When deciding what fishing hook size to get, the basic rule to follow is this: the smaller the fish, the smaller the hook needed. While those new to fishing may find the sizing conventions used confusing, it really is very simple to understand.
The Hook Numbering System
The following size guide is from the smallest to the biggest. 32, 30, 28, 26, 24, 22, 20, 18, 16, 14, 12, 11, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, 1, 1/0, 2/0, 3/0, 4/0, 5/0, 6/0, 7/0, 8/0, 9/0, 10/0, 11/0, 12/0, 13/0, 14/0, 15/0, 16/0, 17/0, 18/0, and 20/0. As this guide shows, the biggest ones have a zero next to it. Those that don’t have a zero are smaller.
What Fishing Hook Size Do I Need?
As stated, a small hook is suitable for small fish and vice versa. For certain fish species, specific types have to be used. For the crappie, the ideal size is eight to four. The size range for the trout is eight to 18.
If you want to fish for suckers, the suitable size is from ten to eight. Size 12 to eight is good for the bluegill and similar types. Size 4 to 1 is for carp and 4 to 1/0 for channel catfish. For bullheads, the recommended size is 6. The walleye is fished with hooks measuring 2/0 to 5/0.
The smallmouth bass is fished with 4 to 1 hooks. For the largemouth bass, the suitable fishing hook size is 3/0. Sizes 2/0 to 7/0 are for the northern pike. For the mskellunge, it is 6/0 to 8/0.
To recap, a hook with a 0 is always one size bigger than the one before it (3/0 is larger than 2/0). For hooks without zeros, the larger number means a smaller size. For example, size 8 is smaller than size 6.
But while the size increments are followed, the actual size is not standardized. For example, a 4/0 from hook company A and hook company B may be of different sizes.
Extra Strong Hooks
When you see hooks with 2x or 2x strong it means the hook is constructed of wire as thick as the proceeding size. For example, a 3x is as thick as a couple of sizes up. This type of hook is designed to give smaller hooks more power.
A 2x 4/0 hook for instance, has a wire as thick as a 5/0 hook. A 3x 4/0 hook has the strength as a 6/0 hook, and so on. These hooks are most useful for live baiting. Sometimes a large hook can kill a fish, so the small but extra strong ones are used.
The 2x hook shank comes with a shank two times longer than the usual hook. The 3x has a shank that is three times longer than an ordinary hook of the same size.
As the facts show, there are a lot of things to consider when analyzing fishing hook size charts. For new fishermen though, these facts must be understood to become adept at the sport.