Don’t Hook Them Trap Them; A Revolution by Trapper Tackle

Don’t Hook Them Trap Them; A Revolution by Trapper Tackle

I first became aware of the new hook by Trapper Tackle after seeing social media videos and images by Pro Staff member Vince Hurtado. Shortly afterwards at this year’s ICAST, Trapper Tackle generated a huge ‘Buzz’. Throughout the event, a non-stop list of Who’s Who repeatedly came to their booth, as they capped things off with a Best of Show award in the Terminal Tackle Division. 

I had to find out for myself, and you, if Trapper Tackle is the real deal or not. My first step was to contact Vince Hurtado and arrange for a media day. The timing was superb; Hurtado and I met up and headed to Clear Lake California for what would turn out to be an excellent bite. The conditions were perfect for field testing the Trapper.

Vince Hurtado with a stellar Trapper Tackle ‘High Five’!

Vince Hurtado with a stellar Trapper Tackle ‘High Five’!

During our Clear Lake visit, the Trapper was put to the test by largemouth bass, both size, and numbers. It was just like Hurtado explained during the drive to the lake, once we hooked the fish they couldn’t jump off the Trapper.   

Multiple techniques, multiple lures, again and again, the bass, big or small, can’t escape the Trapper!

Multiple techniques, multiple lures, again and again, the bass, big or small, can’t escape the Trapper!

Vince Hurtado Trapper Tackle, Derrek Stewart Writer at Large theBBZ.com  

Vince Hurtado Trapper Tackle, Derrek Stewart Writer at Large theBBZ.com  

Before I explain the brilliance of the Trapper, let’s step back and learn how everything started.

Vision and Perseverance

Trapper hooks are the Brain Child of Larry Davidson. Davidson is a lifelong accomplished fisherman as well as a tournament bass angler who has always had a knack for finding a better way of doing things. With a love of fishing and a disdain for losing fish, Davidson hit upon the Trapper idea. 

Davidson shaped the first Trappers so they would better hold a plastic worm and eliminate sliding. He also wanted the hook point to sit so that it would begin penetrating immediately when an angler applies pressure. Davidson’s first field testing proved that his goals were not only met, but there was another great attribute to the design. The bass caught with his new hook design were pinned so well they couldn’t come off, they were trapped! 

The first J Hook; Bone hooks along with prehistoric fishing gear found in a coastal cave on the Island of Timor located in Southeast Asia. Photo by Livescience.com

The first J Hook; Bone hooks along with prehistoric fishing gear found in a coastal cave on the Island of Timor located in Southeast Asia. Photo by Livescience.com

What an amazing accomplishment; For the past 42,000 years of human history the basic design and appearance of the standard fishing hook hasn’t changed, until the Trapper.

Davidson’s next step was to present his idea to the world. Enter George Catuogno the CEO of Landum Outdoors, the parent brand for Trapper Tackle. Landum Outdoors built an elite team of industry professionals around Trapper, taking an excellent concept, and fine-tuning it into greatness.

Attention to Detail

Landum’s team of investors, designers, researchers, developers, and promoters, has done their job well. Every aspect of the hooked was tuned, tested, and refined.  

A Trapper prototype and detail illustrates the line tie aligning with the center axis of the Trapper box.

A Trapper prototype and detail illustrates the line tie aligning with the center axis of the Trapper box.

The alignment of the line tie eye and the center of the box create a perfect system for rigging plastic baits in a straight non-kinked position. The neck behind the line tie has a 60-degree angle compared to typical 90-degree bends. This oblique angle prevents baits from sliding down the neck. Once the bait is correctly placed on a Trapper, it stays in place longer requiring fewer angler adjustments. Subsequently; baits last longer, anglers make more casts, and catch more fish!  

A whacky rigged stick bait and nose hooked shad style worm rigged on a Dropshot Live Bait Finesse Trapper.  

A whacky rigged stick bait and nose hooked shad style worm rigged on a Dropshot Live Bait Finesse Trapper.  

Better by Design

Piercing points don’t rip.

Piercing points don’t rip.

There are two types of hook points; piercing and cutting. Piercing punctures and leaves a symmetrical hole. Cutting points use asymmetrical edges along the hook point that rip flesh. The linear cut will increase in size during the pressure of the fight and can easily contribute to a lost fish. Trappers feature a piercing point.

Two 90 degree turns and a strategically placed barb create the box’s three locking points for a hooked fish.  

Two 90 degree turns and a strategically placed barb create the box’s three locking points for a hooked fish.  

The box design is obviously different than any J-Hook style, but here is the brilliance of the Trapper.  The geometry of the box starts penetration immediately on a smooth pull during the hook set, and once hooked it keeps the fish trapped. When a fish is hooked with a traditional J-Hook, during the fight, fish have the ability to slide up and down, as well as swing back and forth anywhere along the seamless curving wire between the barb and the eye bend of the hook. If things line up for the fish, it can come from a position on the J-Hook shaft and create enough force taking it right past the holding abilities of the hook’s barb, and it’s free.

Trapped; no sliding, no rocking, no pivoting.

Trapped; no sliding, no rocking, no pivoting.

An angler can execute everything correctly but due to traditional hook design and the dynamic forces of a fighting fish J-Hooks can provide our quarry with a means for escape. The Trap has three points that prevent this. A J-Hook has only one, the barb. A fighting fish has to escape the holding mechanisms of a J-Hook only once. With a Trapper, the fighting fish can take itself deeper into the box, and then has to escape three times sequentially.  An angler that executes the hook-set well, and fights a fish soundly has the best odds for landing fish when they’re using a Trapper.

The Trapper also happens to be great news for anglers that fish in regulated waters that require barbless hooks only.  

Trapper Tackle’s current product line. All sizing conforms to industry standards, if you like a 5/0 for your creature baits a 5/0 Trapper is your new hook.

Trapper Tackle’s current product line. All sizing conforms to industry standards, if you like a 5/0 for your creature baits a 5/0 Trapper is your new hook.

The Future

CEO George Catuogno sums it up well, “If given the choice between fishing with a good tool or a great tool, especially when the price point is comparable, it’s an obvious choice.  Like every new tackle product, anglers will want to try something to prove it to themselves, but we’ve seen enough evidence to know that most anglers are going to come to the same conclusions as those who have gone before them -- that this hook is not just evolutionary, it’s revolutionary.  It’s going to change the way people think about hooks, and that excites me.” – George Catuogno

The CEO is right, once you use a better product how can you go back to inferior methods? I’ve verified the Trapper for myself. Trapper Tackle is convinced you will too, sign up for a free sample pack and see for yourself. https://trappertackle.com/

The revolution is upon us, and Trapper Tackle is just getting started. I’m excited, and the possibilities appear to be limitless.   

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