VIDEO: Rapala VMC Weedless Neko Hook
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If you think finesse baits are for wide open water only, think again, says Rapala VMC®.
The company adds that its new Weedless Neko hooks are ideal for throwing around the gnarliest of cover, a tactic that put big bass in the boat for Brandon Palaniuk when he won the Bassmaster Elite event on Sam Rayburn Reservoir this spring.
“It’s what I caught all my big fish on,” says Palaniuk, a VMC pro and seven-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier. “Every fish I caught over 8lb came on a Neko Rig.”
The new hook is designed with a durable 50lb test fluorocarbon weed guard, a feature that enables anglers to fish with confidence in the most challenging of settings without getting hung up.
“When you’re fishing around trees or brush, or docks, or logs, that fluorocarbon weed guard is going to help keep the hook from snagging,” says Mike ‘Ike’ Iaconelli, a fellow VMC pro and fan of Neko rigging. “It is one of the hottest trends around right now. But Neko rigging in open water and Neko rigging around heavy cover is totally different. With this weedless design, VMC’s really outdone itself.”
Another benefit of the 50lb test fluorocarbon bristles that comprise the hook’s snag guard is that, unlike wire, Iaconelli says, they are ‘invisible to the fish’.
Weedless Neko hooks feature a forged black-nickel finish, a wide gap and long shank. “It’s not quite a straight shank, it’s not quite an octopus or drop-shot style,” Iaconelli explains. “It’s an in-between-style hook. And that design is actually going to, in itself, land a lot more fish.”
Available in four sizes – 2, 1, 1/0 and 2/0 – they feature a resin-closed eye. “In a lot of hooks, there’s an open-eye design and when you’re using light fluorocarbon – which is great on these finesse tactics – it has a tendency to slip through that eye. With a closed eye, you won’t get that,” says Iaconelli.
According to Iaconelli, another key feature is the hook’s three-degree offset point. “It’s going to catch more meat in the fish’s mouth and you’re going to get a better hookset,” he explains.
Bass usually hit Neko rigs on the initial fall. A semi-slack line is key. “When you let the Neko rig fall on a semi-slack line, it falls almost backwards at an angle,” Iaconelli explains. “It’s this natural, erratic glide that drives fish nuts.”