All of these presentations can be fished with other hooks, like traditional worm hooks, EWG hooks and circle hooks in some cases. But there are advantages to going with a straight-shank hook in each instance. Almost always, the straight-shank hook will come through cover better, making it advantageous to use a straight-shank compared to any other hook.
In addition, a straight-shank hook with a bait keeper often keeps your soft plastic in place better and helps it last longer compared to traditional worm and EWG hooks which use bends in the shaft to hold the plastics in place. It’s typically easier for a soft plastic to slip down the shaft on these hooks compared to a straight-shank hook with a quality keeper.
So little things are less of a headache with a straight-shank hook, like a short strike on a drop shot, for instance. With an EWG hook, the soft plastic has a tendency to be pulled down and ball up in the bend of the hook, causing the bait to spiral when reeling it up. This spinning creates line twist which causes bigger headaches as the day goes on.
Minimizing little time-consuming things like this are what makes a straight-shank hook the better option for several of these techniques. Similarly with punching for instance, the bait goes through the mat cleaner more often with a straight shank compared to other-style hooks, so you make a few dozen more quality presentations of your bait throughout a day.
A drop shot also comes through brush a little better with a straight-shank hook compared to an EWG hook, so you hang up, break off and have to re-rig fewer times. These little time savers make a big difference when talking about overall efficiency during a long day of fishing. So if you haven’t tried a straight-shank hook with one of these techniques yet, maybe now is the time to give one a shot.