How To Snell A Hook The Easy Way (Snell For Triple Threat Hooks)

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With the recent release of the Triple Threat Catfish Hooks I designed with Whisker Seeker Tackle I’ve had a lot of questions about fishing knots and the best way to rig these catfish hooks.

I covered this topic as well as other top fishing knots years ago but I’ve had so many questions recently I wanted to revisit this with a new updated video.

Why Snell Your Catfish Hooks?

A snelled hook creates a secure connection from leader to hook as the snell is one of the strongest ways to attach a hook to the leader line. If you hook into a big catfish the last thing you want is a knot to fail causing you to lose a fish.

Catch More Fish
Snelling a hook also helps to increase the performance of circle hooks and hybrid circle hooks (like the Triple Threat) when done correctly. Note the key word correctly because if the snell is done incorrectly it will actually work against you. I cover the correct way in the video but the key is to always start front to back and end back to front. If done in the opposite manner it causes the hook to pull back and the hook will be less effective.

My good friend Phil King told me once that a catfish hook that’s not snelled correctly will catch 20% to 25% less fish than a correctly snelled circle. I’ve seen first hand that incorrectly snelled catfish hooks don’t work as well so I have no reason to doubt these numbers.

Once you’ve learned how to tie the easy snell it’s the easiest way to attach a hook to leader line. I can snell a hook in the dark with my eyes closed in seconds, no problem.

A Few Quick Comments

Over the years I’ve had a variety of comments from anglers on the “easy snell” for catfish hooks.

The first and most common is when they see the easy snell they think it’s not a strong and secure way to secure the hooks to the leader making comments like “looks like it will come loose” or claiming they’ve tried it and it did come loose.

I’ll add this…..

  • In over twenty years as a catfish guide and the entire time I’ve been using the easy snell for my catfish rigs I’ve never once had this knot fail on me. It’s never come loose, it’s never broken. Not one single failure.
  • If you’re having problems with the easy snell it’s most likely due to the leader line you’re using. If you use a leader line that’s too stiff you’re going to have problems. This comes from using leader material that’s way too heavy, old or just a bad product. If you’ll use a quality leader line appropriate for catfishing you’ll have no issues (see our guide to catfishing tackle here).
  • Once the hook is snelled wet the knot like you would any other knot and slowly pull the snell tight removing any slack. This will not only help to secure the snell but will prevent any line burn in the process (which will in turn weaken the snell).
  • The tag end is left on the hook. That’s an extra protection against the snell coming loose or failing.

Here’s the Video!

How To Snell Your Catfish Hooks

1. Cut a piece of leader line from your leader material.

2. Insert the leader through the hook eye going front to back and pull down the length of the hook shaft.

3. Hold the leader in place on the back of the hook shaft and wrap the line counter clockwise around the shaft of the hook seven to eight times working from the eye of the hook down.

4. Take the loose end of the leader and pull it back through the eye of the hook going from back to front.

5. Wet the snell and slowly pull the line snug on the hook

That’s it!

Again, with a little practice you should be able to snell your catfish hooks with ease and you’ll be on your way to catching more catfish!

For more information on the Triple Threat Catfish Hook click here.

For even more success catching catfish with circle hooks check out the 3 mistakes that cost you fish with circle hooks and the three ways to catch catfish with circle hooks (plus how to set the hook).

How To Snell A Hook The Easy Way (Snell For Triple Threat Hooks)
Catfish Edge

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I'm a writer who focuses on the outdoors and travel. I share my time between Alaska and Colorado, where, when I'm not writing, I enjoy camping, kayaking, hiking, fishing, and skiing (often with dogs in tow). My byline may also be seen in publications such as The New York Times, National Geographic, The Washington Post, The Guardian, Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, and others.


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