Hooks, Lines and Sinkers

April 19, 2015 by  
Filed under Fishing for Beginners

Hooks and sinkers are part of a host of items that are described as terminal tackle. Despite their simple function, their design is often complex and there are innumerable variations available, each designed for a particular purpose. Work our your fishing preferences, then find the particular combinations to suit your needs. The golden rule is to keep it simple.


Hooks used for fishing range from size 14 to size 1 in the smaller sizes, the larger number designating the smaller hook. Larger hooks range upwards from size 1/10 to 20/0. Specialised hooks, some much smaller than size 14, are used for tying very small flies.

Tfishing hookshe leading hook manufacturer, Musatd of Norway, currently has capacity to produce some 25,000 different hook patterns, so we’re not going to look at them all here!

The introduction of chemically sharpened hooks and hardened-steel has meant that having to sharpen hooks yourself is no longer required.

Small, light-gauge “circle” hooks have also been introduced, which benefit anglers because of their superior holding capacity over “J” pattern hoods. However, care needs to be taken when baiting circles so that the gap between point and shank is not obscured.


Nylon mono-filament fishing line has dominated the fishing line market for more than fifty years in all sizes and can usually be jointed or triggered, using just a few basic knots.

The chief advantage of nylon mono-filament is its elasticity. This becomes a problem when there is a lot of line out, or when fishing on the bottom in very deep water.

Woven dacron lines with minimal stretch are available but are more expensive than mono-filament.

Spiderwire EZ Mono line

Spiderwire EZ Mono line

Polyethylene gelspun fishing lines are much stronger than other fishing lines of comparable diameter. This couple with their low stretch and high sensitivity makes them ideal for bottom fishing in deep water.

Specialised lines, like those used for fly fishing, and dedicated leader materials, are separate subjects and require a more detailed deception than the space here allows.


Sinkers come in a wide range of weights and designs. Some have a ring or eye at one end so that they can be tied to the end of the line. These are called fixed sinkers. Others have a hole through the centre which the line is threaded so they slide along the line. These are called running sinkers.

Split shot are small lead spheres which are split half way through so that they may be clamped onto the line, often to provide additional weight to ballast a float, or to sink a buoyant bait.

Choosing the correct type and weight of sinker is a matter of judgement which comes with experience, but the use of the sinker which is either to heavy or too light, is soon indicated by difficulty in casting or holding bottom.

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