Almost all of the anglers I know have varying opinions when it comes to treble hook styles—some like round bends while others like EWG style trebles. Personally speaking, I’ve used EWG style treble hooks for years and I’m a huge proponent of them.
I’ve been testing out the Gamakatsu EWG Short Shank Magic Eye Treble throughout the fall and I’ll tell you one thing—I believe this hook has bailed me out of some sticky situations.
What does “Magic Eye” mean?
I didn’t really know what to think when I ran across these hooks. I’ve never paid much attention to the eye of a hook before, so the words “Magic Eye” really caught my attention. Upon further inspection of the hooks, it turned out to be a really innovative, yet simple solution for an age-old annoyance.
In my lifetime, I’m willing to bet I’ve owned—then lost—over 20 pairs of split-ring pliers. I love the darn things but whether they skip across my front deck riding down the lake or get donated to the lake on guide trips, I can’t keep a pair around. The Gamakatsu EWG Short Shank Magic Eye Treble, however, has a tapered eye which makes for extremely easy hook changes in time sensitive situations.
You really don’t need any type of pliers when changing these hooks. Just insert the tapered edge into the split ring and push the old, dull hook off and into the floor of your boat. I’ve been super impressed by how easy it really is. If you notice in some of my previous review photos, my fingernails are trashed because of constantly prying split rings. These hooks might actually give me a chance to have some decent looking hands for a change.
Are they sharp?
You’ll find some treble hooks out there that may be sharp initially but quickly dull after a few hours of use. One of the reasons I love these hooks is because of their durability. I can slam a squarebill into the nastiest junk I can find or grind a deep crankbait over a shell bed without worrying about their sharpness.
I hammered the fish last weekend cranking up the river of my home lake and I’m convinced these hooks had a lot to do with it. No matter how many times I changed my color, cadence or crankbait, the bass would continuously be hooked on the back treble. I did not lose a single fish and I didn’t ever feel like I needed to horse them to the boat before they came unbuttoned. The hook points do a great job of finding the jawbone and wrapping around it. I was fishing without a care in the world and having a dang good time.
Why does a short shank matter?
One of my absolute favorite things to do is crank the thickest wood cover I can find. Everybody has their thing and cranking is definitely mine. I do a ton of experimenting with treble hooks and one thing is absolutely certain—short shank treble hooks keep your hook points closer to the body of the lure. In my opinion and through my experience, I believe it results in far fewer hang-ups.
Like the name implies, the shank of the Gamakatsu EWG Short Shank Magic Eye Treble is short. There are other treble hooks on the market that claim to be short shank, but only a few specific kinds are super short. The shank on these hooks is extremely short, which works very well on wide-bodied squarebills and larger deep crankbaits.
Does the EWG bend make a difference?
After all the back and forth I hear about this, I really think it’s a matter of confidence for most anglers. Like I mentioned, however, I’m on the EWG train when it comes to trebles—I don’t use round bends very often.
I can confidently say that I have caught a lot—and I mean a lot—of bass I shouldn’t have caught with the Gamakatsu EWG Short Shank Magic Eye Treble. The EWG bend fits very nicely around the jawbone of a big bass. If there’s one thing you don’t necessarily want in a crankbait bass, it’s a skin-hooked one. I feel like if I get just one treble around its jawbone, it’s all mine and I can take my time during the fight.
This certainly isn’t high-tech science or anything, but when I envision a bass eating a crankbait, the top or side of its mouth is going to hit the weld of the treble hook and slide downward, towards the bend upon the hookset. I feel like round bends give a bass more leverage to throw the hook, as opposed to an EWG treble providing more of a “bite” at the bend, facilitating deeper hook penetration and more solid hooksets. Again, it’s just my personal opinion based upon my experience.
If you’re a big-time cranker and looking for better hookups and fewer “please stay on, baby” moments, I think you should give these hooks some consideration. A large part of cranking comes down to confidence, but I’ve definitely developed some confidence in them lately.