If you want to replace old hooks on your lures, make your own lures, or tie your own leaders for fishing with live or dead bait, you will need to use treble hooks.
I know from personal experience how frustrating it can be to buy a bunch of trebles, rig up your lures or leaders, start fishing with them for a short while only to realize that they start to rust and become blunted.
So, in order to make it easier for you to choose quality hooks that penetrate the fish well and remain sharp, I decided to write this helpful beginners’ guide on the best treble hooks for fishing.
This article includes my favorite trebles for both lure fishing, fishing with smaller live baits, as well as larger live or dead baitfish.
What Are Treble Hooks Used for?
Treble hooks are used for predator fishing with both lures and live or dead bait. As a treble hook consists of three individual hooks sharing one and the same shank, it has excellent hook-up qualities and can improve your catch rate significantly.
As most predatory fish will have larger mouths, have lips that are harder to penetrate, and often attack your lure or bait fast, aggressively, and from different angles, using treble hooks for them makes a lot of sense.
It is also important to know that you’ll need different sizes of trebles depending on the species you are targeting.
What Size Treble Hooks Should You Use?
I’ve put together a little chart of the most common freshwater predators and the most suited treble hook sizes for them.
For most waters and situations, the following sizes will be a perfect fit. But keep in mind though that these are simply general recommendations. The best way of finding the perfect hook for your water and fish is by testing.
|Species||Treble Hook Size|
What Are the Best Treble Hooks for Fishing?
Choosing the right type of treble hook entirely depends on your fishing method and whether you are planning on fishing with lures or baits.
For lures, triple grip or wide gap treble hooks with shorter shanks are a superior choice, while you will want to use thinner and longer shanked trebles for fishing with live or dead baits.
Before writing this article, I sat down and thought of the best way of structuring it. I think what most anglers want to know is simply this: What treble hook is best suited for my fishing method?
Hence, I focused on the following three main ways of targeting freshwater predators:
- Spin fishing with lures
- Fishing with smaller live baits (such as leeches, maggots, nightcrawlers, smaller minnows, etc)
- Fishing with larger live or dead baits (bigger minnows, shiners, suckers, sardine, mackerel, smelt, etc)
1. Mustad Ultra Point KVD TG-76 Triple Grip Treble Hook (for Lures)
Mustad always produces high-quality hooks and their KVDs are probably the best ones out there when it comes to treble hooks for lure fishing.
Not only are they ultra-sharp, but they are also lighter than other trebles, making them the perfect fit for all types of lures and hard baits, including topwater and finesse lures.
It’s an extremely durable hook that will handle any type of hard or rough surface (such as gravel, rocks, or sand) super well and stay sharp!
The fact that they are lighter and thinner is especially crucial here, as they won’t weigh down your lures and cause them to sink, giving them the perfect presentation and allowing you to fish them at the exact depth you want them to be.
And this holds true even if you should decide to size up your trebles!
Their special triple grip and wide gap shape mean perfect hooking capabilities, no matter the size of the predator or from what angle it strikes.
Additionally, the shorter shank, which is generally something to consider when it comes to lure trebles, means that the hooks stay closer to the lure, which further improves the hook set and makes the entire bait more compact and complete.
All in all, a perfectly sharp and shaped lure treble hook that will catch you a ton of fish!
2. Owner 5636 ST-36 Treble Hook (for Smaller Live Baits)
When fishing with smaller-sized natural baits, such as small minnows, leeches, nightcrawlers, or maggots, you will want to use a treble that’s both fairly thin and long-shanked.
It should, in other words, fit the size and shape of your baits and hinder their movements as little as possible.
The Owner 5636 ST-36 is the hook you’re looking for here! It has several advantages over other hooks that will make fishing with smaller live baits as optimized and effective as possible.
For one thing, it comes in small sizes (from #1 all the way down to #18) which means that you can effectively target all types of predators (even the smaller panfish species) and use small baits without damaging them.
This makes for a brilliant presentation of e.g. maggots or smaller nightcrawlers for smaller predators such as perch, crappie, bluegill, bass, or walleye. You can even present tiny salmon eggs on these hooks without any problem at all!
For another thing, these hooks are very thin and light-weighted, so that they won’t hinder your baits’ movements or weigh them down.
This is especially advantageous when fishing with smaller live minnows, as you’ll want them to move and swim around as freely and naturally as possible.
Lastly, the longer shank mimics that of a conventional single hook and will hence not have any negative impact on the hook set. Once again, this is particularly crucial when fishing with small hook sizes for smaller fish.
3. Owner ST-41 2X Strong Treble Hook (for Bigger Live or Dead Baits)
Now, we move over to the big boys! Once again, it’s Owner’s treble hooks you’ll want to use when fishing with bigger live or dead baits for large predators, such as pike, musky, or catfish.
As you can disregard factors such as thinness, finesse, or smaller hook sizes, all you need to look for are large, super sharp, and super strong hooks. And if you’ve found the Owner ST-41, you’ll have to look no further!
These trebles are incredibly strong and, as is the case with all Owner hooks, unbelievably sharp. This means that they can both penetrate the outer layers of any baitfish and the hard lips and mouths of even the biggest of predators.
Pro Tip: Be advised that these hooks are really as sharp as they come! Handle them with care, so that you won’t get seriously injured while fishing!
The ST-41 comes in sizes between #1 and #6, which makes them the perfect fit for larger live and dead baits, including the following:
Especially when it comes to harder-skinned saltwater baits, these Owner hooks will have no problem penetrating these baits or holding them when casting out even with great force.
And their shorter shanks and round bends are simply made for the perfect hook-up. They will dig themselves into those fierce pike and musky mouths like no other hook I’ve ever used! Really impressive tackle!