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McKinneyLonghorn

Changing Hooks On An Arbogast Mud Bug

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Over the past year or so I have bought a handful of Mud Bugs on eBay. I love the vintage colors and action of the baits, but the hooks on them are rubbish. As I am sure you know, the hooks on these lures are not attached to the body via a split ring. If I cut the hooks off with a pair of side cutters, would it be possible for me to install a split ring and then put on some new hooks? Obviously, I know it would physically possible. I guess my question is more along the lines of would this affect the action in a negative way? I am thinking my Mud Bugs with some KVD Triple Grips would be a deadly combo. 

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That's what I do with mine, except I use ST-36 hooks.

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Good to hear it will work. Nothing like using Mud Bugs (some of which are a few decades old) to catch fish. 

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Mud bugs, hellbenders, bombers... lots of those old hard baits still catch fish. I really used to love fishing for smallmouth with them and rooting along the bottom with them. Now I live at the coast, and there aren't any smallmouths for hours. Lots of LMB, though...

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Vintage Mud Bugs are no good whatsoever. I will do you a favor and take all of yours from your box if you will sharpen the original hooks with a small stone.

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I've been replacing the hooks using a split ring on Mud Bugs for too many years to remember. The easist way is to remove the plug screw eye and carefully open the eye. Slip the split ring into the opening, close it up and your ready to go.

 

The Mud Bug is still one of my go to crankbaits year round.

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Here are the finished products. For the most part, I went with KVD Triple Grips on the front hook and VMC Round Bends on the rear hooks. I have no idea how old these are (except for the fire tiger and chrome/blue ones, which I bought new in the early 2000s. The rest came from eBay. The top right and bottom right Mudbugs are interesting because they don't contain any rattles. They also appear to be the oldest, but I can't really tell. I also have no idea if the ones I bought of eBay feature original paint jobs or not, but I like them nonetheless. I have attached a separate photo of the one on the bottom left. In the top photo it looks black, but in reality it is brown with black stripes. 

 

 

 

Mudbugs.jpg

 

Mudbug2-1.jpg

 

I have one more on its way to me. It is a flat gray paint job with scales painted on. Pretty neat looking bait. At the same time I also ordered three Rogers Craw Paps in black with a yellow head. I have never heard of the Rogers company but the lures look virtually identical to Mudbugs so I am sure I will enjoy them. I haven't received the newest purchases from eBay, but here are the photos from the auction. 

 

post-45180-0-10529400-1393469609_thumb.j

 

post-45180-0-39144000-1393469627_thumb.j

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Vintage Mud Bugs are no good whatsoever. I will do you a favor and take all of yours from your box if you will sharpen the original hooks with a small stone.

 

Thanks for the offer. That is what I love about Bass Resource, members are always looking out for one another and are willing to take useless tackle off their hands for free. 

 

 

I am only 31 so I never really used Mud Bugs in their heyday, but I am looking forward to putting these to work. 

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ML, I am 2X your age and did use Mud bugs in the late '70s - '90s. Never did bother to change hooks and did not have a problem getting hefty LM to the boat.

 

How 'bout we leave the discussion this way: find some more Mud Bugs from the '70s with the original tin plated trebles and I will sharpen them to a needle point. It will be noted in my will that they must be returned to you after I have made my last cast. 

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Super thread. Thanks for asking your question.

 

I love my mudbugs but have not changed out the hooks as I was afraid of damaging the screw.

 

The original hooks do OK but upgrading them would be great.

 

Will give it a shot. Thanks again for the post and the replies.

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Will, I'll see what I can do. 

 

The main reason I changed the hooks is that about half of them had rust/corrosion issues, combined with the fact they were dull. I considered sharpening the original hooks but was worried that the rust might have weakened them to the point they might fail. Since I was going to change the rusty hooks out, I figured I might as well change them all.

 

Since it is getting closer to spring I just now need to find a time to go fishing and try them out. 

 

Sam, one thing I did figure out is that the hooks were too strong for my cheap budget Kobalt side cutters to cut through. I ended up going a buying a better pair of Knipex cutters from Sears and they cut through the hooks like butter. I have been working over the last year to upgrade all my cheaper tools to better quality ones, so this was the excuse I needed to upgrade the side cutters. 

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I have a new Mudbug and the hook is super sharp, according to the thumbnail test.

 

Would you still recommend changing the hook out?

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The old Mud Bugs have zinc plated treble hooks the are weak, upgrading to VMC red or black nickel size 2 works good. If you remove the screw eye hook hanger, install heavy split rings, then super glue the screw eye back in and align them straight.

Tom

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Mud Bugs were originally made without rattles. We would drill a small hole in the bottom of the bait, insert 3-4 BBs and then seal the hole. Worked like a charm.

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