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Hook Terminology

  • Gape: Gape (or Gap) is the distance between the hook shank and the point. The standard gape is slightly less than half the standard hook shank length. Hook sizes are based upon gape.
  • Wire Gauge: There is a standardized wire guage. From this standard, hook wire can be heavier (XH) or lighter (XF) based upon an "x" system. A 1XF hook would have the same wire diameter of a hook one size smaller.
  • Shank: The shank is the part of the hook from behind the eye to the beginning of the bend, which is usually directly above the space between the point and the barb. Standard shank length is defined as the distance of twice the Gape plus the width of the eye. An "x" system designates longer or shorter than standard lengths. Each "x" represents one hook size, so a size 6, 2x long (2XL) has a shank length of a standard size 4 hook. A size 6, 2x short (2XS) would have a shank length of a standard size 8 hook. Almost all fly hooks are even-numbered only, however, the "x" designation is determined by individual digit sizes. The shank can be straight or curved.
  • Eye: The eye is the ring, hole, or loop at the end of the shank which the line is attached. Eyes can be positioned straight, up, or down.
  • Bend: The curved portion of the hook ending just before the point. Bends can be round, limerick, sproat, or reversed offset.
  • Bite/Throat: The distance from the apex of the bend to its intersection with the gape.
  • Point & Barb: The point is the sharpened end which penetrates the fishes mouth. The barb is a projection that extends backwards to secure the hook. Hooks can have a mini-barb or be barbless.

 

Illustration courtesy of Mustad
hook anatomy

 

Dry Fly Hooks
Partridge
Mustad
Tiemco
Daiichi
Dai-Riki
Kona
Gamakatsu
Ahrex
Wide Gape
Downeye
Wide Gape Hook YA 94840 TMC 100 1180 320 UDF S10 None
Wide Gape
Straight Eye
Wide Gape Straight Eye K14st 94859 TMC 101 1110 310 None S10S None
Standard
Standard YL3A 7957B TMC 9300 1310 305 UDF S10 FW500
Barbless
barbless SUD 94845 TMC 900BL 1190 None BDF S10B FW501
2X-Long Dry
2x-Long Dry YH1A 94831 TMC 2302 1280 280 None R18B FW570
1X-Long
Downeye
None 94840 TMC 5210 1170 300 BSS P10 None
1X-Short
Downeye
1X-Short None R48 TMC 921 1310 305 None None None
1X-Short
Up Eye
1x-Short None 94842 TMC 500U 1330 None None None None
Limerick
Mini-barb
Limerick None 36890 TMC 7999 1480 899 None None FW506

 

Curved Hooks
Partridge
Mustad
Tiemco
Daiichi
Dai-Riki
Kona
Gamakatsu
Ahrex
Heavy Scud
Heavy Scud K5A C49S TMC 2457 1120 135 USP None FW540
Scud
Downeye
Downeye YK4A 80250BR TMC 2487 1130 125 BC1 C12 FW525
Midge/Emerger
Midge Emerger K14ST None TMC 206BL 1140 None None C12U FW520
Heavy Wide Gape
Heavy Wide Gape CZ AC80200BR TMC 2457 1150 135 BC3 None None
Curved Shank
Curved Shank YK12ST AC80050BR TMC 200R 1270 270 TND None FW530

 

Wet/Nymph Hooks
Partridge
Mustad
Tiemco
Daiichi
Dai-Riki
Kona
Gamakatsu
Ahrex
1X-Short Wet
2X-Heavy Wet YG3A None None 1530 075 None L10-2H None
Standard Wet
Standard Wet TWH 3906 TMC 3769 1550 070 WFN None None
1X-Long Nymph
1X-Long Nymph IN 3906B TMC 3761 1560 060 WFN None None
2X-Long Nymph
2X-Long Nymph YH1A 9671 TMC 5262 1710 730 NS2 None FW560
3X-Long Nymph
3X-Long Nymph SH3 9672 TMC 5263 1720 710 NS3 None FW580
Stonefly Nymph
Stonefly Nymph None None None 1730 700B None None None
Swimming Nymph
Swimming Nymph None None TMC 400T 1770 None None None None

 

Streamer Hooks
Partridge
Mustad
Tiemco
Daiichi
Dai-Riki
Kona
Gamakatsu
Ahrex
4X-Long
Straight Eye
Straight Eye D3ST 9674 TMC 9395 1750 None USS S11S-4L2H TP610
4X-Long
Downeye
4X-Long D4A 79580 None 2220 700 TS4 S11-4L2H None
6X-Long
6X-Long CS17 None TMC 300 2340 None None None None
Salmon
Traditional
Salmon M 36890 TMC 7999 2441 899 None T10-6H None