Fishing hooks look pretty self explanatory. But most people don’t realize that there is literally a huge variety of fishing hooks, and that each one serves a special purpose. Serious fishermen know that just any old hook won’t do. As simplified as a hook looks, there are actually many different elements involved.
Each hook has basic elements that include a shank, a curve, and an eye. The eye is on top of the hook, and this is where the fishing line is threaded through. The shank is the part of the hook that is straight, between the eye and the curve. The curve, of course is the curved part, and at the end of the curve, there is a very sharp end. Some hooks have barbs near the end, which is a bit of metal that sticks out from the hook. It looks like a hook within a hook, and it is used to keep a fish from wiggling off of the hook once it has taken the bait.
Hooks come in varying sizes and shapes. Hooks are measured from the point to the beginning of the shank. This is called the gap. Smaller fish require smaller hooks, and larger fish require larger hooks. The throat of the hook is the distance between the middle of the gap and the center of the bend.
The points on hooks can be sharp or blunt, and the type of fish that you are trying to catch determines which type of point you want. A sharper hook point does not guarantee a better chance at a catch. They may penetrate better, but the blunt tips hold the fish on the hook better. Hooks have different styles of eyes as well. Some have looped eyes, which can make it easier to thread the hook.
Some have swiveled eyes, which are more appropriate for game fish and help prevent lines from twisting too much as the fish fights and rolls. One of the newest types of hook is the circle hook. These circle hooks have a curved shank, and no part of the hook is actually straight. This type of hook is designed to hook the fish inside the curve of his mouth, and lessens the chances of a body hook. These harm the fish less, and are often used when catching and releasing.