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Fishing Hooks: Types, Sizes, Parts Explained

One small piece of angling equipment that you need to make sure is right is the hook. They may seem simple enough but there are lots of different types depending on what kind of fish you want to catch.

Types of fish hooks on wooden board

For example, you’ll need a strong hook to catch a larger fish otherwise it won’t have the strength to penetrate the skin and be pulled back with the line. In this article, we’ll be taking you through everything you need to know about fishing hooks from the different parts as well as the different types.

Not only will this give you extra knowledge on fishing equipment, but you’ll find that your fishing trips will be more successful. 


The first thing to learn about fishing hooks are the different components that differ depending on the style and type of hook. These are the different parts that you need to look out for:


The barb is a spike that faces backwards and prevents the hook from breaking loose.


The bend is where the hook curves back on itself.


The eye is a ring that helps to attach the hook to the lure or line. 


The gap is the distance between the shank and the throat. 


The point is the sharp bit of the hook that pierces the fish.


The shank is the section of the hook that runs down on the blunt end.


The throat is the same as the shank but runs down from the point. No matter what kind of hook you opt for, they all have these components but the look, length and materials may differ depending on the hook’s specific purpose. Having a wider gap, for example, allows you to use larger bait to hunt bigger fish.

On the other hand, a narrow shank works best when using thin baits such as worms. However, the most important part of the hook to look into is the eye which has all kinds of variations. 

Types of hook point

Types of hook point

As the number of different types of hooks has increased over the years, the same has happened with the hook points. It’s important to learn about the different types of hook points as this will increase your success with certain fish. 

Hollow point 

The first type of hook point to consider is the hollow point which has a spike that bends inwards and curves downwards to the barb. They are ideal for soft mouthed fish and stay firmly in place once the skin has been penetrated. On fish with tougher skin or scales, it can be difficult to cut through. 

Knife edge point

The knife edge point is faced away from the shank and sharpened on both sides which is made to penetrate tough skins. The downside to knife edge points is that they can cause a lot of damage when penetrating the fish.

Needle point

For those who want a hook point that penetrates quickly and easily then a needle point is the best option. They are slightly bent inwards towards the shank. This helps to keep the penetration hole small and reduces harm to the fish as well as causing minimal damage. 

Rolled in point

For those who want to catch fish that have a tendency to thrash whilst being reeling in. The rolled in point works by penetrating deeply using the least amount of pressure possible. The tip of the point faces the hook eye which then aligns the hook point with the fish’s mouth. 

Spear point

The last hook point to consider is the most common and popular model. It is the best one to purchase if you don’t have a specific type of fish in mind. Like the name suggests, the spear point runs right up the throat which limits the damage to the fish whilst also giving a good amount of penetration.

They are easy to sharpen after use as well, making them suitable for a variety of fish. 

Types of hook eye

The hook eye is something that you should always bear in mind. Located at the blunt end of the hook, the eye determines what kind of knotting and tying style as well as differing in strength for catching larger fish and allowing you to battle with them if they thrash around.

These are the different types of hook eyes that you should consider:

Brazed eye

Brazed eyes are usually used to catch bigger fish and consist of a loop that is sealed shut with melted metal. This means that the hook won’t bend or break whilst fighting with the fish. 

Looped eye

Looped eyes are ideal for fly tyers and allow you to give wet flies more weight making it ideal for catching smaller fish. 

Needle eye

Needle eyes allow you to thread the hook through the bait like a sewing needle easily. This is ideal if you are fishing with bait. 

Simple ringed eye

The simple ringed eye is the most common type of hook eye. Easy to thread and use a wide variety of knots, this is ideal for newbies who are unfamiliar with fishing equipment and don’t have a specific fish in mind. 

Tapered eye

Lastly, tapered eyes are mainly used by dry fly anglers as they have a more slender structure that helps to reduce weight and allow the hook to float properly. 

Barbed and barbless hooks

Barbed and barbless hooks

Barbed hooks keep the bait secured on the hook meaning that it is harder for the fish to let go once they have taken the bait. Barbed hooks tend to consist of multiple barbs to penetrate the fish but this can also be a downside as this can damage the fish while it fights as it can snag or lodge in deep.

On the other hand, barbless hooks are ideal for those who want to release the fish once they have caught them. As expected, the lack of barbs means that the fish can easily break away from the hook once it has taken the bait without any damage or penetration. 


Finding which hook size you need to select requires going through some measurements in order to make your final choice. There are two numbers that you will see when it comes to the size with the first number being the size and the second is the aught.

The smallest hook is a size 30 and then the number reduces as it increases in size. After it reaches size 1, it goes to 1/0 which is one aught and then 2/0 and so on until you get to 27/0 which is incredibly big and never really used. 

The most important thing to bear in mind is that the sizes vary depending on the brand. Therefore, it’s best if you choose one brand and stick to them as a 1/0 hook from Eagle Claw may be different to a 1/0 hook by Mustad. 

Gap, Gauge and length


The gap is the distance between the point and the shank which is how wide the hook is. It is measured as 2X Wide or 3X Wide and so on. 


The gauge dictates how thick the metal of the hook is and can range from fine to heavy wire but there are even thicker hooks available that are labelled as 2X Heavy. 


Lastly, the length shows how long the shank is with the number increasing the longer the shank is. As expected, this is written down as 2X Long or 3X Long. 

Fish hook types

Now that you know everything about fish hooks and their components, here are the most popular types of fish hooks that you need to know about and what you should consider.

Whether you are searching for larger fish that like to thrash or wanting to release the fish after you catch them, choosing the right fish hook will make your fishing experience more enjoyable and successful.

Aberdeen hooks

Aberdeen hooks were first used in the salmon streams in northeast Scotland and have a long shank and light wire which helps to fix smaller bait without injuring them, keeping them alive for as long as possible. 

Bait holder hooks

Bait holder hooks help to keep your bait on the hook. The barbs hold the bait in place as well as ensuring that the fish will be latched onto the hook. The downside is that the barbs can cause a lot of damage but they are effective for catching fish that thrash. 

Circle hooks

Circle hooks have a point that is bent inwards towards the shank to help stop them from damaging the fish’s throat and instead penetrating the skin of the mouth. They are harder to use but extremely handy to master. 

Jig hooks

Jig hooks have a simpler structure with an eye that is positioned at a right angle to the shank which helps to move the bait when in the water. These are great for those who want to catch and release the fish as the barbs can easily be filed down. 

Kahle hooks

Kahle hooks have the opposite effect of Aberdeen hooks. They boast a wider gap and heavier metal meaning that they are ideal for larger fish and tougher battles. They look similar to circle hooks except for the point which faces the eye and makes it easier to set. 

Octopus hooks

Octopus hooks are short with a rounded shank so it can be used with smaller bait. The point is bent in slightly which helps to lock the fish. It has a large enough gap to allow larger fish to bite. 

Siwash hooks

Siwash hooks have an open eye which makes it easy to attach as well as longer shanks and points so your lure can hang off it naturally. They are a lot easier to remove as well as proving less harmful to the fish. 

Treble hooks

Treble hooks consist of three hooks as expected meaning that your chances of a catch are tripled. They are great when used in busy waters but don’t penetrate the skin deeply. A downside to these hooks is that they can be difficult to remove. 

Weedless hooks

Weedless hooks are the best hooks to use when catching fish such as bass. They are ideal for use in lakes and ponds that have a lot of heavy vegetation. With a thin guard that clips on the point, weedless hooks help to prevent you from dragging lots of vegetation out when you reel the line back in. 

Worm hooks

Lastly, worm hooks have a bend near the eye which helps to keep the top of the worm in place. This means that the point of the hook pierces the body of the worm and latches onto the fish as it eats the worm.


In conclusion, fishing hooks are a simple and small part of your setup but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t important. The hook is what will help to catch the fish and boost your success. If you are a newbie then you can experiment with different types of hooks and see which one you like to work with the most.

The more experience and practice you gain, you’ll find yourself knowing which hook is best depending on what fish you want to catch and your style of fishing. 

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