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Trailer Hooks & Effectiveness on smallmouth

trailer hook smallmouth flies

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17 replies to this topic

#1 jakebargo

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Posted 06 August 2019 - 01:12 PM

Hi guys.

 

I'm pretty new here, but that said I went through the search and really didn't find any information on my entry so I figured I'd post and see what information I could gather. 

 

My question is, for those who swing/strip for smallmouth, do you run trailer hook/intruder style rigs? Or am I best left to tying on a hook itself? In west Michigan where I am, I absolutely to prefer to swing, and if I can tie swing flies for both smallmouth and the migrating fish, I would prefer to do so. Of course swapping hooks when shifting seasons... but regardless of the convenience, if smallmouth will be foul-hooked more often this way then I will suck it up and tie separate flies. 



#2 Philly

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Posted 06 August 2019 - 01:48 PM

I don't use trailer hooks.  I had unpleasant experience using one when I was fishing for smallmouth in a local creek, just before I took up fly fishing.  I was using an ultra light rod set up and fishing a small slug-go with a trailer hook.  About a12 inch smallie hit the lure  and was hooked on the main hook, as I was trying to unhook it, it twisted and the trailer hook ended up embedded in my finger.  So trailer hooks and barbed hooks have been off the menu since then.  Most of the smallies I've caught really smash the fly.  I use the sharpest hooks I can find and debarb them.  I've foul hooked some smallies, and even some sunfish when they've swiped at the fly.  Usually in the gill plate or the body, though I've caught a couple in the tail which makes for an interesting fight.  IMO, you don't need a trailer hook for smallmouth, but I'm sure you'll get some differing views on the subject.  Welcome to the board.


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#3 mikechell

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Posted 06 August 2019 - 02:22 PM

Welcome to the site, Jake.

I don't have Smallmouth bass here in Florida, but I remember catching them when I lived in Indiana.  Given a chance, they will inhale bait just like a Largemouth.  I always hesitate using multi-hook lures and flies when I am bass fishing.  I've even gone so far as to remove "extra" hooks from diving lures. 

It's not foul hooking I'm concerned about, it's setting the trailer hook in the gills.

 

When you're swinging flies through current, I'd guess you don't get a lot of inhales.  It's probably harder to get deep hook sets.

 

I don't really have any suggestions for you ... just points to think about.


Barbed hooks rule!
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#4 tjm

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Posted 06 August 2019 - 04:13 PM

I fish fairly fast runs for small mouth pretty often and it is rare to not hook up when they hit a fly, It will most often be a smash or a gulp that lets them hook themselves. My flies normally use relatively short hooks. I can see no benefit from a trailer and like Philly I have found them unpleasant.

#5 Kimo

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Posted 06 August 2019 - 04:28 PM

I fish frequently for smallmouth at a nearby reservoir stripping articulated streamers on weighted lines.
I only use one hook at the head and do not use a trailing hook and have not had any issues
with short strikes.
I also use Ned Rigged furled worms with the hook once again only at the head.
The furled worms are 4" to 6" long.
And the Streamers are not more than 3"-4" long.

Kimo


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#6 Mark Knapp

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Posted 06 August 2019 - 05:27 PM

On a recent trip for smallmouth (this was in still water) I found no need for trailing hooks.



#7 jakebargo

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 01:43 AM

Thank you guys for the welcome words, and I appreciate all the input here. I think I will definitely be keeping my smallmouth flies tied on the hook. This is all good assurance that I won't be missing a set.

 

Cheers.



#8 BobHRAH

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 04:04 PM

Kevin Feenstra is a guide in your general neck of the woods and has designed and used a good number of flies with trailer hooks.  Check out: feenstraoutdoors.com (sorry, link would not paste).   Not only will you see patterns with trailer hooks, but some remarkably unique flies.

 

My own experience with trailer hook flies is limited, probably because I'm lazy in regard to constructing them.   Good Luck.

 

Thanks, Bob H



#9 ksevigny

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 08:40 PM

Kimo,

Do you have any pictures of your Ned rig flies?? Sounds interesting

#10 Kimo

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 09:03 PM

Kimo,

Do you have any pictures of your Ned rig flies?? Sounds interesting

65587499_10155982074247003_4092089048280

Kimo


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#11 Charlie P. (NY)

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 09:10 PM

NY Smallmouth don't have a tendency to short strike or nibble.  I never found a trailer hook necessary.

 

In fact, I use 34007 or 2X shank hooks often and lots of material behind them.

 

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#12 FIN-ITE 34

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Posted 08 August 2019 - 05:35 AM

Jake, are you talking about tube fly with a single trailer hook, or a fly tied on hook shank with a loop off the shank for a second hook? If it is the first I see no reason you can't fish your tubes and just change up the hook style. You can adjust the distance of your hook point from the end of the tube either by length of junction tubing or length of loop knot.



#13 fshng2

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Posted 08 August 2019 - 05:19 PM

In asking if an intruder type fly would be effective for smallmouth's.

I believe they could be useful as the one hook design.

 

Intruder History:

All fish have territories that they protect from the encroachment of others. Rainbow trout, steelhead, and Chinook salmon can be extremely territorial.

An Intruder fly is meant to trigger aggression when invading, or intruding into the territory of a sport fish, thus eliciting a strike response.

The most productive “Intruder” fly patterns trigger the fight response without triggering a flee response by scaring the fish away from its territory.

These types of flies become even more productive if they also mimic something that the fish has been feeding on, so that the “defend” response is combined with a “kill” response. 

https://flyfishusa.c...ntruder-Chassis

 

The Intruder usually uses only one hook but tandems can be tied. 

A hook is mounted to the rear of the fly hence the name given to the hook is a trailer.

The Intruder has a large profile and creates lots of movement without using a long hook.

Advantage: It is tied so that the hook can be changed out for a new one, a different sized one or a different style.

 

Single hook attachment summary: See articles for details

https://globalflyfis...er-introduction

https://flyfishusa.c...ntruder-Chassis

1. The fly is tied to a shank with a large wire loop or leader loop at it's end. The hook is attached with a loop to loop connection.

2. The fly is tied to a shank with a small wire loop or leader loop at it's end. A tippet is then passed thru the shanks front eye, down along the fly, and thru the small loop. The hook is then tied to the tippet (a junction tube is optional).

3. The fly is tied as a tube fly.



#14 Kimo

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Posted 08 August 2019 - 06:23 PM

I have also found this style of fly very effective fishing for smallmouth on weighted lines.

Articulated Turkey Streamer

40492151_2142632759081354_46758605478858

Kimo


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#15 Flicted

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Posted 09 August 2019 - 12:01 PM

Sure, two-hook flies could work as good as a single hook streamer but why? Big mouthed predators like large and smallmouth, pike... dont nip at a streamer, they inhale it. Two-hook flies have a good chance of hooking or at least damaging the gills. And theyre harder and more expensive to tie. So, why use them for smallmouth?