Cajun Tackle House Skull Dragger Flipping Hook Review ‘updated!’
|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*|
*- best in class wire diameter and strength/bend resistance.
5/0 – $5.99 per package of 4
Sometimes the Big Tackle Companies get complacent when it comes to developing products that address real world fishing issues, like fishing heavy cover, and small independent and innovative companies take the opportunity to fill the void. Such is the case with Cajun Tackle House and it’s Skull Dragger Flipping Hook.
Cajun Tackle house (CTH) is located in Prairieville, in southern Louisiana, just north of the Louisiana Delta, and by the looks of the Skull Dragger, surrounded by waters with some REALLY nasty heavy cover and vegetation. CTH was looking at the existing heavy cover flipping hooks that were on the market and knew they needed to step up the durability factor big time. They found that the biggest complaint that anglers and tournament anglers that specialize in dense cover in Louisiana and other locations across the USA had with available flipping hooks on the market was they couldn’t hold up to the abuse that they were exposed to. With anglers that favor heavy cover tactics like punching, powershotting ,and flipping, receiving benefits from rods, reels, and braided lines specifically designed for abuse, it became more and more obvious with every straightened hook, every lost giant donkey bass, that the hooks were the weakest link. The anglers behind CTH, Jake Roberie, and Chris Thornton, decided to apply the innovation that is the hallmark of America’s small business community and set out to create ‘a flipping hook on steroids’.
CTH began working with a well known jig company out of Texas to partner up with Gamakatsu to find a hook that they could use in their heavy cover jigs, and that CTH could for their flipping hooks. The hook they came up with was based upon a heavy duty saltwater grade Tuna hook. By using this hook that was designed to haul in much much heavier and harder fighting fish than a bass as a starting point, CTH got down to business.
Incorporating features that are required in flipping hooks such as a needle point and straight shank, but based upon a much heavier gauge wire than on any other bass hook found in stores, CTH added a larger than normal eyelet for better contact for pegging tungsten peg weights or if fishing unweighted, a clacking sound different from the usual flipping hook, eliminating force beads or other rattle devices often used.
CTH purposely chose a barbless shank and so, as a bait keeper they utilized a non skid heat shrink wrap to keep the baits in place when rigged. Another important benefit of this heat shrink is it’s placement on the shank. It begins halfway up the shank but doesn’t stop before the eye, but covers the bottom portion of the eyelet and the gap where the eye meets the shank, eliminating the need for a welded eye that could potentially stress or weaken the wire.
So, what is the final result of CTH’s vision? On first inspection, the hook looks absolutely beastly, the wire diameter is .oo1 thicker than a 5/0 Gamakatsu Superline EWG hook, and just .003 inches thinner than an 6/0 Owner Beast Hook, both of which are heavy duty swimbait hooks. The hook is a black chrome color, and the keeper is flat black with a texture like hard rubber.
The main areas that I can see that may be potential weaknesses in the Skull Dragger, and that I will be keeping a close eye on while fishing this hook are the keeper’s ability to hold baits, with out a type of barb, the ability of the keeper to substitute for a welded eye and keep the gap covered, and the durability of the keeper itself, as in my experience, some style of shrink tube style keepers have a tendency to slip down the shank (like the first generation of the Gamakatsu Heavy Cover Hook).
I did a little BNF surgery to the Skull Dragger to see just how well the shrink tubing was adhered to the hook, and to take a closer look at the eye gap. It took a little work to get the shrink tubing off, there was some sort of adhesive on the hook that didn’t want to let that tubing go. Some real world fishing time spent in the BNF zone will reveal all, but I can’t see this tubing sliding down the shank like the first generation Gamakatsu Heavy Cover Flipping Hooks were prone to.
A close look at the eye revealed a gap, but that the shrink tubing and adhesive had effectively sealed the gap. Abuse in the BNF zone over the next season will determine if it will work.
Stay tuned for on the water reviews as the season progresses.