What Size Hook Do You Need for Bass? (Large and Smallmouth)

Fishing hooks are one of the most important inventions in human history, and in time, their designs have improved quite a bit to suit anglers fishing needs. With many hook styles in the market, choosing the right ones for bass fishing can be complicated and confusing. The size hook you need for bass has to be suitable for the bass type, whether for a large or smallmouth bass.

The size hook you need for large and smallmouth bass are 4, 2, 1, 1/0, 2/0, 3/0. 4/0, 5/0, and 6/0. Which hook size you choose depends on the size or weight of the bass you need to catch and your line’s test weight. The hook you use must also be proportional to the bait you want to use.

To get more guidance on what size hook you need for large and smallmouth bass, continue reading the article to explore the parts of a fishing hook, fishing hook types and sizes, and bass fishing lines.

Why the Right Size or Shape Matters

For bass fishing, anglers need to be careful with which hook they choose. The bass may escape (with the lure!) if you use the wrong hook size. The right hook matches the weight of the line, and the fishing rod used also has to accommodate that weight.

Then, there’s the fish weight that anglers need to consider. It may not be easy to determine the fish weight, considering the vast range of bass weights. Depending on the fish size, you’ll want to get a hook to successfully penetrate the bass’s mouth.

Before fishing for bass, determine how you’ll fish and what you want to catch because you’ll want to choose the right fishing hook style to match your fishing purpose. Some fishing methods sometimes call for different hooks and weights. You can choose from all kinds of lures and baits, like plastic worms, ChatterBait, jigs, jerk bait, spinnerbait, and more.

Your hook shape has to be suitable for the lure or bait you want to use. The forms you’ll find are straight shanks, twisted shanks, and offset shanks. You can find many hook styles, such as worm hooks, octopus hooks, wide gap hooks, Aberdeen hooks, and more. We will explore them all shortly.

How Fishing Hook Sizes Work

Hook sizes can be confusing at first, but here’s an easy formula to remember how they are measured:

  • As the size # gets larger, the hooks get smaller
  • As aught / gets larger, the hooks get bigger

A hook’s measurement follows two spectrums: sizes and aughts. “Sizes” are smaller, whereas “Aughts” is larger. 1/0 (One – Aught) sits in the middle of the scale measurement. You would see a Size 10 (Ten – Aught) on the larger end of the spectrum.

“Sizes” are the opposite of “Aughts.” “Size” becomes larger, and the hooks are smaller; meanwhile, “Aughts” gets larger, and the hooks are larger. For example, a Size 6 hook is 10 times smaller than a 6/0 hook.

For bass fishing, you would need between 1, 1/0, and 2/0. For smaller hooks, you could use worms around 6 inches and 8-inch worms or for the larger hooks. These baits and your bass fishing hook sizes will catch a fish capable of eating the bait.

Parts of the Fishing Hook

There are 7 fish hook parts that you should know. Understanding each of these parts will give you a better understanding of how these parts change between different hooks. You’ll also have a clearer idea of how different hook styles can alter these parts for other effects on the water.


The point is the sharp end of the fish hook. Essentially, the point has to be sharp to catch a bass. The longer the point, the longer it takes for the bass to penetrate the hook.


Made of steel, a hook barb (a second hook) that sits below the sharp point of a fish hook holds the bass on the hook after penetration. The barb can be larger or smaller, and it will keep the fish on the line. The bigger the barb, the better, but finding a good hook set can be difficult if the barb is too big.

Anglers who catch and release bass will sometimes use a plier to flatten the barb or file it down.


The shank is the longest part of the hook, and its length can vary by different fish hooks. Shanks can be straight or curved — longer shanks can easily bend, and they’re suitable for accommodating larger bait types. Shanks come in 3 different lengths:

  • Short. Short shanks reduce the fish hook size and weight. Fly fishers typically use short shanks for their small body flies.
  • Regular. Regular shanks are suitable for many bass fishing applications. Standard shanks are also used in other varieties of fishing applications.
  • Long. Long shanks are excellent for live bait and bigger or plastic baits and spinnerbaits. Anglers tend to use long shanks with hard baits when facing suspicious bass or fishing in thick vegetation.


The eye is the part that the fishing line goes through, so it is essential because it can act as the source of increased weight and strength tolerance for the fish hook. The ring eye (or ball eye) is the most common hook eye, but you will find other varieties as well, like brazed eyes and eyeless fish hooks. There are different designs, such as:

  • Turned up. Bent away from the hook point, which is essential with smaller hooks
  • Straight. Hook point and hook shank moving in the same direction, perfect for bass fishing. 
  • Downturned. Bent toward the hook point, provides better hook-sets due to its better angle, resulting in good penetration.


The gap is the area from the hook’s sharp point to the shank. The right gap is essential to grab and hold a fish successfully. Anglers need a wider gap to catch and hold larger bait.

The gap has to be the right size, not too wide to catch the bass, and by using the right size, anglers can get an excellent hook set. Be careful when buying from different manufacturers because fish hook measurements aren’t always the same. Some anglers will bend the hook’s gap to improve hook-ups.


The throat is where the hook starts to bend after the shank. Your hook’s angle depends on how you bend it at the throat. The throat’s distance must be deep enough for the flesh and cartilage to pass through the barb.


The bend comes after the throat, and it is the curved part of the fish hook. Different fish hook styles may change in their bend, which can be done by changing the throat or the gap. A round bent will have a better grip in the fish’s mouth, but the fish type may vary.

Bass Fishing Hook Styles

There are different fishing hook styles for bass fishing, such as:

  • Baitholder
  • Aberdeen
  • Circle
  • Treble
  • Kahle
  • Octopus
  • Siwash
  • Worm

Bass Fishing Lines

There are 3 types of fishing lines for bass fishing: fluorocarbon, monofilament, and braid. Many bass anglers prefer braid for the line’s durability, tangle resistance, and visibility. Fluorocarbon is good, too, as it tends to sink quicker.

The strength of a fishing line is described as a “test.” For bass fishing, a 6-pound test and 10-pound test is ideal. For largemouth bass, go for anything close to 10. It will be perfect to use a bigger hook with a heavier-test fishing line.

Final Thoughts

You can use different hook types to fish bass, large or smallmouth. The size of the bass may determine your bait size, line strength, and hook size. While it’s not always easy to choose the best hook size due to circumstances (like the conditions you’re fishing), you should always ensure that everything is proportionate to each other.


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