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Treble Hook Guide

Most lure manufacturers use cheaper lower quality treble hooks to help reduce their costs. The stock trebles tend to be weak and dull quickly which can lead to losing a lot of fish. This is why most pros and more serious anglers replace their treble hooks for higher quality hooks.

Finding the best treble hook for a specific lure can be challenging though, there are multiple styles, sizes, strengths, and brands. It is hard to know what would perform best for each situation. Over the years I have gone through just about every treble hook on the market and through trial and error have narrowed it down to just a few. I used to lose a ton of fish on treble hook baits but over the years that number has gotten down as I found the best treble for each situation.

Treble Hook Styles & Strengths

Round Bend Vs. Extra Wide Gap Treble Hooks

Extra-wide gap or EWG hooks have a wider gap between the bends of the hooks. The hook point also is bent further in towards the shank. This larger gap and inward angled point helps keep fish hooked and is harder for them to spit out.

Round bend treble hooks have an evenly rounded bend between the hook and shank. The point goes straight up, this makes it easier to hook a fish, even if they just slap at it.

If you are getting a lot of hookups but they are coming loose then try switching to an EWG treble. If you are getting a lot of strikes but aren’t getting hookups then try switching to a round treble.

Standard Shank Vs. Short Shank Treble Hooks

A standard shank treble hook has a longer shank which gives it a better hook-up ratio. This makes them ideal when fishing open water or using longer baits that don’t have the risk of the two treble hooks getting tangled.

As the name suggests, a short shank treble hook has a shorter distance between the eyelet and the bend of the hook. This shorter distance keeps the hooks close to the lure’s body. This helps reduce hangups when fishing cover and it prevents your trebles from getting tangled on each other when using smaller lures.

Standard Wire Vs. 2X or Heavy Wire

Standard wire treble hooks are thinner wire, this makes them both lighter and allows them to penetrate easier. Being lighter can help keep your bait up higher in the water column. This is great when fishing over the top of cover. Better penetration results in more solid hookups.

2X or Heavy Wire treble hooks use heavier gauged wire which makes them much stronger than standard hooks. This makes them ideal when targeting large bass with deep-diving crankbaits or large swimbaits.

Best Replacement Treble Hook for Every Situation

Gamakatsu TGW Nano Finesse – Nano coated hook with a fine needlepoint. This hook is thin in diameter but is still strong enough for most situations. The thin diameter and super sharp point make this hook penetrate super easy which really helps increase the number of fish you land. I keep the following sizes stocked:

  • #6 – Small jerkbaits & crankbaits.
  • #4 – Medium crankbaits: rattle traps, shad rap, pop r
  • #2 – Slightly larger crankbaits: 1.5 squarebill, 6XD
  • #1 – Larger crankbaits: 2.5 squarebill, 3/4 oz lipless
  • 1/0 – Over sized baits: whopper ploppers, flukes

Red Gamakatsu Round Bend – Red hooks are perfect for smallmouths and during the summer. I also like to use red trebles as my front hook on crankbaits. I feel this gives fish a last-second target and slightly increases the chances of a front strike. A front strike decreases the chance of a short strike miss and increases the chance of the back hook getting hooked as the fish fights.

A negative of red hooks is the color will fade eventually and will have to be replaced more often.

Round Bend – Great for larger crankbaits. DD22. A round bend will help hook fish that just slap at your lure. This is more common on larger baits because a fish might just strike your lure to kill it and not necessarily want to eat it.

  • 2/0 – Large swimbaits

Gamakatsu EWG – The barb of EWG hooks points in slightly, this helps keep a fish hooked and reduces the number of fish that will get away. EWG hooks also have a shorter shank which helps prevent them from hooking each other on shorter baits.

These few treble hooks will cover all your needs year-round. Gamakatsu seems to have the best quality treble hook. Using these hooks will help you avoid the painful lessons learned through losing a fish. Using the proper style and size treble hook will go a long way in helping you land more fish.

What size hooks for crankbaits?

Matching treble hook size to bait

When sizing a treble hook to a bait it is important to not overpower the bait. It’s better to undersize than oversize. If you are considering two hook sizes, go with the smaller one. As you go up in hook diameter the hard it will become to get good hook penetration. With treble hooks, penetration is key for keeping fish hooked.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are treble hooks used for?

Treble hooks are used on moving baits like crankbaits, jerkbaits, swimbaits, and topwater baits. Treble hooks are used for these baits because they have three hook points that are facing different ways. This design helps hook fish no matter which direction they strike from.

How do I know what size treble hooks to get?

To find out what size treble hook you need, print out our treble hook size chart and compare it to your stock hooks.

What are the sharpest treble hooks?

Gamakatsu and Owner have the strongest and sharpest treble hooks. These brand’s treble hooks stay the sharpest the longest.

Are treble hooks bad for bass?

Treble hooks often get a bad rap for being destructive to fish. This can often be avoided once you know how to properly unhook a fish. Another way to minimize damage to fish is by using pliers to bend the barbs of the hooks down. This will make it easier to unhook them and cause less damage. Treble hooks don’t have to be bad for bass.

Are treble hooks better than single hooks?

Treble hooks have three hook points which make them easier to hook onto a fish. A single hook must enter a fish’s mouth for you to hook them. A Treble hook has hook points in three directions which can hook a fish even if the fish slaps at it. The additional hook points also offer the chance of hooking the fish in multiple places.

Can you put a worm on a treble hook?

It’s possible to put a worm on a treble hook but it is not recommended. Fish often swallow live bait which can lead to your treble hook deep in the fish’s mouth with multiple hook points dug in. Removing treble hooks this deep can be very destructive. Worm hooks are ideal for using both artificial and live worms for bait.