Fishing hooks are probably one of the least expensive, but most important items in a fisherman’s tackle box. Many factors should be considered when choosing fishing hooks.
The size of the targeted fish will determine the size of the fishing hook needed. The hook needs to be large enough to slightly protrude through the bait, but small enough to not spook the fish. Fishing hook size is determined by gap, or distance between the inside of the shank and the hook’s point. Fishing hooks come in a large range of sizes, and are produced by many different manufacturers. Larger hook sizes include 1/0 to 6/0, with the size increasing with the number. Smaller hooks include #1 to #14, with the sizes decreasing as the numbers increase. Fishing hooks do come in smaller and larger sizes, but these are probably the most common.
The thickness of a fishing hook will be determined by the size of the bait being used and the bottom conditions of the water being fished. To use small baits, such as insects, a light-wire hook would be best. Trying to use a heavy-wire hook on small baits would only damage the bait. If a snag occurs, a light-wire hook might straighten out to free it. Catching a large fish on a light-wire fishing hook may also straighten out the hook, causing the loss of the fish. Heavy-wire hooks are used by most fishermen to catch large, hard fighting fish.
Although mostly a matter of personal preference, a hook’s finish can be important. A bronze finish is most common and inexpensive, but tends to rust rather quickly with use. Fishing hooks are also made from stainless steel, nickel, and cadmium, all of which resist corrosion. Gold-colored or silver colored hooks are believed by some anglers to attract fish, while green colored hooks are the least visible under water. Fishing hooks also come in black finishes and blue finishes.
Many style of fishing hooks are available, including Carlisle, Aberdeen, O’Shaughnessy, Egg Hook, Weedless, Treble, and Soft Bait Treble. Shank length, eye position, hardness, point shape, and point length should also be considered.
The length of the shank will help determine the type of bait to be used. Eye positions will determine which way a hook faces when tied to the fishing line. The hardness will determine if the hook should be used for soft-mouthed or hard-mouthed fish. Point shape and length will determine how well a fishing hook will penetrate and hold.
Using a fishing hook that is not longer than needed for the type of bait and hooking method is recommended. Choosing the right style and size of fishing hook will help to increase your catch rate and your fun factor.