Zak Elrite / zakelritefishing.com

Putting the Hook Where It's Supposed to Be - Introducing V&M's New Flatwild Creature Bait

Anglers analyze and over-analyze every little thing, but many don't think about how they set the hook nearly enough. The new Flatwild from V&M Baits was designed with better hook sets in mind.

Whether you’re fishing the Bassmaster Elite Series or going down to the local pond for a couple hours after work, the goal is exactly the same. Get the hook into the fish’s mouth!

Simple right? Not always.

The new Flatwild from V&M Baits was designed to make hook penetration a whole lot easier.

When coming up with the concept for the Flatwild, 2013 Bassmaster Classic Champion Cliff Pace wanted a better hook-up ratio for his smaller creature baits. To accomplish this, he designed the Flatwild to have a half-ribbed, half-stair stepped body to help push water on the fall. This causes air to be trapped allowing the bait to be more flexible to get better penetration on the hookset.

Released in February, the 4-inch Flatwild also comes with pinchers on the side created to have a subtle movement while also having a darting action on the drop.

V&M's NEW Flatwild Creature Bait


With better hook penetration being the main goal of the V&M Flatwild, let’s talk about a few ways to make your hooksets better and more effective:

  • Make Sure You’re Using the RIGHT Hook – One of the most common mistakes made when it comes to hook selection is using a hook that is either too heavy or too light for the line you’re using. Heavier gauge hooks, like the beefy, heavy flipping hooks on the market are designed for very heavy line like 17-25 pound mono/fluorocarbon or the “no-stretch” 50-80 pound braid. If you’re using anything under 12 pound test, make sure you’re using a lighter wire hook for the best chance to put that hook where it’s supposed to go.

  • Make Sure You’re Using the RIGHT Rod – With all the technique specific rods on the market, it’s confusing to know what rod to use and when. If you’re fishing heavy cover with an 8’0 flipping stick, a giant, swinging, fall-out-of-the-boat, Bill Dance-style hookset is NOT NEEDED. The rod will do most of the work because it is thicker and stiffer. A quick 9’o’clock to 12’o’clock rip should do the job. With lighter, more flexible rods you might need to create more torque to drive that hook home, depending on the cover, line size and hook you’re using.

  • Make Sure You’re Swinging the RIGHT Way – Not every bait or technique requires the same kind of hookset. A lot of finesse techniques, like a drop-shot or other light line presentations may only require what’s called a “reel-set.” This is where you feel the bite, start reeling and slowly lift your rod or lean into the hookset. Many times, baits get pulled out of the mouth of the fish when you have the harder, quick hookset. Moving baits like spinnerbaits and crankbaits, might require that kind of hookset, but always make sure they’re paired with the appropriate rod that absorbs the shock appropriately.


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