Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

A way to carry a bunch of different soft plastics, but without having to rig them all on a bunch of weedless hooks - one hook to rule them all?

Following on from Monday’s blog post and as I alluded to at the end of it, I had a bit of a lightbulb moment that revolves around these hitch-hiker coils and regular weedless hooks. My thoughts today might or might not work for you, indeed you might well not carry many soft plastics anyway and you’re just fine rigging a few of them on various hooks and then carrying them like that. It’s not as if I need to change what I am doing with rigging the various soft plastics that I will fish mostly rigged weedless and weightless - and those Owner Twistlock hooks are still bloody brilliant - but it did get me thinking when I found what had to be around thirty soft plastics sitting on what was obviously the same number of weedless hooks……………..


I have also heard a fair few anglers over the years saying that they prefer tying a loop knot directly to their soft plastic because they believe that the lack of a lure clip gives them the most natural movement possible on the lure - a lot of fly anglers would argue this way of doing things all day long. I have tried it but I don’t do it, and there’s one simple reason why not - I don’t want to have to cut my leader and retie my loop knot every single time I want to change lures. I feel perfectly confident using the outstanding Breakaway Mini Link lure clip anyway, but what if there was a way of changing soft lures without having to cut and retie that loop knot, and then quite possibly your leader as well in due course because it’s getting shorter and shorter?

Well there is a way, and my apologies if as per Monday’s blog post you are all already using this method and I’m the mug for highlighting it here - but I haven’t seen this talked about before as ever all I am hoping is that my ramblings and bolts of lightning might help a few of you out whilst at the same time helping me clear my head out a bit!


So as per Monday’s blog post I have now worked out that those little hitch-hiker coil things can actually be used with regular weedless hooks, and I can now get hold of what to me is the perfect kind of (Owner type) hitch-hiker here in the UK - these new Seadra ones here. I also have a bunch of regular weedless hooks here at home that I can use for the system I am about to describe. Because this “system” for me is going to be based mostly around soft plastics like the 6’’ long OSP DoLive Stick in various colours, the 4.5” OSP DoLive Shad, and then white senkos and so on., I can go back to some particular hooks that I really like, and in a size 5/0 they are a great fit for these sizes of lures - the Varivas Gran Hooking Master “Monster Class” weedless hook here, or the Lunker City Texposer one here. And of course there are loads of different weedless hooks out there.


What I don’t really want to end up with again is a growing number of different soft plastics with a growing number of weedless hooks in them - and via this lightbulb moment, now I don’t need to. I can buy packets of those Seadra hitch-hiker coils (ten in a packet), screw them into the various soft plastics I’ll use for rigging weedless and weightless, either loop knot onto or use my lure clip to secure to whatever weedless hook floats my boat the most (as per the above paragraph), and then when you want to change your soft plastic you simply remove the hook from the body of the lure, slide the lure which is attached via the hitch-hiker off the hook, slide a different lure onto the hook, and put the hook through the body as per usual with a weedless hook.


That’s it really. Nice and simple and to me it makes a lot of sense. I accept completely that you may well prefer to carry your soft plastics pre-rigged on whatever weedless hook you prefer, or you might be happy to use the one hook anyway and rig accordingly each time you want to change it. It matters not really, but I kinda like the idea of the one weedless hook and then a bunch of different soft plastics into which I have screwed those Seadra hitch-hiker coils or whichever ones you like using. Obviously I’d be carrying some spare hooks in case I snagged up and had to break off, and for smaller soft plastics such as the 4.5” OSP DoLive Stick or whatever you like to use, I’d clip or tie on a smaller weedless hook and go from there with the smaller soft plastics I was carrying. And then because I am using that brilliant little Breakaway Mini Link lure clip, when I want to change from a soft plastic over to a hard lure, I just unclip the soft plastic on the one weedless hook, put it back in my lure box, and clip on whatever hard lure I am turning to. And so on. Simple, and I like simple when I am out there fishing.


I tend to have a lot of ideas about fishing stuff bouncing around my brain (really?!), but I only got to this “modular system” as such when I learnt last Friday that you could actually use hitch-hiker coils on regular weedless hooks. The “rigging them all up on weedless hooks beforehand” way I have been doings things has been working just fine in the past, and there is every chance that you are far more controlled than me and don’t have a whole heap of soft plastics sitting on a whole heap of weedless hooks. If there is one thing I do like in fishing though it’s having options, and I also do like to try new stuff and see if it might end up working a bit better than what I was doing before. I love those Owner Twistlock hooks but I am going to give my “modular system” I have been talking about here a good go and see how it goes.

The remaining question has to be what about soft plastics that I might rig with a belly-weighted weedless hook (such as the MegaBass Spindle Worm or when there’s a bit of bounce on and I need a bit of weight on a DoLive or a senko), because you can’t slide the eye of a Seadra hitch-hiker over a belly-weight. At the end of the day I don’t have many soft plastics rigged like this so I can simply keep using the pre-rigged ones I have and clip them on or off as required, but I do have some ideas on how I could apply the modular sort of approach to the belly-weight thing though………………...


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