There are several manufacturers of good hooks, and many styles that can be incorporated into making jigs and other lures. As with most of the other basic components we buy, we must do our own shopping and should make a comparison list of where our favorite hooks are available...and at what prices. Selective shopping can save money. Pricing can vary substantially on the same quantities purchased...but some suppliers offer special larger quantity discount packages. Buying hooks is usually easy from the standpoint of standard sizing...unlike buying split rings, spinner blades and some other lure making components which can vary in size from one supplier to another. Eagle Claw, Mustad, Gamakatsu, Matsuo, VMC, Owner and other brands are uniform in their sizing and you get exactly what you order...regardless of supplier. Here are links to the web pages for HOOKS from several of the main suppliers: CABELAS HOOKS JANNS HOOKS BASS PROSHOP HOOKS BARLOWS HOOKS STAMINA HOOKS It would be impossible to cover all of the different styles and applications of hooks available through all sources. This brief treatment will merely outline some of the hooks most commonly used in basic jig and lure making. Before listing and picturing individual hooks, let's talk about hooks finishes. The color and type of wire used in your hooks can affect the cost, appearance , strength and longevity of your lures. In other words, these things can make a difference in how much you have invested in each lure, how attractive the lures are to fish, how well they hold up to a long battle with a big fish and how long they will remain untarnished either in your tackle box or inside a released (lost) fish. BRONZE: Usually the least expensive hooks. May also be the weakest, since they are not forged and strengthened. However, you can sometimes find 2X or 3X strong. These are good hooks to use for catch and release fishing, since they will break down inside a fish more quickly if clipped off. GOLD: An anodized finish over a steel hook. Adds metallic flash to jigs or other lures. Available in many differernt hooks, from light wire to extra strong. Generally more expensive than plain bronze finishes, but not as costly as red hooks in the same models. SILVER: Some silver finishes are merely "tinned". Others are stainless steel. They are most often used for salt water applications, but can help create "fishy-looking" lures for imitating shad or other silvery baitfish. Since these hooks are meant to hold up in corrosive salt water, they are slow to break down when left inside fish. Stainless steel hooks are usually strong, but some models with tinned finishes bend easily. RED: Since many predatory species respond to a touch of red (blood) on lures, using red hooks can sometimes add attractiveness to your creations. Several leading hook manufacturers now offer red hook models in a variety of styles. These are usually more costly than most other finishes in the same styles and sizes. BLACK: There are some applications where you may want to go "stealth mode", rather than having bright shiny hooks. The black nickle hooks available through some manufacturers are an option. They are among the more costly finishes. JIG HOOKS: Let's talk about some jig hook basics. Most models are listed as "Aberdeen". Some have big round bends and still others are available in a unique "sickle" bend. Each has it's advantages and disadvantages. You will have to try some of each to determine which works best for the jigs you make, the species you target and the type of fishing you prefer. To begin with, simply pour some jigs on the old workhorse Eagle Claw and Mustad jig hooks...in both gold and brnnze finishes. If you want stronger hooks, and do not mind paying a premium for quality, you can graduate to Gamakatsu, Owner or other higher quality hooks. I will make special mention of the Matsuo sickle hooks. I have been using them for a majority of my jigs and lures for a couple of years now. They are about the sharpest hooks "out of the box" that I have found. I lose blood every time I mess with them. They are also a light wire, for easier hook penetration. But, because of the unique bend of the hooks, they will hold surprisingly large fish. You just have to be careful when removing the hook. Do not twist them with pliers or you will ruin the hooks. They have a small barb, so they can usually be more easily removed with a simple backward pull. I use red Matsuo jig hooks for bright colors...hot red, hot orange, chartreuse, fire tiger, etc. I use the gold Matsuos for whites, metallic glitters, blacks, purples, etc.
Eagle Claw #570 Bronze
Eagle Claw #575 Gold Finish
Mustad 32746R Red Finish
Mustad 32746BLN Black Nickle Finish
Eagle Claw #575 Heavy Tin Plated
Eagle Claw #410 60 Degree Bend
Matsuo #9044 Gold Finish Sickle Hook
Matsuo #9064 Red Finish Sickle Hook TREBLES: We use treble hooks on hardbaits, spoons and spinners. Of course, there is always the option of using ring eye models of single hooks, but unless there are a lot of snags in the waters you fish, a treble hook will usually get more hookups...especially on short striking or finicky fish. As with most other hooks, trebles are available in a range of styles and finishes. Fine wire bronze hooks are the least costly and least sturdy. If you fish for big tough fish, look for heavier hooks in different finishes. There are an increasing number of anglers who are adding red trebles to their lures...at least for the tail hooks.
Mustad 32647 Bronze
Eagle Claw #575 Nickle 2X Strong
Sohumi #203R Red Finish
Matsuo Red Sickle Treble
VMC #9651 Short Shank Treble RING-EYE HOOKS: Straight shank "ring-eye" hooks are sometimes preferable to using treble hooks on spinners or other lures. A single hook is less prone to snagging and does a better job of holding fish after the hookset. They also cause less potential damage to fish if you plan to release them. Single hooks also allow you to decorate the hooks with plastics or real bait more easily. In fact, many spinner fans like to make special flies on ring eye hooks to add even more attraction to their spinner creations. Ring-eye hooks DO have a smaller eye than most trebles. That means that you have to either add them directly to your wire, while building spinners, or else use smaller and finer wire split rings for attaching them to your lures. Single hooks are also available in bronze, nickle or red finishes. This increases the options for having a custom look to your single hook lures.
Eagle Claw #90SS Stainless
Eagle Claw #84...Red or Bronze
Eagle Claw #254 Saltwater Hook
#455 Spinner Bait Hooks NOTE: Inclusion of pictures above does not specifically endorse or recommend any particular brand or style. These pictures are intended solely as illustrations of the types of hooks available. Individual lure makers will have to make their own decisions on type, quality and budgeting.