Choosing The Right Hook
Here's a simple formula for choosing the right hook for every fishing situation. This video makes selecting hooks easy!
Hey folks! Glenn May here with BassResource.com. And a common question that we get on our forums is, "How do I choose the right hook for the bait that I'm using?" And that could be hard to do sometimes, especially when you're first starting out, but even if you've been fishing for quite a few years, it can be a challenge with all the choices of hooks that are out there today. Which one should you use? So, let me help you out and the method that I use and perhaps you can apply that too.
Basically, what I do is break it into three different parts. The first part is wire thickness of the hook. The second part is the style of the hook, and the third part is sizing the hook for the size of the bait. Let me explain that a little bit more.
So, let's start with the first one. The thickness of the wire. You want to match the thickness of the wire to the line and the rod that you're using. So for example, here's a couple of 2/0 hooks and I'll give you this other one here too. This is a smaller one that's on the bottom, but what we have here is, this is a real stout thick hook, 2/0 hook. And, the one next to it, this is also a 2/0 hook but that's not as thick. I don't know if you can see the diameter on that but it's not as thick. And then this one is a real thin wire hook. This is a smaller size. This is the size 1/0, but it's a thinner wire hook.
When you're fishing, when you fish on a thin wire hook for example, you want to use light-weight line and a light action rod, a light medium light-action rod using say four to ten pound test line. And the reason why to do that is because if you pair that with a heavy action rod, say with 65 pound braid, when you set the hook, the only thing you're going to accomplish is straightening out that hook and you're just going to pull it right out of the fish's mouth. The wire is too thin to withstand the pressure put on by a stout rod and line like that. So if you use a medium, medium light-action rod, real light test pound line, that way the wire is going to stay in place and the rod and the line is going to give instead of the hook. Okay. And that's especially important during the fight.
As you go on up, then you want to increase thickness. So the medium size that I showed you is good for say ten to twenty pound test line, and that's the most common. You'll see that a lot. And, then the thicker ones, you'll typically see them called flipping or super line hooks. They'll be called that. Those are for braid, for really strong lines say 25 up to 65 to 80 pound test. You're using a medium heavy, heavy action rod. Usually a flippin’ and stick. Something that's over seven foot long. Something that's really stout. So match it with equipment that you're using and you'll have fewer break offs and you'll catch more fish. That's one.
Number two, is the style hook. Now there's a ton of styles out there. We can do a whole video on all of the different styles of hooks but keep it simple. Really do. I use four main types of hooks and really there's only one that I use the most and that is the extra-wide gap hook. Okay. That's this guy. That's EWG. That is like my bread and butter. This is what I use the most. Really what you want to do is get four different types and then get different sizes and wire thicknesses in them. That's what I'm getting at. So EWG is the one I use the most. Let me show you the other two.
One of them is for tube fishing. It looks like that. And the reason I use this for tubes, look at the gap on that. It's got a huge, huge gap. Because a tube is a thicker body, you want that plastic to get out of the way during the hook set so that's the kind of hook I use. Look. Here's another one. Look how thin that is compared to this. All right. I use this for flipping and pitching and Texas rigging. And, again, heavy line, heavy rod. This is for finesse set-ups. Using it for mojo rigs, split shot rigs and that sort of thing. So a thinner wire. Same hook style. Right?
Two more I use. This one I use for drop shot. It's a spin shot. See, it's got a swivel on it. This actually spins . . . I can't do it right. There we go. See it spins on a swivel. I like this because number one, I can tie a leader down here and I can change the leader really easy without having to retie the whole rig like you would with a Palomar knot. And secondly, this allows the bait to swing free and naturally. All right. It looks more natural in the water, plus it prevents line twists, so that's why I like using it for drop shot.
And then finally, the other one I use. This is a keel-weighted hook with a screw lock on it. You screw the bait right onto here to hold it in place. This is what I use for frog fishing and use it for swimbait fishing. Sometimes I'll use this in place of a traditional Texas rig with a bullet syncher up front and gives the bait a little bit different fall, and makes it glide a little bit more. Sometimes that's what the fish want on a given day, something to experiment with. But, this is the other one.
So, four different types of hooks that I use and I just keep it at that. Then just try different sizes, different thicknesses of wires. You'll be surprised how versatile that is. That covers pretty much 100% of all your fishing.
Finally, you want to size the hook to the bait and there's two really things to think about when you're figuring out what size you want. Some guys say, "I pick the biggest size hook I can get away with," and other ones will say, "I pick the smallest size I can get away with." Well, they're both right. Let me explain.
On baits that have, there's something like this, where the body is solid but the appendages move around a lot. This is a Space Monkey from Rage Tail. Here's a Rage Tail Rooster. Same sort of thing where it's not the body that moves, it's the appendages. Lizards fall in the same camp. Brushhogs. All that sort of thing. That, I'm going to use the biggest hook I can get away. I want the hook pointed as far back in the body as I possibly can.
So, in an example like this, I've got the hook way back here because for two things. Number one, I want the hook back here in case the fish short-strikes. Okay? Then I have a better chance of getting him. But also, this acts as a spine and it holds this in place. You want this part of the body to be rigid, so the appendages can do their job. So it actually helps the bait perform better. So use a bigger hook in those instances.
However, if you're using like a hand pour bait, one where you want it to look a lot more natural in the water or Senko or a YUM dinger type bait, then you don't want to use a big hook because again, it'll work like a spine and it'll kill that action, so that's when you'll get a smaller size hook. So, on a bait like this, let me give an example. I don't have this rigged up, but look at this. They're both the same size. Well, this hook, as you can see, goes all the way down to here. But if I were using a hook on the Senko - I just don't have one rigged up at the moment, but that hook points will probably be half as far. It'd be probably right about to here. It'd be a much smaller size hook, maybe a 1/0. This one's I think maybe a 3/0 hook. Whoops, dropped it. Okay. So it's all about the action on this type of bait and this one's all about keeping the body rigid. So keep that in mind when you're sizing up the right size of bait.
So those are the three things to consider. Matching the wire diameter with the gear that you're using, picking the right style of hook, and then sizing the hook for the body according to the action that you want out of it. Hope that helps. For more tips, visit BassResource.com.