Saltwater and freshwater fishing hooks come in a variety of fishing hooks shapes, fishing hooks sizes, fishing hook colors, and uses. Saltwater and freshwater fishing hooks come in common configurations such as; assist stinger fishing hooks, circle fishing hooks, drop shot fishing hooks, finesse fishing hooks, jig fishing hooks, live bait fishing hooks, octopus fishing hooks, salmon egg fishing hooks, snelled fishing hooks, spinner bait fishing hooks, sproat fishing hooks, swim bait fishing hooks, trailer fishing hooks, treble fishing hooks, treble fishing hooks, worm fishing hooks.
In addition, the fishing hooks above all have a different anatomy, so let's discuss the fishing hook anatomy. With all the different styles, brands and sizes of fishing hooks available to anglers today, understanding the differences among these fishing hooks can be difficult. To add more confussion into the fishing hook mess we can throw in flyfishing hooks and barb-less fishing hooks, which we will explain later.
Fishing hooks are grouped into categories such as the baitfish hook, single, double and triple treble fishing hooks, fly hook, etc. Below is a general grouping of saltwater and freshwater fishing hooks. Be sure to check out the fishing line section!
Bait fish hooks
Bait fish hooks come in a variety of styles and most feature barbs on the shaft to hold bait in place. The idea is to use a small hook to keep it hidden, one with barbs good enough to keep the fish on the bait fish hook, and also small enough to allow the bait to swim freely.
Treble fishing hooks feature three bends and points in one hook. Treble fishing hooks provide more hooking potential to many artificial baits such as crankbaits, jerkbaits or topwater baits. Treble fishing hooks are most common to artificial baits as mentioned above, but are also used for cut bait for catfish or threading minnows for lake trout. The leading manufacturers are Mustad, VMC, Eagle Claw, Owner and Gamakatsu.
Siwash fishing hooks are very strong and have a long shank and point, and a straight eye so they sit properly on lures. Siwash hooks are often used on a single hook bait such as spinnerbaits.
Aberdeen fishing hooks are made of a lighter wire than Siwash fishing hooks and are most often used for bait fishing. The thin metal easily hooks bait and does minimal damage so bait stays lively on the fishing hook. Light wire also makes them a good option when fishing dense cover, as one can free a snag by applying pressure to straighten the hook, thus saving the line and bait.
Circle fishing hooks have a pronounced circular bend, are short shanked and have an inward bending point. They are extremely popular for bait anglers, and are now required for offshore fishing in Florida. Many fish will swallow conventional fishing hooks, resulting in a gut hook with unwanted results. The circle fishing hook acts differently, as the hook will slide up to the lip even when deep inside the stomach, thus preventing a gut hook. The leading manufacturers are Mustad, VMC, Eagle Claw, Owner and Gamakatsu.
Unlike the name, Octopus fishing hooks do not have eight points, only one. Octopus fishinh hooks are short-shanked fishing hooks with a fairly round shank and bend, but not as pronounced as the circle fishing hooks. Octopus hooks are often used for bait fishing when minimal hook weight and size is essential for a natural presentation.
Just as the name implies, worm fishing hooks are made for use with soft-plastic baits. Worm fishing hooks feature a slight bend just below the hook eye, and allows for a great Texas-rig. Most often used for weedless setups. Most worm fishing hooks feature wide gaps to ensure the point will be exposed even with the plastic rigged on the hook. These hooks are quite strong and offer solid penetrating power.
Jig fishing hooks are designed to sit in specific jig molds and feature a bend just below the hook eye with a 90-degree bend being the most common. Jig hooks are versatile and work in the place of many popular styles. Jig hooks with a Duratin finish make good hooks for both freshwater and saltwater fishing jigs
If the above fishing hooks weren't enough, we now move to the specialized fishing hooks. Here are a few
Drop-shot fishing hooks are designed to be tied onto the line with a Palomar knot and rest at a 90-degree angle from the line, which has a sinker below the line and are rigged with plastics.
Weedless fishing hooks feature plastic or wire guards that protrude out in front of the hook point to help keep weeds from snagging the point, thus letting you fish vegetation without getting snagged on every cast. They are not 100% weedless, but are better than a bare exposed hook for fishing weeds.
Topwater fishing jerkbait hooks are similar to worm hooks, but have a wider gap to ensure the plastic won't conflict with the hook set. The shank and bend act as a rudder. The jerkbait hooks come with weighted or non weighted shanks.
Keeper fishing hooks are a form of weedless hook that have a small barb arm that connects to the hook eye. The barb is inserted into the nose of a soft-plastic bait, leaving hook point stuck lower in the plastic body, allowing for a straight presentation.
Dressed trebles fishing hooks or feathered trebles are hooks dressed to impress! In short, they are treble fishing hooks with feathers and tinsel tied to the shank. These can be used to replace the back hook on hard lures such as jerkbaits and topwaters.
My choice is the Owner Dancing Stinger Hook. Owners' Dancing Stinger assist hooks are a perfect choice for any metal butterfly jig. When rigged, assist hooks should hang down about 1/2 of the length of the jig. Owner uses super strong and flexible Technora braid to prevent fish from removing the hook, as fish can no longer leverage hooks and jigs out of their mouths due to the flexible connection between the hook and the jig. these hooks have a super needle point with a titanium gold finish with a 2.25 inch leader length. For proper rigging, see our section on
Anatomy of a fishing hook
Fishing hook Eye – The loop at the end of the fishing hook shank. The eye is the front or forward end of a the fishing hook.
Fishing Hook Shank – The length of the section that extends back from the fishing hook eye to just before the hook begins to bend.
Fishing Hook Bend – The section of the fishing hook that bends around and ends at the point.
Fishing Hook Point – Obviously the sharpest part of the fishing hook meant to penetrate the fish. The point is the piece of the fishing hook that actually grabs the fish. The point also contains the fishing hook barb, the super sharp spine of metal pointing backwards at an angle from the point. It’s function is to keep the fishing hook from coming out of the fish’s mouth. Those that practice catch and release will often file down or nip off the barb, or use hooks that are barb-less.
Fishing Hook Gap – The distance from the fishing hook point up to the shank of the hook. The gap is important to hooking fish. If the size of the gap is too small the hook may not grab on the fish properly, and if the gap is too wide the fish may easily slip off the hook because the fishing hooks move around too freely in the mouth.
Fishing Hook Throat – Most offen described in freshwater fishing hooks, the throat is the distance (length or size) from the start of the bend to the start of the fishing hook barb. As with the gap size, the throat length can help or hinder hooking the fish.
Now that we've gone over the various fishing hook styles and shapes, and even gave you the anatomy of a fishing hook, let's take a peep into the different styles of fishing hooks points.
To be continued...
How about the manufacturers of these hooks?
Gamakatsu fishing hooks are the corner stone of the Gamakatsu company and are what makes them famous worldwide. The material and technology behind the material make these hooks superior to many and rival to the best. The Gamakatsu company, in conjunction with a material manufacturer, developed a material known as High Carbon steel specifically for the manufacturing of fishing hooks. This material not only contains a higher percentage of carbon, but also has very few impurities, resulting in a very good quality GAMAKATSU hook that has earned Anglers' trust throughout the world. The life of a fish hook is measured by the sharpness, hardness, and viscosity of the point. Using low quality materials results in points that are weak and not truly sharp. In order to use High Carbon steel, Gamakatsu developed a unique electronic tempering process which enables hooks to be tempered in a stable condition. As a result, Gamakatsu is able to manufacture consistently high quality, extremely sharp hooks in large quantities. This innovation has earned Gamakatsu a 70 % market share in Japan.
In addition, Gamakatsu has one of the most advanced tempering systems in the world. Every hook is heated to the exact temperature that is perfect for that particular style and size then cooled in oil. This process produces hooks which are super strong, but not brittle. It is extremely difficult to achieve a balance between strength and flexibility, and it took many years for Gamakatsu to perfect this process. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the sharpening process is also tops in the world, and results in a perfectly conical point that is extremely sharp.
Owner hooks have devoted nearly a decade of effort in developing a line of high quality, high performance FISHING HOOKS that, today, are second to none in popularity among both fresh and saltwater anglers. Satisfied, if not ecstatic, customers have helped Owner hooks grow in a relatively short period of time. Personally, I only use Owner hooks for offshore fishng. The success of Owner hooks can be attributed partly to their patented CUTTING POINT® hooks. Most anglers use these hook for two reason, razor sharp and strong! Owner's revolutionary triple-edge CUTTING POINT® hook is what put the Owner name and its product line on the map. The unique, patented hook design is led by a needle sharp point, and as the hook begins to penetrate, the resistance actually decreases as the three edges cut their way through for an instant, positive hookset.
Mustad hooks are the best- selling hook-brand on the planet and has a presence in more than 160 countries. Mustad hooks cover any discipline of sport and commercial fishing, industrial as well as traditional fishing. I'd bet that the majority of tackle boxes around the world can be found with a pack of Mustad hooks in them. Mustad makes an amazing assortment of hooks, and the ultra point mustad hooks are one of my favorite. Mustad's Ultra Point hooks are made of a premium hi-carbon steel hook with a sharp and strong point. The nice thing about the point on these hooks are that they are strong and is unlikely to blunt when it penetrates tough cartilage. I always have a combination of these hooks in my box.
VMC hooks are not as commonly known as a single point hook that one would use for live bait rigs, but that doesn't mean they aren't good fishing hooks. In fact, VMC fishing hooks are found on most of the high end fishing lures from major manufactures. They are all made in France and production runs are carefully monitored for perfection. I have used them from time to time to replace some cheaper lure trebles or single points and they produced very good results. From VMC's web site >>> VMC’s latest premium point technology for ultimate performance hooks. A point hardened by forming, followed by chemical sharpening is the recipe for permanent hook sharpness. Front and back reinforcement ribs guarantee the point’s rigidity. Energy channels increase the speed of penetration and the point’s driving force upon striking. The original anti-corrosion coating by excellence, exclusive to VMC.
The Permasteel secret formula creates a 100% protective shield for even the most vulnerable areas of the hook, whilst maintaining ultimate point sharpness. VMC Permasteel prevents signs of corrosion in saltwater for over 1000 hours. The first point with three micro-barbs to ensure that hook setting is instant with only 1/3 of the pressure of a regular hook. Whilst the upper micro-barb guarantees swift hook-bite, the two lower micro-barbs prevent the fish from slipping off, even when the line is slack. The Fastgrip point also reduces damage compared to a regular barbed hook : it lessens bleeding and prevents wounding. Catch and release fishing practices are significantly improved.