Single vs treble hooks

Treble vs single hooks for offshore fishing

When it comes to offshore lures, the debate between using treble vs single hooks can be a contentious one.

After decades as a fishing guide and trial and error myself, I’ve come up with a few rules of thumb that I thought I might share with you.

Rules of thumb for treble vs single hooks




Hook size vs Hook strength.

What many people don't realise, is that hooks not only come in different sizes, but different strengths!


3x vs 6x treble hooks

When chasing bigger fish, I like to upgrade my hooks from 3x to 6x strong


Trolling lures with three sets of trebles

When chasing big fish, hook size really does matter!

Big barra have a bony mouth and smaller hooks can bounce off, whereas larger hooks penetrate around the lip.

Larger offshore fish species like large-mouth Nannygai and GT's are the same.

In my trial and error of treble vs single hooks, I discovered that larger fish are rarely taken on the middle treble.

So I usually remove the middle treble and upgrade the size and strength of the two remaining hooks.

This allows the lure to still swim with a beautiful action, and increase my likelihood of landing trophy fish.


Single vs treble lures for trolling lures

Removing the middle treble and going up in size and strength for the remaining trebles is a good alternative to single hooks for trolling lures when chasing trophy fish.

Smaller lures

When chasing smaller fish, especially those that hang in the open like flathead, there is no need to upgrade your trebles.

However if your quarry is a mean fighter like a mangrove jack, it is worth while upgrading the strength.

Switching out trebles for singles

This is more for fishing the reef flats where bigger fish are likely to duck for cover.

When they do, having a good set of single hooks allows you to put that extra weight on them.

I've been having some fun of late catching reef fish on barra lures.

And changing out the trebles on my own Scaleblazer lures with 3/0 singles for that purpose.

Using single hooks instead of treble hooks on Scaleblazer lures

A 3/0 single hook is a perfect size for a lure like our Scaleblazer shallow diver. Traditionally a barra lure (boy have I caught some fish on these lures) sporting trebles, it doubles as a top water lures on the reef flats by switching to single hooks.

Releasing fish

When it comes to releasing fish, single hooks win hands down.

It is much easier to remove singles than trebles.

Especially if the fish is suffering from barotrauma - you want it back down to the bottom as quickly as possible.

When releasing fish we find bent nose pliers are an almost indispensable tool for any tackle box to more easily remove hooks from fish.

Safety: treble vs single hooks

The simple fact is that single hooks are easier to remove than trebles.

For both fish and humans!

If you enjoy a bit of gruesome content, check out a previous blog where we asked our community for fish hook stories.

Fish hook accidents - happens to the best of them!

Not recommended use for treble hooks. Read more about this accident (it involves a crocodile and a mangrove root)  > click here.

Well i hope that helps your decision making when it comes to treble vs single hooks for offshore fishing.

And we have some more great tips below.

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About The Author

Ryan Moody

Ryan Moody started his fishing career on the reef boats before catching bucket list marlin for the likes of champion heavy tackle angler Johnno Johnson, INXS and the King of Sweden. Branching out in the late 80's to guided barramundi fishing, Ryan has made a name for himself as a Big Barramundi specialist and to date has put clients onto over 2000 metre plus barra. That is over 2 kilometres of metre plus barra! With attitudes changing from 'keep all you can' towards catch and release, Ryan has decided to share his extensive knowledge and hopefully inspire people of all ages to get out from behind the computer screen/TV and into the fishing outdoors lifestyle he has spent his life perfecting.

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