Choosing a Fishing Hook for the Novice

guide in choosing a fishing hook

The size of a fish hook is perhaps the most important property of the device because it determines the size of fish that the hook can catch. A big fish hook cannot catch a small fish because it cannot get inside the mouth of the fish. On the other hand, if the fish hook is too small, a bigger fish can simply swallow the hook in its entirety.  Deep hooking is traumatic for a fish and makes the catch and release practice an arduous task. As a novice, its important to read our guide in choosing a fishing hook to make a right purchase.

The Anatomy

The Point: this is the sharp part of a fish hook that pierces the mouth of a fish

The Barb: is the projection extending from the hook that is curved backward. It prevents the fish from breaking free from the hook.

The Eye: The eye is the point where the hook is connected to the line or lure

The Bend, Shank, and Gap: The bend is the curve of the hook while the connection between the bend and the eye is called the shank. The gap is the distance spanning the shank and the point of the hook.

How to choose a fishing hook for the noviceSizes

The sizes of the fish hook are referenced with numbers ranging from the smallest size (32) to the largest size (19/0). The size structure of hooks (from 32 to 1) is such that the larger the size, the smaller the hook.  While the hook size type  1/0 (commonly referred to as the one aught) to 19/0, the higher the number, the bigger the hook size.


The J-Hooks: these types derive their name from the appearance that is similar to the letter J.  They are equipped with a straight shank that hooks itself somewhere in the mouth when the fish bites at it. However, it is required to “set the hook” before proceeding to fish.

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Circle Hooks: these types of hooks are designed to roll into the corner of the mouth of the fish after taking the bait. There is no need to set this type of hook. All that is required for the circle hook is to reel in when the fisherman feels the weight of a fish at the end of the line. The structure is designed such that it revolve within the fish mouth and finally stay in the corner of the mouth.

Kahle Hooks: This type is also referred to as the Shinner hooks.  It has a shape that resembles a cross between the J Hook and the circle hook.  It is pointed towards the hook eye rather than the shank of the hook. However, the distance between the point and the shaft is greater than that of the circle hook. The Hahle hook gained its popularity due to its use in bass fishing with live golden shiners.

Wire Hooks: These are made from light wires. They are perfect for baits of smaller sizes to enable easy penetration of the mouth of the fish. It also enables the bait to have a more natural outlook to the prey.

Thick Gauge Hooks: This type of are used to fish for larger species of fishes that require dragging around docks, bridges or other structures that require the exertion of force to pull the fish away from such structures.

Treble Hooks: The terrible hook consists of three different hooks proceeding from a single shank. They are widely used with a variety of artificial lures. Legislation in many states prohibits the use of a terrible hook with live bait attached.

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