Best replacement hooks for trout spinners and lures

I personally like inline singles from VMC, Mustad, Gamakastu and Owner. Eagle Claw also makes some nice hooks. I like treble hooks from VMC or Owner. These brands are often the choice of the lure manufacturers.

When replacing hooks, it is important not to use hooks that are too big or too small for your lure. If the hook is too large, it can reduce the hook up chances, but also dull the action of the lure. Some finally balanced floating lures might even start to sink or become suspending.

Too small hooks have similar issues, with reduced hook up rates. Keep reading to find out which size hook to use and other important information.

When to replace hooks

Replace hooks when they show signs of corrosion, are bent or showing signs of stress.

What size single hooks to use when replacing trebles?

I replace treble hooks with inline singles, usually of a much larger size but similar weight.

Inline single hooks work well because the eye is on the same plane as the hook. So when attached to the lure, they ride directly along the length of the lure meaning they will have a minimal impact on the action.

It is important to roughly use a hook of similar weight, otherwise your floating lure might become a sinker, heavy or lighter hooks can also change the action which is rarely desirable.

In the charts below, I will indicate which size hooks to use on Jerkbaits, Inline Spinners, and Spoons.

What size replacement hook for inline spinners and Spoons?

The most common size of treble hooks use on trout spinners and spoons are #4 and #6. These can be replaced with #2 or #1 single hooks. I gave more size options in the chart below.

Treble hook SizeSinge hook size
Which size single hook to use when replacing a treble hook.

What size replacement hook for Jerkbaits?

Owner makes good quality treble hooks. I often use them on my trout lures.
Owner treble hooks are good quality.

Selecting the correct size hook for your jerkbait is important if you wish to maintain its action. In the chart below, I have listed the most common hook sizes use on jerkbaits and appropriate size singles to replace them with.

Jerkbait Length
Treble hook sizeSingle hook size

104 or 2

72 or 1

Which size single hook to use when replacing a treble on a jerkbait

Are treble hooks better than single hooks?

This is a very controversial topic, both treble hooks and single hooks have a role in fishing. I have gone discussed it in a lot more detail here.

I use and fish with both. As a general rule, I fish with the type of hook a lure comes with. Changing to single hooks can actually change the action of lightweight jerk baits quite significantly.

There is a lot of misinformation floating around the internet, that treble hooks cause more mortality in released trout than singles. This is not always the case, and on some lure designs single hooks are more deadly.

With regards to hookup percentage, there is not much of a difference but treble hooks do hook more fish. There are simply more points to pierce the fish.

Should I replace treble hooks with single hooks?

If the regulations only permit single hooks, then certainly replace any treble with a comparable single hook.

But in fisheries, which allow treble hooks I will be tempted to keep them. But, there are some exceptions.

When regulations permit, I always keep treble hooks on my jerkbaits and rapala style lures. Although, I do flatten the barbs to make releasing the trout easier.

When fishing inline spinners and spoons, I usually replace treble hooks with single hooks. That is because trout often try to swallow smaller spinners and spoons, and a treble hook in the gills is nearly always fatal.

Should I change to circle hooks?

This is an interesting idea, and I really need to experiment with them more before giving definitive advice, but my experience so far have been positive.

Circle hooks on lures do seem to work well, although I find they can at times negatively affect the swimming action. Using double split rings, can help keep the hook. inline.

Another problem, circle hooks in small enough sizes can be difficult to find. But I know Gamakatsu does make some fly fishing hooks that are suitable, and I believe Eagle Claw has a few options in their range.

How strong are hooks and how to stop them from breaking?

Modern hooks are very strong. I rarely have any issues with hooks breaking or bending while fighting fish. Even the cheap, mass produced trebles seem to be strong enough to withstand the strain of a running trout.

I suspect most failures occur when people are fishing very heavy line, and wrenching trout in rather than fighting. But, when you use appropriate drag, which is typically less than two pounds when trout fishing, the chance of hook failure is miniscule.

Another time, where hooks might fail is when trying to free a snag. But in my experience, the line, or knot always snaps first. Modern hooks, are actually very strong.

Now there is a couple of situations where you might want to replace a hook. That is when there is visible corrosion, or after a prolong fight. Both of these, have the potential to weaken the hook. If a hook is even slightly bent out of sharp, replace it, do not just bend it back into position.

How to sharpen hooks

I never really other to sharpen hooks. By the time they are blunt enough to need sharpening, I am probably looking at replacing the hook anyway.

But some fishermen, carry a small file with them. So they can quickly sharpen the points.

Does hook color matter

Hooks comes in a range of colors. Mostly black, silver, bronze or red. In my experience, hook color does not matter at all. Although, some people do claim that red hooks resemble blood trailing behind a ‘wounded’ lure.

How to replace hooks on Mepps or Panther Martin Spinners?

Many inline spinners have the hook attached directly to the wire of the hook.

As far as I know the only option is to use a pair of pliers to cut through the wire of the hook. Then thread on a small split ring, followed by the replacement hook.

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