Eye – the small circular part at the front 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 curved.
Gape – the distance from the shank to the point.
Bend – the curvature of the hook.
Barb – the small protrusion that aids in keeping the hook purchased in the fish's mouth.
Point – the sharp end of the wire that penetrates the fish's mouth.
Bite/Throat – the distance from the point to the bend.
- 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 increases.
- Thus a size 4/0 hook is one size larger than a 3/0 hook, which in turn is one larger than a 2/0 hook 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 in turn is smaller than a size 8 hook etc.
To clear things up for tyers purchasing Tiemco hooks, Tiemco has set their own internal standard based on a hook model which was named the TMC5200 which was a theoretical hook which was never released into the marketplace. Watch the YouTube video below to better understand this hook standard.
Hooks marked 2X Heavy (for example) are made from wire as thick as the same model hook but two sizes/digits larger. Thus a 3X hook has a wire gauge that is that of a hook three times/digits larger. So for example a size 10 2X Heavy hook has the wire gauge of the same hook in a size 8. 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, for example, are made from the wire of a hook one size/digit smaller. Thus a 1X Fine hook in size 12 has the wire gauge of a size 13 hook. A 2X Fine hook in size 12 would thus have the wire gauge of the same style of hook but in size 14.
The other common X standard is the length of the hook shank.
A 2X Long hook has a shank the length of a hook of the same style but two sizes/digits larger. A 3X Long hook has a shank the length of a hook of the same style but three sizes/digits larger.
- Thus a 2X Long hook in a size 12 has the shank length of the same style of hook but in a size 10 hook. A 3X Long hook in size 12 would have a shank length of the same style of hook but in a size 9 hook etc.
A wide gape hook is one where the gape, (the gap between the hook point and hook shank) is wider than a standard hook gape. Extra wide gapes are often called stinger hooks.
Tiemco offers standard or Spear Point (SP) hook models. Spear Point model hooks have a point that penetrates like a spear/blade. Tiemco’s SP hook series feature 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 very quickly, the wound will be constricted. The basal part of the point has an "apron” on both sides. These tiny swellings will work as a 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.
The process of how a hook is chemically sharpened is much longer. After the hook is made it is heat treated and then the hook goes through a process where a chemical “attacks” the surface of the hook. The point of the hook, as it is thinner, is affected heavily, thus sharpening the point.
Once the hook has been manufactured it is 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 fish’s mouth.
Barbless hooks do not have the barb and are much easier to remove from a fish mouth or body part (in the case of a foul-hooking).