What’s the benefit?

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professional angler terry scroggins fighting a bass next to this boat

The main benefit is this modification allows the treble hook to rotate freely from the body of the lure. This means a fish will have less leverage as they try their best to shake the hook and leave you shaking your head. A split ring keeping a hook in a relatively fixed position is a good thing most of the time, but in situations where you are fighting a poorly hooked fish to the boat, this becomes an issue.

“I first started toying with this on lipless crankbaits,” Scroggins explained. “I love throwing a lipless and bass love them, too. The only problem is the landing ratio. It doesn’t matter what brand you throw, what kind of hooks you hang off them or what tackle you sling them with… it’s just one of those techniques where you are going to lose some fish. That logic didn’t sit well with me and I spent some time thinking through it.

“I’m no scientist, but in my mind it all came down to leverage and rotation. When a fish has the back hook on a relatively heavy treble-hooked lure like a lipless or a big crankbait, and they get to jumping around and shaking their head that lure is flailing around, too. With the rigidity of a split ring, every time the lure moves or spins it is liable to pull against the treble hook, often causing the hook to pop out. This braided line trick helps to fix that issue.”

Scroggins is quick to admit swapping your split rings for braid doesn’t work 100 percent of the time and he isn’t promising you will never lose another bass if you employ this tackle tweak. This is just one more trick up his sleeve Scroggins uses when the situation calls for it.

Big Show generally relies on a factory split ring just like you and me, but he quickly makes this modification if he is losing a lot of fish on a treble-hooked lure. The only time Scroggins makes this change before getting on the water is with smallmouth bass. Smallmouth are well-known for their acrobatics and are infamous for throwing treble-hooked baits.

“Ask any experienced pro and they’ll tell you smallmouth and treble hooks are a bad combination,” Scroggins said. “Those jokers never give up and will send a crankbait flying back at your boat about as often as you land them. Mark Zona and I got to talking about the braided line split ring trick one time and Z said he swears by this modification for warm-water smallmouth.”

No matter what species you are fishing for, if you are losing a lot of fish on treble-hooked lures it’s worth giving this quick lure alteration a try. It can help you land more fish and learn a new trick in the process. Scroggins has experienced the effectiveness firsthand and says you might be surprised to learn how many bass fishermen are using this tackle tweak at the professional level.