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Bob Banfelder

Bob is an award-winning crime-thriller novelist and outdoors writer. "The Fishing Smart Anywhere Handbook for Salt Water & Fresh Water" is endorsed by Lefty Kreh and Angelo Peluso~online at Amazon.

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August 01, 2013

Hooked on Hook Keepers

by Bob Banfelder

Every once in a while a product comes along that truly grabs my attention, saving me time, money, frustration and/or aggravation. The CATCH fishhook keepers, manufactured by AdamsWW, Incorporated, do exactly that. As safety should be everyone's primary concern, it often fails to be put at the very top of the list. How many of us even think about such an insignificant item as a rod hook keeper? It is either there on a fishing pole when we purchase it, or it is simply not included. However, whether it is there or not, you want a hook keeper that not only holds your hook but safely secures it, too.

If you are reading Nor'east Saltwater, you are probably a serious angler. If you're a serious angler, I'd venture to say that you have several fishing rods if not many. If you are a very serious angler, you probably have a plethora of fishing poles. And if you are a fishing nut, euphemistically called a fishing aficionado, well, you absolutely have surf poles, boat poles, conventional casting and trolling rods, spinning rods in at least three different lengths for specific line and lure weights, designated jigging sticks, salmon/steelhead/musky rods, fly-fishing rods for virtually all species found in both fresh and salt water, four–five–and/or six-piece travel rods, and perhaps even the ‘reel-less' tenkara rod(s), ad infinitum.

I fall somewhere between the poles of a very serious angler and a fishing fool, for I have some three dozen rods in order to cover a variety of situations. Many of these rods, even some of the expensive ones, do not have hook keepers. What to do? Well, you have a few options. You can carefully place the point of the hook into the cork handle of the rod (certainly not an EVA foam handle), but surely you will be sorry because sooner than later you will not only damage the cork, you will eventually dull the point of the hook. Next, you could place the exposed point of the hook on the frame of the guide (never in the diamond polished, ceramic, Silicon Carbide ring); however, the point of the hook is still exposed. My point being is that it will one day catch you, a family member, pet or guest. Even after I instruct folks not to place the hook in the ring of the guide, they forget. You can't have your eyes everywhere at once. But what you can do to make life simple and safe is to initially incorporate hook keepers on those rods that do not have them. Later, you may want to install them on all your rods, even wands that come with those standard thin wire keepers. Why? The answer is because they do not hold the hook completely out of harm's way. You want hook keepers that shield and therefore protect. You need and want The CATCH lightweight hook keepers, which are available in three different sizes: The CATCH (small), the CATCH-BIG (big) and the CATCH-MEGA (large).

Besides having an appointed slot to hold the hook, these handy plastic bodied items house an integrated high-strength magnet, securing and protecting both hook point and barb—from a midge-size 22 to a 9/0 hook—protecting you, your gear, clothing, et cetera. There is another big name company out there that manufactures hook keepers. I've ordered, examined, and used "the other brand" before dealing with The CATCH line of hook keepers. Save yourself a lot of time and trouble. You want hook keepers manufactured by AdamsWW. Let's examine these three winners closely.

The CATCH shields both points and barbs of a size 22 up to a size 1 hook. It is ideal for fly rods and other light-duty rod applications. Available in orange, blue, or black. Pictured below is the Gimp Fly tied on a Mustad-Viking number 12 hook.



The CATCH-BIG shields points and barbs up to a 4/0 hook. Available in black. Pictured below is Storm's Wild Eye Swim Shad with an approximate 4/0 hook.



The CATCH-MEGA shields points and barbs up to a 9/0 hook. Available in black. Pictured below is Shimano's 6½-inch, 4.4 ounce Waxwing with a whopping heavy-duty single 8/0 siwash-style hook.



All three hook keeper sizes (small, medium, large) easily attach to your rod in a nanosecond via a single ozone and weather resistant neoprene o-ring; two o-ring sizes per package are included to accommodate different tapered rod diameters. The hook keeper may be placed on the rod precisely where you want it. For example: atop, to the side, or below the butt section. Hence, there is no chance of the hook keeper interfering with the line when casting.

I own a pretty expensive rod with one of those tiny, thin wire hook keepers fancily wrapped; however, it will not allow the point and barb of a 6/0 hook to pass through it. Hence, the CATCH-MEGA keeper resolved this issue. In a heartbeat (no tools needed), I simply attached the new hook keeper, slid the hook within the top slot, and I was good to go. For lures with treble hooks, I merely slide one of the hook points into the keeper then slide the appropriate size tubing onto the other two exposed hooks, especially with kids aboard.

Additionally, the CATCH hook keepers can do double-duty as line holders. On a trout stream while fishing with a fly rod, it's most convenient to place the tippet between the hook keeper and rod in order to hold the thin material when changing flies. For those who fish with tenkara rods, the AdamsWW company asks that you make mention of this when ordering their hook keepers. When aboard a vessel, after unhooking a fish then deciding to fuss with lures, bait or whatever, you can temporarily hang the line and hook out of harm's way. If you wish to grab a sandwich and a beverage, secure the hook back in the slotted magnetic holder and take a break. Too, you could momentarily place the hook anywhere along the hook keeper and it will grab, apart from the weight of a sinker. Therefore, I prefer placing the hook within the slot for safety's sake. Furthermore, you could have a high-low rig set up and be ready to go, safely, by incorporating a second hook keeper. These products are, indeed, versatile.

In the near future, for those of you who are into rod building, AdamsWW, Inc. will be coming out with The CATCH-ROD hook keeper and components (arms to attach to each end of the hook keeper). I believe that some rod manufacturers are going to seriously consider this item. For openers, AdamsWW, Inc. will introduce this keeper to accommodate hook sizes ranging from a size 22 (midge) up to a size 1 hook, same as its original CATCH hook keeper.

For further information concerning these fantastic hook keepers, log on to www.getthecatch.com

Note: In addition to safely transporting fishing rods from vehicle to vessel or shoreline via hook keepers, I'll offer a simple tip for toting these outfits without the hassle of having lines and leaders catch onto boughs and branches while maneuvering through woodlots and brush on your way to a secluded fishing spot. I trail the rods rearward, not pointed out in front of me where they are certain to poke, catch and cause considerable trouble. Moreover, I secure those lines and/or leaders as pictured below. The small piece of yellow yarn you see is shown solely to indicate the line and its abbreviated distance between spool and rod.



For spinning rods, bring the line directly beneath the rod, not bowed out like a bow and arrow. You can accomplish this easily by reeling the line snugly like you normally do at day's end. However, if the line is not wound directly beneath the rod, pull on it to engage the drag a couple clicks at a time until the line is directly beneath the rod. Now, grab the line that is attached to the hook in the keeper (not the line running from the guide to the reel's bail), and wrap it either clockwise or counterclockwise over the top of the rod, bringing it completely under and around the large guide, locking the line in place. You now have a streamline section of line held securely against the rod that will not latch onto this, that, and the other thing. Ready to fish? Unwrap in the opposite direction by simply grabbing the line that is outside the guide, not the one within.

For fly rods, simply eliminate the distance between the reel's line and the rod's handle by bringing the line at the base of the reel rearward while carefully wrapping it around the frame from a six o'clock position to a 12 o'clock position. Gingerly reel in any slack.

The alignment of line on conventional baitcasting rods and reels pose next to no problem. Good to go.

Bob Banfelder is author of the newly released The Fishing Smart Anywhere Handbook for Salt Water & Fresh Water, endorsed by Lefty Kreh and Angelo Peluso. Bob is a member of the Long Island Outdoor Communicators Network and the New York State Outdoor Writers Association. He is also an award-winning thriller writer; his novels include Trace Evidence, The Author, The Teacher, Knots, and No Stranger Than I. Visit www.robertbanfelder.com; follow on Facebook @ Robert Banfelder and Twitter @RBanfelder.




Comments (1)

mvsusaf wrote 4 years ago

Unbelievable! You are NOT on anyone's payroll. Good for you and thank you.

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