Flashy new swimbaits cover the front pages of bass magazines. Pros show off their shiny new rods, and it seems that even fishing line has seized the attention of fishermen. We, as bass fishermen, love new baits, new boats, and new rods and reels, but our hooks, integral yet often overlooked parts of our gear, are ignored. We, as fishermen, spend hours looking at YouTube videos on crankbaits and jigs, and read review after review on frogs, but hooks? We buy them last when we go shopping, and often as an afterthought. We pay so little attention to them that many fishermen even forget to buy them. Devoting so little attention to such important parts of our arsenal is a huge mistake.
Above: Low quality hooks (top) often bend when you are fighting a fish; in the process, the fish can easily unhook themselves. Many of them even break. High quality hooks (bottom) stay strong and straight catch after catch.
The first and most critical flaw of low quality hooks are their poor strength. You want your hooks to be strong, yet with many low quality hooks, the shank bends or even snaps when you are trying to reel in a fish. The fish escapes as a result. I have lost many fish due to having a bad hook bend, and it's really frustrating to see that 5 lber swim off after a close fight. High quality hooks, in contrast, stay straight for repeated catches. It pays off in the long run, because you will have to shell out less to buy new hooks as the old ones last longer.
The second flaw is sharpness: bass, unlike crappie and some other fishes, have very hard mouths. Remember, the main diet of bass consists of crawfish and sunfish. Both have spines and the crawfish even has sharp pincers. To penetrate a mouth that can withstand such punishment, you need a sharp hook. High quality hooks are sharp, low quality hooks usually aren't. Even if these low quality hooks look sharp at first, then often quickly dull, and you'll find yourself replacing them quite often as the old ones dull. Again, it pays off in the long run, because you will have to shell out less to buy new hooks as the old ones last longer.
Above: Paint chipping usually isn't a problem. Fish don't notice it much to make a difference.
Last, but certainly not least is the problem of rusting. Rusting not only destroys the hook that it is affecting, it also spreads to other hooks in the area, like a disease. It can destroy your jigs, your trebles, anything metal in your tackle box. I cannot tell you how many hooks I've lost only because one or two hooks were first affected, then spread to the rest. High quality hooks have a coat that protects against rusting, but low quality hooks don't.
Hi. I am Ian, an extremely avid bass fisherman living in Howard County, MD. I like to bank fish and fish at local ponds and small creeks. I will explore budget friendly options for people to use in this blog. I hope I can teach you something.