Fishing hooks come in different sizes and variations. The right size for you depends on the size of your bait and the fish you are targeting to catch. The numbers defining hook sizes may look confusing to those who are new to angling. This article will make you appreciate how the system is straightforward and not complicated in any way.
Generally, hooks are measured on a basis where zero is the nominal hook size. Those that have a number preceding a zero mean that the size increases as the number also increases. For instance, 3/0 (pronounced 3-aught) is the bigger size of 2/0 and so on. The hook numbers that are not preceding a zero mean that the hook sizes decrease with increase in the number. Therefore, a size 4 is the smaller size of size 3 hook.
The scale with a number followed by a zero is used for saltwater fishing hooks. The smallest is size 1/0, and the largest is 20/1 for catching shark which is the largest species of fish in the ocean.
The other scale with numbers not followed by zero is used for freshwater hooks. The smallest hook is size 32, and the largest is size 1.
Although all hook manufacturers follow this standard numbering system, the overall hook sizes are not standard. For instance, size 5/0 from one manufacturer may not be the same as size 5/0 from another manufacturer. You should therefore not assume that hooks from different manufacturers are of the same size merely because of the number.
You may be wondering whether double or treble hooks use the same system as single hooks. As a matter of fact, the system followed is the same. For instance, a treble size 4/0 means 4/0 trebles brazed together. I don’t fancy the use of treble and double hooks because of the great damage done to the fish, and the angler if an accident occurs. I will therefore not recommend them for any angler.
The right size of your hook is the one that matches with the bait that you are going to impale upon it. The size of your intended catch also determines which hook size is right for you. Generally, it is the size of the fish that you want to catch that determines the size of your bait. While you can catch both small and big fish on a small hook, a big fish can only be caught on a big hook.
The hook size also determines its strength and how it can withstand pressure. Using a very small hook when catching a big fish may make it straighten. Here you will not be able to achieve your fishing objectives. Sometimes your hook may straighten not because of its size but rather its quality. Always make sure that you buy hooks with the best quality. To test the strength of your hook, you can tie some line to a hook and then place the hook point in a piece of wood and then haul the line.
The ‘X” factor is another measurement that is used to identify hook types and variants. These are called extra strength hooks. A hook that is marked ‘2x strong’ is made from wire with the thickness of the next size up. The one marked ‘3x strong’ has the thickness of two sizes up. For instance, a 2x 3/0 hook is made from a wire as thick and strong as a 4/0 hook while 3x 3/0 hook has a wire with thickness and strength of a 5/0 hook. Got the concept? I guess it is not complicated. The justification for this is that a smaller hook may be required but with much strength. Another justification is that some big hooks may be visible to the fish making it hard to catch anything.