The 3 Best Hooks for Trout Fishing

Using the right hook is important for any species, especially trout. In this article we’ll share our favorite hooks for trout.

First let’s talk about the parts of the hook and what size works best.

Parts of a hook

There are six main characteristics that make up a fishing hook which is the eye, shank, bend, barb, point and gape.

The eye is the point where you secure the hook to the mainline by using one of several types of knot. The eye can be straight, down turned or up turned.

The shank of the hook is the part that runs from the eye down to where the hook starts to bend.

The bend is the curved part of the hook which starts at the bottom of the shank and curves round to form the shape of the hook.

The barb is a small triangular piece that is positioned on the hook just before the point. The idea of the barb is that once it has penetrated the mouth it is extremely difficult for the fish to shake the hook off. In recent times anglers have been using barbless hooks as these cause less damage to the fish when practicing catch and release.

The point is the most important part of the hook as this is what penetrates the mouth of the fish. It is vital that the point is kept extremely sharp because if the point gets blunt the chance of penetrating the mouth will be greatly reduced.

The gape is the gap between the point and the shank. It has a bearing on what type of bait or lure the is used.

What Is the Best Hook Size for Trout?

Fishing hooks are measured numerically which is dictated by the distance of the gap between the shaft of the hook and the shank, which is generally known as the gape.

A size 10 hook works best for most trout fishing situations. You could go as small as 14 or as big as 8. We wouldn’t recommend going any larger than a size 8. Trout have a tendency to not bite if they can see it due to being a very wary fish. Keep in mind size the higher the number, the smaller the hook.

Fishing hooks sizes can be a bit confusing, so just remember this:

  • For hooks sizes (sometimes shown with a ‘#’), the hook get smaller as the size gets bigger.
  • For hooks using the ‘aught’ system (for example ‘5/0’), the hooks get bigger as the number gets bigger

The best hooks for trout

Eagle Claw Plain Shank Hook

The Eagle Claw plain shank hook gives credence to the saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. These hooks have been around forever and are well known for their durability, strength and reliability. The hook features a forged, offset ringed eyelet, dark finish to help it blend in better with bait and surroundings, and a curved hook point which is a staple to the eagle claw brand.

Gamakatsu Baitholder Hook

Gamakatsu has become one of the leading manufacturers of fishing hooks on the market today. The hooks are made using premium high carbon steel in its production. That ensures there are no molecular inconsistencies or blemishes which can cause failures at the worst time.

Every hook is tempered to the exact same temperature through the quenching process to give a hook that has the perfect blend of flexibility and strength using Gamakatsu’s world leading process. Along with these features in manufacturing Gamakatsu also uses one of the best sharpening processes in the world, resulting in a perfectly conical point and unequaled sharpness.

Mustad Classic Special Long Shank

The Mustad classic has a wider gap hook compared to other brands in the same size category and is the same size gap as a treble hook of the same size. The In-line hook eye that it features that lines up perfectly to the hook point creates 100% power when it comes to hook sets.

The mustad wire forming process and non-tempered steel create a hook that is 20% stronger than other hooks on the market, as well as making the hook lighter. These hooks also feature two bait holder barbs on the shank of the hook to help aid in holding live bait such as nightcrawlers.

Other Gear to Consider

Fishing line

When using hooks of this size your line size is important.

We are fishing for trout, so line in the 6 pound range should be more than enough and shouldn’t cause any issues. The correct pound test line will also help with casting and will ensure that your casts are accurate while giving you maximum distance.


Rods we would recommend for fishing trout are ultralight and light action rods and should be around 6’6” to 7’ feet in length. This overall line, hook and rod setup will come together to give you the best in castability, hook ups, and when fighting fish.

Related: Our picks for the best trout rods.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best knot to use for trout hooks?

The best knot for tour hooks is our favorite knot, the improved clinch knot.

What is the best type of rod to use with trout bait?

Typically you want to use a casting rod with bait, but a spinning rod will work as well.

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