Reels | Rods | Lures | SwimbaitsBFS Lines | Terminal Tackle | Tools | Storage | Apparel | Enthusiast | Watercraft | Interviews | Events | Autopsy




Rod Review

An exciting new grip design brought to you by Hookhider!

Date: 3/11/02
Tackle type: Rod
Manufacturer: Hookhider
Reviewer: JIP

Total Score: 8.83 + INNOVATION AWARD

Introduction: Hookhider produces a quality line of lightweight graphite baitcasting and spinning fishing rods.  What makes Hookhider rods unique is their revolutionary patented grip design that allows anglers trouble-free fishing.  We take a closer look at the Hookhider IM8 Pro Series 147C casting rod that sport this innovative patented grip.


Hookhider IM8 Pro Series (147C) Specifications

Material IM8 graphite
Length 6'6"
Line Weight 10-20lb.
Lure Weight 1/4-5/8oz.
Power Medium
Pieces 1
Color Matte Green
MSRP $69.95

About Hookhider: Hookhider is a fast growing manufacturer that produces high quality custom fishing rods that utilize their patented fishing rod grip design to keep lure hooks from getting tangled with other objects when not in use.  Hookhider was founded in 1998 in Gainesville, Missouri and is led by CEO Bob Bushner.  Hookhider's rapid growth has been phenomenal and this year they added 5 more new fishing rods that feature their Hookhider grip to strengthen their position in the fishing rod market.


Impressions: When we first looked at the Hookhider IM8 Pro Series 147C casting rod we noticed something right away.  The handle has Hookhider's revolutionary patented grip attached to it.  Does it look weird, funny, out of place, uncomfortable, or in anyway decrease fishing performance?  Nope!  We held it in our hands for a while and it felt like any other fishing rod grip, except the exciting Hookhider grip provides an ADDED VALUE to the quality fishing rod.  The grip allows you to hide the hooks of your lure inside the tube which is a great idea especially if you hate snags when your rods are rigged and not in use.


Presenting the revolutionary Hookhider grip... a truly inventive product that adds value to any fishing rod


Complete Rig for Pro Series (147C)

Rod Hookhider IM8 Pro Series (147C)
Reel Quantum Energy PT (E600PT)
Line 12lb. Trilene XL

The next glance at the nice looking Matte Green 147C brought our attention to the guides.  No, they are not what everyone else uses.  This Hookhider IM8 Pro Series rod uses 7 Pacific Bay's high quality Titanium Oxide rings.  These rings are diamond polished to a smoother surface and are harder than the aluminum oxide guides.  These guides are strong, durable, and have been used by Hookhider and other manufacturers for many years with great success.


One thing I did notice is the exposed reel seat.  The cut-out to expose the blank is not perfectly smooth and has some rough edges.  The edge in the ellipse is not smooth, but since I have only seen one of the Hookhider IM8 Pro Series 147C rods I can't conclude that all their rods are like that.  This will definitely not decrease the rod's performance in anyway.


Hookhider's Revolutionary Grip: This new revolutionary grip design features a slotted tubular section located at the butt of the rod.  The handle is constructed with a glass-filled nylon to keep it light without sacrificing durability.  This inventive grip design allows anglers to conveniently rig up and store the hooks of the lures when they are not in use to prevent something all anglers dislike... the hassle of unhooking snagged lures on marine carpet, other lures, fishing line, their pets, kids, and much more.  

The slotted-tubular Hookhider grip designed to "fit"

All Hookhider rods employ this exciting grip, but they also manufacture and sell conversion grip kits.  This conversion kit allows anyone to transform any straight handled blank-through fishing rod to utilize the Hookhider's patented grip concept.  All grips have inlaid Portuguese cork for maximum comfort.

The Test Plan: Whenever any new product (car, boat, electronics, etc.) is introduced to the market people are always wary of it's performance, durability, and many other factors that might prevent them from trying that item.  This thought might be in your head just about now about the Hookhider IM8 Pro Series 147C baitcast rod.  Thus I will break down my testing into two different sections.  Section I will be testing the IM8 147C as a whole to see how well this rod performs compared to anything else on the market.  Section II will consist of tests on the Hookhider patented grip design - how it performs, it's durability, if it effects the fishing rod in any way, and more.


Section I: The Rod

Hookhider's IM8 Pro Series 147C casting rod is made of a unique combination of materials that focus on four major factors: durability, strength, flexibility, and sensitivity.  I paired the Hookhider up with the Quantum Energy PT and ventured into 7 full days of pre-spawn Bassin' plus lab tests.  After multi-day use and just holding the rod in my hands for extended long period of time the rod felt comfortable.  The rod and reel combo, along with a 1/2 ounce spinnerbait at the end of the line gave this rod a good weight balance.  Having a balanced feel while grasping the rod is very important especially in the overall comfort.  In addition the grip uses quality cork from Portugal and the lightweight IM8 graphite construction.
Casting & Accuracy: The Hookhider rod makes casting simple.  This is due to it's flexible design.  Cast cast cast... it does not take much effort.  Just let the rod do all the work for you.  The rod has a strong butt, but really flexible.  I noticed how the rod bends when landing fish and during lab tests.  The rod flexes a little above the mid-point of the rod.  With the flexibility in the IM8 Pro Series 147C rod I am able to cast further than normal.


Accuracy is very important when fishing, especially around structure.  Even though this Hookhider fishing rod is flexible it didn't cause any decrease in accuracy.  I was able to hit my targets everytime and the flexibility assisted me in pitching and hitting the right spots.

Sensitivity: IM8 graphite as many might know is a high modulus graphite that increases sensitivity and decreases the weight.  Hookhider 147C exhibits these characteristics, and with other design factors such as the reel seat that exposes the blank to increase the sensitivity to one's hand.  How did the Hookhider do in our lab tests?  First the telegraph test.  We spoke in different levels and was able to sense all the levels of speech.  Okay, some might think this test is not in a controlled environment.  I will perform my next test in our lab that is controlled.  With our test device I am able to increase the level of vibration in decibels and the frequency of the hits sent to the rod tip.  By doing this I am able to collect data and compare this to other rods that went through the exact same tests.  So how did Hookhider's IM8 do compared to Brand X, Y, and Z in this test?  I have side by side graphs, plots, and data to show that the Hookhider 147C is nearly as sensitive as some of the premium rods.

During days out fishing I was also able to test if I can feel fish strikes, bumps on the bottom of lakes, and more.  The IM8 Pro Series 147C is a rod that I like to fish crankbaits with.  I am able to feel vibrations from the lures, when they hit structures, and more.

Power: You said that the Hookhider 147C is flexible right? Yes, that's right.  But this rod performs well when hook setting because of the unique Hookhider design that gives the rod incredible butt strength and overall rod durability.  I am able to muscle the fish into the boat with ease.

Section II: The Grip


As explained above the Hookhider patented grip is a tubular design that adds value to your rod and to your fishing experience.  Instead of attaching your hooks on guides, hooking rings, or anything else when your lure is rigged, just place it inside the Hookhider grip to prevent any snags on anything.  I found that the grip did not degrade the overall performance of the rod, but added a value to the rod that I found very useful.


The Hookhider Grip holds onto your crankbaits nicely and will never come out until you remove it


Usage: The Hookhider grip is tubular and slotted to fit many type of lures.  So how easy is it to get your hooks into the grip?  Well, the Hookhider grips come in 5 inches in length with a diameter of 1 inch or 6 inches in length with a 1.25 inches in diameter.  From my large selection of lures(crankbaits, jerkbaits, spinners, normal hooks, etc.) I was able to fit them all into the grip without any problems.  Just pop off the rubber plug at the end of the butt and insert your crankbait hooks into the tube.  Replace the rubber stopper and your good to go.


Simply insert the hooks to keep them out of harms way.  The ease of use is a big plus


With single hooks you can just attach them inside the Hookhider grip and tighten your line just like with any other fishing rods that have a hook ring.  This is so simple anyone can use this, even kids.


The patented grip design can accommodate any type of lures, even single hook products like a spinnerbait


Performance: The Hookhider grip is used for one reason... to prevent something that we all hate... snags!  I would have to say it's a pain to un-snag hooks that catch on nets, other lures, clothing, carpets, and any other items where my rods and lures venture to.  I found the patented grip very helpful when I transport my rods rigged-ready to fish, when the rods are on the boat, and when they are stored at home.  The Hookhider grip prevented any snags in all these places.  This great idea in a grip design allowed me to fish more instead of wasting time untangling hooks.  The slotted-tubular grip held the hooks and lure in place and I didn't have to worry about it hooking anyone or anything.


Durability: How durable is the Hookhider grip since it's slotted and tubular?  The grip is created using glass-filled nylon that's durable enough because it passed my barbaric tests.  One place the grip will be is in your hands.  I gripped the handle in many different ways and squeezed it as hard as I could.  The grip flexes a little, but it didn't break after at least 50 reps(good hand workout!).  Another place where this grip would be is either on the floor or on the deck of your boat which has the potentially to be stepped on.  I fish with my backpacking boots on and they have hard soles.  I stepped hard on the grip laying flat against the boat and at approximately 20 degrees.  I tried this many times and didn't experience any failures nor damages.

Hookhider 147C Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality High quality IM8 Graphite along with the Titanium oxide guides plus the solid Hookhider grip that's attached to the rod makes this rod exceptional compared to others of this price.  The reel seat cut-out on the tested rod wasn't up to par according to my standards 8
Performance The rod design factors: durability, flexibility, sensitivity, and lightweight are all there.  In addition the Grip is very useful!  A package that creates a better rod 9
Price Can't beat this price for a rod like this, and with a patented grip design. 9
Features A good rod that comes with Hookhider's revolutionary patented grip 9.5
Design (Ergonomics) Designed with lightweight IM8, quality cork,  and other ergonomics that allow fishing with minimal fatigue 8
Application An excellent rod that's useful in many way.  Plus the innovative grip design allowed anglers hassle-free fishing by preventing snags and more 9.5

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Revolutionary Grip design! L Rough edge on reel seat blank through
J Flexible  
J Sensitive  
J Durable  
J Great price  

Conclusion: Nowadays there are many rod manufacturers and custom rod makers that can put together a good quality rod.  It's the little tweaks and new technologies that separate the few from the many.  Bob Bushner and the Hookhider team produces quality fishing rods that concentrate on four major factors at an affordable price.  But the unique Patented Revolutionary Hookhider Grip design and concept is the main feature that sets them apart from everyone else.  The exciting Hookhider grip provides anglers with a new and useful way to keep the lure hooks out of harms way.  Hookhider is committed to manufacturing high quality fishing rods that employ their innovative patented grip concept that adds value to an angler's fishing experience.  This true dedication by bringing an entirely new revolutionary product to the anglers and the sport of fishing makes Hookhider a deserving recipient of TackleTour's "Innovation Award!!!"











Copyright 2000-2023 TackleTour LLC All rights reserved.
Privacy Policy information