Recommended rigging for the 6″ Huddleston Deluxe Top Hook style trout swimbait.   The #2 Owner hook fits the bait well and is about as wide as the bait, and of course is balanced, so it rigs cleanly with one treble in the belly, two prongs out, in perfect symmetry.

The 6″ Huddleston Deluxe Trout is sweet candy bar sized swimbait that fits certain applications in swimbait fishing.  Namely, smallmouth, spotted bass, tournament largemouth, and trophy brown trout.   The 6″ Huddleston Deluxe Trout, whether you are fishing the ROF 5 or ROF 12 model, both have a top hook.  So, you don’t necessarily need a bottom trap hook, however, in a lot of open water situations or situations like smallmouth or spotted bass fishing where the fish don’t always inhale the bait, a good stinger hook/trap hook setup helps with hook up percentages and just get those short and underside bites in the boat.

Here is what you need

ST-36 vs. ST-56

You can bet I’m working on a matrix and blog post that speaks to treble hooks and swimbaits.  Until then, let me try and simplify this.  I always will use an ST-36 treble hook when I can get away with a 1/0 or bigger sized treble hook.  The ST-36 is just superior sharp, well balanced, and hooks fish for me.   However, when faced with using a #2 sized ST-36 treble hook, I assess my rod, my reel, my line and what I’m hunting, because you can bend out a #2 ST-36 treble hook using a Shimano Calcutta 300 or 400 TE, 65 Pound Braid or 25 Pound P-Line Copolymer, and a medium sized 8 foot swimbait rod.  That is just the physics of swimbait fishing.   Not to say you bend out a hook every trip because I’ve successfully caught many nice fish on #2 ST-36, however, I have recently began using the Owner ST-56 treble hooks in places where I need small, strong and uber sticky trebles, and don’t need something as heavy duty as the ST-66s we use as part of our Huddleston Rig.   So, if you are fishing for big fishes, like 4-6 pound spotted or smallmouth or really big brown trout or are fishing straight 65 pound braid and have some decent largemouth going, consider the ST-56 because you won’t bend out a hook if you happen to hang the fish on one treble and things to the wrong way for you which occassionally happens when just the right amount of torque happens on one treble.  You never know when or exactly why, just too much stress on it and it bends.  This happens to all lighter wire hooks by the way.  That is why hooks are made in 2X, 3X, 4X etc configurations.   Physics is a much bigger part of fishing swimbaits because the baits and fish are so much heavier, and so are the rods, line, gears and torque of the reel.   I would fish the ST-36 Stinger Trebles if I was fishing for money.   Meaning, if every bite and getting every fish in the boat, and was likely after 3 pounders or even good solid 2+ pounders, where just catching the fish, where you not likely to be catching ‘trophies’ because you’re more in a tournament mode of hunting bigger fish, I’d go ST-36 because the odds of bending out a hook are rare, but it does happen.  I’d take on the risk to gain the reward of the sticky-ness of that treble hook.  It is incredibly sharp and perfectly balanced, so it rigs very cleanly.

24.5″ Brown Trout, Cotter, Arkansas choked the 6″ Huddleston Deluxe Top Hook Trout. You don’t need a trap hook when they eat like this, but I like to have one on there, because they won’t always choke your bait, especially when it comes to smallmouth and spotted bass. Trap hooks just help, and the Owner Treble Hooks and Hyper Wire Spit Rings are a staple in my swimbait fishng and trap hook rigging, and have been for years.  I’m getting better at matching my terminal and other tackle, it’s a system and mindset based on experience.

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