Freshwater Fishing Hooks

Points on a Fish Hook

The sharp end of the hook that penetrates the fish’s mouth or flesh. Hook point types include a spear point (standard used for many applications), knife edge (for big game fish), needle point (for quick and easy penetration), and curved or “beak” point (for small artificial flies and cut baits for catfish).

Barbs on Fishing Hooks

A sharp projection pointing backward from the hook point. The holding power of the hook is enhanced once the hook penetrates into the fish’s flesh past the barb. Since it is angled away from the point, the barb makes it difficult for fish to dislodge the hook after penetration.

Fishing Hook Eyes

Fishing line or a leader is tied to the hook eye, which is a ring, hole or loop at the end of the shank. Common types include ringed (common type for general use), brazed (for big-game hooks), tapered (dry flies), looped (salmon wet flies) and needle, (natural baits).

Bend, Shank and Shape of Fishing Hooks

The hook bend is the curved section extending from the hook barb to the hook shank, which is the long part of the hook extending to the hook eye. Common hook shank shapes are straight, curved (for fly hooks) and sliced (barbs on the shank to hold natural baits better).

Fishing Hook Sizes

Freshwater hook sizes are based on a nominal hook size of zero. Hook sizes with numbers followed by zero (such as 2/0, 3/0, 4/0, etc.) increase in size with higher numbers. Hook sizes not followed by zero (numbers 1,2,3,4, etc. ) decrease in size with higher numbers.

Fishing Hook Types and Names

Hook types differ in shape, materials, points and barbs and eye types. Common types are Aberdeen (round bend and wide gap for live bait), Sproat (round bend used for wet flies, soft hackles and bass hooks), O’Shaughnessy (heavy wire with round bend and turned in point for all round fishing).

Single, Double and Treble Fishing Hooks

Single hooks have a single eye, shank and point for live bait and soft plastic lures. Double hooks have one eye with two shanks and points for fly fishing, and a treble hook merges one eye with three shanks and three evenly spaced points for various plugs and bait applications.

Circle Fishing Hooks

A fish hook designed with the point turned perpendicular to the shank to form a circle shape. The circle hook is a popular live bait option because it only latches onto an exposed surface such as the corner of a fish’s mouth and prevents the fish from swallowing the bait resulting in a “gut hook” which can injure fish.

Typical Fly Fishing Hook Shapes and Names

Fly fishing hooks include a sproat, a general purpose hook for wet and dry flies; model perfect for streamers; nymph bend for bead-type flies; scud shape for scuds, emerging caddis, bead flies and freshwater shrimp; York bend for stoneflies and large nymphs; and egg for egg fly patterns.

Freshwater Fishing