A Guide to Fishing Hooks: Learn the Differences

Nowadays, fishing is gaining in popularity and the reasons are obvious. Many years ago it was the only way to survive, as people were fishing for their food. Today, it has come of age as one of the most adventurous outdoor activities.

Consequently, the modern fisherman needs modern fishing equipment. Fishing hooks are probably the most important part if your fishing arsenal, as they are the only connection between you and the fish! Obviously, the fishing hook is not just a tool, there are racks of them on the market and you will have to choose the right type for you.

There are numerous fishing hooks available and the choice depends on the fishing technique you will use. For a good hook size and type, you should read this detailed guide. The fishing hook has a simple construction, so it is not difficult to choose the right one!

fishing hooks

Fishing Hooks: A Piece of History

The basic parts of a hook are eye, shank, bend, barb and point. Taking a look back at the history of fishing gear, we know that people used to fish with spears and later they developed the first fishing hooks made of sharp bones. The first fishing hook is 20.000 years old and was found in New Papua Guinea and surprisingly this tool is still in use!

Since then, it is one of the essentials of fishing. Forbes, chose the hook as one of the most important tools in our history and it changed the philosophy of fishing dramatically. Let’s analyze some important factors you should consider before buying fishing hooks.

  • Fishing Hook Size

fishing hooks size

This factor may confuse you a bit especially if you are a beginner, but you don’t have to worry about. You should just understand the concept. The biggest hooks have the smallest size numbers (20-1). Keep in mind that the scale does not end at 1.

After the number one hook size, there are 1/0, 2/0, 3/0 etc. For example, large fishing hooks are 20/0.



  • Fishing Hook Shank

 All hooks have a shank and there are three types of shanks (small, medium and long), which depends on the lures or bait you will use. Small fishing hooks with a small (short) shank are usually compatible with live bait like shrimps, crayfish or squid pieces. Medium length shanks are suitable for worms.

Lastly, long shank hooks are used for soft plastic baits.



  • Fishing Hook Point

The sharp point of the hook is the only thing that penetrates the fish and obviously fishing manufacturers developed different point types. There is the classic needle point, the spear point which looks like a spear and the knife edge point. Keep in mind that “thin” end points are usually used for fish with a soft mouth.




Fishing Hooks: Basic Types

Obviously, there are ample fishing hooks available on the market. They are made of stainless steel, carbon or vanadium. Stainless steel is the only material which does not rust and it is suitable for saltwater fisherman.

Let’s take a closer look at the hook types.

  • Classic “J” Hooks

True to its name, it is a simple hook and it has a characteristic “J” Shape and it is considered to be highly effective for almost all species of fish. Specifically, they are suitable for live bait like squids. If you are targeting big fish by trolling, you should definitely try this type of hook.







  • Treble Hook

 This is the treble hook and you have probably seen them attached to a fishing lure! Just to let you know, the construction of this hook is based on the perception that three hooks together are better than one. The best bass hooks are treble hooks!

Generally speaking, this type provides strong hooking and the fish cannot escape easily. Just keep in mind that this type is used for fishing lures.






  • Worm Hooks

 Worm hooks are the best bass fishing hooks because they have the ability to “hold” such active fish. They are reliable and have a long shank. It is the classic bait hook and if you pair it with a good rig, we promise that you will come home with a bucket full of fish! The Texas Rig seems to be highly effective.







  • Circle Hooks


If you take a closer look at the picture, you will understand why it is called a circle hook. The point of the hook rolls into the mouth of the fish and it has a circle shaped bend. The point is not aligned at the shank and many anglers do not prefer them for one reason.

The efficiency rate is quite low because this type of hook rotates in the mouth of the fish.




Barbed Or Barbless? 

This is a controversial topic as there are fishermen who like to fish with barbed hooks and others who fish with barbed hooks. If you are a “catch and release” fan, you can use barbless hooks. It goes without saying that barbed hooks are more efficient that barbless, but they also hurt the fish.

Barbed Hooks CONS

  1. Tighter and Stronger grip on the fish
  2. Efficient
  3. Better Penetration

Barbless Hooks CONS

  • Do not injure the fish
  • Suitable for “catch and release”
  • Environmental-friendly
  • Safe

The selection depends on you. Both the barbed and the barbless hooks fish, but the pros and cons are quite controversial.

Wrapping Up

Based on our fishing experience, this guide explains some basic things about hooks and we tried to mention the most important factors to consider. All fish are different, so we have to choose the right gear. Just remember three things.

  1. Target Fish
  2. Bait or Lure
  3. Technique

Lastly, all hooks come in many colors, but you should choose according to the water conditions. Moreover, many anglers use red hooks just because the color imitates a small wounded baitfish. The top hook brands are mustad hooks, gamakatsu and owner.

Finally, fishing is not all about the gear. Hit the water and enjoy your fishing day!

Hopefully you like our article! Please leave a comment in the comment box below or share the article. Stay tuned on best-spinning reels.com!






One comment

  1. Interested. Thanks for an informative guide about fish catch hooks.

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