Fishing Hook Basics

Hooks will be the last needed accessory to have on your lure before you can go fishing. Whether you’re using trebles or singles, you need to learn about them starting with fishing hook basics.

I emphasize all information shared in this blog is just my personal opinion & experience which some may beg to differ 🙂 If you have any thoughts or questions please leave them at the end of this post.

Basics on Hooks

Go barbless...for safety reason
Go barbless…for safety reason
  • Top of the list is the safety aspect…try to cultivate the habit of having no barbs on your hooks…either de-barb or buy them barbless. This is to enable easy removal providing safety to both humans & fish.
  • Fishing barbless will increase the risk of losing a fish but if you can use your rod to maintain good pressure & tight line on the fish throughout your fight you will not lose it. You can look at it another way…fishing barbless to give yourself a new challenge ie. raise your bar in your fishing skills!
  • A hook has to stay sharp at all times in order for it to do its job. Many good fish are lost due to blunt hooks which cannot be set to hold the fish securely. Replace with new ones or sharpen using a small pocket sandstone ( Amazon )or sharpener ( eBay ). Note most hooks will usually rust after sharpening & will eventually have to be replaced.
Owner 2X strong trebles
Owner 2X strong trebles
  • In trebles, you may find them labeled as 2X or 3X strong as against the base 1X hook in resisting straightening when fighting a fish. Most lures come with original 1X hook & some may upgrade to stronger hooks according to species targeted. Do note as hook is made stronger the gauge (ie. diameter) of wire used is bigger ie. hook is overall heavier which may affect the lure swimming action. So do test out the upgraded hooks on the lure & start from a lower X as you do not want a heavier than needed hook hampering your lure swimming action.
  • As for hook sizes whether jigging hooks or trebles on lures, you may want to upsize one level to bigger hook (to the original or recommended size) if you are not engaging the many hits or keep losing fish midway thru the fight. Sometimes the wide of original hook is smaller or about same size as the lure body which is obstructing the way to a good hookup.
  • When a hook is straightened, many will usually reach out for a pair of pliers to bend it back. The truth is that portion of the material is already weakened & will straighten again later on. Replace it immediately with a new hook to risk losing another fish.

Hint: I’m now in the habit of fishing barbless on all trebles for GT popping. But I’m still trying hard to extend this practice to other application eg. luring & jigging. It’s a matter of time in cultivating the habit as long as you keep trying.

Trebles vs Singles

If you notice most of jerkbait, crankbait, swimbait, stickbait & popper are using trebles while singles are used mostly in jigging & jig head. For most the main reason for using trebles is the better hookup rate vs singles but singles do have their merits too.

  • Trebles have better hookup rate due to its numerical advantage of 3 single hooks vs the 1-hook singles ie. 6 sharp points in a lure with trebles vs only 2 in lure with singles.
  • But due to this 3-hook profile, trebles have lower retention rate as its sharp points can be pulled in multi-directions & hook as well as wire gauge sizes are smaller compared to 1-hook singles. Thus trebles can straightened more often especially when only 1 hook out of 3 is engaged. When singles are pulled, the lone sharp points will always align with the direction of the force driving itself further into the target.
  • Trebles can cause more damage to the fish (as well as anglers) simply due to more hooks in the design. Some are using trebles as stinger hooks in their rigs in the hope of hooking up other parts of the fish beside the mouth. It’s this same reason why the trailing hook in a lure not engaged to the mouth will tend to cause damage to the other parts of the fish.
  • We need to be aware some lures are designed to work with only 1 type of hook & they should not be replaced with the other type in these cases. Examples are Carpenter Gamma which work with only trebles & Duo Aomasa which comes with original singles. Changing their hook type will affect how the lures swim & its depth as compared to when they are tested in their original design.
  • When rigging singles on your lure, ensure the belly hook is facing downwards & the rear hook facing up to maximize exposure to the fish. Eg shown is the Duo Aomasa ( eBay ) which comes with original singles
  • When rigging singles on your lure, ensure the belly hook is facing downwards & the rear hook facing up to maximize exposure to the fish.

Hint: When using singles, it’s always difficult to resist the temptation of changing back to trebles especially when your buddies are hooking up left & right but not you. One way to overcome this is to use trebles at the start of trip to land a few good fish for photo first until you have your fill before changing to singles to up the challenge.

What I’m Using/Recommended Brands



  • Jig head
    • Decoy Delta ( eBay )
    • 1/20oz (1.4g)
    • 1/16oz (1.8g)
    • 3/32oz (2.5g)
  • Jigging vertical (pre-rigged)
    • Gamakatsu Bait Plus ( Amazon / eBay ); size 4 (light)
    • VanFook Jigen ( eBay ); size 3, 2, 1, 1/0, 2/0, 3/0 (medium)
    • Shout Twin Assist ( Amazon / eBay ); size 3/0, 4/0 (heavy)
  • Jigging vertical (self-tied heavy)
    • BKK Jigging ( Amazon / eBay ); size 8/0, 9/0
    • Shout Kudako ( Amazon / eBay ); size 5/0, 6/0
    • Devil Line Assist Cord ( eBay ); 150lb #50 – hybrid of titanium, stainless steel alloy & polymer fibers for toothy fish
  • Jigging slow (pre-rigged)
    • Decoy Twin Pike ( Amazon / eBay ); size 3/0 & 4/0
    • Decoy Twin Pike Shorter ( eBay ); size 3/0 & 4/0
  • Jigging slow (self-tied)
    • Decoy Pike Type-R ( eBay ); size 3/0 & 4/0
    • Devil Line Assist Cord ( eBay ); 150lb #50 – hybrid of titanium, stainless steel alloy & polymer fibers for toothy fish
  • Popping
    • BKK Diablo ( eBay ) size 9/0 & 11/0

All the best,

PS: Please leave a comment if any information in this site is inaccurate or incorrect…I’m learning too 🙂

As I’m an Affiliate Marketer, if you make any purchase thru the text or image links provided in the posts, I may be compensated by the merchants with a small token for time & effort spent in maintaining this blog. Thank you

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