The anatomy of a hook.

Have a browse in any local tackle shop and you will see plenty of hooks in different shapes and sizes.

Long, short, fat, skinny, curly and straight.

All hooks types have their benefits, all depending on your fishing style, method and what you aim to catch.

FishingUK bring you an easy read guide to understanding the fundamentals about hooks and how an angler should match their hook to their own style of fishing.


Hook Wire

We call this the hook wire. Basically it’s what the hook is made of.

Some are bigger and thicker than others, these would most commonly be used for larger more powerful fish giving you the strength not to bend under certain pressures when a fish is hooked. But it’s not all about power, the thicker the wire the more visible it is and more likely to spook a potential catch.

Go with a thin line hook and you have the advantage of a stealthy presentation of your bait. BUT with a thin hook you also lose strength!

Take into consideration the strengths and weaknesses and pick a hook which is right for the job.

A bigger hook does not always mean a bigger fish.




1 – Eye or Spade


This is the business end, The end that links you to the fish.

Some hooks have an eye, like a needle where a piece of cotton would be threaded others have a “spade end”. This is used by looping the line around the shank of the hook ensuring that the knot lies against the “spade”.

Spade end hooks are normally used with very fine line. Have a go at tying a knot with a spade hook, this new skill will offer a sleek and subtle presentation of bait.

The eye ended hooks offer a stronger hold for larger fish, to be used with larger line or braid.



Shank –


This is the part of the hook that links the eye or spade of the hook to the bend of the hook.

Usually coming in small, regular and large, A shank can change the properties of the hook in a few ways.

Having a long shank can hold certain live baits better. This type of shank may be useful when targeting predator fish as it will allow their teeth to rest on the shank and not on the line which could result is a lost fish. It is also useful when targeting fish that swallow hooks in deep. This will allow the angler to have more vision on the hook for easier removal.

A short shank hook is lighter and useful when you want to hide the hook inside soft bait. This hook is also popular when fishing on the top due to its lighter weight and smaller size.

A regular sized shank will suit most styles of fishing.






The most common type of bend in the round bend. This bend will ensure that there is enough to prevent the fish from escaping, too much bend and the hook may not sink in, too little and the fish may shake off the hook. Another bend is the diamond bend, This is most commonly use on maggot hooks allowing the bait to be pressed on the hook leaving enough room for the point of the hook to sink in.





The distance between the point and the shank of the hook.  I find wide gape hooks excellent for carp, especially for hair rigging corn, meat or pellets.  I find that as the wide gape means the point is further away from the shank, then it increases the chance of a fish hooking itself because of the hair.






The sharp end of the hook.  Some have a straight point, some have an in-turned point, where it bends towards the shank slightly.  Straight points are probably better at helping you to hook fish, whereas an in-turned point hook well help keep the fish on the hook.



Hook size’s

Hooks are sized by numbers.

The bigger the number the smaller the hook.

The sizes go up in even numbers 20, 18, 16, 14, 12 ect.

A size 2 hook is a great deal larger than a size 20 hook.


Take care guys.

See you on the bank.

The Fishing UK app Team!