Understanding Tiemco Hooks

Why are there so many hook types, sizes and shapes? Let’s try to simplify some of the jargon.



Eye – a small circular part at the from where the hook is attached to the tippet.

Shank – the straight length of the hook from the eye to the start of the bend. Sometimes the shank is slightly curved.

Gap – the distance from the shank to the point.

Bend – the curvature of the hook.

Barb – a small protrusion that aids in keeping the hook purchased in the fishes’ mouth.

Point – the sharp end of the wire that penetrates the fishes’ mouth.

Bite/Throat – the distance from the point to the bend.


Hook Sizes

  • Hook sizes are based on a nominal hook size of zero. Hook sizes with a number followed by a zero increase in size as the number goes up.
    • Thus a size 4/0, hook is one size up from a 3/0, which is one size up from a 2/0, etc.
  • Conversely hook sizes not followed by a zero, decrease in size as the number increases.
    • Thus a size 12 hook is smaller than a size 10 hook, which is smaller than a size 8, etc.

Hook Strength

Hooks marked 2X Heavy are made from wire as thick as the next size up. A 3X hook is as thick as a hook two sizes up.  These hooks are designed to provide as much strength as a hook one or two sizes up, but where a smaller hook is required.

Conversely hooks marked 1X Fine are made from the wire one size down, 2X fine is two sizes down.

Shank Length

The other common X standard is the length of the hook shank.

A '2X long' hook has a shank the length of one size up. A 3x long hook has a shank two sizes up.

  • Thus a 2 X Long hook size 12, has the shank length of a standard size 10 hook. A 3X Long hook size 12 would have a shank length of a standard size 8 hook. etc.


A wide gape hook is one where the gape, (the gap between the hook point and hook shaft) is wider than the standard hook. Similarly, to the shank length and the thickness of the wire, it is correlation to the size of the standard hook. Extra wide gapes are often called stinger hooks.

Hook Point

 Standard or Spear points are most common. They are a tapering to a point and penetrate like a spear.

The SP Series features a hollowed curve point with triangulated edges that sharpen easily. The "slow-tapered" point lowers the resistance of penetration. resulting in accelerated hook sets and better holding ability, especially in barbless versions. Biologically speaking, when a hook pierces a fish's mouth in a flash, the wound will be constricted. The basal part of the point has "apron- on both sides. These tiny swelling will work as barb to some degree. In larger sizes, they also help streamer flies track better in the water by functioning like the keel of a ship.


Once the hook has been made they are drop forged to strengthen the metal.

Barbed or Barbless

Barbed hooks have a small piece of metal protruding behind the point to increase the purchase of the hook and reduce the chance of the hook coming out of the fishes mouth.

Barbless hooks do not have the barb and are much easier to remove from a fish or  body part.

Buy Hooks Now

TMC Hook Chart