Here at www.lureandfly.com, we’re fully cognisant of the fact that for many anglers, the coming weeks will be the first opportunity to dust off the fishing gear that may have taken a bit of a hiatus over the winter months.
Not everyone is as fortunate, nor perhaps quite as passionate (read obsessed) as our very own Vicki, and the coming summer holidays is where we make the most of our fishing opportunities.
Rifling through your fishing gear, that may have been hurriedly packed away at the end of last season, if it’s been packed away at all, you may notice those sharp bits of metal that dangle off the ends of your hard body lure collection. Yes those trebles are what keep your lure attached to the fish, and I’m guessing that in many instances, they need a little “TLC” and maintenance. Do they look less like a lure treble and more like a bent, mangled “W” hook, or maybe, they look less shiny and more rusted?
Now’s the time to do some maintenance, before you get on the water, and maybe lose that potentially amazing fish of a lifetime. It’s probably also a good time to reflect on a handful of points about these often overlooked pieces of terminal tackle. I’m talking about small trebles in the10 – 14 size range, but these observations will pretty well relate to all trebles.
The pointy end of the stick.
I’m a little on the obsessive side, but I check my trebles religiously to make sure they are sharp. Getting your lure snagged, dragging it along the bottom through rocks and heavy structure, smashing it into pylons on the cast and heck, even catching a fish can affect the sharpness of your hook points. Run the hook points of a brand new out of the pack treble over your finger, and it doesn’t take Einstein to feel the difference with one that has caught a couple of fish and managed to last a couple of outings.
If the trebles are blunt, change them – simple as that.
The finer points.
My preference is to use fine gauge trebles, sometimes called ultra light trebles. Why? On species like Bream, Whiting, and Flathead, sacrificing some hook strength is small compromise for a better hook up. Obviously, that’s a judgement call that is made based on the terrain you are fishing, but with the finesse techniques we use these days, and the superior drag systems and rod actions that we have at our disposal, personally, it’s a compromise I’m prepared to make most of the time.
Wider is better
I have a habit of replacing the rear treble on all of my hardbody crankbaits straight out of the box. Small fat body crankbaits, of which I have a tonne, get their standard issue treble, retrofitted with a fine gauge wide gape hook.
Why do I like the wide gape hook? Experience, from literally hundreds if not thousands of fish caught, tells me the wide gape, helps in a greater hookup rate than the standard gape hooks. Why do I only replace the rear treble? Well experience also tells me that the majority of hookups occur on the rear treble, and the middle treble comes into play more so during the fight. So, that being said, there’s no waste in this process either. The replaced rear treble gets saved and is used to replace the middle treble when it becomes blunt or damaged.
Cleanliness is next to …?
Clean your gear! Not so much a suggestion, but a strongly worded piece of advice. You’ve just spent $13-$35 on a brand new lure, you’ve spent $10-$15 on a pack of brand new trebles, and after your fishing trip you throw them into the bottom of your tackle box unwashed. What happens the next time you come to use that lure? It looks like the discoloured, rusted, mangled mess that we talked about earlier.
If you wash your lures, and dry them after each session, replacing the trebles that need replacing before you put them away, next time you go to grab one out of the tackle box, it will be ready to swim straight out of the box.