Fishing hook selection made easy

What fishing hook design should I use?

There are so many fishing hook types and designs on the market, so knowing which one to use can be daunting.

Getting this right will increase your hook up rate as you’ll be using the right hook for your chosen fishing method.

Because there are hundreds of hooks on the market, in this video I narrow it down to my top six to cover most applications.






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My top six fishing hook designs.

1. Long Shank Hooks - Dead and Strip Baits

Long shank hooks are best used for dead baits such as a) strip/fillet baits or b) yabbies and peeled prawns.

Strip baits are ideal for foraging species and I'd like a $1 for every trophy reef fish I've caught over the years on a well presented strip bait.

Smaller species like whiting and bream cannot resist a well presented prawn.

Long shank hooks are best suited for this method because the long shank keeps the bait presented nicely.

Long shank fishing hook

A long shank fishing hook is ideal for dead baits like this prawn. Notice how the bait is presented in a life like manner due to the long shank.

Long shank fishing hook with dead fillet bait

Again the long shank is perfect to present a fillet bait. Be sure and push the eye through the skin and the top to stop it bunching down.

Long shank fishing hook for dead bait

A long shank hook has... a long shank.

2. Short Shank/Circle Hook - Live Bait.

For live bait I pretty much exclusively use a Kahle pattern which is a semi circle hook.

But a full circle is fine as well if that is your preference.

Circle fishing hooks are best fished with the rod in the holder and let the fish hook itself.

In doing so you'll get a 90% hook up rate in the side of the mouth and avoids gut hooking fish.

Makes removing the hook so much easier.

We have a tip on how to rig your live bait here.

Kahle hooks are sometimes a bit hard to source, but you can grab them online at Anglers Warehouse. 

Circle fishing hook for live bait.

A circle hook is best for live bait and if fished correctly, has a great chance of hooking the fish in the corner of the mouth.

3. Tarpon Pattern - Swimming Bait or Gangs.

Hook pattern 7766 is one of the most popular hook designs.

They are quite versatile and have a reasonable shank so can also be used for strip baits.

But the most common use is for game fishing using swimming baits or ganged behind a wog head.

Rigged this way, if you're in the right area you'll be on the money for a Spanish or King Mackerel.

Tarpon Hook Pattern 7766

Tarpon hook or Pattern 7766.

Ganged hooks for swimming baits

Tarpon pattern are perfect for swimming baits or ganged behind wog heads for large pelagics such as Mackeral.

4. In-line hooks - Stick baits and Poppers

Unlike most other fishing hook designs, in-line hooks are distinctive due to the eye being in line with the shaft.

They are used for trolling lures, poppers and stick baits instead of trebles.

The in line eye and single hook runs directly behind or underneath the lure.

Unlike a treble, the in-line single hook helps eliminate drag thus allowing the lure's natural action.

It is mostly used when lures are being retrieved faster.

In line hooks have a different eye angle

In line hooks (bottom left) have a different eye angle to reduce drag on fast retrieve lures.


In line hooks on poppers and stick baits

Note the eye is "in line" with the shank so the hook sits straight behind the lure. Note: Always attach the front hook facing downward and the rear hook facing up for better hook ups and lure action.

5. Trebles - Slow Retrieve Lures

Most slow retrieve lures come with trebles attached but Buyer Beware!

Many have inadequate power and will straighten when attached to a big fish.

If you don't buy from a reputable Aussie manufacturer like Old Dog Lures or Reidy's for example, always upgrade your hardware to BKK hooks or VMC 6x strong.

Well used fishing lure with treble hooks

Well used fishing lure with treble hooks.

Fish hook accidents - happens to the best of them!

Not recommended use for treble hooks. Get the full story >>here

For a full list of the tackle I use, hooks, lures, marine electronics, rods and reels etc, grab my Gear and Tackle Cheat Sheet.

get the free pdf


6. Weedless Hooks - Around Heavy Obstructions (weed).

When top water fishing with soft plastics, especially around weed and other obstructions (mangrove roots, branches etc.) it pays to use a weedless hook.

A weedless fishing hook is designed to hide the tip into the top of the soft plastic and minimize collecting debris on the retrieve.

The only downside is a slight reduction in hook ups as the hooks are buried in the lure.

Upside is it saves you time re-rigging and losing lures - so I reckon it balances out.

Plus less rubbish left in the environment after a snag.

Weedless hooks are best in freshwater

The kink in the shank of the hook helps bury the tip into the soft plastic. Downside is it does reduce hook ups slightly as the hook is buried.

Fishing a weedless hook in a soft plastic lure.


I hope you enjoyed our blog on fishing hook selection. If you missed it, the video is up the top!

We love to hear your views so feel free to leave a comment below.

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About The Author

Ryan Moody

Ryan Moody started his fishing career on the reef boats before catching bucket list marlin for the likes of champion heavy tackle angler Johnno Johnson, INXS and the King of Sweden. Branching out in the late 80's to guided barramundi fishing, Ryan has made a name for himself as a Big Barramundi specialist and to date has put clients onto over 2000 metre plus barra. That is over 2 kilometres of metre plus barra! With attitudes changing from 'keep all you can' towards catch and release, Ryan has decided to share his extensive knowledge and hopefully inspire people of all ages to get out from behind the computer screen/TV and into the fishing outdoors lifestyle he has spent his life perfecting.

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1 Comment

  • Graeme

    Reply Reply March 4, 2021

    Thanks for tips of different hooks. Better understanding now

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