Single Hooks for Jerk Baits
I have been getting a lot of questions on which single hooks I use for jerk baits. So I figured I would do a quick review on the ones I have been using. Last year I decided to try replacing my treble hooks on my rapalas with single hooks, after a bit of research I decided to go with the VMC inline hooks.
I primarily use these on size 9 and size 7 count down rapalas. On the size 7 they are just slightly big. Sometimes the back hook will get caught on the front hook. So you could go with a smaller hook for the tail on the size 7s, but I haven't experimented with that yet. Plus I like the wider gap hooks. I feel you will hook more fish on them verses a smaller size. Just make sure too give the lure a quick look before each cast. This is something you should do anyways.
I really like all of the VMC products that I have used. I use their micro swivels for steelhead, and have used a handful of their hooks. In fact, the treble hooks that come on the rapalas are VMC hooks. So far they have never let me down!
The biggest concern I hear when people ask me about single hooks is missing fish. I have been using these on my rapalas for over a year now, and I can say that I have noticed no difference in hookup ratio. I have days where I hook every fish that hits, and I have days where I lose every fish that hits. The same can be said for trebles. I have fished alongside many great anglers using trebles and I catch just as many fish as they do. If not more :)
- Less Snags - The main advantage to me is getting snagged up less often. Rapalas aren't cheap. Usually if I get snagged I'm going in to retrieve it. Which means if you get snagged on your first cast, you just blew out the hole.
- Less Harm to Fish - When I'm using rapalas, I am hunting for big trout. Honestly, when it comes to big fish, a treble hook usually doesn't do much damage. It's the little trout that you will inevitably catch (even on big jerk baits) I worry about. There is no doubt in my mind that if an 8 inch trout gets all three or possibly six hook points in them, they stand a much lower chance of survival. If they hit the front hook the back hook is always dangerously close to their gills. So this is important even for anglers who don't practice catch and release. The more small fish that live, the more fish you have to chase next year!
- Easier Hook Sets - Sometimes when the bit is really light, and the fish are just nipping at the back hook, I find I hook more fish on single hooks. I have actually experimented on days where I have a lot of fish chase and just nip the tail. I think the treble hook has a harder time getting sucked into their mouth when they inhale. Plus you only have to pull one hook through their mouth instead of 3. Which also takes less force.
- Less Tangles in the Net - Anyone that has spent enough time fishing knows the frustration of netting a big fish, watching them gator roll, and spending the next 5 minutes unhooking the fish and then trying to get your hooks untangled. This reduces this greatly! Also side pro tip use full rubber nets not the coated rubber. That helps a lot as well.
- Changing Hooks - Changing hooks is time consuming, and a bit of a pain, but well worth it in my opinion.
- Extra Cost - Yes these hooks cost a little bit more, but I think in the long run you will save money by not losing as many lures.
I can't really think of any other disadvantages. Like I said I have been using these for over a year now, and truly believe they offer a slight advantage over trebles. The main reason I do it though is to save a few fish lives. I started using these specifically for trout, but have since caught many species on them. I use them for smallmouth all the time. I have caught Big browns, little brook trout, 30" pike, smallmouth, largemouth, walleye, hundreds of fish overall. I have full confidence in fishing them, with zero concern over missing fish.
How to Replace Treble Hooks
It's pretty straightforward really. You just take the hooks off and put the new ones on. I know there are snap swivel tools, but I just use my fingernail to open the split ring and slide the hooks on and off. The one tip I would point out is that the front hook should be facing down, and the back hook faces up. This gives you two different angles to hook the fish, and keeps the back hook from snagging on things as often.
Where to buy?
I always recommend buying form a local shop when you can, but I had a hard time finding these locally. I have been buying them from amazon. I'm not an affiliate, I'm not sponsored, and I don't make money off your purchase. Click the link below.
Here are just a few fish caught recently on these!