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Rick Windham: Build a better hook and they will come

Rick Windham: Build a better hook and they will come

It happens to all of us sooner or later. As our eyes age we may need some help seeing things, particularly smaller things or items with finer detail.

I’m sure that many of those reading this column may have a story about frustrations of tying a No. 6 Aberdeen fish hook on to 4-pound test line. The eye of that hook is pretty small and threading that fine line through the eye, especially in subdued light, can be very frustrating.

Charlie Noack, president and founder of Valley Hook Co., was on my radio show recently to talk about this very thing. He ran into that same problem.

“It was May of 2014. That was the date when my eye doctor told me I needed cheaters. I was like — no, no, no! I’m a fisherman, I need my eyes to tie the hook on the line,” Noack said. “So instead of pouting, I invented a tieless hook … a win-win in my eyes.

“It took about a year and a half to get the hook where I wanted it. I had hired two field testers to get me 30 videos of them catching fish on the Valley Hook. I took their suggestions and modified the croc end, the end of the hook that normally has the eye and looks like a shepherds crook, until it was near perfect,” Noack said. “It not only has an automatic Snell affect, but it also makes it safer for the fish so you can release them more easily without as much damage.

“We are the only tieless fishing tackle company in the world,” he said. “The patented design makes attaching tackle to your line so easy, no cheaters needed! The hook and clasps are patented. I have three patents, and four more patents pending. We have the tieless size six hook, the mini clasp, the senior clasp and 13 spinners. We have had them on the market about 12 months now. We will also be adding a couple new items this spring to the line-up as well.”

Everything I heard sounded well and good, but now for the question every angler wants to know: How easy is it to use?

“It’s very simple,” Noack said. “Tie a simple overhand knot at the end of your braided line, make a loop, pull it into the shepherds crook, and come at least one time around creating the cinch to lock it into place. That’s it, you’re ready to go fishing.”

After our radio interview I took one of the samples that Noack had sent me and tried to tie it on a 6-pound test line. It took less that five seconds and held tight.

The instructions that come with the hooks say you should use a line of .012 diameter or larger. I tied my hook on with monofilament line, not the braided line that Noack recommends, because I didn’t have braided line handy. I can see where a braided line would be much more secure and a stronger attachment.

I found a great video of Noack and his invention on YouTube. Look up, “No More Tying A Fishing Knot! More Time For Fishing!” and see how to use Noack’s tieless system, the different hooks and spinners in action. It is worth five minutes to watch it.

I asked Noack where you could find his products in Nebraska.

“Nobody yet, but hopefully soon,” Noack answered. “We sell on our website, We are just starting to branch out and get the distributors involved.

“One final note I’d like to mention. Our products were designed for the novice and for people that have a physical disability that may not allow them to fish,” he said. “Normally I would need cheaters to see, but I don’t using my products. We’ve worked with people who have disabilities and you can attach my products if you were blind, have only one hand, or other dexterity problems. We donate our products to the Wounded Warriors of Wisconsin, and to the M.A. Daily Foundation. We are learning that the average fisherman like easy, and our products are easier than anything on the market.”

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