Fishing Hook Styles and Uses

Fishing Hooks Styles and Uses

By Iain S Loveman

Select your fishing hook style for the fish species your fishing!
Ever really thought much about, what your fish is swallowing besides your bait?

Nowadays, there are so many different brands, sizes and styles of fishing hooks on the shelves, just which fishing hook style will you use for the fish species your fishing!

Ever really thought much about, what your fish is swallowing besides your bait? will you choose?

In order to truly understand the differences it is essential to go back to basics and first break down the hook into its various parts.

Every hook has six parts which are the eye, shank, bend, point, gap and throat.

Hook Points:
(part that actually grabs the fish and contains the barb) Points can also come in a knife edge, needle, barbless needle, barbless, micro barb, short, curved in, reversed or kirbed style.

Hook Eyes:
(“loop” at the forward end of the hook) The place you tie your line or clip your swivel or leader. Eyes can be ringed, tapered, looped, open, flatted, swivel or needle. Eyes can also have alignments which are either straight or ringed, turned up or turned down.

Shank: (section that begins at the first point of the bend to the eye)
Bend: (section of hook that bends around)
Gap: (distance (size) from the point to the shank)
Throat: (distance from the bend to the point)

It is important that you realize that gap size and throat length will either help or hinder your hooking of your fish.

Now that we have the definition of a hook done, we can move on to bigger fish.

Hook Styles:
If you took all hook shapes or styles you could probably put them in 3 categories, live bait hooks, artificial bait hooks and manufacturer use hooks. Live bait hooks include Octopus, O’Shaughnessy, Straight and Aberdeen.

Artificial bait includes Aberdeen, Sproat and Kahle. Manufacturer hooks are used for making artificial flies, jigs, crankbaits and spinnerbaits.

Kahle Hook
Kahle Hook
Octopus Hook
Octopus Hook
Aberdeen Hook
Aberdeen Hook
Circle Hook
Circle Hook
Sproat Hook
Sproat Hook
Oshaughnessy Hook
Oshaughnessy Hook

Selecting a Hook

Now that you’ve become a hook scholar you want to rush right out and buy some, right!

Whoa! Not so fast. Here are a few tips you need before you purchase. Quality has to be a number one concern. Just like anything else you buy, not all hooks are created equal.

  • check the hook to see if the eye is closed all the way (if it’s not your knot could slip off at the most inopportune moment)
  • check that the eye is smooth and not full of paint (otherwise your knot could nick after you’re tied on)
  • the point for sharpness
    (gently, drag the tip across your fingernail, if it starts to dig in its sharp)
  • that it is formed properly
    (if it is to sharp it will bend on contact)
    (barb is proportional to hook size and has the proper shape)
  • temper or flexibility
    (gently flex the hook and watch that it returns to its original shape if it doesn’t it isn’t tempered, if it breaks it’s over tempered)
  • Finally, this is the part that really hurts on a hook. Open your wallet and in foresight say to yourself,
    “if I had just spent a couple of bucks more, I would be mounting that giant bass on the wall”

Circle Hooks
Circle hooks are really a must if you practice catch and release. Let’s take a look at what happens when your fish strikes.
The mouth opens wide and your fish swallows your bait and hook into its stomach or gut and then starts to swim away.
Your hook and bait is then pulled back where it penetrates the lip area.
Other style hooks will just penetrate in the gut area and that’s where the problem arises.
Even if you cut the leader, there is a good chance the fish will die anyways and it is impossible to get your hook back without damaging and killing the fish anyways.

Baiting a Circle Hook is easy, loop your bait into the hook so it enters about half way and make sure the bait does not spin, just once is good enough.
Fish the same way you usually do with or without weight, cast or just peel off some line from the reel and set your drag.
The idea is to get your bait into your usual strike zone. Now, comes the fun part.
You have to ignore the temptation to “jerk” your line when you get a strike and set the hook.
If you do this you defeat the whole purpose of the exercise and the hook will simply pull right out of the fish’s mouth.

If your line has tension on it from the strike, you already have the hook in a position to set and grab the lip on its way out.
So there you have it, everything you need to know about fishing hook styles and their uses. Tight lines my friends.

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