When it comes to baits and lures, most people buy them assuming their design is sound and trouble-free. However, this isn’t always the case with some anglers. I recently spoke to a fisherman who isn’t particularly fond of treble hooks. “Always getting tangled in my tackle box,” he replied when I asked why he wasn’t a fan of trebles. He switched a lot of his treble hooks out for single hooks, and swears he doesn’t have the same problems anymore. If you’ve had similar issues with your treble hooks, then keep reading for a look at how exchanging trebles for singles may work for you.
Let me preface this by stating that many people either don’t have problems with treble hook snags, or simply don’t mind the few minutes it may take to sort them out, but more than once I’ve heard stories from anglers who’ve extracted trebles from their flesh. Children are especially susceptible to this, so it may be smart to switch to single hooks if you’re fishing with kids.
Furthermore, treble hooks are more prone to potentially damage a fish’s mouth. Yes, you might lose a few fish by going with single hooks, but you’ll also lower the risk of harming them, as well.
The vast majority of inline spinners are equipped with treble hooks, but you can switch them out and still have success using them. Most inline spinner hooks aren’t attached with a split ring, so you can use wire snips to remove the treble hooks if you want to replace them with singles. If the hook eye is smaller, clip the eye in two places to create a gap and slip it off the body wire. Then, replace it with open-eye hooks and close them with needle-nose pliers.
Before you change any treble hooks on your hardbaits, it’s smart to monitor the baits’ performance so you can compare it with their performance with single hooks. Remember, your bait’s action and whether or not it runs true in the water are more important when it comes to catching fish than a few moments of tangles in your tackle box. For many baits, you can easily replace the treble hooks with 1/0 or 2/0 ringed live bait hooks. If you do this, you can remove the belly treble altogether, or replace it with a ringed live bait hook with the point facing forward. The hook point on the trailing hook should face up, as well.
Most anglers won’t ever consider replacing their lures’ treble hooks with singles, but some may find doing so to make sorting through tackle boxes and avoiding self-inflicted hooked flesh a little easier. Consider the tips outlined above if you count yourself as such an angler. Sure, you may lose a few more fish, but the reduced stress just may be worth it. It’s your call.