Gulf Coast Fisherman Magazine Vol 41; No. 4 - FALL 2017 - Page 9

by Patrick Lemire Rod & Reelin’ B Try a BENT on TREBLE ent On Treble, it sounds like something determined to cause trouble. And, this treble hook is trouble, for your potential target species... The twice bending puts it in that “trouble” causing category. This rebent treble hook of mine is a marriage of Mustad’s “Triple Grip” design and the Heddon “Excalibur” offset with its bends, resulting in an offset, sort of bent point/circle, treble. It’s an arranged marriage that I have used since the mid-1990s, starting with various standard trebles. The offset is designed to help rotate another hook point into penetration, while the bent in points do their “sort of circle” imitation. The triple-grip bend naturally puts the hook points in-line to the hook-eye according to Mustad. While that bend also forces fish to the hook elbow making it harder for a fish to throw, as does a circle hook’s elbow bend area. With these two features coming from different companies, there’s not a treble on the market with both of them, you have to twice bend your own. Is it worth the effort? In my opinion it surely is! The reduction of missed hookups and thrown hooks are definitely plus factors. These benefits come into play wherever you use trebles, diamond jigs, speed jigs, poppers as stingers/trailers, etc. The combo of bends also makes these trebles a bit safer to handle as opposed to standard models. These hooks also have less chance of “rolling out on the chew” by a yellowfin tuna or wahoo who’s jaw chewing movement can roll standard treble hooks out of penetration at times. This treble hook rollout can also be a problem with kingfish, blackfin and other assorted tunas. Dolphin also use this dehooking trick at times. These treble hook modifications will positively increase the odds of your hookup staying that way. As usual, it takes longer to read how to do something than it actually does to do it. So is the case with this treble hook rebending. Using care, for the whole procedure, start with hook sharpening, if that’s required. Sharpen the points before bending starts, it’s a lot easier and safer at that point. This is important in that a twice rebent treble is more difficult to hold and have easy access to the hook point areas. For the twice bending, hold the hook shank in a small vise, or needle nose vise grips, and with another pair of pliers, offset each bend about 13 to 15° in relation to the hook shank, each in the same direction. With the offsetting complete, you close each hook gap by squeezing with the needle nose vise grips - aligning the hook points with the hook’s eye. With these steps completed, you will be close to the Excalibur/triple-grip combination, close enough to work really well! See the illustration for the approximate angles and gaps. Once you have all of the essentials gathered, with a little practice, you should be able to rebend four trebles in about ninety seconds. Time well spent for the benefits you will see at your next outing. The bending, to somewhat align the hook points with the hook eye, decreases the physical hook size a bit. If it becomes a concern, going to a treble of the next size up from your original will help maintain the point to shank gap as the original treble. I have gone with the original, or a size up, at times, both worked for me. If these trebles are to be used on a sub-surface, hard body swimmer, a lighter wire treble might be the way to go if a larger hook is used. This is because of the gap reduction just mentioned. Varying hook weights upward effect the lures swim motion, as in slowing it down a bit - something to think about. Check out the lure’s swim motion at boat side, a slight retrieve speed increase might be needed to maintain the original swim motion. A slight downside of these double bent trebles is that they are harder for you, or the deck crew, to remove from a fish’s mouth. It’s another example of their increased holding power. Work with and use safely, they are hard to get out of you as well as a fish! If it has a treble or treble hooks on it, this hook turning trick of mine is made for you. While the term “sort of circle” was used, they are not circle hooks. Hit these bent point trebles like a bass fisherman when a tuna, wahoo, or whatever, tries to eat your presentation. As I said earlier, they have worked for me well over twenty-five years and counting. The “Bent On Treble” modifications, to an otherwise “box stock” treble hook, is arguably one of my best creations in my over fifty-five years of offshore fishing. Bend some up and experience their their increased hookups and holding power for yourself. G C F OCTOBER • NOVEMBER • DECEMBER 2 0 1 7 9