Hook Maintenance & Hacks For More Bites On The Ice
Grab your hook file, split ring pliers, spare trebles and other supplies. We’re talking pre-season hook maintenance and easy hook hacks to catch more fish.
Do A Hook Audit
Many hooks will simply need a touch up with a hook file to restore their sharp points. Rusty or damaged hooks will need to be replaced with new, sticky sharp VMC ones. Also, check the factory hooks on new lures as some may need changing. For instance, it’s a good idea to go up a hook size on many lures if planning to fish trophy water for walleye, pike and lake trout.
Tip: Hook size information for Rapala and Rapala Respected Brands lures is available under the Product Description tab at rapala.ca.
Boost Bait Appeal
Another easy way to catch more fish is replacing a lure’s plain hook with a VMC Bladed Treble, Dressed X-Rap Treble or Glow Resin Treble. These hooks boost the presentation’s appeal and trigger more bites. More, the allure of these specialty, razor sharp, hooks are frequently the focus of a fish’s attack, which increases hook-up rates.
The Bladed Hybrid Treble features a sealed swivel with a small willow blade. Using one boosts bait’s flash and vibration without interfering with the original action of its design. In the hand, the willow blade may appear unassuming, but don’t be fooled. Its flash, vibration and flickering action are extremely potent at teasing strikes. Bladed Hybrid Treble hooks come in #2 to #12 sizes. Try them as a belly hook on Jigging Shadow Raps, Jigging Raps and Jigging Shad Raps, on VMC spoons, on Rippin’ Raps and Slab Raps, and as a tail hook on Rap-Vs.
Dressed X-Rap Treble
The Dressed X-Rap Treble is tied with natural feathers and reflective mylar fibres, which sway seductively in the water, replicating a minnow’s tail. Using a dressed treble adds realism to jigging spoons and lipless crankbaits, like Rippin’ Raps and Rap-Vs. Equally potent is how the feathers and mylar have a subtle, natural movement in the water, even when a lure is barely moved or held still. This subtle, “breathing” motion is a big reason the Dressed X-Rap Treble consistently makes fish strike during the pause, following a lift-fall jigging sequence. Dressed Trebles come in #2 to #6 sizes. They are popular picks for replacing plain hooks or bumping up a size on walleye, pike and lake trout lures.
Glow Resin Treble & Other Glow Options
Glow Resin Trebles make it easy to add luminescence to a presentation. Hooks feature a durable, epoxy-resin infused bead, which are available in five ultra-glow colours (e.g., green orange glow, glow chartreuse). The ultra-glow bead delivers up to 15 minutes of fish-attracting shine and is like a bullseye for fish attacks. Glow Resin Trebles come in #6 to #14 sizes. They’re great for Slap Raps, Ultra Lite Rippin’ Raps, Jigging Shad Raps, Tingler Spoons and other panfish baits, as well as Jigging Raps, Rippin’ Raps and other lures for walleye, whitefish, pike and more. Also noteworthy are the 1-1/2” and 1-3/4” Treble Dropper Chains, featuring a #14 hook with a glow resin bead. A dropper chain on a spoon, or as the belly hook of a Jigging Rap or Jigging Shad Rap, is a deadly combination. The lure gets to bottom quickly and attracts fish. Then, the falling glow resin treble dangling on the chain seals the deal. Treble Dropper Chains feature clips for easy lure customization. Clips also allow for different hooks to be used, such as using a Glow Resin Octopus hook instead of a treble as seen on the Rocker Spoon.
Pro Tip: Try a Glow Resin Treble or Glow Resin Octopus hook to amp-up the appeal of a live minnow dangling beneath a deadstick rod or tip-up.
Before the ice season arrives, be sure to do some hook maintenance. Also, try replacing plain hooks with Bladed Hybrid Treble, Dressed X-Rap Treble and Glow Resin hooks to make baits more appealing and better at triggering accurate strikes. You’ll find all the hooks you need, along with split ring pliers, hook files, and other tools at rapala.ca.