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LaPala

Treble or Single Hook for Cranks?

12 posts in this topic

Most of the crankbait we see uses treble hook, I hardly see any single hooks being used for crankbaits except in some big bonito style salwater trolling lures.

I have made some cranks and had the hook hanger 90? offset from the normal way it's done to accomodate single hook and didn't notice any more missed hookups compared to those using trebles on the same lure design. (though my statistics can be flawed).

What's the rationale behind the use of treble hooks on crankbaits? Is it an absolute must or we're just a bit too afraid of losing fish - psychological advantage of a treble?

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I did an unscientific study of this years ago on Lake Michigan Trout and Salmon and here is what I found.

I replaced trebles with single (Siwash) Salmon hooks of a similar size. Overall, once hooked I rarely lost a fish on the singles.

But, I did notice what I thought were more misses with the singles. The problem was more noticeable with the fatter plugs like Storm Wiggle Warts and less noticeable with slim minnow plugs like Thundersticks.

I put larger singles on the fatter plugs to try to correct the problem and it started to show improvement. But when they get too big they start to effect the action.

An observation that I noticed is that I rarely hooked a fish on the front hook when I had singles on the bait. Most of the hooking was handled by the rear hook. I also noticed that singles were slightly less effective when there were a lot of Brown Trout around. I equated this to the Brown Trouts slash and return type feeding behavior.

So, in summary I would have to say that I found slightly less "strike to hook-up" ratio but a very high (near 100%) "hook-up to land" ratio using singles on plugs.

I'd like to hear some other experiances on this myself.

In case you are wondering, I went back to trebles.

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Lapala,

I think there are several factors to consider when choosing which type of hook to use. I personally have found the single siwash on the back to be considerably "more" effective than trebles on "some baits", the heddon tadpolly being one of them. This bait rarely misses a steelhead strike with a single hook, it's quite amazing. Other baits, particularly those that are a bit wider may indeed have a reduced hook ratio as PC has mentioned with the singles. I'm guessing this is a result of the fish having their mouth open wider to accomodate the increased size of the bait when they kick free from it...mouth is open wider and thus it misses the single as the bait leaves his mouth. It may be possible to improve the hook ratio of fat baits with singles by moving the hook back just a bit further. By doing so the fish will have closed his mouth a bit further after kicking the bait free and should result in more hook-ups.

From what I have read fish that "slash" from any angle like musky and bass are more likely to hook up well on trebles while fish that approach the bait from the rear like salmon, trout, and steelhead will hook up very well on singles. By the way I always set up my singles so the point is pointing straight up!

One other thing to consider is the speed at which the plug is fished. Last spring a friend and I were anchored on the Columbia River fishing for spring chinook with flatfish. He had changed out the back treble with a single siwash. This strategy had proven very effective a year before on fall chinook in which he went 7 for 7 with the singles. Anyway, over the course of several days he missed several fish with this set-up and we finally figured out that the current speed was so slow the single was hanging straight down instread of extending out. My point being if the plugs is moving fast enough and the hook is extended to where it needs to be I think you are more likely to hook the fish than if it's dangling somewhere below the bait.

One other thing...there is a certain group of folks that feel two trebles on a bait actually make it easier for a fish to pull loose once it's hooked. The theory goes that the second hook provides the fish with a point of "leverage" to work with.

Jed

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I use ONLY single hooks as Tail hooks because we have a species here call Bluefish which take the tail 99.9% of the time while the Stripers "Head Hunt". The Blues have Sharp teeth and powerful jaws meaning you don't want to spend a whole lot of time neat their mouth's trying to remove hooks. The singles held so well, now I usually crimp the barbs to make release easier.

Singles are fine as long as they don't effect the action of the plug.

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I tried siwash hooks on the tail of some topwater plugs a few years back due to an influence from the surf gang. With the species I normally fish for (Stripers, Hybrids, Smallies), the hit is almost always at the head. I found that the singles usually ended up in the side or belly of the fish that was hooked on the treble. Seemed to do more damage than a treble with crimped barbs in the same position, so I switched back to trebles. If I was dealing with bluefish like Husky, I would certainly want the single on the rear rather than a treble for the reasons he mentions.

Andrew

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Cool info guys. Seem to confirm what I've been observing. Havinng the single's point pointing upward and not hanging down seem to be the key to single use. Thats what I tried in the overkill & jointed minnow lure I did. Maybe I can try a little something on the back hook to keep it extended - a small float or some sort of a hydrovane so it'll extend up & out even at low retive speeds.

I like singles on my lures, like you guys said if you get a hookup on a single it's rock solid & for the same weight to a treble I can have a wider gap & more beefy single on, this seem to help too.

I notice too the hookup on a belly single hook is not too good, perhaps this is not only due to the wide body but the orientation on the single point pointing downwards too. If we fix it upwards the point is definately hidden by the body. I tried the 2 single hook approcah here with the singles hook. One on each side and added magnet to hold it in place. I have to do more fishing with this style to check if it's really effective.

Or I can try for best of both worlds, a treble (or double) for the belly, and single pointing up for the tail :D

Thanks for the feedback guys.

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On the saltwater plugs with a single hook on the rear, the vast majority have them with the hook pointing down. They'll also tie bucktail on the hook too.

Andrew

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i even use trebels on my bonito lures LP. i dont use single hooks on most stuff, you never know when a yellow or other good eat hits instead of a bonehead,.

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Andrew: the downward tail hook point is to target the softer lower jaw?

Sieb: be adventurous, try single :D (Oh, you're still single lol)

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I've used the singles on bass/striper lures. Both hit the head of the plug so rarely take the tail hook. I figured the point down would balance out better. Also, if you have bucktail on the single, it will help it to sink less fast.

Andrew

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Ya'll may or may not want to look into this, but I saw recently in some magazines ( i think Bass Pro Shops) some new VMC trebles that, when put on a split ring correctly, have one point on the treble elongated much like having a trailer-hook on your treble hook.

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I have generally focused on minnow jerk bait style baits. Couple of things I am going to experiment with this summer:

1. After a good day of fishing a jerk bait the belly hook trebles remove a great deal of the paint or holographic finish. I am going to try a double hook for the belly and see if it reduces the wear. That should prevent the 3rd hook from scraping the belly on each twitch.

2. Depending on location, single hooks are the law, even on cranks. When I have replaced trebles with singles I have not noticed any reduction in hooking and catching fish, even muskies. Remember though, these "fly-in/remote lake" fish don't see the number of lures that pressured fish do. They hit them hard.

Spinner

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