Fishing hooks are one of the smaller pieces of equipment necessary for fishing, but they are incredibly important to the process. The type of fishing hook used can determine everything from what bait is acceptable to what kind of fish is hooked and how.
What are fishing hooks used for?
Fishing hooks are pieces of steel that are shaped in specific ways to catch any manner of fish in various environments. Their design includes a hook eye, shank, and hook, though the number of hooks can change with the type of fishing hook. The treble fishing hook, for example, often features two or three hooks connected by one hook eye. The hook eye is the circular part at the top of the fishing hook that the fishing line goes through. The shank or stem is the part leading from the hook eye and can be long or short, depending on what the hook is intended for.
Fishing would be impossible without some sort of hook. The fishing hook is the part that not only attracts the fish with whatever bait is on it, it also catches the fish. The hooked end of fishing hooks are meant to penetrate fish (ideally through the mouth) so that they can be caught as efficiently as possible.
Things To Consider
When looking for fishing hooks, you'll want to consider the following:
- What type of fishing hook do you need?
- Where will you be fishing?
- What type of fish are you trying to catch?
- How much do you want to spend on fishing hooks?
What are you looking for in a fishing hook?
- Proper size
- Compatible with type of fishing
- Easy removal
There are a plethora of fishing hook styles to choose from, and it can easily get overwhelming. Below is a beginner's guide to some of the most popular types of fishing hooks.
Bait hooks are probably the most basic and recognizable fishing hooks. There are a few different options within the category of bait hooks, including a variety with barbs on the side to keep bait in place. There are also longer and shorter shanks, the former being better for teaching beginners.
Worm hooks have a dip right below the hook eye and curve outwards before rounding towards the hook. This shape is ideal for soft plastic baits because there's enough space on the hook for the bulkier bait and a fish. This type of hook is known for being strong and easily capable of penetrating a fish.
You might have guessed that circle hooks earned their name because they do indeed look more circular than other hooks. This type of hook is most commonly used for live bait fishing because the design ensures that a fish is most likely to be hooked in the throat instead of the gut.
Visually, octopus hooks look somewhat similar to circular hooks with their short, round shanks; however, they are not as round as circular hooks. This type of hook is great for bait fishing when the goal is to use a small and inconspicuous hook.
Of the different types of fishing hooks discussed here, treble hooks are the most distinctive. Their unique shape features three points on one hook, making them perfect for cut and/or artificial baits. This hook is often paired with those kinds of bait because of the increased coverage they provide.
Jig hooks can look quite similar to bait hooks with one key difference: the bend right beneath the hook eye. This bend, usually at a 90-degree angle, is meant to fit into a jig mold. Jig molds are oftentimes really bright and colorful pieces that cover the top of a fishing hook.
With their long shanks, siwash hooks look like a pretty standard fishing hook. They have a straight hook eye, in addition to a long shank in order to sit properly on lures. This type of hook is better for baits that are only hooked a single time but also acts as a great alternative to treble hooks.
A weedless fishing hook has a barbed hook at the end with a guard that closes over it. The purpose of the guard is to keep the hook from getting caught on weeds and other vegetation common to lakes. It can be used with both live bait and other types of bait.
Many brands sell fishing hooks, but the three listed below are just a few of the ones that stand out.
Eagle Claw has dozens of options when it comes to fishing hooks. Many of these hooks come in different colors, which can be found on the website. While the website displays the hooks made by Eagle Claw, products cannot be purchased there, so a visit to a local or online retailer is necessary to buy their merchandise. Eagle Claw hooks can be bought in packs of over 100 for less than $3.
Gamakatsu is known for producing fishing hooks for competitive use. Their hooks are made with TGW or tournament-grade wire and also have the brand's signature Nano Smooth Coat Finish. These combine to create a thinner, stronger hook that maintains its sharpness while penetrating fish quicker and more deeply. Prices start at $4 and go up to about $13 for a single hook.
Like Gamakatsu, Mustad can boast about the brand's special designs and materials used to enhance the fishing experience. The Mustad Black Nickel coating resists rust four times better than other black nickel, and many of their hooks come in different sizes. Prices on their website start as low as $0.99 and go up from there.
How much do fishing hooks cost?
The price of a fishing hook largely depends on the type as well as the brand. The more a hook claims to do, whether that be hooking a fish cleaner, faster, or deeper, the more expensive that hook is likely to be. This is why the hooks and brands that are meant for competitive fishing are priced higher than others. Eagle Claw is the most affordable, with most of their hooks available for purchase in bulk under $10, while Gamakatsu and Mustad sell hooks for anywhere from $1 to upwards of $50.
How do you remove a fishing hook from a fish's mouth?
The best way to go about removing a fishing hook from a fish's mouth is to use needle-nose pliers. Use the pliers to grab the shank or stem of the hook and gently pull the hook out the same way it went in. Try not to wiggle the hook, as that could unnecessarily harm the fish. In the event that the hook is too difficult to remove or in a vulnerable spot on the fish, cut the hook as close to the fish's body as possible and leave it there.
How do you attach a fishing hook?
Many different knots are used to connect fishing hooks to lines, and the experienced angler is likely aware of them as well as the specific purposes they all serve. The fisherman's knot is the most basic knot you can use to attach a fishing hook, loved for its relative ease for beginners and universal use. To achieve this knot, wrap the line through the hook eye and then around the loose line six times. Pull it back through the loop closest to the fishing hook and tug on both ends to tighten.