Pages Navigation Menu

Fishing Hooks

Fishing_hooksFishing hooks are some of the most fundamental pieces of equipment in an angler’s tackle box. The choice of fishing hook made by an angler can have a huge effect on the success of a fishing trip. When buying or selecting fishing hooks, there are some important factors of which an angler should be aware. Not only do fishing hooks come in different sizes, they also come in different shapes, each design tailored towards different species of fish, different fishing techniques or different fishing conditions.

fishing1Hook Size:
As most anglers will know, hooks come in a variety of sizes. The largest hooks are 19/0’s, and are designed for catching large game fish, while the smallest hooks you can buy are number 32’s, usually used forhook size small soft-mouthed fish like freshwater trout. The numbering system in the United States therefore ranges from 19/0 to 32, where 32 is the smallest type of hook. Therefore the lower the number, the bigger the hook. Starting with 32, and descending in increments of 2, the hooks gradually get larger as the numbers decrease. When the hook size reaches number 1, the scales continues downwards by adding a zero to each number. Therefore the scale goes from 1/0 to 2/0 and so on, as far as 19/0. This would be pronounced “nineteen aught”. Between 32 and 2, the scales decreases in twos, i.e. 32, 30, 28, and so on.Once you have chosen a hook size, you will then have to select a shank size. The shank is the long straight bar that extends from the eye of the hook to the bend. The available options are long, regular or short. When choosing your type of hook, you should have a particular type of fish, and its characteristics, in mind. You should of course focus on mouth size and shape. For large fish you should in general use a large hook.

A point of which not many anglers are aware is that the strength and thickness of the line you use determines the hook size you should use. Line strength is given in pounds of pressure, which dictates how much pressure the line can exert on the hook. This is very important as you want your hook to stab through a fish’s jaw. If your line strength is too little, there is no point fishing for large fish with a strong hook. The line will break before the hook is forced home. Similarly, a small weak hook will bend if used with a heavy line against a big fish.

fishing1Hook Types:

Some common types of fish hook are Kahle, Circle, Aberdeen, O’Shaughnessy and Live Bait.

Kahle Hooks are usually used for live bait, as their design makes them easy to insert through a bait fish’s back. They are made from a bendable wire, which means they can be reshaped many times. They will not lose their shape once they are hooked through a target fish’s mouth however.

hooksCircle hooks are the least harmful hooks for fish. Due to their design, it is less likely that any of the fish’s internal organs will be pierced as circle hooks are difficult for fish to swallow. When using a circle hook, it is important to note that you should not try to set the hook once a fish bites. In the case of a circle hook once the fish has bitten the hook will set itself as the fish moves away. If however you try to pull the hook before it has set, you may pull the bait and the hook out of the fish’s mouth completely. Due to the limited damage that circle hooks cause to fish, they are commonly used in catch and release fishing. Circle hooks are available in a variety of sizes and strengths, so you can use them for any type of fish. You should also consider using circle hooks if you think that there is any chance that you may hook small fish that you do not intend to keep.

Aberdeen Hooks are also made from bendable wire, which can be reshaped several times. They are most commonly used by freshwater anglers. Aberdeen hooks are also used in jig molds, although this requires modification to the hooks.

O’Shaughnessy hooks are heavy duty tools designed for larger fish. They come in the larger range of sizes, from 3 to 19/0. They are extremely strong, and have a noticeably pronounced and strong bend. The entire hook is very thick and O’Shaughnessy hooks are typically used for saltwater fishing to hook large game fish.

Live Bait hooks are distinguishable by their short shanks, and are appropriate for live bait fishing as they allow the bait fish to swim relatively easily. When purchasing live bait hooks you will have a choice between circle and regular hooks. Again, circle hooks are more appropriate for catch and release fishing, as their shape usually prevents them from being swallowed.

Clearly choosing your fishing hooks correctly can have a huge impact on your fishing. If you are unsure, it is best to consult the staff in your local outdoors shop.