Types of Fishing Hooks: A Comprehensive Guide to Different Types and Their Uses

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Discover the different types of hooks you can use for your next fishing adventure with this comprehensive guide!

Learn about the variety of hook designs, from classic styles like circle hooks, bait holder hooks, J-hooks, and treble hooks. We’ll also cover advanced modern options like weedless hooks, offset hooks, and those with built-in swivels and integrated features. Your choice of hook can be the difference between reeling in a trophy catch or going home empty-handed.

We’ll help you navigate crucial factors like hook size, shape, coating, and material to ensure you find the ideal match for your fishing needs. Dive into our expert insights and prepare to master the art of selecting the perfect fishing hook!

Types of Fishing Hooks

Fishing hooks come in different shapes and styles, and a change in design means you’ll get other performances. Before learning different types of fishing hooks, it’s crucial to understand the various parts of a fishing hook.

  • Eye: This is part of a hook that allows you to connect the hook with your line.
  • Shank: The shank starts from the bend and ends at the bottom of the eye. Remember, a change in the shark’s length and thickness will significantly change the performance of your hook.
  • Bend: This is a part that connects the throat to the shank. The bend varies in size and degree, thus changing the hook’s design. For example, a Kahle hook has a vast arc that creates ample space for your artificial lure.
  • Throat: The throat of a hook starts from the point to the end of the bend.
  • Point: This is the tip of your fishing hook. Most hooks have a sharp end to improve penetration and increase the holding power. Here’s how to sharpen a fishing hook properly.
  • Gape/Gap: The distance between the shank and the throat.

When you discover different types of hooks, fishing becomes pretty easy because you know which fishing hook to use when targeting various fish species.

Here are the most common fishing hooks you can find in the market today.

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1. Bait Hooks

This type of hook is commonly used in bait fishing and has a unique shape. Most bait hooks have a small spring or barb on the point that holds the bait in place. Anglers prefer using them because they are easy to use and can catch many fish species.

2. J Hooks

A J hook derives its name from the letter J. J hooks have a straight shank and end with a curved hook point. Ensure you set the fishing rod first by giving it a quick, upward jerk to embed the J hook in your catch.

3. Circle Hooks

The circle hooks resemble the J hooks but begin to curve sooner and have a less straight shank. The circle hook curves further inwards than the J hooks.

When fishing for finicky species that are hard to hook, use circle hooks to hold baits. Unlike J hooks that need to be set, circle hooks can rotate in the mouth of the fish and settle in the jaw.

4. Octopus Hooks

Octopus hooks have a wider gape and short shank than an average bait hook. Also, the eyes are turned away from the hook point, thus making the shark parallel well with the fishing line.

Octopus hooks are widely used to catch species with small mouths, like salmon or trout. Some anglers also use octopus hooks for bait fishing, especially when they need smaller species.

5. Treble Hooks

These hooks comprise three curves in one that is attached along the shank to form a large eye. Treble hooks are commonly used for artificial lures such as jerk baits, spinners, and crankbaits.

Although these hooks boost your hookup rate, they are made of thinner wires, which means they straighten up more quickly.

Remember, treble hooks damage the fish’s mouth, and you should not use them on protected fish species like the Goliath groupers.

6. Siwash Hooks

These hooks have a long shank with a straight eye. Although these hooks resemble most traditional hooks, they are complex, and their straight eyes allow the lures to fit in correctly.

Siwash hooks are a perfect choice for holding baits, especially if you’re fishing in lakes that prohibit the use of treble hooks.

7. Worm Hooks

A worm hook has a bend near the eye that holds the bait in place. As their names suggest, these hooks are used for rigging worms and other soft baits. Worm hooks come in different types, including weighted, wide gap hook, and extra wide gap hook.

Worm hooks are specifically made for fishing fish species with giant mouths, like the largemouth bass. A quality worm hook can hold lures such as Carolina rig and Texas Rig.

8. Jig Hooks

Jig hooks have their eyes set at a right angle to their shack to increase the lure’s movement in the water. A jig hook is used to catch different types of crawfish and worms.

Jig hooks are available in various styles, including round, shakey, bullet, and weedless hooks. They also come in different weights, but you can still choose the unweighted ones.

9. Weedless Hooks

A weedless hook has a thick mono line or thin, flexible light wire attached to the hook’s eye to protect the hook point. This wire protects your bait or lures from fouling up, especially when fishing amid rocks, logs, weeds, or other structures.

The light wire is flexible enough that when the fish strikes, the lure compresses against the hook shank, thus exposing the hook point. This allows you to catch fish amidst weeds and other structures.

10. Aberdeen Hooks

An Aberdeen hook has a long shack and a light wire. They originated from northeast Scotland but are being used worldwide for fishing. The light wire allows you to secure small live bait without injuring them.

Also, the Aberdeen hooks are light, and you can easily bend them if they get stuck up on a branch without losing your rig. These hooks are best for catching small freshwater fish like panfish.

11. Wide Gap Hooks

As their name suggests, these hooks have a wide gap between the shank and the hook point. The expansive space allows your plastic bait to compress when the fish bites.

Wide gap hooks are the best for rigging plastic worms, creature baits, and Senkos. Wide gap hooks are popularly used for bass fishing.

12. Kahle Hooks

Kahle hooks resemble circle hooks, only that their hook doesn’t bend towards the shank. Instead, Kahle hooks are easier to set since they face up to the eye. These hooks are heavily built, and their super-wide gape makes them the best fishing hook for holding big baits and fish.

13. Weighted Worm Hooks

These types of fishing hooks usually have a weight attached to their shank. Weighted worm hooks are used by anglers using soft plastics like swimbaits, Senkos, and flukes. The extra weight attached adds some weight to the hook, thus aiding in casting accuracy and distance.

14. Sickle Hooks

These types of fishing hooks usually have sharp points with smaller barbs. Their unique 45-degree bend and sharpness help them to get good penetration on the roof of the fish. The angle bend also helps keep your live bait, like minnows, from climbing up the hook.

15. Double Hooks

This type of hook consists of two hooks attached to a single shank. A double hook holds large pieces of cut bait for large fish species like catfish.

16. Weighted Treble Hooks

A weighted treble hook resembles a regular one but usually has a weight attached to its shank. They are commonly used for catching fish through snagging but can also be used to retrieve objects from the bottom.

Fishing Hook Sizes

Fishing hooks come in different sizes, and your choice determines what you catch. A good fishing hook should be able to hold your bait, hook your fish’s mouth, and remain there.

The distance between the shank and the hook determines the hook size. The larger the size, the more significant the gap. You can get fishing hook sizes from 32 to 1 and between 19/0 aughts and 1/0 aughts.

One rule applies when using single sizes. Hooks with more significant numbers mean the hook is smaller, in that a size ten fishing hook is smaller than a size one fishing hook.

If you’re using aughts to determine fish hook sizes, the larger the aught number, the larger the hook. For example, a hook with 9/0 aughts is larger than one with 2/0 aughts. This rule also applies when measuring treble hooks.

Different fish species use different fishing hooks sizes. Here are the recommended sizes for some species.

  • Crappie: Most anglers use live minnows as a lure, and you can use an Aberdeen hook to catch crappie. They have an enormous mouth, and you should use a size two fishing hook.
  • Largemouth Bass: If you’re targeting largemouth bass, using a size 2/0 to 4/0 fishing hook is advisable. You will use the hook for throwing soft plastics, and this size can perfectly accommodate your lure while providing tight hook sets.
  • Walleye and Red Groupers: You can use a size 1/0 circle hook to hold your artificial lure when trolling for the reds. Similarly, if you’re targeting walleye, use a size two-circle hook or octopus hook.
  • Tuna: Fishing for tuna requires you to use a large hook. You can use a hook from size 4 to a hook with 2/0 aughts.
  • Catfish: The size you choose depends on the species you’re targeting. Use a treble hook from size 2. You can also use Kahle hooks with 2/0 to 6/0 aughts because they hold the cut bait perfectly.
types of hooks fishing

Factors to Consider When Choosing Hook Sizes

Here are some things to consider when buying a fishing hook.

The Type of Fishing You are Doing

The type of fishing you engage in will affect your cast. If you are doing fly fishing, you need a hook with a larger gap size because you’ll be using lures that extend above the eye of the hook.

If you’re doing bass fishing, choose a smaller hook to hold smaller worms. As for anglers targeting to do deep fishing, they should use hooks with larger aught of about 9/0 aughts.

Where Will You Be Fishing?

Are you fishing in a lake, river, or ocean? The water body you’ll be fishing at will determine your chosen size. Some water bodies have many debris and weeds that might block the visibility of tiny hooks.

Also, the current of the water can make your small fishing hook get unnoticed. Use a larger hook fishing in a water body with current or submerged leaves and sticks.

The Type of Fish You Want to Catch

Fish comes in different sizes, and the hook you choose will determine the fish you get. You’ll need smaller hooks for smaller fish species and larger hooks for large species.

The Type of Lure You’ll Be Using

The lures you use will determine the kind of hook you’ll be fishing with. Some hooks come with a wire that protects your bait or lure from fouling up, especially if you’re fishing amid rocks.

Fishing Hooks Styles and Shapes

The fish hooks come in different styles and shapes, affecting your fishing success.

Hook Style

The most common hook styles include:

  • Spear: These fishing hooks have a straight-line continuation and are very sharp.
  • Needle: Needle hooks have slightly bent points that face the shank, and their shape increases the chances of a hookup.
  • Rolled in: These hooks have rolled hook points that turn directly toward the shank. Rolled-in hook points are common in octopus and circle hooks.
  • Hollow: The hooks have shallow, curvy points that turn towards the tips, which makes them penetrate well into the fish’s jaw.
  • Knife Edge Point: These points are sharp and face towards the shank and are used for cutting through tough tissues. They also have a broad, flat backside, thus making the best for catching more giant species.

Shank Styles

Different hooks types come with a wide range of shapes. The most popular shank shapes include:

  • Straight Shank: These shanks form a letter J shape and are in the most popular fishing hooks.
  • Baitholder Shanks are usually sliced partially to create barbs that can hold live baits and worms.
  • Curved Shanks: These shanks are made in a way that makes the hook point face toward the shank. For example, a circle hook has a curved shank.
  • Offset Hook: They have a strange bend that keeps soft fishing lures and live bait attractive without the metal sticking out.

Types of Fishing Hook Eyes

Fishing hooks come with different eyes; your chosen type will determine your catch rate. There are eyes made for specific knots and tying styles. The most common eye types include ringed, brazed, tapered, looped, and needle eyes.

Ringed eyes are circular and can work with different knots. Anglers targeting more significant fish species use hooks with brazed eyes because they have a loop shut with melted metal. The shut loop prevents the hook from bending or breaking during a fight.

If you’re planning to use bait, choose needle eyes because you can easily thread your fishing hook with bait.

Tapered eyes are used for specific fishing techniques. They are usually slender at the end of the loop to keep the weight down. That way, the fly can float adequately. Finally, looped eyes add some weight to wet flies.

Barbed vs. Barbless Hooks

Some fishing hooks come with barbs that hold bait on hooks. Some barbed hooks come with multiple barbs, making it hard for the fish to throw the hook.

However, some lakes prohibit barbed hooks because they cause more damage to the fish than barbless hooks. They cause a bigger hole and get lodged deep inside the fish’s jaw. This lowers the survival rate because removing the hook snagged inside is tougher. A barbed hook should only be used if you plan to eat your catch.

Hook Finishes and Coatings

Most companies coat fishing hooks to increase their lifespan and extend their lifespan. Some of the most popular coatings and finishes include:

Coastal Black

Some hooks are coated with a long-lasting metallic black finish that protects your hooks from extreme corrosion. They also have a silky finish that reduces friction.

Coastal PTFE

This coating is five times more resistant to corrosion compared to regular PTFE. This kind of coating increases the penetration speed. Some hooks have a matt-grey smooth finish to enhance their performance.


This kind of coating is made of secret formulas that protect the hook from corrosion while at the same time maintaining the hook’s point sharpness. This kind of coating is ideal for anglers doing saltwater fishing.

Stainless Steel

Hooks with stainless steel finish are corrosion-resistant and don’t require further coating. They are excellent for deep-water fishing, primarily if you target salmon or other big fish.

Tin Coatings

This coating gives your hook a perfect balance of thickness and sharpness. Some are painted with bright colored varnish to enhance the visual effect. Hooks with this coating are ideal for saltwater fishing, especially applications involving intense friction.

Nickel Coating

Nickel coating is mainly used for modern fishing techniques because they help you achieve the recommended balance between corrosion resistance and sharpness.

Colored Coating

Hooks with colored coating are layered with unique varnish to increase their visibility without affecting the sharpness of their tips.


This finishing protects your hooks from corrosion while improving their hardness when doing saltwater fishing.

Hook Material

There are many hook materials in the market today. The most popular materials in the tackle shop include steel, stainless steel, high carbon steel, and vanadium steel.

Steel Hooks

These hook types are made of steel and are not meant for fishing species like salmon and groundfish. Steel hooks are usually thin and tend to rust very fast. If you must use steel hooks, replace them immediately when you see rust forming on the hook.

Carbon Steel Hooks

These hooks are more potent than stainless steel because they have high carbon content. They can also resist the stress applied by fish. These fishing hooks are hard to pinch the barb compared to a standard steel hook.

Some of these hooks have a Perma-steel coating but are hard to flex. Carbon steel hooks are prone to rusting, but how long it takes to rust depends on the layer applied. To increase their durability, rinse your fishing gear with fresh water.

Stainless Steel

Consider buying stainless steel if you spend more time fishing in the saltwater. Stainless steels are rust-resistant and can last longer than carbon and steel hooks.

Vanadium Steel

Hooks made of vanadium steel are durable and last longer than other hooks. They are light in weight, giving better penetration compared to regular hooks.


Numerous fishing hooks are in the market today, and you need to choose one that meets your needs. They also come in different shapes and sizes, and each design has its intended use.

Popular modern hooks include Weedless hooks, Offset hooks, hooks with built-in swivels, and integrated hooks. On the other hand, traditional hooks include Circle, Bait holder, J, and Treble hooks.

Fishing hooks come in different sizes, and your choice determines what you catch. Remember, the distance between the shank and the hook determines the hook size. They also come in different styles and shapes, determining your fishing success.

Some fishing hooks come with barbs that hold bait on them, and you should only use them if you plan to eat your catch.

Fishing hooks also come in different materials, and the most popular hook materials include steel, stainless steel, high-carbon steel, and vanadium steel.

Some hooks have a coating such as nickel coating, colored coating, ultra-antirust, and Perma-steel. Always consider all your fishing factors before buying a fishing hook.

Diana Nadim
Fishing Expert
Diana began fishing at the age of seven, as it has been a long-time family tradition. From catching small bullheads to catching strippers on the backwaters of Bighorn, she loves to get out in the wild and have a marvelous day on the water. Her dad was an expert angler, and he taught her fishing along with her two siblings. They used to go to the Bighorn River in Montana and Henry’s fork, Idaho. As a pragmatic person, she is obsessed with creating well-researched and practical guides and reviews of the best fishing methods and gear.
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