sizes from 2/0 through
5/0. NS Black finish.
One thing about all the above hooks, says John, is the shank
weights tend to have a flattened nature to give a little more
wobble to swimbaits. Also, we feel Gamakatsu has the cleanest
shank weights in the business, meaning they are clean and crisp
with no ragged or rough edges.
Gap Shaky Head. Gamakatsu's original weightless
Skip Gap hook is doing well, says Burgi. it took a little time to
take off at first, but now has its share of followers. So we've
added a Skip Gap Shakey Head. Based on the 'Skip Gap' worm hook,
the Skip Gap Shaky Head has the same unique bend to hold your
bait securely to the hook. There are no barbs or keepers to tear
your worm apart, no corkscrews, wires or other devices, just the
unique bend of the Skip Gap hook that holds soft baits securely
in place. Available in 3/0 (1/8,3/16) and 4/0 (3/16,1/4) in brown
and green pumpkin.
The nice thing about the skip gap jig is you can skip a string
of docks with them, but also fish the open stretches in between
docks. You can fish open water or open banks as well as skip
docks with the same rod and bait rigged on a Skip Gap Shakey Jig,
Tagami emphasized two things: 1) Mustad's new 4.3 point
technology, and 2) Mustad's new harder, darker black nickel
4.3 Micro Sharp Point Technology. Mustad
UltraPoint hooks now feature new 4.3 Micro Sharp Point Technology
for a sleek, slimmer, incredibly sharp point.
"4.3 is a mathematical score, our designated ratio of all
the combined characteristics of a hook point. The designation 4.3
means a longer, slimmer point. The sharpest possible and at the
same time strongest possible point," says Steve.
This provides a true needle point for quick, easy penetration
- plus incredible strength and durability.
"4.3 UltraPoints flat out stays sharper longer. After
those first few casts, after a couple hours of bottom contact,
scrapes with rocks, a few hard hooksets against grisly mouth
bones, that's the time when the 4.3 UltraPoint is at its very
best," Tagami enthusiastically explains.
many anglers may not know Mustad is the only hook company that
makes (mills) its own wire - and ours is the only wire with the
carbon content tailored to the model of hook we are producing.
Simply having the highest carbon content does not always produce
the best performance in a fish hook and, in fact, can have
negative effects as well. Crafting the best fish hook is really
about that ability to balance each of the individual pieces of
the process from milling, bending, sharpening, hardening,
tempering and finishing. Mustad is the only fish hook company
that has internal control of each of those individual
processes," says Tagami.
"Other hook companies buy batch wire from third parties.
The wire they buy is not specifically made for hooks. Since we
mill our own wire, we can make exactly what's needed for every
size of every hook model. If we have a hook model that comes in
five sizes, we can make five wire sizes for it. We custom blend
our own special alloys into the wire, so we get lightness as well
as strength," claims Steve. "Plus out UltraPoint hooks
are always Nor-Tempered, a special process that creates up to 30%
stronger hooks than standard. We don't always mention these
things, but I thought I'd share them now. They're a few reasons
why customer satisfaction with our hooks makes Mustad the largest
hook company in the world," says Steve.
Expanded Swimbait Hook Range. Mustad has expanded
it's swimbait hook range by adding larger sizes suitable for
larger swim baits, across three models including a plain hook
version, one with a plastic keeper attached, and a version with
both keeper plus a moveable shank weight:
91768BLN. Plain, unweighted extra wide gap hook,
for adding your own wire corkscrew clip. Sizes 1/0 to 9/0.
91768KH. Has a unique plastic keeper attached
to the hook eye, which makes rigging easy. Size 1/0 to 9/0.
Lock Plus. This is the Cadillac of all shank
weighted hooks since it is the only one that is adjustable. You
can move it anywhere on the shank - and it will stay there. Plus
it as the plastic keeper. The moveable weight on the shank that
adds action and vibration to swimbaits:
- Model 91768UB116. 1/16
oz. Sizes1/0 to 5/0.
- Model 91768UB18. 1/8 oz.
Sizes 1/0 to 5/0.
- Model 91768UB14. 1/4 oz.
Sizes 6/0 to 9/0.
- Model 91768UB38. 3/8 oz.
Sizes 6/0 to 9/0.
Swimbaits rigged on adjustable
weight Power Lock Plus hooks.
Tony at Owner said it's incredible how everybody is coming out
with swimbaits and hooks for them.
Beast Hook with Twistlock. Tony believes
Owner's swimbait hook has the biggest gap by far, so it is ideal
for up to the biggest swimbaits.
"We did a lot of researching what hook style was best for
swimbaits," says Tony.
"We tried different ways to put the hook within the
swimbait. Next, we tried to put the hook shank and weight close
to belly on the outside."
"What we gradually discovered was the hook configuration
you see here works best, with the hook shank weight slung far
beneath the bait."
"We think only this new Owner Weighted Beast hook has the
optimum distance and dimensions, "claims Tony.
"One thing we made sure of, that the point was well above
the centering pin. If the gap is too small, even on a hook as
good as this, you really do miss fish on swimbaits," says
Harness Rig. "As good as our Beast hook
is, you - anyone - will get a lot of strikes that will be missed.
So we came out with the harness rig, It features 80 lb braid. The
harness rig eliminates missed short strikes. The fact is, many
days you may land more fish on the treble proves a need for
it," explains Tony.
What every swimbait wants to be -
a Basstrix. Rigged with Owner Weighted Beast and Stinger Harness.
Pin Springs. These are the Cadillacs of the
"Our centering pin corkscrew really took off on the hooks
we put them on. So for 2009, we are offering the centering pins
in 8-packs by themselves. They do not clip on like others that
can get knocked off by fish. You screw the Owner Centering Pin
onto (or off) any hook - but a fish can never knock it loose.
That's the Owner advantage," winks Tony.
Wacky Hook - Camo Green. Okay, , I've got to
say I love the new camo color of this hook!
Tony laughs, "Most of the time we will come out with the
standard model first, then the weedless one. Well, we did so well
with our weedless wacky hook model, we decided to come out with
this standard camo green one for dropshot and open hook wacky
"Of course, I am partial, but still say this is the best
dropshot hook ever. It's really sharp and the bend holds the worm
in the crook of the hook - or as we say, the hook features
a 'saddle' for the worm to ride in," smiles Tony.
Note: I do not have any good photos of this vendor's new
products, but if you visit their website, you may be able to see
TJ Stallings told me their Daiichi Butt Dragger hook now comes
in two new sizes - 6/0 and 7/0 - to work with bigger swimbaits.
The 'Butt Dragger' is a nicely-designed clinch-on weight,
designed for hook shanks. The hook has a big round bend, whereas
most other swimbait hooks, the point is angled in toward the
bait. TJ believes the Daiichi round bend has better 'compression'
when a fish bites. TJ says to go to the website at
swimbaithooks.com for a good explanation of compression, and to
learn all about swimbait hooks.
VMC is a Normark brand, but VMC has their own booth at ICAST.
Cyrille Matthieu of VMC wanted to emphasize their new huge,
huge swimbait hook in 5/0, 6/0, 7/0 and 8/0. They are chemically
sharpened black nickel.
The front of the hook has a special angle to avoid pushing
eyes out of a swimbait, says Cyrille.
It looks like VMC paid attention to the alignment of all
aspects of this hook. I like how the line tie eye is right on top
of the nose - like a jig hook, but it has the offset bend for
The shank runs well below the swimbait belly in order to leave
room to add weight on any of the new VMC hook sizes.
Cyrille says when the hooks come onto the market, they will be
packaged with a matching pinch-on weight from Rapala.
The Rapala pinch-on weight will have a flat wide base, causing
a swimbait to rock side-to-side, says Cyrille.
Special Features of ICAST 2008:
- Ardent: Ardent
Shows Pretty Nifty Products
- Daiwa: Daiwa
Stays in High Style
- Endless Innovation: Hundreds
of Hot New Products at ICAST
- Frogs: Gambler,
Gene Larew, Kanji, Mann's, Rein, Secret Lures, Snag Proof, Spro
- G.Loomis: G.Loomis
Goes for the GLX Excellence
- Hooks: Good-Looking
Hooks from Eagle Claw, Gamakatsu, Mustad, Owner, TTI, VMC
- ima: ima
Japan Debuts North American Exclusive Baits
- Jackall: Day
of the Jackall Lures
- Lines: New
Fishing Line from Bioline, Blackwater, Cajun, SeaGuar, Sufix,
- Lucky Craft: Feeling
Lucky and Crafty
- MegaStrike: Mega
- Optimum Baits: Optimum
Debuts Double Diamond Swimmer
- Plano: Plano
Wins Best of Show Award in Tackle Management Category
- Quantum: Quantum's
New KVD Tour Rods and Reel Cover all Cranking Situations
- Rods: Rod
Highlights from American Rodsmiths, Big Bear, Kistler, Lamiglas,
World-Class Hard Baits by his own Principles
- Shimano: Shimano
Curado Voted 'Best of All' New Products
- Strike King: Kevin
VanDam Comments on Strike King's New Bass Baits