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Complete Fishing Hook Guide with Chart [Videos]

Complete Fishing Hook Guide With Chart 2020

In this article, we will take an in-depth review of the fishing hooks. You can easily get them at any tackle shop and the ones that have baits available for fishing.

There are many hooks available with different sizes, color ranges, and also different shapes. When the season for fishing comes, which is the start to mid of summer, the fishermen go through an intimidating mood because of all the fuss and all the hype.

Despite the difference in size, the color ranges, and even the shapes, some types of fishing hooks are best suited to all fishermen.

They are also perfectly-known for fishing needs deliberately for fresh and clean saltwater and will help you in taking your fishing game to the next level.


Hence, we will help you in going through the hype present in the market and giving you such confidence that you can select the perfect hook according to your own need.

A Complete Guide to Fishing Hooks for Fresh Water:

Here is the guide you have been waiting for; this is a guide that revolves around the fishing hook for freshwater fishing.

Complete Fishing Hook Guide With Chart In 2020
Complete Fishing Hook Guide With Chart In 2020

1) Hook Basics:

To get started, there are mainly five main parts of the fishing hook. If we take a hook and them place its Sharpe end on the left side, you will see that on the right, you have parts called the Eye on the one end, then there is Shank, and then the bend is the point where the hook starts curving.

Then when you go towards the left, you will see the barb and the point that the Sharpe end used to lure fish on biting the bait. Now let us discuss each detail on separate parts for your convenience;

2) Eye of the Fishing Hook:

The Eye could be termed as the starting point and is one end of it, used to attach with the fishing line. It can also be termed as a point, which is the link between the hook and the line.

There is a particular type of hook termed as a Siwash hook, which has an open section for the hook to be attached to a lure.

3) The Shank:

After the Eye, comes the Shank which is called as the longest part of the fishing hook. The main functionality of this part is to provide the fishing hook some strength and is also called the backbone of the hook.

There is a hook type called the circle hook, which comes with the short ones, and there is another type of hook called Aberdeen hook that comes with a longer shank.

4) The Bend:

After the Shank, comes the bend of the Hook, which is what it sounds like. You can even call it the curvature of the hook and will help produce the central aspect of the fishing hook, which is the torque used in the driving of “Point” into the fish. The kind of hook known as the Circle hook has a much more twist action

5) The Point:

The point is also referred to as the end of the hook, which deals with the main business of fishing. You can also term this part of the hook as the most important one, and without it, the whole Hook would be useless.

The bait is attached to this part of the hook, and then the fishes get to bite it through the lips, this part also secures the fish when they bite and stops them from running. For comparison, the fishermen call this as the Shark’s teeth or the fist of Boxer’s.

6) The Barb:

Barb is also referred to as the secondary point of the Fishing Hook, which also aids the original point in securing the bait while keeping the fish firmly attached to the whole hook.

Barbs are made in such a way that they are very sticky in their design, and that is why the lips of fish get attached to them. Be careful because they can also get connected to your thumb, body parts, and even the shirt.

Barbs are something which is not present in each hook, but it is somewhat essential for hooks to have these with you because they can be sold separately.

It is much better to get them separately because they are slightly dangerous and will eliminate the causality of you being hurt by them. But for catching the fish and increasing your chances of firmly holding them onto the hook without it breaking, Barbs hold the most importance.

7) The Term Hook Gap:

Hook gap is a common term among fishermen, which means the distance between the point and the Shank.

8) The Term Hook Gauge:

It is also a term referring to the thickness of the wire, basically from the material that made the hook.

9) Hook Offset:

Hook offset is used when we want to point at a difference, which is when the hook point is not parallel to the hook shank.

Fishing Hook Sizes:

Complete Fishing Hook Guide With Chart
Complete Fishing Hook Guide With Chart

Hook size is something is which is used generally and is not an exact standard or description. There are different fishing hook manufacturing companies and brands which have their sizes for fishing hooks but vary typically around the overall size. That is why we have a chart available for you to look at for Hook Size Measurements.


We will take the example of different fishing hooks and their sizes. Getting started at the Eagle Claw hook, the six sizes of this fishing hook will be different from the Gamakatsu hook having a six size also.

This is just like the shirts for men, a medium-size shirt may be fitting like a large one on the clothing line. That is why we said that they might be different but are nearly exact.

General Descriptions:

When you are out there looking for fishing hooks, you will always see the sizes in the term 4,1/0,1,6/0, etc. so, you will be wondering what does it even mean? The /0 represents the aught, which is pronounced as “ott.” In the case of aught, the more significant is the number, the larger will be the hook.

For simple numbers, the larger they are, the smaller will be the hook. It is just the reverse of each other, /0 hooks are directly proportional to size while the # ones are inversely proportional to the size.

So, when it comes to the usage of hooks, they mainly depend on your own choice and your usage. The smaller hooks are the ones that are harder to detect for fishes, which they are also easier to set; they are less affected by the currents and the further casts while also being best fitted inside the fish mouth.

The larger hooks are reverse of the smaller hooks and are usually detected by fishes; they are affected by currents and are harder to set. But when it comes to the larger fish sizes, larger ones are best known with other benefits.

The rule of thumb is best understood when selecting the hook size, always consider the bait size for determining the fishing hook that is best for yourself.

Types of Different Fishing Hooks and their Descriptions:

There are many types of fishing hooks available all around the globe, but the most common or well-known are;

  • Standard J Hook
  • Bait Holder Hook
  • Siwash Hook
  • Aberdeen Hook
  • Circle hook
  • Octopus Hook
  • King Kahle Hook
  • Shiner Hook
  • Treble Hook
  • Worm Hook
  • Swim Hook
  • Jig Hook
  • Weedless Hook

Now we shall describe them in short terms to get a better understanding of how they differentiate from one another.

  • Standard J Hook:

So, defining the hooks, the simplest one is the Standard J Hook, which is precisely what it sounds like. It is shaped after the letter J and is useful on some type of lures but is best known for the striped concerning liver or the cut baits;

this is where it truly shines and is also loved by the fishermen. It is most popular when it comes to the panfish with different worms or the smaller minnows.

  • Bait Holder Hook:

Bait Holder Hooks are a type of modification to the Standard J Hook. They come with a particular kind of barbs, which are usually 1-3 and running along with the corners or edges of the fishing Hook Shank.

The main popularity of these fishing hooks is their barbs, which are explicitly designed to grab the bait ideally and then to stop it from moving around while being caught.

The fishermen usually say that this fishing hook enables some quality hookups since the point of fishing hook doesn’t go deep into the bait.

  • Siwash Hook:

They are also the J Hooks but with a modification called Open Eye. The Eye is not opened and is closed nearly 80 percent.  They are the replacement for the hooks called treble and can only be replaced as a lure for fish to bite on.

There are types of lures, so the single hooked lures are the most popular amongst trout fishing and salmon fishing. So, you can use these types of hooks where the treble hooks are not even permitted.

  • Aberdeen Hook:

Aberdeen hooks are way different from the hooks we have discussed and therefore are easily known due to their longer shanks. These are long-shanked j hooks that have thin wires.

Due to the shape and properties, the Aberdeen Hooks are best known for smaller worms and minnows while also being an ideal for a minor fish catch like the panfish. You can also consider it an ideal choice when it comes to the smaller fishes containing sharper teeth.

  • Circle Hook:

The name itself describes this hook; these are the unique hooks containing an offensive offset point. Due to the circular shape and an offset point change, this hook can easily be twisted into the mount of the fish and therefore is termed as a secure hook.

These hooks are an ideal choice for the using baits because of their snag in the corner of the mouth and therefore have little chances of being swallowed.

The critical thing to remember here is that when you have the circular hook don’t set it up, you only need to let the fish come in the hook itself.

Another thing to note is that with all the j hooks, you need to set them firmly, but with the circular j hooks, you don’t need to be that firm, just let the fished come into the hook themselves.

  • Octopus Hook:

Octopus hooks can easily be defined as the middle point between the j hooks and the circle hooks. The shape itself is mainly like the circle hooks, but the set is similar to that of j hook.

The design, therefore, makes it a bit forgiving, but the set makes it the best deal for small baits, and consequently, it is very strong. All in one, this is the best hook for smallmouth fishes like the Salmon and the carps.

  • King Kahle Hook:

King Kahle is a type of king for J Hooks because of their larger size. They are best for the larger baits and bigger fishes. A stranger bend is present in this hook, which allows it to keep the bait from slipping off.

The point of the fishing hook is much exposed, and even after the bait has been lured, the point is still exposed. All in one, the best deal for the wreck or larger fishing groups or even larger baits, although the setup is the same as j hook.

  • Shiner Hook:

They are like the little version for King Kahle Hook and are an ideal choice for the largemouth bass fishing and also an ideal for catfish with those shiners, bluegills, and minnows.

  • Treble Hook:

Treble hook can easily be identified because they are three j hooks in a single hook. The sharing parts are the Shank and the Eye, while they are best known for keeping the property of catching the soft baits like the liver or the salmon eggs.

While luring the fishes onto the hook, they improve the chances of hookup ratio. This hook might be the best one for soft baits, but there are some disadvantages as well; they easily get snagged up and can also tear the mouth of fish. Due to this, they are considered illegal in some parts of the waterways.

  • Worm Hook:

The main difference with this hook is that there is a strange neck after the Eye. The best thing about this hook is that it is ideal for the plastic softer baits like the crayfishes, the salamanders, and the worms.

Just as a reminder, these hooks are meant for the plastic ones and not for the real ones. While using the hook, it is essential to have a hard hookset with it.

  • Swim Hook:

In case you want to keep the swimbait in the upright position while on the water, this is the perfect hook meant explicitly for that. There is a bit of lead in the hook or to be precise, in the Shank of hook or near the Eye. That is why they need to be appropriately set up like the j hooks.

  • Jig Hook:

When you are out there fishing in water bodies, it is somewhat sure that you will find vegetations and sticks with other stuff. This is where the Jig hook comes in with its point-side for prevention against sticks and the vegetations. There is also a weight to these hooks; that is why they are best for the soft plastics or the dead minnows.

  • Weedless Hook:

Here is one more hook specifically meant for the weeds and vegetations. They come with wire threads or called as bristles to keep them away from catching onto the weeds or sticks and even vegetations.

They also work correctly with the lures and the baits. Whenever the fish starts biting the hook, there is a guard that gives away, and the point becomes exposed. The set needs to be harder to make up the whole tension provided by the fishing guard.

Fishing Hook Guide for Species:

01 Walleye 3 through 2/0
02 Catfish 2 through 6/0
03 Bass 5 through 4/0
04 Bullheads 7 through 1
05 Trout 8 through 4
06 Carp 3 through 1
07 Panfish 8 through 3
08 Pike 1/0 through 4/0
09 Striped bass 1/0 through 4/0

There are many variables and factors which can affect the fishing hook while also changing the various types of special when fishing.

Therefore, we can create a comparison of fishing size and species so that you can have a better understanding of them both, and when going out for hook, you know which type of hook will be best suited for your species.

Comparison while Fishing with Bait; The Bait Hook vs. The Circle Hook:

This is a famous debate nowadays due to the popularity of these hooks when it comes to fishing with the bait. The circle hook is one the one side while on the other there is the standard bait hook.

They might be popular, but on their specific aspects, that is why they have negative aspects as well. So, let us discuss which is the best hook for you in case you want to fish with the baits.

Circle Hook:

Circle Hooks are usually accessible in commercial or recreational fishermen just because of their hook set that is effective and much reliable.

When it comes to the bait, circle hooks are most favored for the liver or the cut bait because of their shape, which is much circular and has a twisted shank. They usually circle or twist around the lip of fishes and then secure them properly. Therefore, presenting you with clean fish.

Using Circle Hook is a bit different from the standard Fishing Hook because you don’t have to put a lot of pressure on it, the fishes when biting the bait will themselves be caught inside the hook.

There is a total time of 1 second, and after that time, the reel will bend, and the fish lips will be caught. This point is crucial and will provide you with much effortless and cleaner fishing.

Therefore, it depends on your experience and the guesswork you can put on the hook. The fish has its hook and, thus, will be caught on the corner of its mouth, resulting in the least damage to the fish itself.

Key Benefit:

The key benefit here is that it comes with a circular shape, and when the fish bites on the bait, they are caught instantly without any effort while won’t be able to escape the smoother circular shape.

The twist on the circular hook is, therefore, the key benefit you can entrust upon. When the fish is caught, and you want to separate the fish from the hook, you need to twist it again simply, and you will be presented with a whole fish, without losing any part.

Well, in case you want to have the barbless Circle, then the circle hook is the best choice where the barbed hooks are not permitted.

Bait Hooks:

Bait hooks are different from the circle hooks on the fact that the fishermen need to setup this hook by themselves. They are in the shape of J instead of the Circle; that is why they are much solid and need a proper setup to drive the point in the fish.

It is also best known for cut baits on the Shank like a barb or the fishing live. The Shank allows for it to be a better grip bait or even keep the bait protected from sliding along the hook.

The reason for fishermen having fewer chances of catching agile fishes is that they are not that much hooked and can get out easily. That is why barbs are critical, and two to three of them additionally can give you an excellent bait on the fishes.


Standard bait hook needs to be with a hook set; many ways result in you missing the hook. That is why you can easily make mistakes; some mistakes include set being too hard or too soft, or even the possibility that you are too early or too late.

It can also result in the hook injuring the fish or even not capturing the hook at all. You can randomly hook the fish anywhere you want. So, having experience of fishing is required in this case.

The other downside of Standard Bait Hook is that is doesn’t need to be embedded only at the corner of the mouth. Unlike the circle hook, it can be embedded anywhere on the fish, and it will catch it. It could be the throat, gut, or even you can destroy the whole fish with the bait.

How to Properly Attach the Bait to a Hook?

Here we have provided you instructions that will help you in properly attaching the bait to a hook. To get started, the primary thing you need to secure the bait as much as possible. This is important so that during the fishing, your bait doesn’t go flying off.

In case you fail at it, then the results will be fewer hookups, and more of the gut hooked fish will be achieved after even a successive cast.

In case you are using the cut baitfish or even the live ones, then you need to ensure that there are none scaled on present on the hook point. Even if there is a minute or singular scale present on the fishing hook point, it could prevent even the solid hookset.

If you fail to attach and hold the bait in place and it starts falling off from the hook, all you need is a bait thread, which is also the best and the cheapest option.

Bait thread is made for this purpose of holding the bait onto the hook without even moving anywhere except the point. Bait thread is mostly used in places where fishermen have anchovies as bait for the fishes like catfish and even the striped bass.

About the Hook Colors:

When it comes to the fishing hooks, there are all types of exciting colors available for you to choose from, ranging from red, black, blue, orange, bronze and silver to even the gold ones. Each one is made specifically for its purpose, and it only exceeds in that specific purpose.

The main differences of color lie in the visibility they offer in different colors, like the red and the gold are the most obvious ones inside water while the black ones are least visible.

But on the secondary thoughts, not all fishes can see like each other, fishes have different eye sights, and that is why some colors are used for fishing for that specific species.

Like the Red color is best known for the trout fishing while the bass fishes only see green or bright and even the dark color like black.

About the Snelled Hooks:

So, on the primary topic side, Snelled hooks are the hooks prepared with the monofilament line already attached to them. Improper knots are the most common reason when it comes to fish being lost.

Therefore, the Snelled hooks eliminate the fishing term like “Knot to Hook” connection by already wrapped monofilament line ranging from through the fishing hook eye and then towards the Shank of the hook. This line holds essential when you want to tie the line or even attach the swivel to it.

Other than the fact that they remove the knot to hook factor, the Snelled hooks have no other importance, nor usage. You will still need to tie the line to loop, but for your information, the “line on line” is much easier than the line to metal. Snelled hooks can even be used for the smaller ones.

Covering the difference; To Barb or Not to Barb:

Mostly all the fishing hooks come with the barbs, and they are used to provide more stickiness in the hook. So, what does it even mean?

It means that the part known as barb acts as a second point and sticks inside the fish, lowering its chances to escape when the fishing hook penetrated the fish flash. It also helps the fish hook fight against the attacks from the fishes.

  • Negative aspects of Barbs:

On the negative side, the barbs are not typically “wonderful” even for the fishes because they damage the fish, especially when you are removing the hook from it.

The results are damage and will make it harder for you to remove the hooks from the fishes. Specifically, in the case of trout, due to their mouth, they are damaged a lot.

If you are not experienced in fishing, and the hook gets trapped inside the fish or its mouth, then the barbs are the most dangerous part of the fishing hook because they act like a pike and will do excessive flash damage to the fish.

Hence, there are many waterways where it is not allowed to use the barbed hooks, and you will find the signs like “barbless hooks only.”

  • The solution to the problem:

The solution to this problem can be that you can always get the barbless hooks that can be used with the pair of barbs to attach with them. Or even you can get some pliers that can soften the barbs on the fishing hooks. The downside then will be that the fish, when fighting the hook, will mostly come off.

In case you don’t want to let the fish run away and also use the barbless hooks, you can always take care of the slack in your line and never let any of slacking be present on your line.

You can easily do this by providing more consistent tension on the line, and surely the fish won’t have any possibilities left off running away.

The other solution is using the circle hook. They don’t require any barbs in them and are usually termed as the barbless hooks; they work perfectly with the cut bait or the live bait.

They are of the twisted forms, and they also don’t damage the fish’s flash because they twist inside the fish, and when you want to remove the fish’s hook, they easily twist separately from the fish.

So, the chances of fish flying away are minimized due to the smooth motion that catches them.


Therefore, the barbless hook or the circle hook is a great choice if you are not using the barbed hook and will also allow you to keep the fish on its line if you can enable the slack. In case you want to use the barb hooks, you need to smoothen them down with the pliers.

Hook Costs:

Usually, the expensive stuff is somewhat better than the cheap ones, which is precisely the case with fishing hooks.

Because they depend on what you are paying, the good hooks are known because of their sharper and quality-wise better point; the quality hooks are much more durable and flexible, allowing it to bend without breaking.

To be honest, it depends upon the fishing hook manufacturing companies or the brand. The best known amongst them are Mustad, Owner, and the Gamakatsu.

They are best not because of their price range but their value for money but are still premium ones in the market you can afford with cash.

Some other brands are available in the market that gives you good quality hooks in a much affordable price range. If you want to have only fun and quality time with your family and friends, then there are some cheapest ones in the market, which you can always choose.

In case you want to go for bigger fishes like the Salmon or even the pike or catfish, the best choice to invest in is the great hooks.

Proper Setting of Hook:

The proper setting of a hook is important because setting them will help you in driving out the hooks from the fish lips or their haws to secure the bait even longer for you to lure and catch the fish.

The important thing here to believe in is that the single size cannot fit all the fishes you long for finding. Therefore, their sizes, shapes, angles are made for different kinds of fishes.

  • J Hooks:

With the j hooks, you will need a robust set of hooks. The moment you feel the bite, you need to feel that fishing line and then force the tip of the rod at a 45-degree angle.

The fishes like the bass, gar, or pike have harder mouths and even much sharper teeth, that is why you require the hooks which can drive through those teeth.

On the other hand, there are fishes with soft mouths like the panfish, the catfish, and even the trout that require the least force. To measure it, if you have the hard hooks with you and force it on the fish, it will tear them apart completely.

The force should be provided according to the sharpness of the hook. The much sharper ones require less pressure or force while the less sharp ones need much force. Using the sharpest ones and then controlling the force is the best way to go.

  • Circle Hooks/ Non-J Hooks:

The circular hooks are not like the j hooks and don’t require the hook sets, which are must in the j hooks. That is why when you even use the hook sets on the circular hooks, the chances for you to catch the fish are minimum or yet, so the fish won’t be correctly caught on the hook.

You need to focus on the tip, and when it bends for more than a second, you need to handle the reel and pressure on it until the rod bends fully. Then you need to watch out when the fish is properly on the hook, then force the rod to let the fish come out of the water and separate it from the hook.

Diagnosing the Causes for Losing Fish which are Hook Related:


  • When the Fish bites but the hook doesn’t set:

When this happens, it means that the hook you are using is too big for the fish and its mouth. That is why even when the fish bites, the hook doesn’t set. You can even say that the bite is massive for the fish to even grab it.

The choice of bait could also be the problem here, and it could be that it is large enough for the fish, that is why you need to downsize the whole setup.

Starting with the larger ones and then going smaller and smaller with smaller hook sizes will allow you to know which is perfect. In case you are using the one-sized hook with a full nightcrawler, then you need to cut it down the half and try the 2/0 size hook.

  • When fighting fish, the hook pops out from the fishing rod, putting the max strain on the Line:

It merely means that when you are putting too much strain on the fishing line, the lips or the mouth of the fish is torn apart, destroying the fish.

You sometimes become so aggressive fighting the fish that the hook poops out of the fish, and it also tears the fish apart. So, let us discuss the prime three causes for the hook to tear out.

The primary one is the one we discussed, meaning that you are too eager and aggressive when fighting the fish. The second one is that the drag is too high and strong, resulting in the hook being away from the safe tension point.

The last one is the hook being much small, or the hook gap is low for the fish. The larger one is least likely to tear out than the smaller ones.

  • When the fishes are spitting the hook:

This happens when you start to feel that there is tension on the line, and after that, suddenly the hooks are free, or the fish swims away, this is called as the spitting of fish or even the hook throwing.

When the hook is embedded deeply in the mouth or the lip of fish, then it cannot spit, so whenever you find the fish being grabbed from its hook, there is no sit.

So, the fishes have a sense which lets them know that there is a hook with the bait, and then they start to free themselves from the hook.

Therefore, when this issue happens, you need to have a much sharper hook than the ones you are using. It could also be because of the hook technique you use in catching the fishes. These are only the reason you need to look for in this scenario.

Snagging Hooks, what are they?

They are exactly what they sound like. Snagging hooks are used to snag the fishes whenever they swim by it. Having a bit of weight on them and the shape of a treble hook, snagging hooks are of a particular kind.

The best thing about them is that they can easily catch Salmon. Due to Salmon’s upstream motion whenever they swim, the Americans snag them with this hook without any effort.

The best-known use of Snagging Hooks are Salmon, that is why we gave the example of Salmon running upstream. Without the Snagging hooks, there is no other known fishing technique aside nets that can catch the Salmon, that is why it is must to have the Snagging hooks when fishing for the Salmon.

The construction of Snagging Hooks is termed as “Heavy” due to their use, having to snag or strike the fish when it runs through the water. The fantastic thing is that being termed as heavy hooks, they are light enough to be agile so that you can rapidly deploy them when you see fish swimming nearby.

There are not many laws regarding the snagging hooks, but it is always advised to learn the laws around the area you are going fishing in so that there won’t be any problem for you.

Note: the critical thing to note here is that when it comes to the Snagging fish with the Snagging hooks, there is no catch and then release slot available for you.


What should be the distance of weight from the Fishing hook?

You should consider putting one or two sinkers; then, you should take six to something like twelve inches above the hook. This type of distance will allow you to swing the fishing rod and lure down the bait easily.

Should the sinker be below or above the fishing hook?

There are types of sinkers; the most effortless to use is the sliding sinker. The Fishing Line goes through the sinker, and the hook that is on a long leader is on the line, which is below the sinker.

What size of the hook is perfect for Fishing in Fresh Water?

The number #4 and number #6 for the one to two-degree small leeches and minnows, targeting the crappie and perch are best. The medium one of number #2 and number #4 on the more giant three to four-degree jumbo leeches and minnows for the Walleye are best. While the 1/0 is perfect for the most significant four to six-degree target pike, bass, and minnows.

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