Short Kicker Winners:
Hook shapes vary in so many ways – but the key features that relate to kickers are the angle of the eye and the general shape. Most hooks can be used in conjunction with extensions and kickers except maybe those with out-turned eyes.
Hooks with in-turned eyes like the Mugga and Wide Gape Talon Tip are probably better combined with shorter extensions of up to 2cm as otherwise you may run the risk of closing off the gape if you go to radical. Having said that there’s always room for experimentation – tie some up and test a few out and see what you think works best! There’ll always be variation of how rigs work with different combinations of hooklink materials and even hook sizes so sometimes you need to invest a bit of time into playing with your favourites to get the end result that you’re entirely happy with.
Straight eyed hook patterns, like the awesome Covert Dark Incizor pattern, can naturally take a longer kicker and are ideal for getting a bit more creative – adding an angle into a shrink tube extender to help create a positive directional flip that puts the hook point precisely and consistently down onto the bottom lip and creating stronger hook holds.
There’s another option of course – and that’s readymade kickers like the Covert Hook Aligners. These are realistically a fantastic option as they tend to be designed to work with most hooks as the angle of the kicker has been specified as a versatile angle that works with most hooks and importantly, they don’t need steaming and therefore mean you don’t need to cart a kettle and cooker. Obviously this makes them perfect for angler that are either terribly disorganised (like me, as I rarely seem to have spare rigs tied!) or just for the guys that want the improved rig performance to hand in a convenient form. Lovely!