Favorite Hook

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Tyler W
Favorite Hook

I have been using #8 Gamakatsu circle hooks for years. But recently a nagging doubt has emerged...

What if there is a better hook and I just haven't found it yet? 


What is everyone's favorite worm fishing hook? What other hooks should I try? 

tom's picture

My go-to for general multi species fishing is the #4 Gamakatsu drop shot/split shot hook. Anything smaller than a size 4,  I go with the owner mosquito lights. 

andy's picture
hook choice

Specific to bottom-fishing for redhorse, I generally use a sz 4 Gamakatsu or Mustad circle if I am targeting large redhorse with crawlers.  For lighter duty like shorties and blacks, or when using redworms I like a sz 8 circle or sometimes I'll use a #10 mosquito-type hook.

Gunnar's picture
Speaking of circle hooks...

Speaking of circle hooks...

Something I frequently wonder while fishing with small circles (6 or 8) and worms:
Are there methods of putting the worm on the hook that are better than others, that keep the worm from getting pulled off, or that make for better hookups? Are there benefits/negatives to threading the hook through the worm so no hook is visible? To poking the hook through the middle of the worm and otherwise having a bare hook? To combining these? To poking it through the worm several times? I'm pretty random--I think of it as experimenting but I never actually pay attention to the results.


Redhorse ID cheatsheets, gars, suckers: moxostoma.com

2019: 5 days fishing 6 species 3 lifers. 2018: 39/40/5 2017: 49/52/14

andy's picture
Worm hooking

Gunnar, that's a great question.  For me, it depends on the worm size and also my target species.  For whole crawlers or garden worms or redworms, I will pierce and thread them on just below the worm's collar.  So the hook is 2/3 up the worm and it's very much alive with both ends free to wiggle.  Most often for suckers it's all about smell, I use crawler pieces and I will thread them on from the top of the section, pushing it above the hook eye leaving half of the piece free below the hook.  I like that streamlined presentation so it doesn't spin in the current.  A threaded crawler third like this can last for up to 6 fish at times.

philaroman's picture
if I'm really getting robbed,

if I'm really getting robbed, I tie a 2 egg-hook tandem rig spaced so top hook goes through the "nose" (toughest flesh) & trailer goes below the collar...  matching hook size to worm size & hook strength (wire gauge) to what I hope to catch


Tom, if you want drop-shot in smaller sizes, don't get caught up in nomenclature

consider up-eye scud/caddis hooks -- I like Daichi 1150/1140, Gamakatsu C12U, etc.

the BONUS is that sizes perfect for bait, are too big for most fly tiers, so they're most likely to be found on clearance, good eBay deals, etc.

P.E.T.A. sucks!!!  Plants are living things, too -- they're just easier to catch!

Divemaster's picture
For bottom fishing, I love

For bottom fishing, I love the Gamakatsu Octopus Circles. Anywhere from a size 2/0-8 depending on the species. For J-Hooks, I use Mustad nymph fly tying hooks. They’re sharper than most other J’s I’ve used and you can get a 50 pack for something like $5.

2019 Species Goals:

Burbot (), Longnose Gar (), Longear Sunfish (X), Chain Pickerel (), 2 new Catostomids (), 5 new micros ()

Tyler W
I'll give the Owner Mosquito

I'll give the Owner Mosquito and Mustad circles hooks a try. Glad to know I am not the only one who likes the Gamakatsu Octopus hooks.


Maybe my recent troubles are due to being rusty, or how I hook my worm. Then, there are also the missed strikes due to tangled sinker slides. 

andy's picture
Eagle Claw baitholder circles

I like these baitholder circles as well, although they are kind of a hybrid circle/J hook.  You can get them down to a size 10, and they are light wire.




TaleSpinner's picture
I'm not sure of the brand,

I'm not sure of the brand, but I like size 6 circle hooks for general crawler/work fishing. I caught a mess of large (for me; 16 to 17") brown trout and huge white suckers with these hoolks this past weekend.

@andy: Thanks for the worm threading idea; I'm going to try that this weekend

Lifelist goals for 2019: Silver Redhorse, Golden Redhorse, Greater Redhorse, River Redhorse

Tyler W
Dark Horse

I've done some experimenting and have a new hook in heavy rotation. The Eagle Claw Wide Bend (or wide gap in some places) #L042. The package described it as a soft plastics hook, but that might be a marketing gimmick.. it doesn't look like a soft plastics hook to me. It looks like a J hook, but the point is aimed directly at the eye... so maybe a cross between a circle and an octopus hook. 


I initially gave it a try because it was available in a wide range of sizes (14-1), had a wide gape for the size and an offset point. I know not everyone is a fan of offset points, but on fish that are not usually hooked deep anyway I don't see the harm. 


Anyway, it has proven to be very "sticky" on carp and redhorse. 

philaroman's picture
maybe 20 yrs. ago was

maybe 20 yrs. ago was different, but I didn't like EC-L042, at all...  yeah, I bought them for the great shape & availability in size 14, but I went through 50 in no time -- you could just say the word "rock", or put some on the radio, and the hook points wilted...  w/ cheap soft steel, sticky sharpness out-of-the-pack is no great achievement, doesn't last & EC couldn't  temper or forge FOR SHIT, when I gave up on 'em


I'll be done w/ Mustad, as well, when my good old Norwegian stock runs out...  IMHO, where a hook was made, means much more than "what brand?

among modern options, I have 3 starting requirements:


beyond that, I just look at shape, wire gauge, price -- BRANDS DON'T MATTER!!!  last I read up on it, there were only 3 factories in Japan making all the hooks for dozens of brands, according to specifications of each...  can't imagine any one skimping pennies on materials, while spending huge Yen on Japanese labor costs

P.E.T.A. sucks!!!  Plants are living things, too -- they're just easier to catch!

Graceclaw's picture

I haven't used them, but philaroman voiced my immediate concern when I saw packs of 50 or 100 available for $10 online or from Cabela's. I liked the look of the hooks but there's something suspicious about them being THAT cheap. There's a reason besides brand name that Gammy Octopus Circles are our go-to and roughly 30 cents apiece. 

Have you had any problems with breakage or dulling, Tyler? 

Corey's picture

I normally use the Gamakatsu octopus circles, I have used the mustad ones as well, especially the baitholders, mostly when fishing bigger fish in current. They are also good with liver for catfish. I still use J-hooks sometimes, usually a gama octopus hook (sometimes red or fluorescent just for the heck of it) or scud hooks. I've always carried a few scud hooks for when I need a really light presentation and they work well for that (stuff like redworms, nymphs, grubs, or scuds). I need to buy some hooks!

philaroman's picture
seriously, Daiichi 1150 #8,

seriously, Daiichi 1150 #8, #10 -- AWESOME scud hook for bait

P.E.T.A. sucks!!!  Plants are living things, too -- they're just easier to catch!

Tyler W

So far I have no complaints about their durability. Which is surprising because when I started my hook hunt I intially discounted Eagle Claw entirely. When I saw that pack at Vados for $3.50 I thought it was worth a shot.


 But, I have also had hooks that wouldn't stay sharp more than 3 casts. Pretty frustrating when you are changing hooks faster than bait. I'll report back if I these hooks perform like other EG products. 

RoughFish's picture
I use the same as most of

I use the same as most of these guys. Gamakatsu circles in 8 for most worm fishing, bigger sizes for live baits. I too carry daiichi scuds for my smaller worm presentations, probably my favorite hook especially in the 2x strength sizes 16-18.