If you are a beginner at angling it is often easy to make to the wrong choices when it comes to selecting your fishing hook, this is no surprise as there are literally hundreds of different hooks of all different shapes and sizes available on the market today. The manufacturers have tried to make it easier and on many packets the buyer can clearly see what type of fish and also what type of bait they are designed for.
Depending on the type of fish you want to catch the size and strength will vary. For example, if you are fishing for smaller fish (Rudd, Roach, Perch and small Bream) then a smaller hook produced from fine wire would be the perfect choice. The sizes of these fishing hooks should be between 18-22. If you are targeting much larger and hard fighting fish you will want a much stronger and bigger hook. Most anglers tend to use them from sizes 12 – 4, depending on which type of fish they are targeting.
The strength is also important; using a larger fishing hook makes it easier for the angler to bully much larger fish away from snags and reeds in order to get them on the bank. The strength can usually be found on packet. Generally the thicker the Gauge of the wire used, then the stronger it will be. Quite often you will see packets marked ‘Forged’, these hooks are incredibly strong and unbendable.
Why can’t I use larger and stronger type hooks for all fish?
Well quite simply if you are targeting smaller fish such as Rudd or Perch, 1 or 2 maggots on a fishing hook is more than enough to catch these. Having 1 or 2 maggots on a size 6 hook will not fool the fish at all. Fish are a lot smarter than we care to believe. Even smaller fish will notice a piece of wire sticking out of two tasty maggots. The smaller and finer the hook you use, the easier it is to hide your hook’s presence.
What happens if a larger fish still gets caught on my smaller hook?
A large fish such as a carp can quite easily straighten out a small fine wire hook. On commercial venues which stock fish of all sizes this can be a problem. Luckily the manufacturers have noticed this problem also and most of the leading brands have developed smaller hooks that usually have the words ‘power hook’ or ‘carp’ stamped on the front of them.
Barbless, Micro barbed or barbed?
Quite often you will fishing hook packets are marked with one of these three words. Most barbed hooks have a tiny point, usually on the bend before the main point of the hook. The barbed hooks are great for keeping hold of the fish once it is caught, it also helps keep baits such as worms and maggots on the hook. However most commercial fisheries do not allow barbed hooks to be used. Most fisheries now only allow barbless hooks to be used, these hooks are fine, keep the line tight between the rod and the fish will result in keeping the hook embedded while you play the fish.
Hook manufacturers now produce hooks in many colours, such as bronze, silver, green, yellow and red. Some people like to use different colour hooks to match the bait they are using, for example you are using maggots or sweetcorn therefore a red or yellow hook would be a good choice. However the colour of he hook is not as important as the size and strength of the hook.
Storing your hooks
The easiest and best way to store all your hooks is a small multi compartment container. You can label each compartment with the size and strength of each fishing hook, making it easier to find the size you are after instead of rummaging through packets of hooks in your tackle box.