The barbs of a treble hook buried into your hand will quickly teach the lesson that trebles are trouble! Other less painful lessons of barbed trebles are the dreaded hook in that new jacket or hook caught in the net while the bite is on fire. No matter your reasoning, there are many virtues of replacing the barbed treble hooks found on lures with more fish-friendly and user-safe options.
Today there are more choices than ever when it comes to replacing stock treble hooks. The ultimate option is the use of barbless single hooks in place of barbed trebles. Another possibility includes micro-barbed single hooks. For times when treble hooks are still the best bet, barbless trebles are a great replacement. In my experience their is little if any decrease in fish landed when using single or barbless hooks so long as the principle of “Maintaining Constant Tension” is applied. Below you will find some of my favorite hook options for replacing those nasty barbed treble hooks. Unfortunately, these hooks aren’t readily available at your local tackle shop, but they can be purchased online with an internet search.
Partridge ILS/Y Barbless Inline Lure Single (also available w/ micro-barb)
This is the ultimate hook when it comes to catch & release fishing and angler safety. These ultra-short shank black nickel hooks are saltwater resistant. When using single hooks as replacements, a hook designed with a large eye is a must to allow for rigging. These hooks have an extra-large hook eye that is rotated inline and are designed to be used with split rings for attachment to the lure. Pictured above are Zara Super Spook Jr. and Sebile Stick Shadd 90 with 1/0 Partridge Inline Lure hooks.
Gamakatsu 53 Salt Single w/ micro barb
This hook design is a good option for rigging without the use of split rings. One thing to watch for when rigging your lures is to make sure your hooks are not so long that they tangle with each other. Split rings will add to the set back of your hooks meaning you will have to use a small hook for rigging with split rings. With these hooks you can negate split rings and go up on your hook size. The inline eyes of these hooks are designed to be twisted open and shut with pliers when installing on a lure. Pictured above are Yozuri 3DS Minnow with sz 1 and Xcalibur X25 Rattle Bait with sz 2 Gamakatsu 53 Saltwater Plugging hooks.
Gamakatsu 510 Single Open-Eye
These hooks come with a unique outer micro-barb and are extremely short shank. When it comes to rigging suspending twitch bait lures, using light single hooks in place of heavy treble hooks will slow the sink rate of the lure. This hook design uses very heavy wire which makes them a good choice for maintaining the intended sink rate of a lure. The hook eye of these hooks are open making for easy installation by pinching the hook eye closed with pliers. Pictured above are Rapala XRSH6 X-Rap Shallow Shad and Mirrolure 18MR Heavy-Dine with sz 1 Gamakatsu 510 Single Open-Eye hooks.
Eagle Claw BBLS 954 Barbless Treble
Sometimes single hooks aren’t the best option, so these short shank treble hooks designed without barbs provide a smooth hook point for easy penetration and hook removal. At times fish smack topwater baits versus inhaling them; barbless trebles give you a better hook up ratio compared to singles in this senerio. You may also choose to stick with trebles for suspending baits in order keep the exact sink rate that was designed for the lure. Pictured above are Mirrolure C36MR Poppa Mullet with sz 2 and Paul Brown SD Soft-Dine with sz 4 Eagle Claw BBLS 954 barbless treble hooks.