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January 13, 2005

Hook Eye Orientation

One benefit from this eye orientation is that the tag end from your leader knot can form a weed guard if you use a clinch knot.

Have you ever wondered why hook eyes line up perpendicular to the bend of the hook rather than in the same plane? I imagine it was done that way to maximize the bite of the hook, but sometimes I think outside the box. Such thinking led me to try twisting the eye into the same plane with the hook bend. One benefit from this eye orientation is that the tag end from your leader knot can form a weed guard if you use a clinch knot.

Stainless-steel hooks seem to take this eye twisting without compromise.
However, some carbon-steel hooks break if you attempt to twist them. The hook shown in the photo is a 2/0 Mustad 34011; the mono is 40-pound Ande solar green. You can twist hooks by clamping them across the bend with one pair of pliers while grasping the hook eye with a second pair of pliers. Slowly twist the eye until you reach the orientation you want. If you hold the hook at the bend and the eye, the twist is imparted along the length of the shank.
By clamping the bend of a 12/0 Mustad O'Shaugnessy 3407 in my bench vise and clamping the eye with vise grips, I easily changed the orientation of the eye by 90 degrees.
Capt. Ken Roy
Crystal River, Florida
www.bigbendsportsman.com