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What Are Some Fishing Hook Styles?

Fishing Hooks Come In Many Styles


Hooks For Bass Fishing

From Top: #1 straight shank light wire, same in heavy wire, 1/0 wide gap light wire offset, 1/0 lt wire regular gap off, heavy wire reg. gap off, heavy wire 3/0 Texposer off, 2/0 lt wire wide gap off, 2/0 heavy wire wide gap off, 3/0 lt wire wide gap off

2007 Ronnie Garrison licensed to About.com
Fishing hooks come in many styles, sizes, shapes and colors. There are some basic parts all hooks share but they do vary a lot. Style of hook refers to shape. Hook styles are often classified into three groups based on the use of the hook. Most hooks fit into one of the categories of live bait hooks, plastic worm hooks and lure hooks, sometimes called manufacturer hooks.

  • Manufacturer Or Lure Hooks
  • These hooks are used to make lures, flies, spinnerbaits, jigs, and crankbaits. They come in a variety of shapes for the their specific lure type. For example, most crankbait hooks are treble hooks, spinnerbait hooks have an extended shaft and jig hooks have a offset to hold the lead head and an eye turned in specific ways depending on the jig you want to make. Unless you tie your own flies or make your own lures, you probably won't use these specialty hooks. Although they can be used for other things, they are usually not the best choice.

  • Live Bait Hooks
  • Hooks for fishing live bait vary tremendously in shape and there are several kinds.

    - Octopus hooks are short shanked hooks with a slightly outside bending offset eye. They range in size from around #6 for fishing salmon eggs for trout to 7/0 or bigger for fishing big baitfish in saltwater.
    - Circle hooks are used for catfish in freshwater and many kinds of saltwater fish. These hooks are almost round, with the point coming back toward the eye, and are designed to hook the fish in the mouth even if they swallow the hook. You can use many kinds of live bait with them. They are a variation on Octopus hooks
    - Kahle hooks look unusual because the bend of the hook is different. Rather than a consistent bend, it is elongated with the area near the point bending back more sharply. It is designed for holding live minnows better and keeping them on the hook.
    - O'Shaughnessy hooks are traditional looking hooks with no fancy bends or offsets. They are good for general bait fishing like earthworms. They have a eye that is straight and perpendicular to the plane of the hook. That means the shank, bend, point and barb are all in the same plane which makes them good for trolling baits, too. They are usually fairly heavy wire hooks.
    - Aberdeen hooks are thin wire hooks with a long shaft and small eye. like the O'Shaughnessy the eye is flat to the plane of the rest of the hook. They work well with crickets and grasshoppers, earthworms and other live bait in smaller sizes.

    All these hooks come in slight variations, too. For example, some O'Shaughnessy hooks have slightly offset points - they are not even with the shaft of the hook. This may help hook fish better in some cases.

  • Artificial Bait Hooks
  • Hooks for artificial baits, that the fisherman uses on the spot rather than in making a bait that includes the hook, are mainly hooks for plastic baits like worms and soft swim baits. You have a lot of choices in them, too.

    - Soft swimbait hooks are wide gap hooks for the big bodies of these baits. They are often big and some come with a lead attached to the shaft to make the swimbait stay in the right position when moving through the water. They are normally offset, with two right angles near the eye, to hold the swimbait up in place on the hook so it does not slide down the shaft.
    - Plastic worm hooks are made for every need in worm fishing. They include a simple straight shank Aberdeen style hook with a fairly long shaft. They are best for fishing fairly thin plastic worms and sizes usually used range from #1 to 6/0. Offset hooks have two right angle bends in the shaft near the eye of the hook and allow the hook point to align with the eye and the bends keep the worm up on the hook. Both straight and offset hooks can come in straight shank or wide gap with a bowed shank.

    There are other styles of hooks available for specific purposes, too.

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