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How To

GET TO THE POINT

UltraPoint® or AlphaPoint? Making the choice.

Sharp hooks should be the serious angler’s assumption, but when it comes to hook point design, there’s no one-size-fits-all. Specifically, Mustad employs its state-of-the-art, three-stage Opti-Angle™ sharpening technology to create two distinctly different hook styles — UltraPoint® and AlphaPoint®, each made for particular duties.

Laying the foundation, Opti-Angle™ uses a chemical sharpening process to achieve incredible sharpness without sacrificing strength. This process removes less metal from the point, so the hook performs flawlessly. Pairing this with Mustad’s ultra-slick TitanX matte coating yields a sticky sharp hook that’s 10 times more durable than the competitors.

The 4.3 UltraPoint® technology was created to keep hooks sharper longer. This is particularly critical when fishing around heavy cover, such as wood, docks or rocks where inferior hook points can roll or break.

Here, we think about flipping and pitching shallow cover with Texas-rigged plastics in search of largemouth bass, or walking a football head across rocky bottom. These are typically heavy tackle techniques in which the angler uses a stout hook set and relies on Ultrapoint’s durability to ensure an unyielding connection every time.

Another key element here is the fact that your hook point often directly or indirectly comes into contact with the heavy cover. Full-blown snags are an inescapable reality of fishing where the big ones live, but even the lesser interaction of pushing through cover and bumping over inhospitable habitat can wear down a hook lacking the consistency of UltraPoint® technology.

Complementing the UltraPoint® strengths, AlphaPoint® technology creates an even sharper, slimmer hook point that excels for more technical applications that rely more on finesse than force. AlphaPoint hooks feature a hook point that is 4.8 times the wire diameter (compared to the 4.3 measurement of UltraPoint hooks.). A super sharp hook with a longer point achieves greater penetration with less hook set pressure.

A good example of how this new technology helps anglers bring more fish to the net is Bead Fishing. Popular in Pacific Northwest waters, this technique appeals to steelhead feeding on salmon eggs.

Affixing a colored bead about an inch above the hook and drifting the rig through steelhead travel lanes mimics this seasonal food source and often tempts opportunistic predators. Bites can be quick and the moving water scenario complicates the dynamics, so hook set efficiency is critical.

A couple of prominent models in the growing lineup of AlphaPoint hooks are the sturgeon hook and the herring hook. Commonly used for its namesake fish, as well as big catfish and saltwater species, the sturgeon hook is often employed with unattended rods (typically set in gunwale rod holders), so quick, efficient hook penetration stands paramount.

Designed by the Addicted Fishing team, the herring hook (essentially an offset version of the bead hook) is commonly used by salmon anglers trolling dead baits behind downriggers or planers. Here again, clean hook sets can be challenging; but Mustad’s AlphaPoint® technology improves the efficiency.

Other relevant applications include wacky rigging, Neko rigging, dropshotting and any light line applications where you’re limited on the amount of hook set pressure you can apply. Bottom line, AlphaPoint® technology helps you hook more and hold more.

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