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Ask Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is recognized as an authority on surf fishing for striped bass. He is the author of six books and hundreds of magazine articles. Frank is a member of the Outdoor Writers of America and lectures throughout the Northeast.

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  #1  
Old 11-21-2008, 08:09 PM
brucelieb brucelieb is offline
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Default changin those hooks

got my Sam adams as a tribute to you all up there , sat down with a batch of VMC #1
trebles to change the rusty and bent wee hooks on those miss. swimming lures. Rebal like thingys.

So here the question...At night , eith no light, the trebel hooks often grab each other. the sence is why have so many of the wee Mothers. if the little f$&&er comes with three hooks will the action really be altered if you-

1- give it bigger hooks
2 or just have two hooks, a back hook and one mid hook.
If that is the case would you keep the hook near the nose, or lose it and keep the belly hook.
The tail hook ( trebals) I assume must stay. But., can that bad boy change to a single hook?
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  #2  
Old 11-22-2008, 10:54 AM
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Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is offline
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Default Re: changin those hooks

Yes, the action might be altered in some cases. Each plug is different. You might have to swim the plug in daylight to find out. Bigger hooks are better if they don't mess up the action. Also, keep in mind that stripers are more likeily to be hooked on the front treble because they are "head hunters". Because of the firmness of the body in a plug, single hooks might not be good. Rereading your thread, keep the one near the nose.
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  #3  
Old 11-22-2008, 11:09 AM
Cap'n Bigass Cap'n Bigass is offline
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Default Re: changin those hooks

You'll learn a lot more by experimenting than by asking a lot of questions. You're gonna get different answers.....and they all may be right, but your own way may turn out to be the best way.....or not.

Like Frank said, watch the lure swim as the builder intended. Then make your changes and watch it again. One thing, if the proper hooks are on the plug, they shouldn't be fouling very much.

CL
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  #4  
Old 11-22-2008, 01:56 PM
Art Vrola Art Vrola is offline
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Default Re: changin those hooks

I asked Frank for some advice a while back regarding alot of missed hits I was experiencing with my plugs. He said, "hooks need to be as sharp as razors, like barbs so they stick to the fish". I sharpened all my hooks and I believe it made a substantial difference. As far changing the hooks to larger ones and or removing the middle treble. I continue to have the same problem with the middle treble, especially on bombers. On several casts your line gets tangled on the middle treble. I removed them on some of my plugs, and did not like the action of the plug afterward. Now, I only purchase plugs (with eyes, which has no bearing on this thread, just me) that do not have a middle treble. If you take notice, blue fish seem to chase their prey and usually get hooked on the back hook, and as Frank said, Bass seem to hit their prey from the front and get hooked on the front hooks. I guess that's why some plug makers omit the rear hooks. Also, if you are anal like me, take notice on when a blue fish hits your plug, especially a popper. Usually on the second pull or "twitch""rather than when your just moving it along on top of the water. Bass usually take it after you twitched it and you begin to move it along the top of the water. While only my opinion, I look for a plug that looks like something a bass would eat, rather than look for something made with alot of hooks.
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Old 11-22-2008, 02:11 PM
ALB31 ALB31 is offline
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Default Re: changin those hooks

Try double hooks or a treble in the head and a single in the tail . By the way doubles work great on tin squids I rarely drop a fish on one.
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  #6  
Old 11-22-2008, 04:24 PM
Cap'n Bigass Cap'n Bigass is offline
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Default Re: changin those hooks

If you cast smoothly, the plug should go out tail first and maintain that attitude until it touches down. If you engage your reel and tighten your line immediately when the plug hits the water, or a fraction of a second before that, your line won't foul on the hooks.

CL
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Old 11-23-2008, 07:16 AM
brucelieb brucelieb is offline
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Default Re: changin those hooks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cap'n Bigass View Post
If you cast smoothly, the plug should go out tail first and maintain that attitude until it touches down. If you engage your reel and tighten your line immediately when the plug hits the water, or a fraction of a second before that, your line won't foul on the hooks.

CL
i got the casting down real well. I know that part from my past fishing life.. Usually get that perfect. But night is night.. oh boy last night so cold and all bundled like a snow man... walking back to the truck my trebal hooks got my wool hat...
Capt BigB - I know I have been asking a lot of questions. Too many I guess , some stored up over decades. But I'll take the hint, I figure this is territory you all have dealt with for years and years and love. I will less free with my postings although I really do really love thinking and talking about all this fishy stuff. My wife and dog aren't interested.
I was afraid to experiment on this - hook altering/ plug fixin/altering thing for instance. Why reinvent this mouse trap when you all, have gone thru the reinventing and lived this fishing thing for years. So when I'm on the beach( Twice a day not catching fish), I think of about my new obsession. Simple things, like how often you need to rinse your plugs in fresh water? " What do you all do with those bucktails that the paint got worn off. repaint with what? Should I leave my plugs in back of the truck till it rains? Spray wd40 under my truck? Boy it is dark and I am cold I should use some sort of light , I'll check past posts to see which the Mass. crew and Frank .recommend" In the cold and the dark it is amazing how may questions you can come up with and project ideas to do and how much equipment I think I need/must have, this thing or that thing. All to avoid real life, work and catch a fish.( or try to) Now I got all this stuff and no money, so how can/should I build this or that to store all this crap. How do these other guys do it? I'll ask them. They must have already done lots of thinking, talking, experimenting. see what I mean.
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Old 11-23-2008, 07:36 AM
brucelieb brucelieb is offline
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Default Re: changin those hooks

hey Art- thanks for that info and philosophy on plug buying I think your right! I needed to hear that and thanks Capt and Frank. The casting issue is key and although I do what you suggested. I have to admitt I didn't know it mattered interms of fouling up. very cool.
but here are 2 more, simple and perhaps stupid, questions.
I sitting sharpening with a file and stone...Is there a , not "a tool" , Is there THE tool for the hook sharpening job. And when the hooks are rusty you toss em?
I lied three questions!
Best one stop cheep place to buy all these hooks and things?

Last edited by brucelieb : 11-23-2008 at 07:39 AM. Reason: ? grammer?
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  #9  
Old 11-23-2008, 10:32 AM
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ragman ragman is offline
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Default Re: changin those hooks

Cap'n Bigass's post about smooth casting is on point. Plug lands, close the bail, and rarely will you get a hook fouled in the line. If it does happen, you can feel it it through the rod (dont feel the strum, feels like you are dragging a sock in, etc). Give up the cast, make a fast retrieve and start over again. I dont like plugs with three trebles, and avoid buying them. If you have one and want to try to modify it, I would get rid of the belly treble first. Leave the front treble on, and try a single with a bucktail or feather on the back. One of my favorites is a Red Fin Smokey Joe. Stock comes with a large treble in front, and another in the rear, 6 or 7 inches long. Casts like crap (I should try loading it ), but usually catches when fish are around. I changed out one with a single with a bucktail on the back, and the treble on the front, and dont see any difference in the way it swims. Blues like them, so the single in the back makes it easier to unhook than a treble. Stripers hit the head, and you still have the treble there.
I think wooden plugs might be more sensative to hook placement and weight, so thats where the experimenting comes in...
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Old 11-23-2008, 12:12 PM
ALB31 ALB31 is offline
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Default Re: changin those hooks

The bad part of unhooking a fish on a three treble plug is one hook can can get buried in your hand while the fish is dancing around. And when you fish alone that becomes a nightmare.
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  #11  
Old 11-23-2008, 12:12 PM
SALMONMEISTER SALMONMEISTER is offline
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Default Re: changin those hooks

Like Ragman, I prefer a two-hook plug. My favorite this year has been the Bomber A-Salt. It's just under six inches long, has two big saltwater trebles and rattles. I fished all night a coupla nights in a row on Martha's Vineyard this year and alternated between my silver/blue 5.5 inch Rebel and a dark yellow (with brown or black stripes) Bomber A-Salt. I got equal numbers of hits, but seemed to land a few more on the Bomber. I also bent out a couple of the trebles, on the Rebel (on 24" schoolies!) and I was only using 17lb. test. I should have changed out those trebles beforehand, but then sometimes I feel I shouln't have to! Frank gives a very good testimony (and endorsement) to the Rebel in his books...you think the company would pick up on it and make their mousetrap better.
A friend of mine uses a Bomber in purple and black and always seems to come away with a few bigger stripers.
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  #12  
Old 11-23-2008, 01:11 PM
Cap'n Bigass Cap'n Bigass is offline
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Default Re: changin those hooks

[quote=brucelieb;I sitting sharpening with a file and stone...Is there a , not "a tool" , Is there[B] THE[/b] tool for the hook sharpening job. And when the hooks are rusty you toss em?

I always carried a flat 6" long, finely cut file in my bag or my waders pocket. I was constantly checking and touching up my hooks while fishing, whether with plugs or rigged eels. Some guys used automotive point files.....I don't know if you can still get them, but they worked well. Files get rusty, but they still work.

CL
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Old 11-23-2008, 01:24 PM
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akoller akoller is offline
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Default Re: changin those hooks

It has been said before, but you have to be intimate with your lures and know how they behave at which retrieve speeds and with what sized hooks. I always remove the middle treble from plugs, because it takes too long to unhook a fish that has been hooked by 3 trebles. That is valuable time that could be spent catching another fish.

At the start of the 07 season I made it a goal to land 100% of all fish that hit my lures. That meant making sure every hook point was sharp enough to pierce my finger with almost no pressure. It also meant I needed to pay more attention and use heavy line, but extremely sharp, strong hooks was the key factor. Of course I didn't land 100% but the percentage went way up.
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  #14  
Old 11-24-2008, 07:40 AM
clambellies clambellies is offline
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Default Re: changin those hooks

If your plug has 3 trebles and you want to eliminate the middle one, but are afraid of ruining the built in action, just get a good pair of wire cutters and snip off the hook points and barbs back at the begining of the hook curve. Leaving the remaining portion of the hook will keep the weight distribution about the same. But do be carefull of those flying hook points when you snip them off!
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  #15  
Old 11-24-2008, 01:52 PM
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Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is offline
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Default Re: changin those hooks

Use a six inch mill smooth file to sharpen the hooks. Never use a stone becsause stones do not remove material fast enough. Also, a file is not rubbed but stroked away from the user as the teeth cut away, not toward you.
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