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KLoell

Crankbait Adjustments/Customizations

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Ok so I have a few questions after today.  I had a giant 6 plus pounder today bend a hook on my KVD squarebill and get away... (the worst feeling ever).  So shortly after fishing I purchased a net and VMC #4 treble hooks.  So I was wondering what other upgrades are there that some of you do?  Does the same size hook for both the front and back of the crankbait cause any problems?  What size hooks do you use?  Also any other tips/tricks are greatly appreciated... Thanks guys 

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I rarely change hook size, it often changes the action of the lure.

The best tip I can give to stop hooks from bending doesn't have to do with your hook, but rather your drag settings.  Setting the drag real tight when you are flipping in a grassy jungle makes sense, but in applications where a square-bill is effective, I'd recommend setting it much lighter.  The rule of thumb is to set the drag at 25%-33% of the rating of the line, but you can go lighter than that if you are using heavy line with smaller hooks.

I have (accidentally) caught dozens of catfish between 10-15 lbs on crankbaits & jerkbaits and never had one bend a hook because my drag is set to let them pull line before the hook bends or the line breaks.  A big catfish will actually pull like a truck whereas a big bass will surge and head-shake, but the concept of correct drag setting applies to both species.

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The KVD 1.0 stock hooks are wire thin and will bend,  I switch out the front hook on the 1.0 one size up to the Mustad KVD 1x Strong 2x Short trebles in a size 4.  For the 1.5 I'll do the same except with a size 2.  KVD switches them both out one size up, but for the sake of not spending all that extra money on trebles I'm going to see how it goes with just the one.  It actually saved me a 1.0 this morning because the stock hook in back got snagged and I was able to pull the line to bend the hook straight to set the lure free, before there was a line/knot failure.  If I had upgraded the rear hook, that would have been a sure loss.

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See I thought I had my drag fairly loose.  It doesn't dig into the spool when pulling off is usually where I keep it for my crankbaits.  I was playing the fish so I could lip it and it made one final surge away from the boat when the hook straightened out.  I think what my problem may have been was the rod was pointing straight at the fish for the moment he started to make a run so the rod couldn't absorb some of that and instead the hook bent.  My question now is how do you know what lb your drag is set at when you are adjusting it?

I changed my 1.5 KVDs hooks to size #4 VMC X1 strong treble hooks.  Is that too big of a hook? 

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I don't think you made an upgrade by changing your hooks to VMC ? That's more of a down grade.

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VMC are quality hooks that are on a lot of different baits for their stock hooks (Rapala for example). 

 

I prefer to go to a #2 short shank EWG treble if possible on my 1.5 squarebills, but a #4 standard round bend is what comes stock on them so you should be fine. I change the hooks on all my SK baits right away. They're better than they used to be, but as you found out, they're still not that great.

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1 hour ago, KLoell said:

*****... Lol what is a good treble then? 

These are probably the best hooks you can put on a treble bait. Owner stingers . I usually swap my crank baits with gamas however because they available at my tackle shop.

image.jpegI'm not a big fan of rapala I do use some of their baits as staples in my bass arsenal but I'm don't think they use the best components on their baits.

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10 hours ago, Cheesefrank said:

These are probably the best hooks you can put on a treble bait. Owner stingers . I usually swap my crank baits with gamas however because they available at my tackle shop.

image.jpegI'm not a big fan of rapala I do use some of their baits as staples in my bass arsenal but I'm don't think they use the best components on their baits.

owner stingers are the mack daddy.

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Owner ST46 and ST41 are built like tanks but pricey.  Gamakatsu G-Finesse trebles are supposed to good too but also pricey.  The Mustard KVDs in the 11 count packs are best value IMO.

 

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13 hours ago, KLoell said:

 I think what my problem may have been was the rod was pointing straight at the fish for the moment he started to make a run so the rod couldn't absorb some of that and instead the hook bent.  My question now is how do you know what lb your drag is set at when you are adjusting it?

That may have indeed been the case.  Near the boat the fish have more leverage and angle to bend a hook.  Remember that in addition to the rod being a shock absorber, use your arms as one as well.  I tend to keep my rod holding arm high when a big fish is near the boat, it allows me to quickly go with her if she surges in any direction.

To set your drag, use the same scale you weigh fish.  It will require a 2nd person to hold & read the scale as you pull against it.  As a safety measure, tie the line off the scale as opposed to just hooking a lure on it, no need to send a missile flying towards you at short range.

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I appreciate everyone's input!  Thanks to you guys it helped me nail this 6.56lber today!  My personal best! 

image.jpeg

image.jpeg

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Nice fish!  Just curious, what hooks?

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On 7/4/2016 at 0:34 AM, Cheesefrank said:

These are probably the best hooks you can put on a treble bait. Owner stingers . I usually swap my crank baits with gamas however because they available at my tackle shop.

image.jpegI'm not a big fan of rapala I do use some of their baits as staples in my bass arsenal but I'm don't think they use the best components on their baits.

Agreed, Owner is where it's at for replacement trebles. I prefer their conical points to their cutting points, the ST36s specifically.

I don't like Rapala baits at all either, not because of their hooks though. The VMC Spark Point is an excellent hook very similar to the hook shown. I use the 4X strong Spark Points on some of my smaller swimbaits.

Eagle Claw is another that has made leaps and bounds in improving their hooks. Once a hook brand that I'd only use for panfish or catfish, now their one of my first options when I'm hook shopping. I haven't seen them anywhere else, but Wal Mart carries a Fletcher Shryock signature series EWG short shank treble that I've really become a big fan of. They also carry a Jason Christie signature series HD EWG worm hook that is the main worm hook in my box now. The Wal Mart by me has been sold out of 4/0 for months now since I cleaned them out last, but I just got a bulk order of 200 of them in this last week, so I should be good for a minute. :lol:

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Every single treble hook with every single lure of mine gets switched for a mustad hook before I fish it, period end of story. I will never lose another fish to cheap hooks because a company wants to save money.

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I went with the VMC hooks as I had already purchased them.  I think the biggest reason the stock hook bent on the first fish was mainly my fault.  Had I played the fish better I think it would have held up fine, but in the excitement of almost landing another big one I wasn't thinking straight.  

We had a terrific day yesterday (posting a few more of some of them we caught) but I started noticing something with the fishes tails that you can see in the pics.  All of their back fins on the bottom were worn away.  Not like the typical bedding fish tail either, plus these fish have already bedded and finished.  They were almost all extremely tight to cover and shallow.  So I was curious as to what is going on with their tails??  

image.jpeg

image.jpeg

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