Tuesday, March 13, 2012


I often notice that everyone has really strong opinions, or particular tastes in the hardware on their plugs. Sometimes its not enough to just want barrel swivels, but they have to be stainless steel, specific sizes or whatever. Same can be said for hooks, split rings, grommets etc. So I am going to run down a few of them, and hopefully you guys will use the comment section below to add your thoughts as well.

Hook Hangers
I am using KROK stainless steel swivels now, but have used SPRO and Rosco in the past.  I like the KROK ones a lot. Stainless steel of the barrel and rings mean they will last way beyond the life of the plug. I don't have anything against the other ones, but these are the best available today in my opinion.

VMC 9626 for the trebles. I love these hooks. They sometimes rust quickly, but I blame my own paranoia for sharpening them so frequently.

I use the VMC 9171 for the siwash hooks. I don't use it on the 5/8 oz needlefish like I do the other needles. I have been asked on multiple occasions about adding a siwash to the 5/8 oz needlefish. I think a 3/0 would be the correct size for that plug, but I tend to lose faith in it in less than the 4/0 size for saltwater species. However, I understand the point that a 3/0 is better than no hook. What do you think?

Split Rings
If you noticed some of the plugs at the spring shows have split rings on them. I have been testing them out for a bit, and I got a bit annoyed cutting some hooks lately. So I decided to make the switch on the 2/0 hooks. I really like the Wolverine triple rings. Compact in size so they don't really affect the action of the plugs at all.

I know a lot of people don't like cut hooks and immediately take the cut hook off and replace with a split ring and hook. What do you do?

I think that grommets have a purpose in some lures. In plugs like darters (made of maple) and needlefish (made of birch) they offer very little. The wood is a hard species, plus they are epoxy sealed and I think they serve little function. I still add them to the plug though because I think people want them, if nothing else but for aesthetics.

However, the plugs I make out of basswood and cedar, I think they serve a bit more function to protect the wood. These lures are also epoxy sealed, so the protection the grommet provides is fairly minimal.

What are your thoughts on grommets? Will you only buy plugs with grommets?

I am really curious on if a plugs hardware determines if you will fish it, or how you modify to make it fish-able. So there we go. Comment below! 


  1. I tend to agree with all of your points, except I have found the rosco HD split rings to be just as good as wolverines. Honestly, the only time I have had split ring issues is if I left the stock rings and hook on a plastic plug.

    For the grommets, I never gave them consideration until you and I had discussions about them last year. Now I look for them on plugs. I don't think I have ever had an issue with a plug that did not have them, but I still look to see if they are there now...

    1. Agree on Rosco HD rings. I think only 1 time one has failed me. The only reason I like the Wolverine slightly better is that they are a bit smaller in size.

      Thanks for you thoughts!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.