Selecting the Right Hook
Below is a list of four questions that you need to answer in order to select the appropriate fishing hook for your needs:
- What Species Are You Targeting?The species that you are targeting will have a huge effect on which hook you choose. Generally, larger fish require large durable hooks, and small species require small hooks. It is also important to keep in mind that some species have disproportionate mouths. For example, an 8″ long sunfish will require a #10 or smaller hook, but an 8″ largemouth bass could easily fit a 2/0 hook in it’s mouth. Also, fish that can feel or see a hook easily may require a smaller hook than less wary species that will aggressively attack the bait.
- What Type of Bait Are You Using?The type and size of bait will determine not only the size of hook, but also the style and shape of the hook. There are specially designed hooks for use with specific types of baits and lures.
- How Are You Rigging the Bait?Different hooks will work better or worse with various rigging techniques. There are event hooks designed for specific rigging methods.
- Where Are You Fishing?If you are fishing in saltwater, then you will need a hook that can withstand the corrosives properties of saltwater. Freshwater hooks don’t have to be as resiliant, but they should still resist rust. There are no specific types of hooks required for ice fishing, but keep in mind that you presentation will always be vertical. When ice fishing you should select a hook that will allow for good penetration when setting the hook from directly above.
Hook sizes are numbered with 0 being the base size of the measurement. A #0 hook does not exist – the scale starts on the lower end with 1 being the biggest, and the hooks get smaller as their number increases. The umbers from largest to smallest are 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 30, 32. The smallest size hooks are very tiny and are typically used for dry flies because theit light weight help prevent the fly from sinking below the surface.
Hooks that are larger than the base 0 count up in size and have /0 (pronounced “ott”) attached to the number. The numbers from smallest to largest are 1/0, 2/0, 3/0, 4/0, 5/0, 6/0, 7/0, 8/0, 9/0, 10/0, 11/0.
Popular Fish Hook Manufacturers
Everyone will have a personal opinion on which company makes the best fishing hooks, but there are definitely some more popular makers out there.
- Eagle Claw
- This company is a favorite amongst many anglers, and for good reason. They have a wide range of affordable hooks that perform as good or better than many of the competition.
- Hailing from another primary fishing nation, Gamakatsu produces an extraordinarily well crafted line of hooks for both freshwater and saltwater conditions. Most often, anglers know Gamakatsu fishing hooks as a top choice for deep sea fishing, an art form the Japanese perfected centuries ago.
- This company has been producing their Mustad fish hooks since the late 1800’s. Mustad fishing hooks are for freshwater, saltwater and even commercial fishing purposes. The company’s full name is O. Mustad and Son A.S. and they are based in one of the greatest fishing nations in the world: Norway. A Mustad fishing hook is known for being a quality implement no matter what specialty fish it was designed to be used for.
- TroKar hooks are known for their sharpness and ease of penetration. They were designed in conjuntion with a company that produces surgical needles in order to create an extremely sharp yet strong point.
- This company is over 200 years old and one of France’s oldest companies. Known for high quality fishing hooks, their treble hooks are standard fare on most high end fishing lures.
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