Hook Keeper

The Evolution of Hook Keepers in Rod Building

The Evolution of Hook Keepers in Rod Building

A Rod Builder’s who’s who for hook keepers, this review covers the development of different hook keepers alongside the evolution of rod building, and the functional advantages of today’s most popular models.

The Purpose of Hook Keepers

Although the purpose of the hook keeper seems limited to its namesake, this small fishing rod accessory can have many practical benefits besides just maintaining the hook’s pointy end. Varying in design as well as benefits, hook keepers were invented alongside the evolution of fishing practices and rod building to satisfy the needs of anglers.

Hook keepers are common fixtures on all sorts of fishing rods. Although these small components are often overlooked, choosing the right hook keeper can boost your custom fishing rod and its performance with many unique benefits. Hook keepers obviously house the hook itself, but each design is also intended to preserve rod guides as well as their fragile ceramic insert rings.

Lazy anglers often put their hook away by pulling the bait and hook down then resting the hook on their initial stripping guide. Then they tighten the line to remove any slack. We don’t recommend this method for two reasons. First, always take slack from the reel when prepping your hook for transportation, and never prepare by pulling the bait. Pulling the bait is an easy way to break your rod, and replacing tip-tops is a completely different blog.

Second of all, the hook’s tension and resulting friction against the guide’s frame or its ceramic insert ring will cause severe reductions in both their strength and performance. Preserve these high-performance components by simply adding a hook keeper to your custom rod. When it comes to hook keepers and their improvements, these is just the tip of the hook because many designs and their benefits follow below.

Whether developed out of necessity, alongside a technique, or as an engineering advancement, hook keepers are a minor cost and construction for major benefits on any custom fishing rod.

Standard Hook Keeper

Widely considered the standard, this stainless-steel hook keeper is a common choice for its basic benefits. To start, its double footed design ensures a sturdy mount on the rod blank that you can trust to maintain the hook until its next use. As previously mentioned, these Standard Hook Keepers hold the hook to in turn help preserve the integrity of rod guides and their ceramic insert rings.

Standard Hook Keepers come in either a small size, standing only 1/5 of an inch from the blank, or in a large size that stands just ¼ of an inch off the rod blank. Available in Black, Chrome, Gold, Gunsmoke and TiChrome these Standard Hook Keepers are custom components that can look as good as they perform.

Deluxe Double Hook Keepers

Although the standard design satisfied some anglers, many wanted more from their hook keepers. The response became the Deluxe Double Hook Keeper because it’s wrapped just as a guide wrap and just as competent in strength. Capable of preserving the guides and ceramic insert rings as well as maintaining the hook, this hook keeper’s benefits keep on coming.

Available in colors like Black, Chrome, Gunsmoke and Titanium, American Tackle's Deluxe S2 Series Hook Keepers look great, but perform even better.

Fuji Folding Hook Keeper

Originally designed for fly fishing rods, the Fuji Folding Hook Keeper protected dry fly hackles from damage, but now it has been adapted to suit all fishing applications. Fuji’s Folding Hook Keepers are manufactured with a thicker wire and bigger body to satisfy every angler’s needs in any fishing application.

In addition to housing the hook and preserving rod guides, the Fuji Folding Hook Keeper also collapses onto itself when not in use. Folding back on top of itself allows the streamlined Fuji Folding Hook Keeper to be virtually unnoticed as it lies flush with the rest of the rod blank. These advanced hook keepers provide a highly functional design that looks awesome in either black plated chrome or silver non-plated chrome.

Drop Shot Hook Keeper

Known for developing along with the drop shot technique, the Drop Shot Hook Keeper looks nothing like the standard model mostly because it has a very different origin. The drop shot technique was born in Japan, but once it came stateside, this style of fishing added a unique hook keeper to match.

Despite originating as a Drop Shot Hook Keeper, this open hook hanger design became incredibly popular for its quick and convenient hook storage. The Drop Shot Hook Keeper is great for housing the hook and the bait without dulling or damaging either one. Now these hook keepers are known for not only protecting the hook, guides, and ceramic rings, but especially for preserving baits.

Perfect for Texas rigs, the Drop Shot Hook Keeper allows anglers hook up their lures and move from spot to spot without damaging, removing, and replacing plastic lures. Pushing the hook through your worms on a standard style hook keeper severely reduces the lifespan of that plastic lure, but the Drop Shot Hook Keeper houses both the hook and the worm without interfering the rig to keep lures intact longer.

Available in black or silver, the stainless-steel Drop Shot Hook Keeper is an awesome option perfect for preserving your resources whether guides and ceramic rings, or hooks and plastic lures.

With the popularity of drop shot hook keepers, CRB designed a slightly larger version to be used with Magnum Texas Rigged baits, Hollow Body Frogs and Heavy Cover Flippin' Baits. 

These are available in black, silver and gunsmoke. Build with the Arrow Keeper and get the same low-profile, fast and convenient hook storage as the smaller Drop Shot Hook Keeper but now in a size perfect for heavy cover applications. In addition, these are excellent for saltwater rod builds as they are made from high quality Stainless Steel and resist corrosion.

If you build a lot of rods or want a variety at your will, check out the Hook Keeper Assortment Kit. An assortment of 90 of the most popular hook keepers we sell. Includes Standard Small, Standard Large, Drop Shot, XL Drop Shot and Arrow Hook Keepers - all in a FREE divided storage case!

An assortment of 90 of the most popular hook keepers we sell. Includes Standard Small, Standard Large, Drop Shot, XL Drop Shot and Arrow Hook Keepers - all in a FREE divided storage case!

Pick Your Hook Keeper

Evident in the benefits brought by each hook keeper, the right design will go a long way to protect your equipment and enhance your experience. Whether moving fishing spots to increase your odds or just packing up your gear for a weekend fishing trip, make sure you have the best hook keeper to help you where it matters.

This Blog is dedicated to our beloved former employee and family member, Matt McGuffee. 


Reading next

Why Build with Winthrop Components
Get Up To Speed on Slow Pitch Jigging

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.