Pre-season jobs. For me, replacing hooks on metal jigs comes down to two categories; replacing old hooks with new ones, and changing stock, factory hooks and the hook configuration to my preferences. Replacing hooks is pretty self-explanatory, but what do I mean by changing the hook configuration? Well, it’s impossible for manufacturers to predict how every angler wants to rig their metal jigs. Does the angler want a value hook, or is the angler happy to pay for a premium Japanese hook? Does the angler prefer a treble hook or assist hooks? Twin assists or a single? Holographic fibre or not? A treble on the back and assists up front? And so on and so on.
It’s all personal preference, so I can’t tell you that there is a right way. But for me, for pleasure fishing I don’t want a treble hook. It’s bad for the fish and takes longer to unhook. Also, not great if you use a landing net, like I sometimes do. My preference is either a short single or a pair of assists on the back. I remove all the hardware from the head end. If I ever want to add a single to the head, I will add this directly to the lure clip. The Decoy DJ-91 is great for this by the way.
So what do you need? Split ring pliers are your friend. I know you think you don’t need them… but you do! You’ll soon grow tired of using your finger-nail. Then it’s as simple as choosing your favourite hooks. Try and have a good size selection available so you can match them to the jig size. Like everything, try to keep the match balanced. The only other item I have close by are some small, quality split rings. Again about balance, I don’t like over-powering split rings, so sometimes I drop down a size or two.