Featured Image Credit: William Redmond | Mustad
Not one individual on this earth has spent more time with a crankbait in his hand than Kevin VanDam.
He’s helped design some of the most effective crankbaits of all time and shaped and molded the technique of crankbait fishing in countless other ways.
One such innovation is his signature Mustad Triple Grip Treble Hooks.
“I change the hooks to those Mustad Triple Grips on just about everything,” VanDam said. “Topwater baits and all. I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter if it’s cold, hot, spotted bass, smallmouth, 10-pound largemouth or whatever, there is no situation where there’s a better hook.”
Crankbait Treble Hooks: Years In Development
KVD spent years testing and tinkering with different crankbait treble hooks in the development process.
He found that lighter wire, round bend hooks would often flex under pressure, absorbing some of the force of the hookset. That would also prevent the hook point from making a quick and clean entry into the fish.
“Those Mustad Triple Grips don’t flex. I can fish them on heavy line, smallmouth and spots don’t tear them up and I know my strike-to-land ratio is going to be the best it possibly can with that design,” he said.
The importance of choosing the right treble hook is something that VanDam has stressed for years.
Having won literally millions of dollars using these hooks, it’s safe to say he knows what he’s talking about. Image Credit: William Redmond | Mustad
“I’ve seen the knockoffs and they’re just not the same. Mustad’s Ultra Point is so durable if you’re grinding the gravel and zebra mussels. Those points don’t roll and they don’t bend over. They hold up better to rough cover than any other hook.”
Crankbait Treble Hooks: Does Size Matter?
These hooks are shorter than those offered by other brands but maintain the same hook size relative to the gap of the hook. This allows VanDam to upsize his hooks when possible without the hooks hanging on one another or hanging on passing cover.
“They’re more compact but with a bigger bite because they’re extra, extra short. Even on small baits I can put on what is an oversized treble for that bait and really up my strike-to-land ratio.”
Since the hooks are made from a heavier wire, they weigh a little more than most other hooks. This added weight actually works to a crankbaits advantage.
But you have to be careful.
“Certain baits, balance-wise, you’ve got to be careful about putting too big of a hook on,” he said. “But for most crankbaits, especially the wide wobbling ones like the Series 4 and 1.5, the added weight of those hooks enhances the action of the bait.”
VanDam doesn’t want the bait to come straight back to the boat while he’s reeling it in. Instead he wants the bait to behave erratically, to ‘hunt’.
“I can see the difference of how those baits act with those hooks on there with my own eyes. I want the bait to search and hunt and not be perfect. That’s what’s in nature and what the bass are looking for.”
Replacing the light-wire, round-bend treble hooks that come standard on most crankbaits may not seem like that big of a deal to you. But for the man that has spent his whole life perfecting his cranking system, it’s imperative.
So take the time to try this tip on for size and see if you can tell the difference.
This article was contributed by an ANGLR Expert
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