Fish Beat: A good hook matters

By Jim Hagerty

Staff Writer

With a nice fall on the horizon, there is still plenty of good fishing left for most species. By the end of summer, it’s common to find the need to restock for what’s left of the season or refill tackle boxes for next year.

Finding solid hooks is one of the most important ingredients to making fishing exciting and productive. Choosing the right hook is just as important as selecting the proper bait. Here are a few trusted brands.

Eagle Claw


Hooks made by the Denver company Eagle Claw Fishing Tackle are some of the most recognized products on the market. Eagle Claw makes hooks for just about every application at every price point. Priced only slightly above most brands, Eagle Claw hooks are top-quality and trusted by professionals and recreational anglers.

Hooks by Gamakatsu


Gamakatsu started in Japan as a boutique hook company in the 1950s. Today, its hooks are distributed worldwide and known for their wide gaps and long-lasting sharp points. Gamakatsu makes a variety of freshwater, saltwater, offset and specialty hooks.

Mustad Fish Hooks


Mustad makes a variety of quality products, most notably solid hooks with turn-down eyes and sharp barbs and points. Mustad hooks are heat-hardened and knot well. Most lines are also surprisingly inexpensive, available for about $5 to $10 per 100.

Tru Turn Hooks


Hooks made by Tru Turn are known for their rotating shanks, which aid in hook-setting and jaw penetration. Tru Turn products have been trusted since the 1970s and are endorsed by the U.S. military, which includes them in Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine survival kits.

Private brands, boutique hooks (

Private label hooks from Cabelas, and other outdoors retailers, are usually made by reputable and well-known manufacturers. These hooks are popular, are often less expensive, and do the trick under most circumstances.

Economy hooks

Some anglers prefer to use economy hooks made by a variety of stencil companies, most of which are Asian importers. While cheap hooks are often significantly inexpensive and good for basic fishing methods, they do tend to be of poor quality and prone to corrosion, bending and dulling quickly.

Send us your fishing photos

The Rock River Times is interested in seeing pictures of local fish caught in area waters. Send digital photos to us at with “Fish Beat Photos” in the subject line. Glossies can be sent to The Rock River Times, 128 N. Church St., Rockford, IL 61101.

From the September 16-22, 2009 issue.

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