For years, every time I pull in a toothy or unwanted fish while kayak fishing, I reach for my Baker hookouts. The little tool has always been reliable at removing hooks and keeping my fingers safely out of the way. This is why I was extremely excited to receive and review the new Magnum "T" Hookouts from Baker.
The hookouts advertise a 20 inch reach and a large, easy to use handle. The purpose of these hookouts are to quickly and efficiently remove hooks from a fish with minimal damage. Soon after receiving the hookouts, I took them kayak fishing with me.
I tend to saltwater fish MUCH more than freshwater fish and I feel as though carrying hookouts is a necessity, since the majority of the fish that I pull into the kayak tend to have a nice set of chompers. My first test was a speckled trout that I caught on a topwater plug. The plug had two treble hooks that buried themselves deeply in the fish's mouth. I grabbed the Magnum "T" and started trying to pry the lure free. I soon discovered, however, that the hookouts had some trouble removing the treble hooks. I eventually got the lure loose and released the fish, but it wasn't without some difficulty. This is where I think it is important to note the design of the Magnum "T".
The locking 'hook' on the end of the hookouts appears to be designed for the removal of single hooks. This is because when one locks the hookouts onto a hook, they are designed to twist, reverse the angle of the hook, and remove it. The problem with treble hooks is that often one has more than one point of the treble hook in the fish. If this is the case, reversing the hook angle is almost impossible since the hook is lodged in two crossing angles. However, once only one of the points remains in the fish, the hookouts do their job quite effectively and remove the hook entirely.
Later in the day, I began throwing soft plastics around in hopes of catching trout, flounder, or redfish. To my dismay, I started catching croakers. The first croaker that I pulled into the boat, I grabbed, began to pry the hook free with my hands, and then felt a sharp pain in my fingers.
Turns out the dumb little fish which I assumed was harmless, cut my fingers with his gill plate. It wasn't a bad cut, but resembled something like a paper cut. Not wishing to have this happen again, I started using my Magnum "T" hookouts again. This time, the hookouts performed perfectly. The single hook design of my soft plastic lure made it easy to grab the hook and quickly remove it. And yes, it was rather difficult to film/photograph while removing the hook.
The next day I took the hookouts with me again and was lucky enough to actually catch some toothy critters.
I discovered after catching a few sharks, that the hookouts work best when the fish is actually hooked in the mouth. Foul hooked fish create a whole new set of challenges when removing the hook. The fact sharks also have such thick skin made things difficult.
Design: The Magnum "T" Hookouts from Baker are very well designed. The long reach keeps one well away from sharp teeth or fins. The squeeze trigger also works perfectly and locks in the hook very well. However, they don't float (whoops) and one must be careful not to stab themselves with the sharp tip (at least us clumsy people).
Function: The hookouts do exactly what they say they'll do which is remove hooks from fish safely. As stated earlier though, they work best with single hooks, not treble hooks. Once the hook is locked it's just a simple twist of the wrist and the fish is free. I also noticed that it can often be challenging to lock onto a hook when using artificials/lures as the lure body can get in the way.
- Long reach keeps one safe from teeth
- Easy to use trigger system locks hooks quite easily
- Stainless steel design ensures no rusting
- Easy hook removal once hook is locked
- Minimal damage to fish for catch and release fishing
- Doesn't float
- Has a tough time with treble hooks
- Often difficult to lock onto the hook when fishing with lures/artificials
I gave the Baker Magnum "T" Hookouts four (4) stars because it did exactly what it was designed to do: Safely remove hooks from fish for catch and release purposes. The product is of a very sound design and it functions quite well. The reason it did not receive a full five (5) stars is that it is difficult to remove treble hooks from fish, sometimes hard to lock onto a hook with a lure, and sinks like a stone if dropped in the water. This product would be absolutely -perfectfor removing hooks while bait fishing with single hooks. Whether it's offshore for snapper and grouper, or inshore for trout and reds, if one bait fishes with a single hook, there will be no problems safely removing the hook. It is for this reason, that the hookouts received four (4) stars and not three (3). The Baker Magnum "T" Hookout is a product that I will definitely carry with me in the future, especially when I go on offshore snapper fishing trips where it is often necessary to safely release undersized fish.
The Baker Magnum "T" Hookouts featured in this gear review was given to me at no cost through the efforts of the Outdoor Blogger Network in exchange for an honest product review. All ideas expressed within this review are my own personal thoughts and opinions of the product and I received no compensation for the review. Any reviews featured on Outdoor Adventures my honest and unbiased opinions. If one has any questions or concerns regarding the review or product at hand, please feel free to contact me through the 'contact' page at the top of the website.
The Amazing Five Star Rating System:
***** Five Stars (The be all-end all greatest thing that I cannot go without. Best thing next to sliced bread and pockets on jeans. I simply must have it with me)
**** Four Stars (An absolutely great product. Something that does its job and serves its purpose in my arsenal of gear. Almost always carry it with me)
*** Three Stars (An average product. Something that I can function in life without. It has its usefulness at times, but is often unneeded or is of relatively poor design)
** Two Stars (A poor product. Something that either makes my life more difficult, gets in my way, or succeeds in giving me ulcers. Likes to break and finds itself gathering dust on my shelf)
* One Star (A terrible product. Something that serves no purpose and doesn't even do what it's supposed to do. Often too large to be flushed down the toilet and renders itself a waste of time, space, and money)
About the Author: Alex is a Wildlife Ecology major at The University of Florida. He is also pursuing a minor in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. His major hobbies include hunting and fishing with a strong focus on fly fishing, kayaking, and bow hunting. With close to twenty years of fishing experience, he has targeted everything from Yellowfin Tuna off of Louisiana, to Tarpon and Snook in the Everglades. With a decade of hunting experience under his belt, he focuses almost entirely on bow hunting for Whitetail. He hopes to finish school and land a job in Florida with FWC or USFW as a Wildlife Biologist and obtain a captain's license soon afterward. Alex is also the author of TheFlyingKayak.Blogspot.com.