Bait holders on a hook can save you fish, time and money. When a fish bites and you set and miss, the bait will often ball up on the hook, sometimes causing the hook to not penetrate the fish. Plus, then you have to pull the bait from the water, fix your plastic and then re-present the bait to the fish. Oftentimes it is too late to get the fish to react again. By eliminating the balling of your bait at the bottom of the hook, you can preserve the bait and fish it longer and for more than just a few fish.
Gamakatsu offers a Heavy Cover hook and Roboworm offers a re-Barb Hook that both work well. However, there are times when I want a different hook with a bait holder on it. One of my favorite hooks is a 3/0 worm bend hook from Gamakatsu, and so far it doesn’t come with a bait holder.
There are also times where you need a bigger gap between the eye of the hook and the bait holder (for when you want to snell the hook rather than tie a knot). This works well for that. If you are fishing a large soft plastic bait, you’ll need a bigger gap than pre-made bait holders offer. This is another excellent reason to be able to add your own keeper. I have taught many of my fellow Elite Series anglers how to do this. I hope this helps save you money and put more fish in the boat.
What you’ll need: A hook, some light 10-pound braided line, a jig weedguard (single strand), and something to hold your hook in place, like a tying vise.