The majority of plugs and lures, I find, come with cheaper or medium grade quality hooks to help keep the RRP down. Rarely am I satisfied with the bought product, and more often than not I prefer to change the treble hooks provided with the lure for better quality ones before I take the new lure fishing. My first choice of replacement hook are Owners. In years past, I’ve had 6lb grilse salmon bend out what looked like a strong treble hook from other makes. The Owners though, are much stronger in design and wire strength, and therefore minimise the chance of a hook bending out on a big fish.
For general saltwater fishing for bass and pollack, I like the Owner ST36BC Treble pattern. This is a power welded, super strong, forged, round bend, fine wire pattern armed with ultra sharp needle points that are always super sharp straight out of the packet. It comes in a low light reflection black nickel finish and in the common sizes 8 to 1/0, which cover all aspects of normal inshore and freshwater lure work. This is also the pattern I use on my sea trout and salmon lures on the spate rivers where fish over double figures are rare.
If I need an even stronger hook, then I choose the Owner ST41 Treble which is a heavier 2X wire gauge, round bend, short shank pattern with slightly curved in cutting points. Again this pattern comes in the low reflective black nickel finish, is ultra sharp, and available in common sizes 8 to 2/0.
Something to remember though, is that replacement hooks need to be of a similar size and weight, otherwise it can effect the action of the lure. That said, it also works in reverse and experimenting with a slightly larger, heavier hook, or a lighter and smaller hook, depending on the action of the lure, can transform an otherwise average lure in to a real killer. Basically adding weight usually dulls the action and can make the lure run a little deeper. Lighter, smaller hooks tend to increase the lures action a little and can make them run slightly shallower, though much depends on the lure. The only way to be sure is to run tests and see for yourself.
The Owner ST36BC Treble hooks come in packets of eight hooks in sizes of 20 down to 4, then seven hooks in size 2, and for size 1 and 1/0 hooks there are six hooks per pack. The ST41 pattern is available in sizes 8, 6 and 4 having eight hooks per packet, sizes 2 and 1 seven hooks, and sizes 1/0 and 2/0 sizes having six hooks per packet. Other packeting options and sizes may be available, but the above are the ones commonly stocked by shops. Prices also vary, but start at around £6 for the ST36’s, with the ST41’s retailing from around £7, but can be cheaper online if you shop around.
The smaller ST36BC’s from sizes 8 down to 16 are also perfect when making salmon and sea trout tube flies.