The world of treble hooks can be a confusing one, even to the experienced angler. Manufacturers offer a wide range of models, including round bends, EWG’s, heavy wire and light wire–not to mention different colors, point grinds and barb sizes. Jerkbaits–especially Megabass jerkbaits–require very specific hooks to maximize the performance of each lure.
Katsuage hooks are made of a premium Japanese 0.8x diameter wire for superior penetration. They are insanely sharp and are designed to lodge in the soft hinge area of the jaw and hold. The weight of the Katsuage treble hooks are very important, especially on suspending jerkbaits like the Vision Oneten or X-80 Trick Darter. These lures suspend perfectly out of the box, so any upgrades to a larger or thicker diameter hook will affect the lure’s performance.
In general, most Megabass jerkbaits are designed for lighter line (7-10lb. fluoro) and medium action rods with a bit of “give.” This is the perfect setup to harness the superior penetration of the Katsuage to capture those light wintertime bites. Remember, it’s all about capturing that elusive bite. We’ll take a light-wire hook that penetrates and requires a softer fight than missed bites any day!
When choosing trebles, there are two main factors you must consider:
First, your target suspend/float/sink goal. This will largely be determined by water temperature and water visibility.
For example, if you want the Vision Oneten to suspend perfectly (or slowwwly rise), you must stay with the light-wire Katsuage hook. Sizing up to a #4 round bend or thicker 1x wire will add enough weight to cause the Vision Oneten to sink where it would otherwise suspend. This may be a killer technique around standing timber in the pre-spawn, but generally you want to keep your jerkbait suspended in the strike zone to coax bites from lethargic bass.
Second, the rate at which you plan to work your jerkbait. If the bite calls for long pauses, then even slight additions or subtractions of weight will cause a suspending lure to sink or rise, respectively. However, if the bite calls for a more aggressive cadence, you can size up your trebles or choose a thicker/heavier wire since your rod work won’t give your jerkbait enough time to rest and sink. Start with 1x #6 or #5 in your favorite bend and make sure to swap out the front and rear hooks simultaneously on a three-hook lure like the Vision Oneten to maintain that head-down posture.
Please note that no matter what, the action of the lure will be negatively affected when you upgrade to larger hooks simply because you are adding weight (just try adding 1lb to each of your shoess if you aren’t convinced!). This can be offset with more vigorous rod work or a line with lower stretch (switching from mono to fluoro, or from fluoro to a braid/leader setup, for example).
Lastly, make sure your hooks are in top condition. If one of the points gets dull from a rock, or straightens out a bit from being hung up, replace it immediately with a new one!