Fishing hooks are a vital piece of the tackle that enables an individual to catch fish. Hooks are tied onto fishing line and then adorned with live bait, such as shiners, minnows and night crawlers, or artificial lures such as plastic worms or frogs. When fish grab the bait the angler pulls back hard on the fishing pole, hoping the hook catches in the fish's mouth.
The Language of Fishing
The point of a fishing hook is the sharpened end that must make its way through the mouth of the fish. Pulling hard on the line when a fish strikes and burying the hook in the fish's mouth is called "setting the hook." The barb of the hook extends back from the point and prevents a fish from being able to escape the hook once it is set. However, some hooks are made without a barb to allow the release of the fish. The term "gap" is used to describe the amount of bend in a hook and is measured from the point to the opposite side of the hook.
The eye is where the fishing line connects to the hook via some sort of knot. It may also be connected to a lure, allowing the hook to hang down as the lure is reeled through the water. Eyes can be turned upwards at the end of the hook, downwards, or be attached to the hook straight up. The eye may be fully closed around its perimeter, known as a brazed eye, or have a slight gap between the end of its perimeter and the hook shaft.
Shank and Bend
The parts of a fishing hook that unite the eye and point are the shank and bend. The shank runs from the eye to where the hook begins to curve into its U shape, while the bend is the curved area that develops into the point. The length of the shank determines the size of the hook, with small-, medium- and larger-shanked hooks available for different fishing scenarios. For example, a longer shank hook is used for a lengthy plastic worm.
The combination of shank and bend comes in different shapes, with some hook shanks straight and others with large curves. Still others have offset shanks, which are called worm hooks, because they are used to thread plastic and rubber worms.