Reviewed by Scott Cushman
As soon as I took a look at them, I was intrigued by Black Magic’s new DX Point hooks, a new style of hook designed with bait fisherman in mind. As soon as you pick them up and have a closer look, you notice a number of differences that distinguish them from all the other hooks in the Black Magic range.
Firstly, they have a different finish from the black high-carbon KS-type hooks, and they’re different again from the Wasabi style hooks, too. The grey finish is the result of what Black Magic describe as PTFE – a special coating technology to make them non-stick; in layman’s terms, think about the non-stick coating you normally find on frypans.
The hooks have a medium-length shank and a curious-looking point, which can make the eyes water just a little bit when you look very closely and behold the details. Four edges and grooves run together to form a needle-sharp point on every hook. They also appear relatively light for their size and are off-set, meaning the bend doesn’t run in line with the shank of the hook but is offset at an angle, to improve the hook set when bait fishing.
From these first impressions my mind raced on to more practical considerations; I was very keen to go and thread on a juicy piece of pilchard and find out if what I saw was going to deliver dinner and some good old-fashioned sport in my back yard, the Hauraki Gulf.
I fished these hooks from the shore and from the boat, straylining for the usual suspects – snapper, kahawai and anything else that swam past. The pack I received contained 5/0 hooks and smaller, which is a little below the size I normally use; they were still perfectly effective, however. The range available is from 1/0 to 6/0 and they’re on the generous side for the hook sizes. I used them individually and also in pairs while fishing strip baits like tuna belly and kahawai fillet.
The hooks are exquisitely sharp, and were excellent at penetrating boney snapper mouths. Fishing with a companion, I noticed my hook-up rate was better by 20-30%, despite both of us receiving roughly equal opportunities to strike at the snapper and kahawai in our berley trail. Not a strictly scientific trial – but my hook-up success was noticeably more by comparison. I also happened to end up with the largest fish of the day, a 3-or-4kg snapper from a shallow, weedy reef.
They performed well and didn’t lose their point or edge, even after being pulled off a section of the reef. I wouldn’t expect that result every time I fished them, as points will eventually go blunt with enough use or abuse, but these hooks are clearly durable.
Given their design (shank length and weight/strength ratio), I would also be confident using them as a live bait hook for small-to-medium game fish, depending on the size of hook, the bait, and the type of fish being targeted. Other testers I spoke to also had success bait fishing – Tony Dawson took a bag of blue cod and commented on the easy penetration and positive hook-set when fishing in southern waters. After using the hooks on 15 or 20 cod, the finish remained intact and the point remained very sharp; signaling a quality production process.
I inspected some hooks I’d used after they’d had several months of sitting in my tackle bag and there was no sign of rust on the bend or point – although there was some discolouration around the eye where the line was still tied, and where a residual piece of bait had been left sitting. From my experience of hooks used in saltwater and left sitting in a tackle box, it takes very little time to see oxidization form; the DX Point hooks were very clean by comparison.
After my experience with the new Back Magic DX Point bait hooks, I would give them a five out of five. The design, finish and effectiveness are all top notch, and I’m looking forward to using them this coming summer on all kinds of fish.