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Haven't been out much this year and so while sitting around the house wanting to do something fish related I replaced most of the treble hooks on my spooks etc.

Tonight I got a few casts in. I would say the hook up ratio was 1 in 15 and that 1 was not a solid hook set. The hooks I switched to are VMC ILS 3/0 2/0 and a couple 1/0.
One more night like this and the trebles are going back on. any suggestions?
thanks
dgwelsh
 

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I just bend two of the hooks of a treble into a tight C shape so only one hook will catch the fish. Lure action remains the same but the smaller hook seems to grab better then a larger single replacement does.

I leave the hook facing down on the belly and facing up on the tail. Seems to do best this way.

One advantage - if the open hook breaks off - I can unbend one of the others and keep fishing.
 

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I take off the front treble on all surface lures, and I sometimes cut off one of the singles of the rear treble to make it a double. That approach preserves the tail hook dressing (mylar, feathers, bucktail).
 

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I used these on the Gotcha and rattletrap, and have had no major issues with lost fish.

Owner Single Replacement Hook X Strong
http://www.tacklewarehouse.com/Owner_Single_Replacement_Hook_X_Strong/descpage-OSRH.html
http://www.jaggedtoothtackle.com/index.php?l=product_list&c=1122
There are sources on the internet that tell you which size of these replacement hooks to use with what size treble.
Careful, these puppies are sharp!
:eek2:

On the top water Chug Bug, I mashed the trebles down, and the fish come off for a quick release very easily. Skip's idea sounds like a good one too.
 

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Duncan, I started experimenting with this last year. I also noticed my hookup ratio wasn't as good. I use only 1/0 hooks now and have noticed a better hookup ratio. Of course with a lot of the smaller fish we are seeing right now, even the 1/0 might not be as "effective." I have started experimenting with some thinner hooks I got from Shore Tackle but haven't had enough time on the water with them yet........
 

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I used these with good results. I dressed the tail hook before swapping out the trebles...

I used these on the Gotcha and rattletrap, and have had no major issues with lost fish.

Owner Single Replacement Hook X Strong
http://www.tacklewarehouse.com/Owner_Single_Replacement_Hook_X_Strong/descpage-OSRH.html
http://www.jaggedtoothtackle.com/index.php?l=product_list&c=1122
There are sources on the internet that tell you which size of these replacement hooks to use with what size treble.
Careful, these puppies are sharp!
:eek2:

On the top water Chug Bug, I mashed the trebles down, and the fish come off for a quick release very easily. Skip's idea sounds like a good one too.
 

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I go to single siwash hooks on all lures without sacrificing action or hookups.

The real trick, is to "wait until you feel the weight of the fish" before you attempt a hookset. And you don't have to cross his eyes - just a good set and a sharp hook and you'll be golden. Especially with rockfish - they like to hit the bait , stun it, and come back and eat it.

Beats the heck out of removing a treble from their eye, or their back or your eye when he throws the hook at the boat because you really only hooked him in the back!....
 

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I've been using VMC inlines all year on spooks and smackits, my hookup ratio was just as good last Saturday as two guys throwing chugbugs with two trebles. I even hooked a 25" fish in the top of the head which I didn't think possible.
 

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I still use some trebles, but have been switching them out for singles for many years also. IMO, Paxfish's answer is what you need to do, instead of reacting to the strike, show some patience & wait until you feel the weight before setting the hook. With the single hook you need to be sure the hooks in the mouth of the fish, but when it is, the hook penetration is often better than with the trebles. This of course provided your using tackle sufficient to set the hook. Flimsy rods & bigger hooks don't go well together anyway.

However, as all have said in one way or another, hook up ratios with topwater is not always a sure thing anyway, particularly with smaller fish. Heck, I don't always get a hook up with trebles, even on subsurface lures, but do feel I get better hook ups with the singles.

I use a variety of different singles depending on the lure. I like the newer inline singles from both VMC & Owner, have been using VMC Siwash (9170 closed eye or 9171 open eye) for many years, plus some Eagle Claw hooks, such as the 354 that has a larger eye. Gamakatsu Siwash are good too for lighter lures.

I use the VMC trebles a lot when I use them, and will switch out the stronger, stouter 9626 O'Shaughnessy for a thinner 8650 or 7650 round bends in either the Permasteel or black nickel finish. I get better hook penetration with the lighter wire hooks. They're still plenty strong, and will handle most size fish usually caught on topwater. The 9626 is the "standard" hook for bigger Striper lures for a lot of folks and it's a great hook when a stouter hook is needed, but trying to get those heavier hooks set can sometimes be a problem, particularly with lighter tackle. Now, some lures come with trebles that are not the best as far as sharpness anyway. Mustad in particular on Smack-it's & some other lures need to be either replaced or sharpened IMO. They're OK if you spend the time sharpening them, but they're also a fairly stout hook & with not being very sharp to begin with, can cause poor hook-ups too.
 

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I topwater a lot. Like 4 days a week at least. I switched all my trebles to singles, and like you my hook up ratio plummeted. Now I use a single 1/0 in the rear, and a smashed barb, 2x strong short shank treble in the front, no belly treble. This combo has the best hookup ratio for me. The single in the rear doesn't grab grass, leaves, or other stuff in the water. The belly treble that I remove always caught the rear or front hooks, that is eliminated for me also. The result is more of my casts are not fouled, and I catch more fish.
 
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