Fishing Hooks


Fishing hooks are essential tools for any angler while catching fish. Thus, learning about the purpose of the fish hook can help you become a better fisherman. In general, there are many different styles of hooks to choose from, and each has a specific function. For example, smaller hooks work best in freshwater environments. Conversely, larger hooks are best-suited for saltwater habitats.

Moreover, exploring the parts of a fishing hook can help you understand how each design element works. For instance, fishing hook parts such as the barb, point and eye may seem very similar, but are all unique. Furthermore, hooks come in different shapes, weights and configurations that can optimize your success with specific types of fish.

What is the purpose of fishing hooks?

The purpose of a fishing hook is to pierce through the mouth or lips of a fish so that it can be reeled in. Thus, fish hooks are designed to securely snag a fish so that it cannot escape. Moreover, hooks are meant to be strong and sharp enough to pierce a fish’s mouth without causing lasting damage. In general, it is common to release a fish after you catch it. For that reason, certain hooks are designed to cause as little harm as possible.

The general purpose of the fish hook is to catch a fish. However, certain fish hooks can be used with specific intentions in mind. For example, when fishing in environments with multiple species, a hook can help you target the fish you want. Conversely, some hooks can sometimes be used interchangeably for various species.

What are the different parts of a fishing hook?

You can understand how hooks work by learning to identify the parts of a fishing hook. In general, the fishing hook parts are somewhat similar for many hooks. However, each design can have different elements that distinguish it from other hooks on the market. The six basic elements of a hook are the:

  • Eye – The hole or opening at the top of the hook where you attach the fishing line.
  • Shank – The length of the hook that extends from the eye.
  • Bend – The curved area of the hook extending from the shank.
  • Point – The sharp tip at the very end of the hook.
  • Gap – The measurement of space between the point and the shank.
  • Barb – A sharp piece of extending metal that gives way to the point.

It is important to recognize that these standard parts of fishing hooks are not present in all designs. For example, fish hook parts such as barbs are only found on certain designs. Hooks also vary greatly from one another when different shank lengths, gap lengths and bend angles.

What do points on a fishing hook do?

The fish hook point is responsible for piercing through a fish’s mouth. Thus, this is arguably the most crucial part of a hook. You may think of the hook point as a simple and straightforward design element. However, points can be one of the most technical features of a hook. In general, the point of a fish hook can come in various shapes and styles. The most common fish hook point types are the following:

  • Knife edge
  • Needle
  • Spear
  • Hollow
  • Rolled
  • Barbless
  • Micro-barb
  • Kirbed
  • Reversed
  • Beak

Certain types of fish hook points are better suited to particular species. For example, knife edge fish hook points are sharp enough to easily pierce the hard mouths of tuna and salmon. Other styles, such as needle points and barbless points are known for causing less damage to a fish once removed. Ultimately, the type of point a fisherman chooses will depend on what type of mouth a fish species has. Moreover, a hook can be chosen in regards to whether a fish will be kept or released.

What do barbs on a fishing hook do?

A fish hook barb is responsible for holding the fish on the hook after its point has penetrated the fish’s lips. In general, a barbed hook is used far more often than a barbless type. This is because barbless hooks are commonly used by fishermen who intend on releasing their catches. However, there are some instances in which anglers may not want their hooks to have a barb. First, the barb can create resistance and make it harder for the hook to set in the fish’s mouth. Second, barbs on fish hooks often cause injuries to fish and anglers.

Moreover, a barb makes it somewhat difficult to unhook a fish, which can lead to the rip of its lips. In addition, it can be painful for anglers to remove a barb from a fish’s skin when it becomes embedded. However, fish hook barbs are beneficial in most cases. Barbs significantly increase anglers’ success at keeping fish on the line once they are on the hook.

What is the fishing hook eye?

The eye of a fish hook is often overlooked by anglers. However, this part is just as important as other design elements in a hook. In general, the hook eye is responsible for connecting the hook to the fishing line or lure. Moreover, several designs are used for eyes, each with a specific function. Different types of eyes in hooks include:

  • Looped eye – This style features a round bend with a short metal piece. This piece extends from the eye parallel to the shank of the hook, leaving a gap.
  • Tapered eye – This hook eye for fishing features a semi-enclosed circular loop. This loop starts off thicker at the top of the book, but tapers to a finer point by the eye’s opening.
  • Ringed eye – Similar to the tapered eye, this style has a semi-enclosed loop. However, the thickness of the wire is uniform from the shank to the opening of the eye.
  • Closed eye – Among hook eyes, this is one of the simplest designs. These eyes feature a closed, circular loop design.
  • Needle eye – This type of eye is an elongated, enclosed loop. The oblong shape of the loop can create less bulk.

In addition to the different types of hook eyes, there are also various presentations. For example, hook eyes for fishing can be straight, turned outwards or turned inwards.

What is the shape of a fishing hook?

The shape of fishing hooks is determined by the length of the shank, the width of the gap and the angle of the bend. Thus, fish hook shapes can be composed of virtually any combination of these three elements. This is part of the reason that there are so many different hooks to choose from on the market. The shapes of fish hooks are oftentimes best-suited to specific fishing techniques or species.

For example, circle hooks have a very wide gap and a bend is angled backwards toward the shank. For that reason, circle hooks are ideal for catching tuna, snappers and other large saltwater species. Conversely, Aberdeen hooks feature a long, straight shank and a U-shaped bend that is perfect for catching freshwater fish. Generally, a fishing hook shape can determine which fish are attracted to the bait in order to be caught.

What are the different sizes of hooks?

It is important to understand fishing hook sizes before you begin stocking your tackle box with gear. However, most charts used to categorize hook sizes can be confusing at first learning. Furthermore, the actual sizes of fishing hooks can vary from one brand to the next. Thus, learning the fish hook sizes and how to choose one can benefit from receiving additional knowledge.

In general, the sizes of fishing hooks range from 32 to 20/0. Any measurement not followed by a zero will decrease in size the higher the number is. Conversely, any number followed by a slash and a zero will increase in size as the number gets higher. For example, a fish hook size chart will tell you that a size 32 hook is the smallest hook available. Thus, sizes 30, 28, 26 and 24 are comparatively larger. On the other end of the chart, a 20/0 hook is the largest size available. Therefore, sizes 18/0 and 16/0 are comparatively smaller. When wondering what size fishing hook to use, be mindful that it is not very common to use the largest or the smallest hooks available. Generally, the most popular hooks range between size 8 and size 9/0.

How much do fishing hooks cost?

The fishing hook cost is relatively low when compared to other types of gear that anglers must acquire. Thus, the cost of fishing hooks varies according to the material, brand, quantity and design of each hook. Most styles of hooks start at around $3 for a small pack of six to eight hooks. However, buying in bulk is a better option if you plan on stocking up a new tackle box from scratch. Bulk packs can start as low as $10. In general, small hooks used in freshwater fishing are among the most affordable types. Conversely, saltwater fishing hooks tend to be larger and more durable, which makes them more expensive.

Where can you buy fishing hooks?

Novice anglers may not know where to buy fishing hooks. However, there is a wide variety of stores and online marketplaces that sell hooks. If you are wondering, “Where can I buy fishing hooks near me?” consider the following retail stores:

  • Dick’s Sporting Goods
  • Walmart
  • Bass Pro Shops
  • Cabela’s
  • Sports Authority
  • Orvis
  • Eastern Mountain Sports

You may also explore where to shop for fishing hooks online, which in many cases is more convenient. For instance, it is easy to buy fishing hooks online from, and

How many fishing hooks should you buy?

Buying hooks for fishing is very easy once you learn where to buy them and how much they cost. Moreover, a fishing hooks buyers guide can help you determine how many you must buy to get the best deal. If you are restocking your current supply of hooks, it is generally better to only buy a small pack. However, if you are setting up a brand-new tackle box, you may prefer to buy hooks in large quantities. Additionally, if you go through fish hooks regularly, it may be beneficial to set up a subscription order to receive automatic shipments.

How should I choose my hook?

Figuring out how to choose a fishing hook can be challenging. For example, deciding how to choose a hook for fishing can be difficult due to their various styles and manufacturers. You must be certain of what type of fishing you want to do in order to get the correct hook. For instance, smaller hooks are used for freshwater fishing, while the larger hooks work best for saltwater fishing. Furthermore, certain hooks can be used interchangeably in various bodies of water, provided that you use the correct size. Another important part of choosing the right fishing hook is learning what regulations apply in the area you are in. For instance, Florida prohibits the use of bush hooks in the Ochlockonee River. To explore other fishing regulations, click here.

What are the best cheap fishing hooks?

Some of the top rated cheap fishing hooks are sold by popular brands. However, most of the best cheap fishing hooks are manufactured by lesser-known brands. These affordable brands include:

  • Owner
  • Tiemco TMC
  • Eagle Claw
  • Goture
  • Tackle Crafters
  • Bass Star

You must generally sacrifice quality when looking for the best fishing hook brands for cheap. However, there are many affordable fishing hooks that work just as well as high-end offerings, despite costing less. For example, certain cheap hooks use high-quality materials such as tempered steel, which makes the gear sharp and effective.

What are the best high-end fishing hooks?

The best high-end fishing hooks are offered by a wide variety of well-known brands. Thus, it is relatively easy to find the best high-end hooks for fishing, as they are widely available at retailers. Moreover, you can often buy these hooks directly from their manufacturers. Some of the top rated fishing hooks on the market include:

  • Gamakatsu hooks, which are made in Japan, are best-known for saltwater fishing.
  • Daiichi hooks, also based in Japan, are often used by professional anglers due to how sharp they are.
  • Lazer TroKar hooks are manufactured by Eagle Claw and best-known for using surgically-sharpened steel.
  • Mustad hooks, which are made in Norway, are widely used for recreational fishing in both freshwater and saltwater environments.
  • VMC hooks, which are a division of Rapala, are very popular among professional anglers.

The quality fishing hooks mentioned above are made from high-end materials and sold by brands that have a trusted reputation. Moreover, some of the best high-end fish hook brands have been around for more than 200 years.

What are the best fishing hooks for beginners?

A few factors must be taken into consideration if you are looking for the best fishing hooks for beginners. For example, recommended fish hooks for beginners must be sharp, durable and easy to use. Hooks that offer a high rate of landing fish are also well-suited for beginners, as they give novice anglers a sense of accomplishment. With these factors in mind, the best fish hook types for beginners include the following:

  • Worm hooks
  • Baitholder hooks
  • Circle hooks
  • Weedless hooks

When discussing fishing hooks for beginners, there are certain varieties that are not recommended for novice anglers. For instance, treble hooks, are not good beginner fishing hooks because they are relatively complicated and can easily cause injuries. A treble hook has three hooks extending from a single shank. Thus, while many anglers like this design, this hook is notoriously difficult to be removed from a fish’s mouth. Moreover, this hook is also more likely to injure fish or become stuck in an angler’s finger.

What are the safest fishing hooks for kids?

There are various safe fishing hooks for kids available on the market today. In general, the most important element of kid safe fishing hooks is their design. Thus, optimal hooks for children should have a simple design that is unlikely to cause injuries. Additionally, these hooks should be intended for targeting fish that are easy for children to catch. For example, when considering kid friendly fishing hooks, you may want to pick hooks that are designed to catch panfish. Some of the easiest and safest hooks to use include:

  • Jig hooks
  • Worm hooks
  • Aberdeen hooks
  • Barbless hooks

Fishing hooks that are safe for children typically include a small barb or no barb at all. In general, barbs increase the chances of injuring a kid. Moreover, the kid-safe fishing hooks listed above tend to be made from fine wire, which will be less painful to remove if the point of the hook gets stuck. Hooks made from fine wire can also be snipped easily in the unfortunate event the barb becomes embedded.

What are the different types of fishing hooks?

Choosing among the various types of fishing hooks may seem daunting at first. In general, fishing hook types are geared toward catching specific species of fish. However, some fish hook types can be used interchangeably to catch several species in different environments. Furthermore, be mindful that certain fishing hook styles may be deemed illegal in certain habitats. For example, according to fishing regulations in Georgia, set hooks may not be used on Lake Tobesofkee.

What are Aberdeen hooks?

Aberdeen hooks are favored among freshwater anglers intending to catch crappies, bluegill, sunfish and perch. Aberdeen fishing hooks are specifically designed to withstand the weedy environments where these fish like to live. During this hook’s manufacturing process, its metal is tempered to increase its strength. Therefore, the wire can bend when anglers pull their fishing lines out of the weeds. Moreover, the tempering process allows these hooks to be reshaped and reused. The Aberdeen hook is ideal for beginners because it is so easy to use. In addition, experienced fishermen often have great success with this hook.

What are bait hooks?

Bait hooks are designed with barbs on the shank, which help to hold live baits and artificial lures in place. Moreover, a variety of other soft baits can be used with these hooks, as well as tube baits. In general, each specific design is meant for catching a particular species. For example, this type of hook is commonly used to catch tuna and other large saltwater fish. In freshwater environments, baitholder hooks are effective for catfish, bass, trout, panfish and walleyes.

What are circle hooks?

Circle fishing hooks are effective for catching saltwater and freshwater fish of various sizes. The best circle hooks are designed to catch in the jaw of the fish, which results in fewer gut-catches and a reduced mortality rate. In addition, many anglers experience a relatively higher catch yield when using this type of hook. Before purchasing this gear, it is helpful to use a circle hook size chart. In general, sizes, gauges, weights and other specifications vary greatly depending on the manufacturer. Thus, circle fish hooks do not have a standardized size across brands, requiring anglers to research before making a purchase.

What are jig hooks?

Jig hooks are standard J-shaped hooks that are popular for many types of fishing. The best jig hook designs feature a 60- to 90-degree bend in the shank, just before the eye. Moreover, these hooks can be used in both saltwater and freshwater habitats. In general, heavy-duty jig hooks are used for catching large game fish in saltwater. Conversely, smaller jig hook flies are more popular among fly fishermen in freshwater environments. As an example, bass, salmon and walleye are species that are often caught with these hooks. In addition, many jig hooks come with a weighted head. In other instances, anglers may opt to make their own hook heads at home. Furthermore, jig hook molds are available for those who want to create hook modifications.

What are Mustad hooks?

There are various Mustad hooks offerings on the market. Some of the best Mustad hooks include designs such as treble hooks, fly hooks and circle hooks. In general, anglers can find nearly any hook style from the Mustad brand. These hooks are manufactured with a special tempering process that creates strong, durable metal. For that reason, many anglers choose this brand when doing trophy fishing because of the reliability these hooks offer. Mustad fishing hooks are used for catching nearly any type of fish, due to the large variety of options available. These hooks are made in Norway, and are widely available for purchase in the United States.

What are octopus hooks?

The octopus hook is a great choice for both freshwater and saltwater fishing. An octopus fishing hook is often confused with a circle hook, which has a similar shape and use. However, octopus hooks have an offset eye that sits at an angle, rather than being aligned to the shank. Unlike the circle type, this hook needs to be set before you reel in your catch. The best octopus hook can be used to catch a wide variety of species, including bass, trout and catfish. Moreover, these hooks generally cause minimal damage to fish and are easy to remove.

What are Siwash hooks?

Siwash hooks are primarily used for saltwater fishing. Open eye Siwash hooks have long shafts and are made of heavy-duty tempered steel. Therefore, they are ideal for species such as salmon and steelhead. Many anglers use this type of hook when they want to swap out treble hooks on their lures. In comparison to most other hooks, this design is less likely to snag on weeds or cause damage to fish. Moreover, a Gamakatsu Siwash hook is one of the most popular brands. However, other manufacturers such as Mustad, Rapala and Matzou are known for making comparable hooks.

What are treble hooks?

A treble hook has three prongs rather than one. In general, several treble hook sizes are available, allowing you to catch many types of fish. Moreover, these hooks are typically attached to artificial lures such as crankbait, jerkbait and topwaters. However, you can also find success using this hook with natural bait options, like minnows or cut bait. In any case, treble fishing hooks can sometimes be difficult to remove from a fish’s mouth.

What are worm hooks?

A worm hook is well-suited for catching bass and numerous other fish that inhabit rocky and/or weedy environments. The best worm hook designs are made so that the hook does not get tangled or damaged when it comes into contact with debris. Moreover, these hooks are meant to be used with plastic worms or other soft baits. In addition, worm hooks are offered with several different variations. For example, wacky worm hooks come with rings or weights. Generally, worm hooks are ideal for experienced anglers due to the number of rigging options that they offer.


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