Some flipping hook carnage: it's only just begun!

Welcome to the BNF Flipping Out Flipping Hook Shootout.

When it comes to fishing the BNF zone, the lowly hook doesn’t rate highly on most angler’s sale of importance. Rods, reels, lines, and lures all seem to take precedence when choosing a rig or technique. BNF however, takes a different stance. Fishing in the BNF zone, your tackle is only as strong as it’s weakest link, and for the longest time, hooks have been taken for granted. When it comes to punching mats or flipping in heavy cover, your hook can be the difference between landing that fish, or reeling in a clump of weeds, or even worse, a straightened piece of wire.

Finding honest reviews and comparing different brands and sizes of flipping hooks can be pretty difficult, I know, I’ve tried. BNF, over the course of the next season (2012), will quantify and review as many different flipping hooks as I can acquire, and hopefully provide a reference database for anyone who loves to fish the BNF zone. The  flipping hooks to be reviewed are either size 4/0 or 5/0, and have a bait keeper of some sort. I was originally going to just test size 5/0 hooks but certain brands such as the Gambler K/O hooks only come in sizes up to 4/0, and if I were to test just 4/0, monster hooks like the Cajun Tackle House Skull Dragger, which only comes in size 5/0 would be left out.

Out of the 8 brands of flipping hooks to be reviewed (Cajun Tackle House, Gamakatsu, Gambler, Moaner, Owner, Paycheck, Strike King, and Trokar), all are but 2 are straight shank types with shrink wrap style keepers. The two brands with different styles are Moaner and Owner with 30 degree bends in the shank and wire screw type keepers.

(editor’s note 2/19/2012: Added to the shootout is Mustad’s Ultra Point Impact Soft Plastic Hook. I chose this hook from Mustad as Mustad’s specified flipping hook, the Denny Brauer Ultra Point Flippin’ Hook has no keeper, and the Impact Soft Plastic Hook is very similar to the Owner and Moaner Hooks being tested)

The hooks will be reviewed and rated on strength, sharpness, hooking fish on the hook set, keeping fish hooked up, compatibility with different styles and types of baits, and their ability to keep baits on the hook while in heavy cover and while fighting fish.

In this first installment, I have used an electronic digital caliper and a digital scale to measure the important empirical data of each brand and model of flipping hook. The size of the wire used, the total length of the hook from the tip of the eye to the farthest point of the hook, the gap between the hook point and the shank, and the gap between the tip of the eye to the point of the hook were measured. with the digital calipers. Then the amount of force required to bend the hook and open the gap was measured with a digital scale.

Links to specific BNF flipping hook review pages can be had by clicking on the hook brand/model in the table, or can be found at the bottom of the page.

All measurements are in inches, except the force to bend, which is in lbs.

Brand/Model Size Cost per Hook Welded Eye? Keeper Type Wire Length Gap to Shank Gap to Eye Lb. Force to Bend 
Cajun Tackle House Skull Dragger 5/0 1.49 no shrink tube  .076  2.149  .819  1.509  15.00
Trokar TK-130 Flipping Hook 5/0  1.75 yes shrink tube  .064  2.047  .790  1.356  8.03
Gamakatsu Heavy Cover Hook 5/0  1.25 yes wire+shrink  .066  2.266  .872  1.530  7.14
Owner TwistLock Flippin’ Hook 5/0  1.62 no wire screw type  .067  2.213  .876  1.537  8.06
Moaner Hooks Stick-R Flipping Hook 5/0  0.63 no wire screw type  .061  2.427  .833  n/a  7.05
Mustad Ultra Point Impact Soft Plastic Hook 4/0  0.99  no  wire + plastic  0.61  2.378  0.893  1.501  3.09

There are some very interesting observations from the measurements of the 5/0 flipping hooks so far. The Cajun Tackle House Skull Dragger Flipping Hook has by far the heaviest wire by .009 inches, and the strongest hook, taking 15.00 lbs of force to bend, almost double the next strongest hook.  The Owner Twistlock Flipping Hook had the widest  gap at 1.537 inches, and deepest gap at .876, over the next closest Gamakatsu Heavy Cover Flipping Hook at 1.530 and .870 inches respectively. The Moaner Stick-R was the longest hook by .161 inches.

(editor’s note 2/19/2012: The 5/0 Mustad Ultra Point Impact Soft Plastic Hook has replaced the Owner Twistlock Flipping Hook with the best in class and overall best gap from hook point to shank)

Brand/Model Size Cost per Hook Welded Eye? Keeper Type Wire Length Gap to Shank Gap to Eye Lb. Force to Bend 
Gamakatsu Heavy Cover Hook 4/0  1.25 yes wire+shrink  .063  2.071  .823  1.349  7.04
Trokar TK-130 Flipping Hook 4/0  1.75 yes shrink tube  .061  1.945  .732  1.287  8.00
Gambler K.O. Flipping Hook 4/0  1.00 yes shrink tube  .062  2.147  .877  1.551  7.05
Moaner Hooks Stick-R Flipping Hook 4/0  0.63 no wire screw type  .058  2.170  .718  n/a  6.06
Mustad Ultra Point Impact Soft Plastic Hook 5/0  0.99  no  wire + plastic  0.61  2.214  0.925  1.519  4.12

When it comes to the 4/0 size of flipping hooks, the Gamakatsu Heavy Cover Hook has the heaviest wire by .001 over the Gambler K.O. Flipping Hook. The Trokar TK130 takes 8.00 of force to bend open, which is almost exactly what the 5/0 TK130 hook took to bend, and was almost a full lb stronger than the next closest hook, the Gambler K.O. Flipping Hook. The Moaner Stick-R was also the longest 4/0 as well at 2.170 inches, .023 longer than the Gambler K.O. hook. What was very interesting was the Gambler K.O. had the widest  gap of both 4/0 and 5/0 sizes at 1.551 and the deepest gap as well at .877 inches.

(editor’s note 2/19/2012: The 4/0 Mustad Ultra Point Impact Soft Plastic Hook has replaced the Gambler K.O. Flipping Hook with the best in class gap from hook point to shank)

So, out of the data collected so far, two hooks have stood out from the pack in terms of the empirical data. The 5/0 Cajun Tackle House Skull Dragger Flipping Hook is an absolute beast due to the wire size used and in strength, where it absolutely blows away the competition. The 4/0 Gambler K.O. Flipping Hook punches above it’s weight by not only dominating the gap sizes in the 4/0 category, but also by gapping all of the 5/0 sized flipping hooks as well.

I am still waiting to get a hold of the 4/0 and 5/0 versions of the Paycheck Baits Punch Hook, the Strike King Hack Attack Heavy Cover Hook, the 4/0 version of the Owner Twistlock Flipping Hook, and additional Moaner Hooks Stick-R Flipping Hooks so I can collect and complete the data from those brands as well.

I’ll be adding data to these tables and updating the commentary on each hook’s page as I acquire the additional information. Each one of these hooks will be tested in the upcoming 2012 season in a variety of BNF situations, and has a page of it’s own that will be updated as 2012 progresses.

Flipping Hook Review Page Links:
Cajun Tackle House Skull Dragger Flipping Hook Review (updated 2/5/12)

Gamakatsu Heavy Cover Flipping Hook Review (updated 2/5/12)

Gambler Lures K.O. Flipping Hook Review

Moaner Hooks Stick-R Flipping Hook Review

Mustad Ultra Point Impact Soft Plastic Hook Review (updated 2/19/2102)

Owner Twistlock Flipping Hook Review (updated 2/19/2012)

Trokar TK130 Flipping Hook Review

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