Fishing hooks have been around for thousands of years. As a result, there are many kinds out there, all of which have distinctly different uses. That variety is great, but it can also make it tough to find the correct one for you.

However, as long as you understand hook anatomy and terminology you will always be able to get one that best suits your needs. In this guide we will break down what to look for in a hook for fishing to help you make that choice.

Picking the Correct Point

There are several types of fishing hooks out there, but they all have the same basic parts. The most obvious (and most important) feature is the point.

The point is the sharp end of the hook that sticks into and snags the fish. When choosing a hook, you want to pay attention to the length and shape of the point. That will let you know how well it will sink into a catch.

There are many point types in existence, and you will often hear them used to describe a certain type of hook. That includes hollow, spear, beak, mini-bard, needle point…the list goes on and on. Just know that choosing your point varies based on what fish you’re after.

The Barb and the Eye

The next part of the hook is the barb. This is the region that extends backward from the point and ensures the fish cannot escape once it’s caught.

However, as common as barbs are for anglers who want to keep their catch, barbless hooks are often used for catch-and-release type fishing.

The final key component of a fish hook is the eye. This section typically connects the hook to the line or lure. As with the other features, there are many eye styles out there and they all differ based on how much weight or strength you want on your line.

Eyes can describe specific hooks as well. For instance, brazed eye refers to where the eye is fully closed, while a spade end means there is no eye at all. Be aware of the different terms and understand what you’re looking for.

Knowing and Understanding Hook Types

Once you understand the parts of a hook, you next need to do some research into the different types. Every hook has a distinct application (though some can have more) and knowing the variations will help you figure out what and how you need to buy.

Bait and Circle Hooks

The first hook to know is the bait hook. This style comes in numerous forms and is one of the most popular hooks out there. Nearly all bait hooks use barbs to hold the bait in place, and longer shank hooks can be a great way to teach kids to fish.

Right next to bait hooks in terms of popularity are circle hooks. These large fish hooks, which are similar in size to J hooks, are commonly used in saltwater environments because of how well they snag bigger fish like groupers or sharks.

Even so, smaller circle hooks are also available for a wide range of freshwater species. That means they work well for almost any environment.

Treble and Worm Hooks

The last two hook types we’ll look at are treble hooks (used with triple hook fishing) and worm hooks. Both of these options are available in most shops and, like the above two, bring something unique to the table.

Treble hooks combine three bends and three points into a single hook. That not only makes them great for catching larger fish, but it also gives them wonderful coverage for any artificial bait. In fact, they are commonly used for fake lures and have a range of different applications.

The style also comes with a single eye merged with three shanks across three spaced-out points. That design gives them a lot of versatility that other models do not have.

In contrast, worm hooks are for soft-plastic bait or worms. This style bends right below the hook eye, and most have wide gaps to make sure they can efficiently hook a fish once they get swallowed. If you’re looking for something with a bit more penetration power, this is a great option.

Making Sure You Get the Right Option

Fishing is a complex process that requires the best equipment. You never want to find yourself shorthanded, just as you always want to make sure you have the right tools for the right fish.

With all the hooks out there, it always helps to understand exactly what you need. The above four options should cover almost all of your fishing needs and make it easy when it comes to removing fish hooks.

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