We don't just supply the BEST weighted and unweighted weedless hooks for soft plastic lures, but we've also spent the time to explain in detail which ones you should use. Weedless hooks have become extremely popular in recent years as their snag-free properties save ¬£1000's of lures! Especially with bass, but they're essential for wrasse and some perch fishing near snags too!
What is a weedless hook?
Quite literally a weedless hook is designed to catch the weed, less. There are many shapes and styles of weedless lure rigging options but the shared design element is that there will be something about the shape of the hook itself, or the way it's rigged that will block weed or rock immediate access to catching on the hook point. For the angler this opens up opportunities to cast lures in to snaggy areas that would be otherwise inaccessible - or impossible to fish without constantly losing gear or catching weed.
Weedless & Weightless?
How is it possible to fish a "weightless" lure? People are often confused by the idea of fishing a lure weightlessly. How will it cast? There's no weight?!
No ADDED weight that is.
Rigged with a single hook (no added weight) a weightless lure carries no extra weight on the line. Distance and fishing is done using the weight of the lure alone. Many soft plastic lures that we use for bass weight more than 10g in body weight. In a lot of cases, this weight is enough on the end of the line to achieve good casting distances. The benefit of no additional weight also comes good in the water.
- Lures sink more slowly which means they can be retrieved over shallower rocks without snagging - or even on the surface with a faster retrieve.
- They are more free to move in synchronicity with the water around them - rather than being dragged around by added lead.
- An unweighted lure can be retrieved more slowly - which will find more favour with larger and/or less aggressive fish.
The most common of our weedless types, offset hooks have a roughly 90o bend in the shank. Traditionally this has been our most popular style of weedless hook. The size options available cover everything from LRF in a size #10 to big pike versions at 10/0 - or even above.
- Loads of size options and shapes to cover all styles of lure.
- Easy to rig.
- Pressure on the hook can sometimes rip nose of the lure once you've caught a few fish.
- Wet lures can slide off of the eye and down the shank.
Did you know? We even supply weedless dropshot hooks! Check out the Cultiva Down Shot Offset B-73 to see what I mean.
Under different brands, you may see the use of a "hitchhiker" coil listed as a "Springlock" (Gamakatsu) or "Twistlock" (Owner) design - when supplied with a hook. The Hitchhiker is actually the name for the coil itself.
The concept involves the use of a wire coil which is clipped to the eye of the hook. Rather than putting the hook point through the nose of the lure - as with an Offset hook - the soft plastic lure is twisted on to the curly wire until almost touching the eye of the hook and the right way up.
- Lure held very securely on the hook.
- Better hook-up rate. Articulation of the clip on the hook eye enables more flexible movement to the lure when a fish takes - so that the hook point can be more easily exposed.
- No tearing of lure nose when catching fish.
- More costly than offset hooks.
- Only readily available over hook size #1.
Recommendations: Consider using unweighted versions with straight lures like the DoLive Stick or Laggin Dragon. Go for weighted versions to provide a "keel" and a bit more stability for paddle-tailed lures like the Fish Arrow Flash J Shad 5".
Our most popular models:
- - For the OSP DoLive Stick - Owner Twistlock 5167 in 5/0. This long shank, narrow gape hooks perfectly suits slim lures like the DoLive, Senko, Laggin' Dragon.
- - For Fish Arrow Flash J Shad SW 5" - Cultiva Twistlock TL-12 in 5/0. This belly weighted (3.5g) wide gape hook is perfect on the 5" shads and similar lures.
- - For Fish Arrow Flash J Split SW 5" - Cultiva Twistlock TL-11 in 6/0. A wider gape, unweighted hook which goes well with the slightly deeper belly of the Split.
Cheburashka / Bottom Jigging
I first became familiar with this brilliant system quite a few years ago when Spro released their "Bottom Jigs". In essence, by matching almost any Offset hook with one of the various Bottom jig weights, you can create your own combinations of weedless, articulated jigheads. These are different to standard weedless jigheads thanks to the freedom of movement that the hook has on the head. This enables the lure to swim with more of a fluid motion.
See the Spro Bottom Jig section for far more details.
Confession: Although I've included the Bottom Jigs here, I am aware that there are other weighting, rigging systems that work well with weedless hooks. The "Jika" rig for example. I'll cover some of these another time. The Bottom Jigging system is just too brilliant - hence adding. Bottom Jigs don't actually HAVE to be fished with weedless hooks either. See the Spro Bottom Jig products for the full run-down of options.
Ever popular, the weedless jighead was a real go-to rigging option for me when I first started lure fishing for bass. To this day it remains one of the most popular options even if the majority have become more specific and designed to match with certain lures. In this section I must also include heads for the likes of the Fiiish Black Minnow and the new Spro Guts Bait (a lovely lure!). Technically these are to a degree, articulated - like the Bottom Jigs. The more fitted lure bodies do restrict that benefit a touch though.
- Fixed head can feel more direct than Texas rig.
- Great for swimming lures.
- Hook sizes tend to go up proportionately with weight.
- Not possible to change weight/hook combinations by much unless the manufacturer provides a lot of options.
Top tip: For ultimate care-free fishing in weedy conditions, choose a head style that has the eye as close to the nose as possible. This will enable weed to pass more freely over the lure without catching at the junction between line and head.
Popular with freshwater predator enthusiasts, these weedless hook styles rely on a protective fibre (one or many) to mask the hook point and prevent snagging.
- Many styles available to suit different techniques.
- Fibres can be bent outwards or adjusted to suit requirements.
- Good hook point coverage.
- Can limit casting distance due to lack of aerodynamics.
- More bulky fibres may be difficult for smaller fish to get past - leading to missed takes.
- Can be costly.
Top tip: Bend the two, fine fibres of the Fish Arrow J Heads outwards to give more hook-point coverage (as pictured, but slightly wider). They come flat packed, but use your noggin and create your own snag-proofing favourites.