What Are Fishing Hook Sizes?

Following your fishing rod and reel, a fishing hook is probably one of the most crucial fishing equipment. So, what are fishing hook sizes? Hooks in various sizes, shapes, and colors can catch anything. Despite the wide range of options, a few key sizes and types will most likely meet your freshwater and saltwater fishing requirements. This article will analyze the fishing hook sizes and compare sub-types covering each category.

What Are Fishing Hook Sizes? (Parts Of A Fishing Hook)

First, it is critical to comprehend the essential components of a fishing hook because experienced anglers use these terms to describe the many sorts and designs of hooks currently available. Although the fresh and saltwater fishing angles have the same fundamental structure, they come in various shapes and sizes, including bait, circle, treble, and specialized clips.


The eye is the rounded area at the head of the fishing hook to tie on the leader, fishing line, or attach a swivel. This loop is usually closed. The hook’s size determines the eye’s size. Connecting a more significant fishing line or terminal tackle to the fishhook is essential if the eye is more extensive.


The body of a fishing hook between the eye and the point refers to the shank. In most styles of fishing hooks, this is generally straight or slightly bent. The size and style of the hook are directly proportional to the shank size.


The distance between the hook tip and the shank is the gap of a fishing hook. Some hooks have a little space between them, whereas others have a large gap, and the size and design of the hanger directly impact the hole. Many worm hooks, for instance, have an extra-wide space, but most circle hooks have tiny gaps. 


The hook’s point is the pointiest end of the hook, where your bait connects and what to utilize to set the hook and pierce a fish. Points on fishing hooks come in various forms, including spear point, trocar, needlepoint, knife-edge, and hollow.

The most important thing to remember about hook points is that they must be sharp. Please remember to always have a hook sharpening in the tackle box.


The hook’s barb is a little piece of hook or metal that protrudes right below the tip to prevent the hook from backing out. The barb’s function is to maintain lures on the fishhooks and the pin in the fish. Some hooks are ‘barbless,’ which means they have no barbs. These hooks are significantly more straightforward to remove from a fish or bait than barbed hooks and are often less harmful. Many anglers crush their barbs or go fishing with barbless hooks to prevent harm and stress on fish.


The bend is the shank part between the point and the eye where it starts to curl. The style and kind of hook are closely tied to the bend of the hook. The shank of the clip is long, and the angle is shallow. Others have long curves and short legs.

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The 10 Most Common Fishing Hooks

Bait Hook

Barbs distinguish bait hooks on the shank that assist hold bits of sliced bait on the hook. Bait hooks come in various shapes and are the most regularly used hook. As the name implies, Baitholder hooks catch live or dead bait such as worms, crickets, clams, and shrimp. The majority include barbs or a little spring attached to them, both of which assist keep the bait in place. Shorter bait hooks are ideal for use in snells, while longer ones are ideal for teaching youngsters how to fish.

Bait hooks may be used for freshwater species, including salmon/steelhead, catfish, trout, walleye, panfish, perch, and all saltwater species in various jigging, casting, trolling, and setups.

Wide Gap Hook

When strung with soft plastics like worms, lizards, and creature baits, Wide Gap Hooks are typically utilized for freshwater fishing. This fish hook allows the soft plastic to compress, resulting in a more secure hookset.

These hooks are great for catching smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, spotted bass, trout, crappie/panfish, pike, walleye, and muskie in freshwater and sea trout, redfish, drum, flounder, and striped bass in small inshore saltwater.


When most people mention a “fishing hook,” they think of the J-hook. Its form is similar to the letter’ J,’ It may be created from various materials and come in practically any size.

This J-hook is a flexible and ubiquitous fishing hook used in freshwater and saltwater. Offshore saltwater species such as sailfish, tuna, marlin, and wahoo are commonly caught with them as bait. J-hook may be utilized with either live or dead bait and artificial bait.

Aberdeen Hook

The Aberdeen Hook is a J-hook with a long shank mainly used for freshwater fishing. It has a long leg and a little bend, making it easy to detach, especially in small-mouthed species like shell-cracker and bluegill.

Aberdeen hooks are often utilized for bait fishing and are composed of light wire. The tiny size allows the bait to be caught quickly and with the least damage, ensuring that it stays lively while on the hook, so it works well when freshwater fishing with live bait. 

Round Jighead

A round Jighead looks like a J-hook with a piece of lead or tungsten attached to its eye and the top of its shank. It is designed to give a hook more weight without needing split shots or extra weight.

Jigheads are helpful for freshwater and saltwater fishing and come in various designs. Football jigheads, shaky heads, bullet jigheads, and many more are available.

Circle Hook

The name “circle hook” comes from the shape of the hook. The Circle hook is a baited hook with a distinctive curved end. Circle hooks are most commonly used when angling live baits as they boost hooking percentages and lessen the risk of gut hooking a fish. A circular hook slips out of the fish’s neck, and the barb enters as the hook reaches the corner of the fish’s mouth, rather than requiring a firm set like traditional hooks. 

The circular hook design has been shown to reduce fish mortality and damage while also lowering the number of gut hooks—when a fish swallows the hook.

Weighted Worm Hook

An offset hook with an added weight along the shank is a weighted worm hook. This all-in-one-piece structure, like the jighead, offers more weight for throwing and motion. Freshwater worm hooks are most commonly utilized, although they could also be used in saltwater.

Worm hooks come in various shapes and sizes, most created to fish soft-plastic baits. Most worm hooks feature broad gaps to allow the tip to pierce through a fish’s lip far enough to set successfully, as they are designed to be used with giant plastic baits. Worm hooks are meant to have a high piercing ability to hook fish and are often quite robust.

EWG Worm Hook

EWG (Extra Wide Gap) refers to an offset worm hook with a large gap (the space between the point and shank). This is commonly employed in freshwater fishing with large soft plastics like swimbaits, worms, and even frogs. Anglers like to use this hook in frog fishing. However, it may also be utilized in saltwater.

Sickle Hook

The Sickle hook is a sort of hook that features a 45-degree angle arc in the shank. These hooks are generally used for live bait fishing in freshwater.

In recent years, sickle hooks have been increasingly popular in the Crappie fishing world, mainly when fishing with live baits.

Treble Hook

Treble hooks are hooks that have three points. They’re commonly found on hard baits and lures, but they’re also employed on live bait rigs, soft body swimbaits, and dough baits for panfish, catfish, and trout.

Treble hooks are available in various sizes, strengths, and hook shank diameters and bend. Short shank trebles, for example, feature a shorter shank section between the hook’s eye and where the shank departs into its three points.

Treble hooks are used on throwing and trolling lures, metal jigs/spoons, swimbaits, crankbaits, niche bait rigs, and other freshwater and saltwater fishing specialities. They’re not recommended for usage near dense plants or weeds since they’re sensitive to snagging.

Fishing Hooks Sizes

Manufacturers of fishing hooks produce hooks in a broad range of sizes, from the tiny treble hooks for trout to enormous circular hooks used for shark fishing. Many well-known tackle firms, such as Gamagatsu, Mustad, Owner, Eagle Claw, and others, produce fishing hooks.

There is no such thing as a “standard size” that all producers adhere to. On the other hand, hooks depend on a loose size and measurement system.

‘Aught’ or ‘Ought’ Hook Sizes

Two measuring approaches are often used to classify hooks. The first is ‘aught,’ which alludes to the /0 frequently encountered after a number and is occasionally spelt ‘ought.’ For example, a ‘4/0’ hook is a “Four ought to hook.” The naming practices for fishing hook sizes might be confusing. The dimensions of mass-produced fishing hooks generally vary from 18 to 12/0 (pronounced “12-aught”), with 18 being the largest and 12/0 being the smallest. In the range of 1 to 18, the greater the number, the bigger the hook. In other words, a size 1 hook is considerably narrower than an 18-size hook.

Other Hook Sizes

Therefore, all subsequent fishing hook sizes less than 1/0 follow fishing hook sizes less than 1/0, measured only by whole numbers. A #1 or ‘number one hook,’ for example, or a #5 or ‘number five hook,’ for example.

The problematic aspect is that, unlike the earlier sizes, where the greater the number, the larger the hook, the larger the number, the smaller the hook. There is an opposite; the larger the number, the smaller the hook. For example, hook size from the smallest to the largest would be in the following sequence: #10, #8, #6, #4, #2, #1, 1/0, 3/0, 5/0

Frequently Asked Questions About Fishing Hooks

Q: How Many Kinds Of Fishing Hooks Are There?

Today’s fishing hooks come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. For each type of fishing, tackle makers have created unique hooks. Furthermore, most hook kinds come in various sizes and materials, making the possibilities appear limitless.

Q: How To Choose The Right Size Fishing Hook To Use?

Choosing the appropriate size hook takes practice and is typically determined by the size of the bait and the size of the species you’re targeting. 

Q: What Is A Snelled Fishing Hook?

A snelled hook is used to connect your fishing line or leader to the shank of the hook rather than the eye. It was utilized before fish hooks with an eye or aperture were made. Snell hooks are still popular among fishers today.

Q: What Is The Most Delicate Fishing Hook Knot?

The ideal knot is one you can tie appropriately for the type of fishing you’ll be doing. Today, the Uni-knot, Palomar, and Clinch knots are the most often used in saltwater and freshwater fishing.

Q: Will The Fish Bite If The Hook Is Visible?

Some fish are ‘line shy’ or ‘tackle shy,’ meaning they are hesitant to bite if they see the hook. If they notice the hook, fish strongly pressured or consumed tiny baits may refuse to bite.

Q: Is It Possible For Fish To Learn To Avoid Hooks?

According to specific research, fish behaviour might alter due to repeated captures or angling pressure. This is particularly true when it comes to artificial baits and lures.

Q: How Do You Get A Fish Hook Out Of Your Mouth?

Removing a fishhook requires experience and knowledge of how they function. Use fishing pliers, forceps, or a hook remover to remove the hook.

Handle the fish carefully and flip the hook’s eye toward the tip to reverse the hook out.

Q: What Should You Do If You Can’t Get The Hook Out Of The Fish?

If the fish has swallowed the hook and you cannot extract it, cut the line near the fish’s mouth as possible. The fish hook will usually rust out or pass through. Trying to get rid of a gut-hooked or swallowed hook from a fish will sometimes result in death. That’s why it’s critical to use the proper hook size, maintain your line, and carefully handle your catch.

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This article provides information about what fishing hook sizes are. Fishing hooks are available in various shapes, sizes, and strengths. Each has its own set of traits, benefits, and intended applications. A fishing hook is an essential component of fishing. Understanding the many parts, sizes, and varieties of fishing hooks can assist you in selecting the best hooks for your next fishing excursion. It takes a bit of practice and information to choose the right fishing hook size and type, but don’t let that stop you from having fun with your family and friends on the lake.