The Basic Anatomy
Although fishing hooks come in varying sizes, shapes, and styles, the primary anatomy is similar. It consists of the following:
- The point: it's the sharp end of the hook that penetrates the mouth of the fish.
- Eye: This is where you connect your hook to the lure or line.
- Barb: it's a projection that extends backward from the point. It hinders the fish from unhooking.
- Shank: it's the link between the eye and the bend.
- Bend: it's the curve in the hook.
- The Gap: it's the distance between the shank and the point of the hook.
Remember, each hook is designed for a particular purpose. For example, if you're using thin baits such as worms, a long shank is the best. If the hook has a wide gap, it allows you to use larger baits and lures big predators. The point and eye are the main aspects that differentiate the various fishing hooks you'll find in the market.
Some of the critical factors that count when choosing fishing hooks include:
Fishing Hook Size
Various companies have different designations for hook size. In this regard, it's crucial to scrutinize the hooks before purchasing to establish if the gaps are ideal for your fishing style. For example, you need hooks with a bigger gap if you're using larger soft plastics like swimbaits, flukes, and creature baits.
Most hooks are categorized based on a numerical measure. In this case, the smallest hooks have the biggest number or vice versa. The hook's size is determined by the length of the shaft (gap) and the distance between the shank and shaft of the hook. Typically the distance between the shaft and point is measured in aughts.
A hooks measurement is a scale of "aughts" and "sizes." Aughts are larger, while sizes are smaller; 1/0 is the median of the scale. The larger end of the scale has 10/0 (ten-aught), while on the smaller end, you'll have size 10. As the aughts get larger, the hooks are bigger, but the hooks are smaller as the size gets larger. For example, size 5 is 10 times smaller than a 5/0 hook.
Type of Hook Eye
Choosing hooks with the right eye can significantly increase your catch rate. This hook eye is named due to its shape. For example, it may be circular or oval. Some of the most common hook eyes are:
Needle Eye: It's similar to the open end of the sewing needle. It's smaller than other fishing hook eyes. This aspect makes it easy to bury the hook in live or dead bait.
Looped Eye: These fishing hooks are almost circular. The eye extends along the shaft aligning with the hooks bend.
Tapered Eye: It's similar to a looped eye, but it's more oval. These fishing hooks are typically used with dry flies.
Brazed eye: it's ideal for fishing bigger fish. Brazing hooks guarantee the hooks won't break or bend as the fish tries to escape.
Hooks come in varying thicknesses. For example, you need a standard or light wire composition when fishing bass. Light wire fishing hooks are ideal for finesse fishing when using a thin line. On the other hand, a standard wire is suitable for heavy-duty conditions like flipping and pitching into thick cover. Hooks are also available in different finishes. For example, most hooks have a standard bronze finish. Other common finishes include black & blue nickel, red, gold, and black chrome. Slick coatings such as Teflon are applied to these hooks for easy penetration.
When purchasing a fishing hook, you need to consider its sharpness and its ability to retain sharpness. You can easily determine how sharp the hook is by placing it on your fingernail and pulling. If its slides on the fingernail, it's not sharp. The type of point on your hook determines its sharpness. Fishing hooks have spade-shaped or cutting points. A cutting point's result is a fast grab and penetrates the toughest part of the bass. The main downside of these hooks is that they leave big holes after penetrating; thus, the hook can easily fall out if the fish decides to shake loose. Conical tip hooks are better since they result in smaller tears to hold the fish tighter.
Material & Durability
Although fishing hooks may not last a lifetime, they should be made from a durable and robust material.
Most fishing hooks in the market today are made of high carbon steel. Some feature a special Dura steel coating that offers a highly reflective sheen that works wonders in attracting fish. This coating makes the hooks ultra-durable. Go for high-quality fishing hooks that dwell long. Low-quality cheap hooks may get stuck on rocks or other objects in the water, making them snap or get blunt.
Type of Hook Point
It's also essential to consider the hook point. It determines the near-miss for a solid hookup. Some of the common hook points include:
Spear point: they are among the most common types of hook points. This king runs from the through to the body resulting in minimal damage to the fish. They are more elaborate and sharper than other varieties.
Needle point: These points' tappers faintly towards the shank. It's designed for minimal damage and easy penetration. The hole made by this point is also small.
Rolled-in point: The tip of the point faces the hook's eye. It allows a deep penetration under minimal pressure. They are ideal for fish that whip around when brought to the boat.
Knife-edge point: they are designed for maximum penetration having both sides sharpened and pointing away from the shank. The main downside is they cause significant damage to the fish.
Hollow point: This point features a bent-in spike which curves downward towards the barb. They penetrate quickly and stay in place but can make setting the hook more challenging, especially for tougher species.
When choosing fishing hooks, you also need to consider the fish you're targeting. Different hooks are designed for catching varying species. For example, jig hooks are suitable for catching walleye while punch bait hooks are best for catfish.
Where you'll be fishing
Remember, fishing hooks are designed for fishing in different types of water bodies. For example, some are suitable for fishing in freshwater, while others are ideal for saltwater. Hooks designed for saltwater have an anti-corrosion coating that aids in preventing rusting and related damages. This coating toughens the hook besides increasing its durability. Fishing hooks made for freshwater include a lacquer coating; others may have metallic color coatings such as bronze, gold, tin, nickel, etc.
Most Common Types of Hooks
Fishing hooks come in varying styles and variations. Some of the most common types of hooks include.
The appearance of these hooks is similar to the letter "J" as the name denotes. The shank is straight. When the fish bites the hook, it attaches anywhere in the fish's mouth. They need to be set.
These hooks have become popular among angles in recent years because they are perfect for catching fish without being swallowed. They are also suitable for catch and release fishing since they hardly kill the fish. You don't have to set these hooks.
Kahle hooks are also referred to as "K" hooks or shiner hooks. With these hooks, the hook point points toward the hooks eye rather than towards the shank. They are popular in bass fishing. Kahle hooks feature chances of gut hooking, thus killing fish.
They are made from light wire and are best for smaller-sized baits. For large fish, you need to use thick gauge hooks such as 2X, 3X, etc.
Treble hooks consist of 3 hooks which branch from one shank. They are used alongside many artificial lures.
The majority of double hooks are used with soft plastic frog lures. They are mainly used for spinner-baits, as "trailers" on spoons and live baits. Double hooks are available in many sizes and designs. They are made of stout wire and are ideal for targeting weed-loving largemouth bass, muskies and pike.
Other popular fishing hooks include saltwater, weedless, siwash, egg, worm, octopus, bait, and Aberdeen hooks.
Over to you!
When shopping for fishing hooks, your choice will be influenced by several factors including, size, style, durability, the fish you're targeting, how strong your fishing line is, shape & weight of the bait, etc.
Now that you know what to consider when choosing fishing hooks, it's time to implement this information and grab the ideal hooks for your needs. You have an idea of what to look for or avoid when selecting the hooks.