Dressed for Success

By Nick Simonson

For a quick-tying and fun addition to any lure with a treble hook, such as a crankbait, in-line spinner or  spoon, that also ups the odds for catching fish, dressing a few spare treble hooks in colors that set various species off and seal the deal when they come in for a look is something that long winter nights were made for.  Through the addition of hair, flash, hackle and other materials to a standard treble, those factory lures can have some extra attraction, extreme customization and a horde of ready back-up hooks when things get going next spring.  What follows is a quick tutorial to maximize the flashiness of the baits in any tackle box with a dressed treble.

A treble hook dressed in hackle and krystal flash. Simonson Photo. 

Dressed Treble

Hook: Size 4 Treble
Thread: Red 3/0
Hackle: Red Hackle
Skirt: Pearl Krystal Flash
Sealant: Head Cement



Start the dressed treble by securing the hook in the vise and building a thread base down along the shank (1). Add a drop of head cement to the thread wraps for posterity.  On each side of the treble hook, tie in a red hackle feather, so that the tips extend just slightly past the bend in the hook (2).  Secure them down with a few thread wraps, advancing the bobbin up to just behind the hook eye and add in a small coating of head cement to secure things in place (3).

Behind the hook eye, tie in a small clump of krystal flash on top of the treble’s hook shank with eight to ten thread wraps (4).  One could also use bucktail, squirrel tail, coastal deer hair, antron and other materials in many colors to customize the lure in favorite confidence hues or to what the fish seem to like. Complete the skirt by tying in two more clumps of flash and secure them all in place just behind the hook eye (5). Whip finish and add a drop of head cement to lock everything in place and let the sealant set (6).

Using a split-ring pliers, pop the regular, boring, undressed treble out of any lure’s split ring and add in your creation (7).  This gives any crankbait, spoon or spinner some added flash and excitement.  Use this winter to experiment with dressing colors and materials to find what works next open water season for all species of fish and have plenty of spares on hand for when that little something extra is the reason bass, walleyes and other species seem to be hitting your specialty baits.

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