How to Measure Hook Size

Whether you are learning how to fish or are a seasoned angler, knowing how to choose the best fishing hook is key.

How Fishing Hooks Are Sized

Knowing how to measure fishing hook size is essential. Determining fishing hook sizes is a bit of a formula, with the measurement based on the distance between the shank and shaft of the hook and the length of the shaft. The bigger the number (#), the smaller the size until #1. At that point, the sizing system changes, increasing from 1/0 to 2/0 and so on.

Increasing Rates, Preventing Damage

A fishing hook is one of the most important pieces of fishing gear. Understanding how to choose the best fishing hook can make or break your day on the water.

The key point to remember when choosing among fishing hook sizes is that the more natural the bait appears, the better the target it makes. Since a hook that is too large can look unnatural, be sure to choose the appropriate size to avoid scaring off wary fish. Most often, that means picking a slightly smaller hook, which will also keep the bait alive longer to enhance its appeal.

With the right size hook, you will also make sure it sets in the fish’s mouth once it bites, and make it easier to remove. If you’re catching and releasing, a simpler removal will reduce the likelihood of injury to the fish.

Matching Size to Species

To maximize your catch rates, it is important to match your fishing hook sizes to the type of species you are targeting since each fish has a different size mouth. For example, if you want to catch walleye, you may want to opt for a #2 hook that is most popular among anglers for this species.

Once you settle on a hook size, remember that if you are getting hits but no bites, you may want to consider switching to a smaller hook.