Preface: Andrew Saad is a contributing editor to the Custom Knowledge Base and one heck of an angler. Andrew has been known to land a big fish or two in the Cape Cod Cannel. Forever an outdoor enthusiast he brings a wealth of fishing knowledge to Custom Fishing LLC. Check out his Instagram @saadmandoo
Beef It Up!
We’ve all heard the stories of the one that got away. There is no worse feeling than when you are battling it out with a nice fish and lose it only to find it’s straightened your hook or split ring. Unfortunately these things happen and it doesn’t help that many lure companies out there use low grade hooks and split rings. Upgrading and changing out your hooks and split rings is an easy thing to do to increase your odds of landing fish. In some cases upgrading these items will change the action of the lure for the better.
Daiwa’s SP Minnow is a very popular lure that I always keep in my bag when striper fishing. These lures swim great, cast well, extremely easy to fish, very effective and have proven to catch fish. As good as these lures are there are some flaws. I wouldn’t recommend anyone fish these lures right out of the box. Although Daiwa is a big name in the fishing industry and makes a great product, there are some quick modifications you are going to want to do before hitting the water. Here is what you are going to need.
Take a pair of split ring pliers and remove the original treble hooks and split rings. Make sure to remove the split ring on the nose of the lure too! Very important because this is also a weak spot! Replace just the belly and tail split rings with heavy duty 5.5H split rings. For hooks the VMC 4X trebles, size 2/0 seem to work very well with this lure. I do not replace the split ring on the nose of the lure. I use a quick clip on the end of my line to connect to all my lures so there is no need for the split ring there (I think it swims better without it). If you are not already using these you should be when fishing lures.
Since we have talked about the SP minnow another thing I do is completely remove the tail hook. I will change the belly hook to a 3/0 4x VMC. This will give the lure a different action than fishing the usual two treble hooks. Having just the belly treble hook will give the lure a wider wiggle action and it will swim a bit deeper. When fish are being finicky sometimes having a just the slightest modification to a lure can be the difference to hooking up or not. Having only the one hook also makes it easier to unhook a landed fish and less of a chance catching a hook in the hand.