Simple Paddletail Rigging Trick To Increase Hookups


If you ask 100 professional anglers what their favorite lure for catching redfish, trout, snook, and flounder is…

Most of them will say it’s a paddletail.

Predator fish love smashing paddletails, but I’ve been hearing a lot recently about people having trouble getting a good hookset with them.

Not all paddletails are created equal and there are some that are missing one key element that makes them much better at catching fish.

In this video, I’m going to show what that element is and teach you a little trick on how to get a better hookup ratio with them.

Check it out below!

Paddletail Trick To Increase Hookups [VIDEO]

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When most people have problems with getting a good hookset, it’s because there’s too much plastic in the way.

The plastic blocks the hook from digging into the fish’s mouth, so the fish spits it before it they’re hooked.

You can see what I mean in the image at the top of this post where the hook on the left has very little room to get into a fish’s mouth, but the hook on the right has a lot of room.

This problem especially happens when you’re rigging them on wide gap hooks without a slit.

In lures like the Slam Shady and Slam Shady BOMBER, the slit allows the lure to slide down the hook farther and expose more of the point.

If there’s not a slit, then the lure could get in the way and cause you to miss fish.

So what can you do if the lures you’re using don’t have a slit in them?

Make one!

Just take a knife and cut a slit about half the height of the lure in the fattest part of it.

Start about a quarter inch from the front and stop the cut where the lure starts to get skinny by the tail.

This will leave you with a slit that can allow the hook to get out of the way when a fish strikes, which will help you catch more fish.


Slits in the bottom of soft plastic paddletails allow the lure to slide down the hook and out of the way of the hook point when you’re using wide gap hooks.

If you’re using a lure without a slit, you can simply cut your own with a knife.

You can get my favorite paddletails (that have slits in them already) from our shop below:

Have any questions about rigging paddletails?

Let me know down in the comments!

And if you know someone who’s sick of missing strikes with paddletails, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

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James Grossi
2 years ago

Excellent tip Tony -Thank you. I will definitely be trying this

Larry Fox
3 years ago

Great tip, Tony. Thank you!

Mark Jenkin
3 years ago

Nice tip! Another tip is that if you rig the paddle tail sideways( especially if its one with flat sides ) then you will have similar results for hook exposure. Being rigged sideways doesn’t effect the action of the paddle tail either.
On a side note: Have you ever tried the SwimFish by Lunker City? I’ve had a lot of luck with the 5″ SwimFish for schoolie Stripers.

Jonathan Getz
3 years ago

Great tip Tony! Lost a couple flounder recently due to this issue. I’ll be cutting slots on all my plastics for weedless setups going forward.

Robert Claxton
3 years ago

Nice tip Tony. Something else that works in a pinch is this:t I Have bending the hook point up about a 32/16 of an inch for years. This too increases my catch. Note: I only do this on jig heads, not weedless setups. PerhapsI will just buy more slotted lures.

Bill Zimmer
3 years ago

Great idea Tony. I’ve been using the Slayer Penetrator 1/6 oz., 4.0 hooks with the Bomber lures since they are so much thicker than the Slam Shady. They have really increased my hook-up success.

Paul Melia
3 years ago

Nice simple trick Tony, cheers…..I always struggle with using artificials as I’m a die hard live bait guy so any tips to build confidence in an artificial bait is very helpful and appreciated

Robert Bigelow
3 years ago

Well written Wyatt.. Too much plastic in the way of the hook is for sure a hindrance. I never really thought of making the slit myself on a bait that’s missing it. Good stuff. Thanks

Lionel Lusardi
3 years ago

Nice going Tony! Very helpful tip. Thanks

Pat Ogletree
3 years ago

Great tip Tony! Never thought of that, learn something new every day!


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