It doesn’t matter what you’re fishing for–what lure you’re using, crankbait, topwater baits, jigs, whatever, if you don’t have the right hook size. Depending on the trout in question, new anglers may be curious as to the hook size for trout.
It’s an understandable question, especially considering the jaw-dropping number of edible fish species out there that come in all shapes, sizes, and weights. If your hook is too small or weak, it may straighten out and fail to hook in.
Too big, and the trout may never get it down the chute in the first place. Treble hooks are useful in this scenario as well, but you should stay away from treble hooks if you want to throw your trout back.
Trout Hook Sizes
The best range of hook sizes for trout is sizes 6 to 12. It’s often recommended that you go no smaller than a size 18 hook, but it’s up to the angler. Many anglers have a lot of success with size 12 to 18 hooks so there is a viable reason to consider them.
To be honest, a size 6 hook is not always recommended. While it’s great for some trout, it’s often too big, at least in some situations. Some guides will recommend hook sizes between 6 to 18 sizes, which is why we bring up the 6 hooks being a bit large.
The 6 is on the verge of being too big, and the 18 is small enough that if you suddenly get some line slack during the fight, a trout may go full Tarpon on you and spit your hook right out.
Hook sizes for different Baits
For the most part, this is fairly simple. A bigger bait requires a bigger hook after all. That’s why a tackle box full of different hook sizes is something new anglers should always aspire to. If you have a wide variety of hook sizes, you’re prepared for any type of bait.
When you’re starting to build your tackle box from the ground up, you should start with 8 to 14 hooks. Once you have a reasonable number of each, start throwing in sizes 6, 16, and 18.
Most trout anglers recommend that if you fish for trout with a treble hook, you use sizes 12 to 16 for the best results. The only thing you need to be concerned with in terms of bait sizes is to ensure that the hook is big but not so big that the trout can see the hook.
The only part of the hook that should stick out is the barb. There are several different baits out there, so there are several different hook sizes you should go with.
The single hook size that’s best for worm baits ranges between sizes 8 and 14. There are no recommended treble hook sizes for worms. Nightcrawlers are a little different, due to their size, and veteran anglers recommend you cut your nightcrawlers down to size, so it hides the hook better.
Baitholder hooks in that size range are fantastic for worms because of the extra barb along the length of the shank. The problem with worms is they tend to slide off a standard hook so a baitholder hook is a superior option.
This is the only bait you can use treble hooks on. Well, you can use treble hooks on other bait types, but they are not recommended at all. With powerbaits, sizes 10 to 14 treble hooks are the perfect sizes.
Single hooks between sizes 8 to 12 are the recommended hook sizes for powerbaits. The larger the powerbait, the larger the hook. Remember, you only need the barb exposed for penetration.
Salmon eggs narrow the size range down quite a bit. In fact, there are only two single hook sizes you should go with if you’re fishing with salmon eggs–size 10 and size 12. Once again, a baitholder hook is the best option since Salmon eggs tend to slide off a single barb hook.
If you go with the sack instead of single eggs, you’ll need larger hooks, and it’s recommended you bump them up to sizes 8 and even 6, depending on the size of the sack.
As we mentioned above, it’s not a good idea to use treble hooks for much more than powerbaits. They simply work better with the nuggets than they will any other type of bait out there.
The best sizes are 10 to 14. A treble hook adds another dimension to the game. The smaller treble hooks may look smaller as they sit in one of your tackle box compartments, but they’re larger than single hooks since they essentially have two additional hooks on them.
Circle hooks are considered to be “specialty” hooks. Maybe they are specialty hooks for some anglers, and maybe not. Regardless, a circle hook is still a single hook but much rounder with a shorter shank.
The idea behind circle hooks is concealment. That short shank is much easier to hide away than standard hooks.
Barbless hooks for trout
Barbless hooks mostly enter the equation with fly fishing. The idea is to use a hook that won’t harm the fish. This is especially useful if you are a catch-and-release angler. The barb is what keeps the fish from spitting the hook or the hook sliding out when there is slack in the line.
Hook size for Rainbow Trout
There are a variety of situations occurring every day you pack your tackle box in the john boat and hit the water. Hook sizes are often dependent on those situations. When it comes to Rainbow Trout, the recommended hook sizes are 6 to 8. However, certain situations may justify one size up or down.
Fly Fishing Hooks
Most wet trout flies range between size 4 and 10 hooks while dry flies tend to range from 16 to 20. However, the 20 is best left at home as it’s just too small when it comes to trout fishing. Fly fishing anglers prefer medium to heavy hooks for wet fly and nymph variations.
Hook sizing explained
Hook sizing may seem a little complicated to new anglers, but it’s somewhat like wire gauges or the size of shotgun shells. The smaller the number, the bigger the hook. A size 6 hook will seem monstrous next to a size 24 hook.
Once you get as large as size 1, it goes beyond even that with the sizes changing to two digits, separated by a backslash. For instance, hooks larger than size one include 1/0, 2/0, 3/0, 4/0, and larger.
Trout fishing isn’t much different than other types of fishing and, depending on the trout, the clarity of the water, various weather conditions, and the size of the bait, you’ll need different hook sizes.
It’s simply a matter of accommodating the current set of conditions and creating the best odds for hooking a trout and keeping it on the line until it’s flopping around in the bottom of your boat.
Once you understand your hook sizes and know what’s best for each bait, according to the trout you’re fishing for, you’ll become a trout expert in no time. Next thing you know, you’ll be passing on hook size recommendations to a new angler.
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