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DarterMan

questions about smaller Hellcats and Bombers

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I have been gradually removing the "middle" hook on all my 6" Bombers and upping the sizes on the remaining two (to keep the overall weight of the plug the same) because 1) it doesn't make that much of a difference in the action and 2) it makes unhooking a fish a hell of a lot easier. However, I have never tried to play around with 4-1/2" Hellcats, 5" Hellcats and even the 5" Bomber, as these are extremely light plugs and I am worried that altering the hooks will radically affect their action. I would like to give it a shot anyway, so here is what I would like to know:

 

1. 4-1/2" Hellcat: comes standard with (3) #6 trebles - should I remove the middle hook and replace the front & tail with #4's?

2. 5" Hellcat: comes standard with (3) #4 trebles - should I remove the middle hook and replace the front & tail with #2's?

3. 5" Bomber: comes standard with (3) #4 trebles - should I remove the middle hook and replace the front & tail with #2's (NOTE: these are not nearly as light as Hellcats)...??

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Haven't tried that, but I don't see why it would be a big problem.

Try a few and see what they look like in the water.

I'd love to know what you think.

I have a bunch of old Hellcats I'm restoring for my arsenal.

I used to use these with great success in Nantucket.

My favorite was the gold, even at night!

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I have found that the action of small plastic plugs can be drastically affected by changing hooks. Even going from 3x #4 mustads to 4x #4 VMC's makes a difference on some of the little plastics like red fins etc. For example: About 5 years ago I was fishing with someone who was throwing a small plastic plug that shall remain nameless wink.gif He had (3) 3x #4 mustads, I was fishing the same plug with (2) #1 4x VMC's. He was bailing bass and I couldn't buy a hit. I watched his plug come in and it had a much tighter wiggle than mine, I switched to another small plastic that I knew had the tight wiggle and was into fish on the next cast. It makes a difference IMO

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Hey DM about twenty years ago I found one of those three hook bombers on a north shore beach, Not sure of the model or size but I believe the hooks are #1. If the plugs didn't catch fish I might change some stuff, but they flat out work and work well. I don't mess with them. I dont weight them, change the hooks grind the lips or add hair. Those three hooks can be a nightmare and for that reason I don't use them as often as I once did, but if I'm in a funk I break them out. I've lost more fish to hook straightenings on a little Hahn plug that I use with 1/0 trebles.

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On 16A Bombers I go with a 1/0 on the front, no belly hook and a #1 on the rear. Makes it dig a little deeper and it swims the same.

 

I've tried loading smaller Red Fins and Bombers, truthfully, it ruins alot of the plugs action and you all you gain is a little weight for casting, the answer to that is use something else.

 

I was like a mental patient, must've loaded a few dozen plugs as I thought I was into the great solution, its more work than its worth. Water, mineral earl, buckshot,just remember there is a specific amount of weight to use before the plug becomes actionless, it takes some experimenting to get it right.

 

On the Hellcats and smaller Bombers, I'd take the middle hook out also, too may trebles and too few fingers.

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...He had (3) 3x #4 mustads, I was fishing the same plug with (2) #1 4x VMC's. He was bailing bass and I couldn't buy a hit. I watched his plug come in and it had a much tighter wiggle than mine, I switched to another small plastic that I knew had the tight wiggle and was into fish on the next cast...

 

OK, thanks for that good info, but you're talking about going from (3) #4s all the way to (2) #1's, which seems like a pretty radical change. I would think that if you went from (3) #4's you might want to go to (2) #2's, NOT #1's, which may have overcompensated for the weight.

 

I'm still confused as to what to do...

frown.gif

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Darterman your hook sizes are right on track. You could go with size 1 also, wont effect the action too much. I always drop the middle hook.

 

I forgot to even think about whether or not the larger hooks will grab the plastic lip on these plugs! I have to check that. I'll take a 4-1/2" Hellcat and swap-out the #6 front hook for a #4 and see what happens. If it don't grab then I'll give it a shot. if it grabs, well, then I might just leave everything as is...!

 

Thanks

John

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On 16A Bombers I go with a 1/0 on the front, no belly hook and a #1 on the rear. Makes it dig a little deeper and it swims the same.

 

I use 1/0's front & back with no middle on my 6" Bombers, but I'm not too worried about that size, it's the 5" models I'm concerned about...

 

 

I've tried loading smaller Red Fins and Bombers, truthfully, it ruins alot of the plugs action and you all you gain is a little weight for casting, the answer to that is use something else.

 

I have never loaded a small plug, doesn't seem to make sense to me either, I agree with you, use something else, no sense in "forcing" a plug to do something it's not good at.

 

 

I was like a mental patient, must've loaded a few dozen plugs as I thought I was into the great solution, its more work than its worth. Water, mineral earl, buckshot,just remember there is a specific amount of weight to use before the plug becomes actionless, it takes some experimenting to get it right.

 

Yes, I think experimentation is important here, I may have to just do that.

 

 

On the Hellcats and smaller Bombers, I'd take the middle hook out also, too may trebles and too few fingers.

 

I am going to try that and see if the next size up hook catches the lip, if not, I'll give them a swim, if it does then I'll just leave well enough alone.

 

Thanks

John

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My point is that a change in hook size WILL change the action of the plug (plug will be balanced different, weight distributed different etc.). I also stated that going from a 3x to a 4x in the same hook size will affect the action of some plugs. There is no way to say what a change in hook size will do until you experiment. If you are looking for an answer as to what will happen with the hook changes you suggested then I recommend doing the homework yourself. Another point is this, changing hook sizes may change the action on a plug but that may be OK if that is the action you're looking for. If you are looking to preserve the action of the plug as it is with factory hooks, then I would say in most cases you may get close but there will be a some change. You may not notice subtle changes but the fish might wink.gif Hope this helps.

 

quote:...He had (3) 3x #4 mustads, I was fishing the same plug with (2) #1 4x VMC's. He was bailing bass and I couldn't buy a hit. I watched his plug come in and it had a much tighter wiggle than mine, I switched to another small plastic that I knew had the tight wiggle and was into fish on the next cast...

 

OK, thanks for that good info, but you're talking about going from (3) #4s all the way to (2) #1's, which seems like a pretty radical change. I would think that if you went from (3) #4's you might want to go to (2) #2's, NOT #1's, which may have overcompensated for the weight.

 

I'm still confused as to what to do...

frown.gif

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...My favorite was the gold, even at night!

 

Mine has always been silver/blue back, but I had some custom-painted to look like a spearing, I cannot wait to use this baby:

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...I have a bunch of old Hellcats I'm restoring for my arsenal. I used to use these with great success in Nantucket. My favorite was the gold, even at night!

 

Mine has always been silver/blue but I cannot wait to try this spearing lookalike I had painted for me over the winter...!

 

Hellcatsilverside.JPG

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