I’ve always been very intrigued with lures that require treble hooks. It started at an early age and continued to develop into my career in the fishing industry. Given the choice, I’d rather catch a 5-pounder on a crankbait or topwater plug over a jig any day. Maybe it’s the added difficulty of landing a big bass on a set of trebles or perhaps it’s because I like to cover water quickly. Either way, it gets me fired up.
I was talking to Aaron Martens this past fall at a writers conference and he was telling me all about the new Gamakatsu TGW Nano Finesse Treble. He’s been working on the development of these hooks for quite some time and we were able to “nerd out” together about their design and applications. Needless to say, I was intrigued and made certain to try ’em out when I returned home.
After fishing with these treble hooks for several months, I’ve been very impressed by them. There are several things about them worth noting in my opinion.
- Thin wire
- Very little flex
- Fish stay buttoned
- They stay sharp
Thin wire results in quick hook penetration
At first glance, these hooks looked ridiculously thinâalmost too thin for my liking. But as I fished with them and put them on several different lures this year, I’ve come to appreciate this quality for a very specific reason. There’s a definite method to the madness.
Heavy wire hooks require more force in order to effectively penetrate a bass’ mouth. The hook point has more surface area, resulting in more work for the angler in regards to hooksets. There are certain situations when a heavier treble hook is necessary, but for most anglers, those situations are few and far between.
The Gamakatsu TGW Nano Finesse Treble, however, is much thinner than most traditional treble hooks. Throughout my testing, I’ve enjoyed excellent hook penetration with very little effort. Rememberâyou don’t really use an aggressive hookset when fishing with treble-hooked lures. That’s an easy way to yank the lure from the fish’s mouth before it has a chance to hook itself.
I’ve been able to simply lean into the fish without any dramatic, sweeping hooksets. There are a lot of times when crankbait and jerkbait bass will “catch you sleeping”. In other words, when you least expect it, ol’ big totally stomps your lure and you’re out of position and playing catch up from the very beginning.
This actually happened to me yesterday while fishing a crankbait with the Gamakatsu TGW Nano Finesse Treble hooks. I was turned around looking for a fish that busted the surface and wouldn’t you know itâmy plug got absolutely smoked. It knocked about 2 feet of slack into my line and to be honest, I shouldn’t have caught her. But she came to the surface with both trebles firmly implanted into the side of her mouth. Even with the very littleâat bestâpressure I was able to put on her, she was done the moment she touched the treble hooks.
I can certainly say I’ve noticed a sizeable decrease in the amount of “slaps” and “swats” while using these hooks, as evidenced by the number of bass I’ve caught lately that have been hooked outside of the mouth. They didn’t really have an intention of eating my lure, but it made ’em react and these hooks helped me take advantage of their mistake.
Very little flex
When I saw how thin these hooks were, I’ll admit that I was pretty concerned with hook flex. You can use the sharpest treble hooks on Earth, but it won’t do you a bit of good if it bends like tinfoil when a bass bites.
To combat this issue and strike a “happy medium” between thin diameter and flex resistance, Gamakatsu and Martens designed these particular hooks with Tournament-Grade Wire, or TWG as it states on the package. That sounds nice and fancy, but does it work?
If you get your hands on these hooks, take one out of the package and try to bend it with your fingers. You’ll feel a very small amount of flex, but you’ll have a hard time changing the shape of the hook without pliers. Although I haven’t scientifically measured it in millimeters, it doesn’t feel or look like these trebles flex any more than most traditional treble hooks.
When it comes to on-the-water performance, I’ve been pleased with how well these hooks maintain their shape and structural integrity. I’ve run ’em through hundreds of brush piles, thousands of rocks and had my rear end kicked by 5-pound bass at the side of the boat without any flexing. I did, however, accidentally foul hook a 25-pound carp in the back and it bent one of the hooks. But come onâdoes that even count?
Bass stay buttoned
I tend to favor treble hooks with an aggressive bend. Throughout my experience with reaction lures, I feel like they “pin” fish in one spot on the hook and discourage them sliding up the hook shank or towards the barb.
The TGW Nano Finesse Treble is equipped with a fairly short shank and an O’Shaughnessy bend, which has allowed me to enjoy an excellent hookup ratio. I’ve seen a lot of anglers over-fight crankbait, jerkbait and topwater fish and lose ’em at the side of the boat because they try to land them before they’re ready. So far, I’ve been able to take it nice and easy with these hooks while letting the bass calm down a bit before I swing ’em in the boat.
They come sharp and stay sharp
Folks who don’t fish often assume that any hook is sharp. But as anglers, we know betterâthere is certainly such a thing as a sharp hook and a dull hook. These hooks are definitely in the latter category. They’re really darn sharp.
It also wouldn’t be a stretch to consider these hooks as “sticky”. I know that’s a strange way to refer to a hook, but you’ll see what I’m talking about as you thread them onto your split rings. If you get anywhere near them, you’re going to get pricked.
I’ve also found these hooks to retain their sharpness quite well throughout several daysâand even weeksâof fishing. I crank a lot of rocks this time of year and I’ve yet to have any hook points roll over. They’ll become slightly dull after a few long fishing trips, but for the most part they seem to stay sharp and effective for a long time.
I’m not one of those guys that goes into hook point angles, bend angles or anything of the sort. I use products and base my opinions and reviews solely on my real-life experience with them. Based on several months of testing, I think these treble hooks are cleverly designed and excellently built. After lots of fish catches on them, I’m certainly impressed.