April 18, 2016 update
By Buzz Ramsey
Plug action is determined by body shape, the location of the pull-point eyelet, hook size and position. While some plugs will swim with no hooks and do just fine when rigged with a wide range of different hook sizes, other designs are less forgiving and will be less tolerant of changes in hook weight or styles. Of course hook weight can not only influence plug action but buoyancy too. After all, too heavy a hook can not only deaden the action of your plug but cause it to be less buoyant or sink.
With Mag Lip, the lighter the hook the more lively the plug action and less speed tolerant it will become. You can use this feature to your advantage; for example, if the speed of the water (your tolling speed) is slow, you can liven up the action of your Mag Lip, which might make it more appealing to fish, by dropping down one hook size. As mentioned, while employing a lighter/smaller hook size will liven up the action produced by Mag Lip it will make the plug less speed tolerant.
Keep in mind, Mag Lip was designed to dive extra deep, exhibit an erratic, darting “skip-beat” action that will produce savage strikes from fish. As you might know, the “skip-beat” action produced by Mag Lip teases fish into striking similar to how a house cat pounces when teased with a ball and string. Many guides and anglers report a higher hook-to-land ratio when using Mag Lip as compared to other plug designs and credit the savage strikes and better hook-to-land ratio to the unique action produced by this lure.
With factory hook weights, Mag Lip sizes 3.0, 3.5, 4.5 and 5.0 will tolerate troll speeds up to 4 MPH. The 2.5 size Mag Lip will handle current speeds up to 3 MPH. Just like when trying different treble hook sizes, changing to a single hook(s) can influence the speed tolerance of Mag Lip. Below we have outlined suggestions in regards to the use of single hook and how plug action might be affected when removing the belly hook or switching to a different size treble.
MAG LIP 2.5 SINGLE HOOK
For size 2.5 Mag Lip, you can switch from the size #6 factory specified treble hook to a single-siwash with a size #2 or #4 being the recommended sizes. While you can crimp either size open-eyed siwash to the factory split ring you can also connect it via an additional split ring, two (2) total split rings, or extending the hook back by adding a #10 barrel swivel to the factory split ring and crimping the open-eyed siwash to it. While the size #2 siwash is the most desirable for larger size fish like steelhead, a size #4 will result in a livelier plug action and may be an advantage when slow trolling for trout.
MAG LIP 3.0 HOOK OPTIONS
Factory rigged with treble hooks (Size #6 treble on belly and #5 on tail) this Mag Lip size swims correctly when rigged with double siwash style single hooks (size 2 on belly and 1 on tail). Recommend attaching size 10 swivel to split-ring and crimping open-eyed siwash hook to it. Some anglers rig one size 1 siwash style single hook on the tail hook hanger (via double split-ring or swivel/split-ring combo) with no hook on the belly of Mag Lip – Mag Lip 3.0 will swim to 3-1/2 MPH and yield a wider wiggle with one siwash rigged on lure tail.
MAG LIP 3.5 HOOK OPTIONS
Factory rigged with treble hooks (Size #4 treble on belly and #3 on tail) but works with singles too! Mag Lip swims correctly when rigged with double (size #1 or size #2) siwash style single hooks. Recommend attaching size 7 swivel to split ring and crimping open-eyed siwash single hook to swivel. Some anglers are finding success by running one size 2/0 siwash style single hook on the tail hook hanger with no hook on the belly of Mag Lip.
MAG LIP 4.5 HOOK OPTIONS
Mag Lip 4.5 is rigged from the factory with size #1 round bend treble hooks. For single hook rigging try double 1/0 or 1/0-2/0 (2/0 on tail) siwash style singles. For two singles, it’s recommend that you rig the belly single hook (point down) off two split-rings, and the trailing single (point up) off double split-rings. Mag Lip 4.5 will perform with one size 2/0 single hook attached to the tail of the lure.
MAG LIP 5.0 HOOK OPTIONS
The Mag Lip 5.0 pulls to 4 MPH when rigged with two (2) size 2/0 treble hooks – the factory rigging specification. When rigged with two size 1/0 trebles Mag Lip will yield a more skip-beat action, which may produce more strikes in slow moving current.
Removing Belly Hook
The 5.0 will swim to 3-1/2 MPH when rigged with one size 2/0 treble hook or to 2MPH when rigged with one size 1/0 treble hook attached to the tail end of the plug.
The 5.0 will swim up to 4 MPH when rigged with one (1) size 4/0 single siwash hook (pictured below) providing the belly split ring is left in place. Leaving the belly split ring in place is important, as removing it will cause this size Mag Lip less speed tolerant. Leaving the belly split ring in place is especially important when fishing fast moving rivers like the Kenai in Alaska or British Columbia’s Skeena River system.