June 23, 2014 Share

Hook Keepers—Really A Big Deal?

For years I had a silent battle going with rod makers over the type and position of the hook keeper. In fact, more often then not I’d use a pliars to yank the damn thing off the rod. Why? In same cases, they’d interfer with the my line or my rod hand, or they would put the hook, crankbait or whatever lure I was using in the exact wrong position when I carried multiple rods before or after a trip. In some cases I ended up with a tangled mess, in others I ended up with a hook in my hand. In both cases, out came the pliars.

I have other beefs with the standard hook keeper, too. They are simply hard to see at night, and when you are fishing rigged soft plastics you need to remove the hook point from the bait before stowing. Over a day on the water with multiple locational moves and when fishing multiple rods, repeating this task 25 times or more in not unlikely.

Is this majoring in minor matters? I don’t think so, especially after fishing the newer Texas-Style hook keeper. I haven’t done a ton of research to know how many rod companies now offer this hook keeper style, but it is available on several Abu Garcia models like the Veritas, Vendetta and Verdict, and after fishing them over the past year I can tell you that when I look beyond the most important rod features like action, handle design, guides and construction, I now demand this style of hook keeper.

Not only is it easy to use with middle-age eyes, it allows me to easily store rigged plastics, it keeps other baits tight to the blank where hooks are less likely to grab you or other things. And that makes it the best option I know of…and one of the features I now look for when shopping new rods.