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buzbunni

To treble or not-to-treble, that is the question.

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buzbunni

I figure this is as good a forum as any to post this question since there are so many smallmouth nuts here.

I'm considering de-trebling, or modifying in some way, many of my lures with treble hooks.

In my experience they are just a pain in the butt, and while the extra barbs may help me land a few more fish, a few lost fish is a "price" I'd be willing to pay to prevent damage(and just the general pain in the butt of removing these sometimes) to fish. My main problems is with cranks and topwaters; especially topwaters. It seems the smallies attack the head first anyhow, and that trailing treble often hooks them in the gills or belly/pectoral area. I am not as concernd with the inline spinners, but wouldn't mind trimming off two of the three hooks(I'd like to keep the dressing on some) and leaving it at that.

I'm curious what everybody's opinion might be on this subject, and has anyone done this already? Is the dressing that is on the tail-end of some surface chuggers an important tempting morsel in most cases(I cold always trim the hooks off and leave the teaser on I suppose)? Plus, what tool would clip off the hooks?

------------------
SERIOUSLY! It was THIS big!

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EBass

Good Q Buz.

I wanted to try this out on some cranks, but from fear of loosing fish to plain ol laziness I haven't. I've see a top water plug of some sort have a single gamikasu hook on the tail of said lure. Which is something I should try this year. But I don't know about the treble on the belly. They (fish) can hit it from so many angles plus the body of the lure is thick there. I guess it wouldn't hurt to experiment. I'll replace some tail treble hooks with single hooks and will try them out and see what my hooking percentage is. Oh wait, that means I have to get them to hit it first.

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disco

i've debarbed all my trebles in the tackle box..... with so many hooks, you don't lose fish, and it makes the hook removal so much easier......

also, on raps or other cranks with three trebles, i usually remove the middle treble.... two trebles usually does the trick, and again, makes the hook removal that much easier (and safer-- an eight pound northern with three barbed trebles and teeth floppin around can be a recipe for a problem)

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disco

oh yeah.... if you are looking for a tool to accomplish this with, a simple screwdriver generally does the trick..... usually the hooks are screwed into the body of the lure with a tiny bracket of some kind..... remove the bracket, then remove the hook...... if that's not going to work, just take a pair of wire-cutters and clip the hook as close to the lure as possible..... if you want to make them single hooks (instead of trebles), don't bother replacing them with single hooks, just clip two of the three trebles off......

i'm partial to the trebles for all the reasons ebass mentioned..... a debarbed treble seems more effective than a barbed single hook, as long as you keep the hooks sharp..... and they pop right out when ya grab em with pliers....

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BigMike

Buz - great question and the treble hooking problem is one that I'm sure all of us have dealt with in some way or another.

If you are thinking about changing/trimming hooks down to a single hook, I would first try to swap them out for one single hook - especially the back hook. On a lot of saltwater topwater lures, they only have a single hook (size of a spinnerbait trailer hook). I wouldn't put something of that size on but I would consider a 1/0 hook. If you change the hooks to a single barb be sure to put a split ring on to help with hooking percentage. You can swap most hooks out by unscrewing the bracket with a small screwdriver or using pliers to unscrew an eyelet (ie - tiny torpedos).

Another option would to just take off the front treble hook. I've seen several shows where they have taken off the front treble and gone with just the back hooks - even swapped out the back treble for a larger one. You may miss a couple fish, but I think you'll be surprised.

As for taking hooks off/swapping them out, I would just use wire cutters or unscrew them. If your lures don't have screwed brackets/eyelets just snip them with cutters and then use a small split ring to re-attach your trebles. Some have mentioned snipping two of the three hooks off, that's up to you, but if I was going to do that I would opt for upgrading to a bigger single hook.

As for the dressed trebles - I love the feathered hooks on the back of a topwater plug. The feathers give a lifelike tail action to your lures and help disguise the hooks better.

So you have a few options now - crimp your barbs down, change hooks to a single hook, go with just the rear treble. Pretty soon we'll have all winter long to doctor up our lures - have fun!

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PikeTipper

Would switching the treble hooks to singles have any effect on the action of the lure? I pinched my barbs this spring and it has been great for releasing fish.

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BigMike

It shouldn't have too much (if any) effect on your lure's action. Check around on the web for saltwater lures and you'll see several with just single hooks on topwater & swimming plugs. A 1/0 or slightly smaller hook should be just about the same weight as a standard treble.

I stick to the trebles just because I have just gotten used to them. A good set of pliers has always helped. But if you are consistently having hooking issues (gills & fins) try some of the above suggestions.

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EBass

I pinch my barbs on my scum frogs and it's a way easier time getting the hooks out. I have had a few nice bass toss my crankbait while jumping. Then I had some that had all three trebles in the mouth to. Hmm...

I'm going to give a single hook on the back a try. Like BM said a 1/0 off set hook like I use for plastics. I'll try it out. Everyone try something out this weekend and we'll compare notes next week. Kewl?

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Lost

I had one hard time removing a treble from a northerns mouth once. The hook basically held its mouth shut. All three hooks were in it, two in the top lip, one in the bottom. I'm sure if it were just down to two hooks or just a single hook it would have been a much easier time removing the hook. Barbless would have also made it easier. But for now, I think I'm going to stick with what I've got since I'm still in the learning how to use the artificials stage.

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