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      Removing front and/or middle treble hooks from Rapalas?     

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12/20/2017 07:31PM
Did a search old posts suggest removing the front and/or middle treble hooks from rapala type lures. Some newer posts suggest this changes the lure action.

What are your current practices?

 
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Savage Voyageur
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12/20/2017 08:38PM
Go to the Rapala web page and look at a particular lure in question. There is a video of each one as it runs in the water. The treble hooks lend a great way to the action of each lure. They also make a noise as they go back and forth, kind of like ringing the dinner bell. Each hook has a split ring that lets the hook swing. The extra hooks also has a flash if they are Crome. Why would anyone want to change what the fishing guru’s at Rapala tuned the lure at? I have seen the tuning tanks on TV that they use to test every lure. Don’t mess with success. I would not remove any of the hooks on a Rapala IMO.
 
schweady
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12/20/2017 08:41PM
I leave 'em as is.
 
12/20/2017 08:44PM
Rapala really fine tunes their lurers to the smallest detail any modification will likely affect performance.
 
PaddleAway
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12/20/2017 09:58PM
I leave only the back hook on my Rapalas & have been for fifteen years or so. I've never noticed a difference in their fish-catching ability, though I've done no rigorous double-blind studies.

Does it change the action? I'm sure any change to any lure changes the action somewhat, but I still add plastics to my spinnerbaits & change out treble hooks for different sizes or metals.

I'm more concerned about the effect of all the extra hooks on fish. Long, long ago I killed a 10 1/2 lb. 30 inch + walleye when she got the front hook in the side of the mouth & the back hook buried in her gills. That bummed me out & along with all the extra hooks in the backcountry, led to my decision to lighten the hook load.
 
mutz
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12/20/2017 10:20PM
If I remember past threads the main reason for removing hooks was to make it easier to remove them from a fish without getting yourself hooked. I don’t remove any hooks because I do think it changes the action.
 
old_salt
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12/21/2017 07:09AM
While I’m sure the folks at Rapala would advise against it, if a lure has 3 trebles, that’s 1 too many, IMO. I always remove the middle one. I don’t think I’ve lost any fish with this modification. They run just fine. While I don’t have a tank, I can see them quite well in clear lakes. Removing the middle treble allows me to carry more baits, tangles less, and I’ve never been hooked on the middle treble. I really don’t know why Rapala insists on them, but it probably has to do with marketing.
 
jamotrade
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12/21/2017 12:29PM
old_salt: "While I’m sure the folks at Rapala would advise against it, if a lure has 3 trebles, that’s 1 too many, IMO. I always remove the middle one. I don’t think I’ve lost any fish with this modification. They run just fine. While I don’t have a tank, I can see them quite well in clear lakes. Removing the middle treble allows me to carry more baits, tangles less, and I’ve never been hooked on the middle treble. I really don’t know why Rapala insists on them, but it probably has to do with marketing."

I always remove the middle hook if there are 3. I have found that a fish either gets the front or back hook no matter where they hit it. The only thing the 3rd hook does is get hopelessly tangled in the net and give me 3 more chances to have it embedded in my hand.
 
missmolly
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12/21/2017 01:23PM
Don't do it. I did it last spring, imaging June fishing would as it often is: easy like Sunday morning. But it wasn't and whereas I wouldn't mind losing 50 fish when I get 150 hits, losing 15 fish when you're getting 45 hits was a big deal. Of course, I was also barbless and the hits were in howling wind.
 
old_salt
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12/21/2017 08:37PM
Ask yourself, “If 3 trebles are superior, why isn’t everyone doing it?”
 
carmike
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12/24/2017 10:45AM
I will often remove the front hook on my Salmo Hornets (and upsize by one size the rear hook). I've also played around with replacing the treble hooks with single hooks (some trout streams I've been on require it). My grandpa always took the front hook off on his Lazy Ike's (don't know why), and I know he caught a lot of walleyes on them.

I have noticed a different in hook-up % with the single non-treble hook, but I haven't noticed anything when leaving a single treble hook on the lure.
 
oldzip
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12/25/2017 06:04PM
I leave only the back hook on...easier to release fish and save fish...I also make the back hook barbless...this has worked well for me in the Woodland Caribou and I have kept the practice going in my home waters around Hayward, Wisconsin.
 
QueticoMike
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12/27/2017 12:40PM
schweady: "I leave 'em as is.
"


Same here.....
 
rpike
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12/28/2017 12:20PM
I often remove the middle hook on husky jerks. I upsize the remaining two a bit, which keeps the overall weight about the same, so it's still neutrally buoyant.

If I were to use only one treble, it would be the front one. Most (by no means all) hits are head shots. I would think not having the rear treble would affect the action, though.
 
Kokanee Killer
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01/02/2018 03:21PM
If the bait has 3 treble hooks like a Rapala F-11 - I always take the treble off closest to the head of the bait (front one).

I do this for 2 reasons: 1) this is the hook that tends to get in the fish's eye; and 2) it makes removing hooks from the fish easier and also removing hooks from a landing net (especially at night or low light).

I have not noticed any difference in catch rates.
 
mastertangler
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01/04/2018 11:32AM
Three sets of trebles is unessary for sure. Just more potential for hurting you and the fish.

I spent a couple weeks on the the Hunters Island loop and ran the old balsa husky rapala with only the rear hook (up sized by 1 size) and was really surprised at the effectiveness of just one hook.

I choose this method because I ran a line most of the time without a depth finder and didn't want to get hung up a lot knowing I would bounce bottom a lot. Plus releasing fish would be far faster and easier. Success was achieved on both accounts.

Bear in mind I was trolling and also using a rod holder and waiting for the fish to basically hook itself. I can visualize those casting and having a "hair trigger" on strikes missing some fish using a single rear hook.

I believe in the concept so much I have toyed with using a set of rear double hooks only as well as single hooks designed with the eye "in-line" so it rides upright on the lure. Such hook placements are quite common in salt water circles. The advantage is superior snag free running as well as less pulled hooks as the single or double hooks have a larger gap and therefore get a deeper bite. The disadvantage is a single hook is beefier than the thin wire of a modern treble and will require more force to set thus requiring heavier gear (say running 10lb line instead of 6 or 8lb).
 
01/18/2018 01:25PM
I often take off the first two sets of hooks as well. I hate catching fish in the eyes or gills. Also, I take scouts and they don't need nine hooks on a lure . . . that is one for the fish and 8 more looking to snag them, their clothes, a friend, and worse yet . . . me.

I fish a lot with spoons and notice they only have a rear hook. I catch lots of fish with them as well.

 
Jaywalker
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02/28/2020 04:56PM
Reviving an old thread with a little new information...

I've been interested in either removing one treble and/or replacing one with a single hook primarily for my own safety and that of the fish. I'm typically padding solo and have will now have two dogs in the canoe.

I've read several old threads on this topic. The arguments against removing or changing any treble hooks always seems to follow this logic: Rapala (or who ever) knows what they are doing and carefully crafted the lure, and any change will make it less effective.

I thought it was very interesting that on the Rapala website there is a blog post from a regular contributor talking about swapping trebles for singles. The author concedes this may alter the designed movement, but suggests this is not always a bad thing. I don't find it a particularly well written article, but what strikes me is this: If the bait-masters at Rapala felt it was such a serious mistake to alter their lures or change out treble hooks - they would never have allowed this blog post to be published on their site.

Rapala article on switching to single hooks

Having been frustrated with extra hooks snagging fish near their eyes or gills, and with an extra-curious young dog in my boat, I am definitely going to be experimenting with reducing the total number of hooks on my lures for this spring's laker trip.

 
02/28/2020 05:50PM
I just leave the rear treble on, but cut off two of the hooks so I’m basically just using 1 hook. Works for me.
 
02/29/2020 12:32AM
I'm a rookie fisherman and am taking two younger kids and a dog on their first BW trip this summer. I've already been busy removing front treble hooks and pinching barbs in an effort to reduce human or k9 hooking.

Do you have a link to what kind of hooks I should use if I want to replace the rear treble hooks with single hooks?

If I cut down the rear treble down to a single does it matter which two hooks i cut off?

Thanks,
Beavers
 
02/29/2020 01:35PM
Beavers: "I'm a rookie fisherman and am taking two younger kids and a dog on their first BW trip this summer. I've already been busy removing front treble hooks and pinching barbs in an effort to reduce human or k9 hooking.

Do you have a link to what kind of hooks I should use if I want to replace the rear treble hooks with single hooks?

If I cut down the rear treble down to a single does it matter which two hooks i cut off?

Thanks,
Beavers"
I personally don’t think it matters. As far as replacement hooks, you might consider barbless hooks. Much easier to get out in case you do have an incident.
 
JonSolo
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02/29/2020 02:21PM
I have replaced the rear treble with these open eye siwash hooks. Works well on the sinking rapalas so they don't snag so much when fished close to the lake bottom. Gammy siwash hooks
 
02/29/2020 03:01PM
This was published by Rapala Canada a few years ago. Was also in a past edition of In-Fisherman Magazine. I've not noticed any difference in action between a single hook vs a full load of trebles. It is way easier to release a fish without bringing them in the canoe.




Good Article on replacing with single hooks
 
02/29/2020 07:42PM
Thank you all for the info, appreciate the help.
 
AmarilloJim
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03/02/2020 06:57AM
I remove the front treble on 3 hooked baits.
 
papalambeau
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03/02/2020 10:48AM
Same for our group. We remove the front treble from all our baits that have three trebles. Too many hooks catching the eyes and gills of some big fish.
 
03/02/2020 02:14PM
We just remove the barbs...
 
buzz17
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03/11/2020 11:51AM
On all lures with 3 treble hooks, I remove the middle one and replace the front one with a 1 size larger red treble hook. I have done this for 15+ years. I often bring a fish in only hooked by the red treble. Aggressive fish usually hit the prey from the side in the middle or near the head and my modifications seem to work with less hassle unhooking.
 
Rockriver
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03/11/2020 11:48PM
I don’t usually modify any baits except lipless crankbaits. Especially big ones. Catching lady fish in the gulf on big lipless baits would throw the hook because they fight and shake head so hard. A guy showed me how to remove all hooks and split rings and just run your line the the tie in, down the side of bait, and back through the eye where the front hook was. Then just tie a treble onto your line.

I doubted it at first. I didn’t notice any less hookups at all. I rig that way for bass also if I’m useing big baits. What happens is since the lure isn’t tie directly to the fish it will slide up the line and WAY reduce hook throws. Try it. You’ll never miss that rear hook.
 
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