It used to be a hook is a hook and then someone got creative and the result was a bewildering mess when you go to the sporting goods store to buy some simple fishing hooks.

Aside from hook size, another part of the size maze you have to worry about is short or long shanks. Luckily, this is pretty much what it sounds like. To make things easy, consider the shank to be the area of the hook from the loop where you tie on to the curved part.

Often times, it’s a good idea to change the hooks on a lure to make make them sharper, more rugged, etc. Although I’m not crazy about changing hooks, I do it on cheap lures or lures that have seen a couple or more seasons and I have to spend a lot of time sharpening the hook points instead of fishing.

When changing hooks, I always advise to try and replace the old hook with something very similar from a good hook manufacturer such as Gamakatsu. (AND, for the record, I’m not getting a kickback from Gamakatsu! Like Rapala lures, Gamakatsu has proven worth over the years!) The reason for using a similar hook is that a radical change may affect the lure’s action.

The front treble I added matches up well with the other hook and it doesn’t foul but, that’s not very important since this is a wooden lure I retired a few years ago.
While we’re on this topic. I will admit there is one lure I change on purpose. That is the Arbogast Jitterbug.

Back in the day when the Jitterbug was developed, they must not have been too picky. How else can you explain the way the hooks intertwine and foul and, when the lure is a few yards out, you notice you might as well be reeling in a rock?

I’ll be the first to admit, I’ve never used a musky Jitterbug but, hook tangling is a real problem on the smaller sizes. For this reason, I like to change just the front hook and use something shorter instead of the hook that is attached when the lure comes out of the package. The Jitterbug is a topwater lure anyway so, if the front rises because the hook is a bit lighter, so much the better. Along those lines, if the new hook affects the way the lure sits in the water, it will probably settle down when you begin reeling.

When it comes to long or short shank hooks, it makes a lot more sense than some of hook size mambo-jumbo!

Remember to take the hooks outta yer pocket before ya sit down!

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