Retro-fitting hooks

Retro-fitting hooks

Lures usually come with hooks that are suited to their intended target species, however, given that anglers like to think outside of the box, lures will often be used on species outside the ones recommended. Because of this, hooks will often need to be swapped to something more appropriate for the target species in mind.

An example is if an angler buys a hardbody swimbait originally designed to be fished for largemouth bass in the US, but intends to throw it at impoundment barramundi or river Murray cod. They will need to retro-fit the lure with larger and heavier hooks!

When doing this, it pays to keep a few things in mind. Something to always think about is that by changing the hooks, you are changing the overall weight, and possibly the action of the lure. Some chopping and changing might be necessary to find the balance between a suitable hook combination and a good lure action.

Something else to consider is the eyelets. Eyelets might pull out if put under excessive load, particularly if light gauge hooks have been swapped out for heavier hooks and used on bigger fish!

Performing this task requires specific tools, and foremost is a good pair of split ring pliers. Having a tool that opens split rings to take out old hooks and slide in new ones is essential, as doing it with your fingers is pretty much impossible. Berkeley 8.5in Split Ring Pliers, Mustad Split Ring Pliers Heavy Duty 4.5”, Ocean Stream 5 Bent Split Ring Pliers and Wilson Surecatch Split Ring Pliers are all good quality tools for opening split rings.

Having the ability to change hooks quickly may also be helpful when out on the water for when hooks get bent or damaged. Being able to fit new, sharp hooks in the place of old ones is invaluable in the middle of a hot bite, and will maximise the time you get to spend catching fish!


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