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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It happened again today .I was throwing a Top Pup that I have changed out the treble hooks on. The very first cast I had a very nice red eat it and did not hook up. This has happened about 6-7 times this year and I am now thinking of finding another hook for my top water hard baits. What I had done over the winter was replace the treble hooks, all of which I had removed one hook from, with single "siwash" hooks in #1 size. Today was like most of the other teases in that the fish boiled the plug more than once. When a red hits my top water baits I do my best to let it do its own hook setting. Today was typical in that the fish grabbed the plug, flipped over and started swimming away. I felt the weight and knew at once it was not hooked. Sure enough it let it go. I left it where it popped up and it took another swipe at it and the same results. Three more of these hits/misses and it decided to move on. This was a nice fish for sure. It was only about 20' from my kayak and I could see its whole back as it rolled over the bait.I would guess it was an upper slot fish but definitely was a slot fish so it was absolutely large enough to swallow the whole plug-not just mouth it. Anyway the short story is I am looking for some double hooks. While looking at some on line I am seeing nothing with a completely closed eye. What I mean is that the hooks I am finding are all a loop at the eye. These look like they would be a real pain to keep from jamming. Being that there is this little gap in the shanks it seems like these would be prime for hanging up on the lures connection point or a split ring. Can anyone confirm that there are doubles available with a discreet eye and not just a loop? I guess the fact that these have a loop I could sort of wind them on the lures "eye" but I don't know for sure if this is why/how they are designed. Advice needed please.
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
put the trebles back on and mash the barbs down.
That is something I once did as soon as I took a lure out of the package. The problem I have is that this still leaves the treble hook and, what I feel anyway is, one of the mains reasons I dislike them. IMO the treble hook design allows the fish to pry the hook out of it's mouth. I know this is strictly opinion but that's how I feel about them. I also don't like the idea of having all these pointed hooks flying while trying to release a fish and lastly I think the treble hook is more harmful to the fish. Your idea of crushing the barb takes care of the danger to me and, to a certain degree, the damage to the fish but it still leaves the third hook so I am looking for a way to have only two hooks. I do appreciate the tip though.
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There's a lot of talk lately of treble hooks being the devil. I don't know about you, but I like to catch fish. Put the trebles back on and get back to catching. Pinch the barbs if you must. I don't, and I release more reds than I keep.

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Your biggest problem may be originating from the moment you switched out the original hooks. The Mirrolure factory treble hooks have always held up very well in my experience, but i don't fish every day. Sometimes they will bend or break after a few larger fish, but then i just replace them with the same size treble. I would never put a j-hook or similar style hook on a topwater, unless i was fishing for large species like a roosterfish, tuna, giant trevally, or something like that....but this ain't Panama. (cue van halen.) Been there, done that. Almost got the t-shirt too, but it was too darned hot.

May i suggest using a top dog or a top dog, jr. instead? They sit lower in the water, and have larger factory hooks, allowing for a redfish to get ahold of them easier. It's the go-to for topwater reds in my tackle box. I used to have the same issues that you are having with super spook jr.'s. (Another small topwater lure.) It's all because a redfish' mouth is on the bottom of his head, and they have to come completely out of the water to hit a small topwater. Not saying it can't be done, i've caught them on all kinds of topwaters. Sometimes they will hit anything, sometimes not...But I always opt for a larger, low-pitch topwater plug just in case they are not in the mood to be acrobatic. (which seems to be the case most of the time.)

The logic is there, but it's not very practical to use anything less than double trebles on topwater lures in tidal marsh fisheries. Trebles are made to increase your chances at landing big fish. Take my advice or stick to your guns. Good luck man..
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
All good points-pardon the pun.
I may be convinced to give the trebles another try. At the same time I may equip some of my baits with double hooks to see if I can tell any advantage one may have over the other.
What about split rings? I will be starting from scratch with many plugs and I do remember having a time getting the split ring sized right so they would easily fit through eye of the trebles. Some would only allow the eye of the trebles to sit in the gap of the split rings and this was always a way for them to jam out of position.
What size trebles are people using if they switch out? Some lures seem to come with larger hooks even though the basic size of the plugs are very close and I know a lot of fishermen up size their hooks especially with red drum due to their strength and poor quality factory hooks???
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IMO the treble hook design allows the fish to pry the hook out of it's mouth.
They are designed to do the complete opposite. That's why trebles have been used since the very first topwater lures were manufactured, and that's why they are still used. They are made to catch more fish. Pressing the barbs down will also decrease your chances, unless you can keep decent pressure on him for the entire fight. A little bit of slack and a couple of good headshakes and that's all she wrote. I respect your sensitivity, but you won't kill a fish by hooking him in the mouth. When removing the hooks, get a good grip on the fish with one hand and remove the hooks with the other and you should'nt have issues with hooking yourself. Use a wet hand to handle the fish. Also use a landing net to subdue the fish until he is ready to be handled, it makes the hook removal process so much safer and easier.
 

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For my part I like the VMC Sure Set trebles. Might just be a placebo but I think the one larger drop hook in the mix helps with hook up. Lot's of them available on ebay for a reasonable price
http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_sacat=0&_nkw=vmc+sure+set+treble&_frs=1

For your split rings you might try out a pack of the ovals

You can use a slightly smaller ring than with the round ones and the hook will still hang correctly.
 
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Good stuff there. Papadave and I have sure set a few trebles together in the past. Learn up

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Certain lures I like a treble on; I think we discussed this the other day with regard to heavy spoons in the surf. They get smacked from all sorts of angles. I think that is true of top waters also.

BTW, I replaced trebles on some small lipless cranks and ended up changing back; they didn't run right. I think the weight and resistance of the trebles is factored in to the design and placement of the eyelet for the line.
 

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What rod are you using to fish topwaters? Lenght, power, action?
What's your drag set at? Using braid or mono? Leader lenght?

If you're getting blow ups without hook ups, stop reeling.
VMC sureset (4X strong size 2 #5537 BN & 5537 TR.) on the back. Larger hook pointing up.
MirrOlure orig. or replacement ( in my case, because I catch too many fish ) trebele on the front. ........ ICM

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On the issue of removing trebles safely: I always use a plastic lip-gripper on reds (or Boga-grip type thingie), which helps stabilize the fish while I pry the trebles with longnose pliers. When I'm handling spanish and blues, I even wear a Lindy glove on my left hand to minimize getting hooked from a flopping fish (hook can't penetrate glove fabric; helps handle/stabilize fish)-- haven't found that necessary when handling reds, but you might consider it.

Re: split rings and hook replacements. I'm sure you're using split-ring pliers, right? (Can't always know others' skill-level, just wanted to make sure others knew that using real split-ring pliers makes the whole process of changing split-rings and hooks much easier.)

Hope you get hooked up to slot red soon.

// joel
 

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Buy 1 standard Top Dog Jr., stick with that one lure and don't change anything about it. Don't be over anxious to set the hook, take a half a second longer and you will soon get the feel for it.
 

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Landed a nice 22.25" on a Top Pup in 808 yesterday evening. I had just cast it out and was letting it sit for a few seconds before I started to twitch it and bam, the fish hits it and after a short pause I set the hook and it was on. It was my only one for the day but it was a fun one. And I had just recently replaced all the trebles with new Daiichi size 2 wide gap trebles. I did like Spider Crack suggests and used my fish grips to hold on to the fish as I used the pliers to get the hook out.

10527480_10204487501810688_8493610272723856573_n.jpg
 

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Challenger, lots of fish are lost on single, double, and treble hooks. That's just part of the game. Hook style is a matter of personal choice. I personally prefer singles over trebles and have had successful results on mirrorlure style plugs that were converted to a single hook. I like to use them when required by regulation, fishing where most or all fish will be released, at night, or when lots of fish are being caught.
For most plugs or spoons I use a single hook at the tail end of the lure (pointed up). Longer plugs I may use the single hook toward the belly of the plug (pointed down).
I like to use a live bait style 1/0 or 2/0 hook for most inshore applications. I notice you said you were using a size 1. If I were you and still chose to try the single, the one thing I would change is hook size.
Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I have not changed rods but I use a 6-1/2 foot light action rod with a 3-4' leader attached to braid. The rod States 4-10lb test and I use 10lb.
I've caught many reds on these rods. I use two of the same rods with on set up for popping cork.
I always stop reeling when I get a blow up or I should say I don't reel until I feel the weight. I know the fish will hook itself and I don't jam a hook set like I might for other species. I also know snatching a top water plug with a swift hook set will many time make the plug come flying right for the face.
I bought some treble today and will go back to using them with crushed barbs.
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I prefer rods with med. power, extra fast action with 18", 20# FC leader for topwaters.
Topwaters rods have to have some back bone to set the hook & get that walk the dog action.
Light / flimsy tipped rods are not the best choice for topwaters or popping corks. IMHO.
Long leaders don't cast as far as shorter leaders. I want the knot always outside the top guide when casting. ....... ICM
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
If I could I'd have a few more rods for sure. I feel the rods I have are OK but not optimal for red drum. I would, like ICM said, rather have something a little heavier with a faster action. I find a longer rod is a pain sometimes in my kayak so I stick with these two that I have gotten so comfortable with. I bought a Penn Battle combo about 6 months ago and took the reel size down to a 1000 series but the rod was the smallest they offered in this combo so I had to get the rod which ended up being about $20.00. It is way too heavy and too fast action for my liking. I actually think the penn battle rods are no good but that is JMOHO. After using the reel for this long I am not crazy about it either. It is a tough thing shopping for a reel in the 1-125.00 price range.
Anyway I have all my plugs converted back to treble hooks with most having #4/#2 rear/ front and they are the heavy nickel finish. I put new split rings on as well. I bought them at a local tackle shop that I like to give business to. He had a fair selection but I he didn't have the 4X strength so I got what he had was the heaviest at 2X. I can upsize them when I have to nut I thought I'd get out tomorrow so I'd like to get them ready with trebles at least.
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