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Thread: Changing trebles to inline hooks

  1. #1
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    Default Changing trebles to inline hooks

    On my last two guided kayak outings in TX and FL the guides gave me a Heddon Super Spook Jr. to throw. Believe it or not, I had never fished a "walk-the-dog" lure prior to last November. I quickly learned the technique and I was quite impressed at the back and forth motion of the Heddon lure. It looks much like a snake slithering through the water. I caught specks and reds on it and I strongly suspect it will work for stripers here. At 3.5 inches the Spook Jr. is a perfect size for light tackle casting.

    However, neither guide fished the lure with in-line hooks. They left the stock trebles on it. I do not like fishing with trebles for the common reasons that have often been cited here -- they're hard to remove from a fish and they pose a hazard to the angler when landing a particularly active catch.

    Today I visited Bass Pro and picked up a Heddon Spook Jr. and some inline hooks to put on it. Special thanks to Harry (On-the-fly) for finding those VMC inline hooks for me. Darned if I could see them in the racks. Harry went right to them.

    Spook Start.jpg

    Note the inline hook I chose was a 2/0. I don't know what size the trebles were but my goal was to approximate their gap with the inline hook. See here:

    Hooks.jpg

    Even though the Heddon lure I purchased did not come with a dressed rear hook, I decided to tie some bucktail and feathers on it. I like to dress the rear hook on my surface lures the same as I do on fly rod poppers. I'm not sure it's needed on a hard plastic baits but I think it provides a little more attraction to the fish. It can't hurt, I believe.

    Hook tied.jpg

    I tied in white bucktail a few strands of red crystal flash and get this...pelican feathers. They were retrieved off the water by Tampa kayak guide Neil Taylor and brought to me by John Veil. I'm reasonably certain I'll be one of few anglers casting a Heddon Spook Jr. to stripers this year with pelican feathers on the rear hook!

    If you're going to change hooks on lures split ring pliers are invaluable.

    Pliers.jpg

    So here is the before and after versions of my new walk-the-dog topwater bait:

    Spook Before.jpg Spook Complete.jpg

    I'm looking forward to using it.
    Mark

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  2. #2
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    Hey bud, it's funny you mention this because I did the same thing on my xraps today. I had the inline hooks for a few months and I finally put them on today. I'll be giving them a shot and I'm hoping hookup percentage goes up with big fish. I've lost a lot of fish on trebles. A single point penetrates better and is better for the fish and fisherman. I hope the lure action isn't impacted. Good luck and I'll let you know how I fair with 'em.
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    Alan

  3. #3
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    Every hard bait I own has single in line hooks...I prefer the Owner hooks over the VMC because they don’t rust as quickly and order mine online with BassPro...my Mirrolures were a challenge but I added split rings and then the in line hooks worked great....all my top water poppers, top Dogs, Poppa Dogs, Crystal minnows, minicrankbaits...everything has in line single hooks...and has had for more than a year...caught my biggest Redfish last year on my mini crankbait with #4 Owner in line single hooks...
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  4. #4
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    Alan,

    I've put in-line hooks on Rapala Skitter Pops and X-Raps, Bill Lewis Rat-L-Traps and poppers I've assembled from non-name brand plastic bodies. Each have worked. I notice no difference in the lures' actions and no difference in hookups. Of course, I'm not a professional angler, a guide or charter captain. If I miss a fish, no big deal.

    I once had occasion to raise the issue with an official from a nationally known lure maker in the U.S. I asked why they didn't produce lures with in-line hooks. He said to me that his company had done studies to prove trebles produce more hookups. He also said professional bass anglers they sponsor swear by the trebles and that their continuing endorsement is critically important to his company.

    On the other hand, I saw today in Bass Pro that some of Rapala's hard plastic baits for salt water had in-line hooks.
    Mark

    Slate Hobie Revolution 13
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    Author: The Simple Joys of Kayak Fishing (Tips and Tales From an Old Guy in His Plastic Boat)
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  5. #5
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    Here is a picture of the mirroluresIMG_3650.JPG


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    "Wet Dream" 2011 yellow Ocean Prowler 13

  6. #6
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    Looking good Mark. I need to do that with my Whopper Ploppers

  7. #7
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    For pure poppers, I remove the middle hook entirely. I dress the back hook.

    Popper After.jpg IMG_0308.jpg

    The good thing about that is that I can use the popper body as a handle to control the fish when I get it boat-side.
    Mark

    Slate Hobie Revolution 13
    Hidden Oak Native Ultimate 12
    Red Native Ultimate 14.5

    Author: The Simple Joys of Kayak Fishing (Tips and Tales From an Old Guy in His Plastic Boat)
    Available on Amazon.com and via PM

  8. #8
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    i put dressed hooks on my spooks (my fav lure) but ditched them....the extra drag seemed to change the action.....maybe if i'd tied them sparser....?
    14.5 ft Sand colored Malibu X-Factor "the promise"
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevinfry View Post
    i put dressed hooks on my spooks (my fav lure) but ditched them....the extra drag seemed to change the action.....maybe if i'd tied them sparser....?
    We’ll see. I noticed that Heddon offers some Spook Jr. models with dressed rear hooks. If the bucktail or feathers impede the wobble they are easily removed. But yes, less is often better when tying.
    Mark

    Slate Hobie Revolution 13
    Hidden Oak Native Ultimate 12
    Red Native Ultimate 14.5

    Author: The Simple Joys of Kayak Fishing (Tips and Tales From an Old Guy in His Plastic Boat)
    Available on Amazon.com and via PM

  10. #10
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    btw....you ever use bone colored spooks? For me it is 2 to 1 better than other colors.....
    14.5 ft Sand colored Malibu X-Factor "the promise"
    2010 Hobie Outback "the Gift Horse II"

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