Best Hooks for Catfishing You Can Get in 2018 – Informational Guide
Fishing has always been a hobby of mine. I used to do it with my dad as a kid, but now I mostly fish alone in a nearby river. It’s good for an afternoon or a weekend of relaxation. Sadly, my catch mostly consisted of small fish.
Since I like eating catfish, I decided to look into ways to catch one or two. That’s how I first found out about specific fishing tackle for that and tried many different pieces of it. I had spent a lot of money before I figured out which lures, jigs and hooks for catfishing were the good ones.
Before spending your money, you have to research, compare, and inspect on your way to find the best hooks for catfishing. It might seem like a daunting task, but with some expertise and knowledge, it’s not that bad.
Read my story, and you’ll save yourself from a lot of hustle. Let’s start with knowledge.
How Are Catfishing Hooks Different from Any Other Type of Fishing Hooks?
As I realized early on, what I found the most useful in helping me catch catfish were the hooks themselves. There are a lot of different pieces of fishing tackle marketed at catfish anglers, claiming to be “special” and “helpful” in some way– and most of it was useless for me.
I bought it only because I didn’t know any better at the time. Catfish hooks, however, are something that actually helped me – even when using a bass fishing rod or reel, I was able to catch catfish most of the time.
Something I can’t say happens to me when I use regular hooks.So, what is it that actually makes them more useful than regular hooks? I had some trouble understanding that myself at first.
However, just touching the inside of a catfish’s mouth was enough to make me realize why I had trouble catching them with other hooks – they wouldn’t stick. You see, catfish have thicker, harder mouths than most other kinds of fish, so sharper or different-shaped hooks are necessary in order to actually stick to them.
It’s still quite possible to catch them with regular hooks, sure, I’ve done it myself – it’s just more difficult to do, and requires you to get lucky.
What Types of Catfish Hooks Are There?
There are plenty different types of catfish hooks, depending on your preference and what type of catfish do you wish to catch. The most popular type is the most well-known – the circle hook.
However, I found this type of hook difficult to use, as you need it to slide and reach the inside of the fish’s mouth before it sets, so it’s easy to miss a catch with it if you’re not careful. Once a catfish is caught on a circle hook, it’s reallyhard for it to break off, which I find is the real benefit.
Learning how to use them is difficult, but you can find some useful tips on that here. Treble hooks are also commonly used because of how durable they are. You may want to use different sized treble hooks, depending on the size of the catfish you want to catch.
Inexperienced fishermen can easily miss smaller catch when using larger hooks – as I found out. However, with some practice, you can learn to avoid that problem. The trick is in setting the hook as early as possible. Of course, you can just opt to use a smaller sized treble hook, but that runs the risk of smaller fish breeds swallowing the hook.
Other, more esoteric types of hooks are also used sometimes, but I prefer to stick to these two as I find them the most effective, and I had little success catfishing with any other type.
Things to Look for in a Good Catfishing Hook
A lot of this boils down to things that make any fishing hook good, but there are some qualities specific to catfishing hooks. What I value in a good hook for catfishing, first and foremost, is:
Without a doubt, a catfishing hook needs to be razor sharp in order to embed itself in its mouth properly. Nothing less will do, at least for me – because I tend to miss a lot of catch when the hook dulls.
However, hooks can be sharpened, if you know how to do it, and sometimes it needs to be done. Especially if they are dull when you buy them – check first, don’t just use them outright.
Sharpening a circle hook by yourself might be a bit challenging, especially if you’re only used to sharpening j-hooks. I myself broke a perfectly good hook the first time I tried. In that case, this video from BlacktipHmight help you get to grips with it.
Hooks break sooner or later, that’s inevitable. However, I found that it’s even more of a risk during catfishing. Since hooks need to be so sharp, it’s not unusual for one to get stuck really deep and just break when you try to twist and turn it in order to pull it out.
Personally, I’ve found that treble hooks were most susceptible to breaking in this way, but other’s experiences may vary.
Now, this is something that depends on the type of catfish you’re trying to catch, but it’s important either way. For circle hooks, the general rule is this – the larger, the better. However, what’s also important is the gap in the hook – if the gap is small, it doesn’t matter how big the entire thing is.
As far as treble hooks are concerned, I usually go for some of the smaller ones, unless I’m hunting for bigger catfish. For the usual channel catfish, a size #6 usually works great for me.
Top 5 Hooks for Catfishing – My Reviews
As I said, I (quite foolishly) wasted my money on a lot of different hooks. However, that gave me more than a bit of insight on how different hooks perform in the field.
For your convenience, I’ve singled out five hooks that I think are the best hooks for catfishing on the market, currently. I reviewed them for you, so you’ll know all the pros and cons before buying.
**Below, you will find more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices and read customer reviews on Amazon.
Do not be turned off by the name of this product – the hook might have been originally intended for catching octopuses and similar sea creatures, but it works great for catfish nonetheless.
These hooks come in pretty much any size you would want, with twenty five of themper box, and are available in a variety of colors – black, bronze, nickel, red and chartreuse. By design, they are somewhere between a typical circle hook and a j-hook but don’t really fall into either type. Not difficult to use either way.
They’re made from durable, forged, high-carbon steel that doesn’t break easily, and have a sharp, offset point. Because of the material used, they don’t require a lot of sharpening at all. A barb on the point of the hook is added so it sticks better to the fish’s mouth.
There’s also a closed eye on the top of it, intended to stop the fishing line from slipping out, but I have found that there’s not much difference between this one and a fishing hook with an open eye.
I have found some difficulty in getting most of the bait I use onto this hook though, and only some of the plastic ones stuck properly to it.
What We Like:
- Easy to use for everyone
- Very sharp, and rarely need sharpening
- Quite durable, rarely breaks
What We Didn’t Like:
- A bit pricey for what it offers
- The paint is low quality and comes off easily
- Tends to bend
- Not suitable for most types of bait
These are more traditional circle hooks, with an inward bending point, also primarily intended for catching octopuses. Despite that, they work just fine on catfish, even more so than some other circle hooks.
They come in a reusable plastic box that you can store other hooks in if you wish, and the interior comesdivided in five different sizes. Though, all of the listed sizes are actually pretty big, by American standards.
The high-carbon steel they are made of ensures durability and reduces the chance of any possible corrosion to the hooks.
However, they are not covered in any sort of paint or other protection, so they are still more prone to corrosion than some other hooks – especially if you’re fishing in salt water. Their design, with an offset point and a barb ensuresan easier catch, and a lower mortality rate, like with most circle hooks on the market.
It also includes a closed and swept back eye, ensuring that the line does not slip out. However, the bad part is that smaller live bait doesn’t really work with this hook, as it’s too thick for it.
The hooks are rather cheap and are sold in large bulk sizes, so pretty much anyone can afford them.
What We Like:
- Very sharp out of the box
- Come with a good, reusable plastic box
- Low price for a large bulk
What We Didn’t Like:
- All the hooks are pretty large
- Very prone to corrosion
- Not suitable for all types of bait
On first glance this looks like your usual circle hook, albeit with some pretty narrow spacing. However, they are lighter thanthey seem at first, but still quite durable in most cases. They won’t bend and break easily even though they might appear fragile.
They are very sharp, straight out of the box, and stay sharp for a long time too. The points are reinforced as well, and they are pretty good at resisting rolling. I have also found little to no problems with corrosion, even when fishing in saltwater, which is a rare thing.
Their design leaves a little bit to be desired though, especially concerning the eye. It’s too open and the knot sometimes slips out of it, which means I have to tie the knot extra hard.
The hook spacing is also rather narrow, which might pose some difficulties even for people used to fishing cats with circle hooks. Still, what the design lacks in those areas, it more than makes up for with a very bent point that makes it hard for the catch to slip off the hook.
Combined with how durable it is, that makes it suitable for catching both larger and smaller fish.
What We Like:
- Very sharp, and don’t require much sharpening
- Light and durable
- Hard for the fish to slip off of it
- Not too expensive for what it offers
What We Didn’t Like:
- Too thick so it kills smaller live bait
- Narrow spacing makes it difficult to get it to stick
- Might be difficult to use, even for veterans
These hooks come from a rather unknown and unproven Chinese manufacturer. Because of that, the size is not quite the same as equivalent American or European hooks, and they are a little smaller than those.
They come in a very large bulk size, in a good plastic box for a pretty affordable price, as you might expect. The design features a rather narrow space between the point and the shaft of the hook, with an inwardly bent point, which makes it harder for them to stick to fish.
Besides that, they also have trouble staying in the fish’s mouth, which leads to a lot of lost catch.
Made from high carbon steel, which is supposed to be quite durable and the hooks themselves are rather thick. However, they still break more often than not and bend occasionally.
This should also make them quite corrosion resistant, but that doesn’t seem to be the case as they corrode easily in both saltwater and freshwater. Not even the paint on them helps, as it easily comes off.
Most of the hooks in the pack are also quite small, which makes them unsuitable for catching any larger species of fish – including larger catfish.
What We Like:
- Large amount for an affordable price
- Comes in a durable plastic box that can be repurposed
What We Didn’t Like:
- Prone to corrosion in both saltwater and freshwater
- Breaks and bends very easily
- Has difficulty retaining fish
- Narrow spacing makes it difficult to get it to stick to fish
These are fishing hooks made by a relatively new Chinese company. They come in a decent bulk for a decent price. They are made from high-carbon steel, and boast very good durability as well as high corrosion resistance in all types of water.
Even so, they do break and bend rather often, especially when fishing for large fish. Since the size of the hooks themselves is rather large as well, this should not really happen, but it still does.
They are available in various sizes, but all are rather large compared to western counterparts. The sharpness is real, however, and they do not dull easily, so you won’t have any need to sharpen them.
While they don’t look much different than other similar circle hooks, they do have a rather large gap between the shaft and the point, thus allowing for them to catch on the fish’s mouth more easily.
The inward bent point and the barb also help. All of that is good, for sure. The flaw in the design, however, lies in the eye of the hook – it’s bent in a strange way, which causes the hook to slip off the line if it’s not tied very well.
What We Like:
- Comes with a 30-day warranty
- Affordable price
- Large spacing makes it easy for the hook to set
- Very sharp and does not dull easily
What We Didn’t Like:
- Slips off the line too easily
- Bends and breaks too easily on big fish
- The hooks are too large
So, Which Hook for Catfishing Is the Best for You?
Well, it’s not easy to pick just one of these, especially since I know not everyone can afford some of the more expensive hooks. I know I sometimes couldn’t.
But, since I have to pick one, I’d go with Mustad UltraPoint Demon Perfect In-Line Circle 3 Extra Strong Hook, as I consider it to have the best price-to-quality ratio out of all the hooks I listed.
The only really big downside that it has compared to other catfishing hooks is that it might require a bit more skill to use, but I found that it’s more than worth it if you have the patience and the know-how.
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