Black Magic, being a New Zealand-owned and operated company, is situated in the perfect fishing environment for a hook manufacturer. Big snapper, kingfish, whiting and all manner of offshore species that anglers target allow them to design some very clever hook shapes and styles.
Many Australian anglers, myself included, have been using their KL, and C Point hooks with great success for some time. They are high-quality Japanese carbon steel hooks that offer great value for money.
One style of fishing the Kiwis and southern Australians share is stray-lining. This is employed for species such as snapper where the fish are targeted with whole fish baits such as pilchards, silver whiting or strip baits. The main premise in this method is that there is very minimal weight on the rig – at times none at all – and reels are fished in free-spool mode or without any drag. This is common practice, especially when targeting snapper. The idea behind this style of fishing is that the fish can pick up a bait that is floating naturally in the water column and not feel any weight from the reel’s drag system. Once the angler can see, or hear via the drag clicker, that the fish is running with the bait, he then engages the drag and strikes to set the hooks.
This style of fishing, as you can imagine, requires a sharp hook that offers quick penetration, as there is a very short time frame to set those hooks. It also requires a strong hook that can withstand heavy drag pressure. This is especially so when targeting fish offshore or in bays that experience strong current.
Stray lining generally utilises suicide hooks often snelled in a twin configuration for long baits such as pilchards or flesh strips. This twin hook configuration provides excellent hook-up rates and ensures the fish is hooked regardless of which end it takes the bait.
With a keen understanding of this specific, yet very popular, style of fishing, Black Magic set out to design a hook that had attributes to suit this specific target method and has come up with the DX Point hook.
The first and most noticeable feature of the DX is its colour. It’s a flat grey colour as opposed to a red or black and this is due to the fact that it’s coated in polytetrafluoroethylene, or PTFE. I don’t expect anyone to know what that is but it’s the same stuff that frying pans are coated with so they are non-stick. This coating has been designed to offer better and faster penetration when you strike, which in turn provides a better hook set in a tough jaw. The coating is definitely slippery, as you can feel when handling the hook. It was impossible for me to ascertain while catching the snapper pictured if this actually had any benefits, but as I can feel it’s quite slippery I am assuming it could only be beneficial. Regardless of it being non-stick or offering better penetration, it is definitely more durable and rust-resistant. I was able to test this by not washing my hooks after use. It’s been three weeks and they’ve showed only minor tea stains and no detrimental signs of corrosion.
The other new and clearly advantageous feature of the DX hook is its point. Rather than just being a simple point or a double-sided edge, it’s an engineered point that features four micro cutting edges. These edges are designed to aid hook penetration by having the point cut, and not just push its point into the fish’s jaw. Not only is it designed to make hook penetration superior, it also allows the hook point to remain sharper for longer after it has caught quite a few fish. It also makes it easier when pushing hooks through whole fish baits such as pilchards and silver whiting and I definitely noticed the difference while baiting the hook.
I’ll admit I’m a fan of Black Magic hooks, and I really like the concept of the DX Point hook. As someone who has missed countless fish while stray-lining for snapper I understand the importance of a quality hook when targeting fish with hard jaws with light drag pressures. It’s hard for me to ascertain whether or not the features of the DX Point accounted for the hook-up of the snapper I caught on the day I was testing them. What I can say for certain is this: it was a very finicky bite and I managed to set the hooks easily. You can feel that the point is extremely sharp and that the coating is slippery. I can also attest to their excellent corrosion resistance.
Taking all this into account I think it’s fair to say this is an excellent hook and a very intelligent design. I have complete faith in the concept and I’ll continue to use them and recommend them to other anglers. While they are slightly more expensive than Black Magic’s other hooks, the durability alone makes them well worth the few extra dollars.