It's A Simple Modification
But can it make a difference?
Craig Sandell © 2010


There seems to have emerged some additional interest in the practice of heat shrinking the tail hook on Musky lures. Supposedly, this will position the hook for a higher hookup percentage but there are no facts to support the "marketing hype". What we do know is that Musky will seek to attack their prey in mid-body. A mid-body attack makes a 'fixed position' tail hook less likely to be part of a 'hook-up'.

This article gives you a step by step to try it for yourself.

The Top Raider and the Rumbler use a neat modification to the tail hook. It is a little trick borrowed from other lure manufacturers and many of the older Musky anglers. I thought that you might find this simple lure modification of some interest.

The Problem

Bucktail, No Mod Whenever you throw a lure such as a bucktail, spinner or almost any surface lure, the hook at the tail end of the lure is NOT in the position for optimum hooking. If you look at the lure shown here, you can see that the tail hook is at a 90 degree angle to the ‘retrieve plane‘ of the lure. Regardless of how fast you retrieve your lure, the tail hook will never be in-line with the body of the lure.
The Solution

By adding a piece of heat shrink tubing over the split ring and the shaft end of the lure, to which the split ring is attached, the tail hook will be placed in an in-line position.

Bucktail With Mod

Basic Tools This is a simple procedure but you will need some tools. The split ring pliers and side cutters shown at the left are probably in your tool kit already.

You will have to buy some heat shrink tubing. You can get it at your local hardware store or Radio Shack. You are looking for ¼ diameter tubing. Unfortunately, it is usually packaged with tubing of other sizes but it is cheap and having some different sizes may spark an idea or two.

Preparing The Hook

Hook 1 Get your treble hook and cut a length of heat shrink tubing that is the length of the shaft of the hook. Make sure that the tubing DOES NOT cover the eye of the treble hook.
Hook 2 Slip the heat shrink tubing over the treble hook shaft as shown in the illustration at the left.
Hook 3 You can now install the split ring onto the hook. You now have the basic assembly for the modification to any lure in your tackle box.
For this procedure, you will need one additional piece of equipment...a heat gun. Once again, your local hardware store or Radio Shack will usually have what you need. I would NOT recommend that you try a hair dryer. It doesn't get hot enough to completely shrink the tubing.

Heat Gun

Modified Lure Install the hook, tubing and split ring assembly onto the lure you plan to modify. Once installed, you will have to coax the heat shrink tubing up from the treble hook shaft and over the split ring and on to the 'through wire' or screw eye of the lure you are modifying.

Once that is done, simply use your heat gun on the heat shrink tubing to shrink it snugly over the entire assembly as shown on the Tally Wacker.

CAUTION: If you are doing this on a lure dressed with hair or feathers, make sure that the dressing is NOT directly in the flow of the hot air from the heat gun.

This will work for any lure where there is a trailing hook except on tail wagging surface lures like the Hawg Wobbler. Try it on your Bucktails, spinner baits and almost any of your surface lures. If you don't like it, simply cut the heat shrink tubing off.