What are Circle Hooks and How to Use Them?

Updated on December 8, 2022 by
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If you’re always worried about killing a fish with your sharp hooks as soon as you take it out, a circle hook is what you should get!

Circle fishing hooks have gained much popularity as they are shown to increase the survival of a released fish. For this reason, they have become the first priority of anglers for recreational activities.

According to experts, the biggest factor that affects the survival of anglers’ released fish is the part of the fish body where it was hooked. Generally, when the fish is hooked deep down the throat, its chances of survival become much less. But by using a circle hook, the chances of survival get increased as it is hooked in the corner of the mouth.

In this article, we have compiled a useful circle fishing hook buying guide along with the benefits of using it.

What Is A Circle Fishing Hook?

As the name suggests, a circle fishing hook is circular or oval in shape. It is manufactured by turning the point perpendicular to the shank to form a circular shape. According to studies, circular hooks hook a bigger portion of fish as compared to the conventional “J” shaped hooks.

Why Use A Circle Fishing Hook?

Here are the most common reasons to use circle fishing hooks :

It Sets The Hook On Its Own

When you’re using a circle hook, make sure you don’t tug the hook once you get a bite. Otherwise, you will end up pulling the hook abruptly from the mouth of the fish. Instead, you should let the pressure build slowly after reeling down. This pressure automatically sets the hook as it gets pulled from the mouth of the fish.

The ability of a circle hook to set itself makes it suitable for the less skilled and experienced anglers. So, if you’re a beginner or just started to learn fishing, a circle hook will offer great help.

It Catches The Fish In The Corner Of Its Mouth

The second biggest reason to use a circle fishing hook is it catches the fish by the corner of its mouth. When the hook is set in the corner of the fish’s mouth, the line is kept away from the sharp teeth. This allows you to land the fish quickly before it chews your leader. Also, because the mono or fluorocarbon leader stays away from the mouth of your catch, the hook enables you to use a lightweight leader which will ultimately result in more bites.

It Reduces The Chances Hooking The Fish In Its Gut

 By far the biggest and the most popular reason for using a circle hook is, that it prevents a fish from swallowing the hook. All thanks to the circular shape. This shape creates a gap between the point and the hook shank as the point of the hook is turned inward. This design reduces the possibility of grabbing the fish from its gut because the shank exits in its mouth. With the shank in the mouth, the hook adjusts itself and sets in the corner of the mouth of your target.

So, these were the most common reasons for using circle fishing hooks. But with tons of varieties and different brands, it can be a bit tricky to purchase the right circle hook. To help you make an informed decision, here is a complete circle fishing hook buying guide.

Circle Fishing Hooks Buying Guide

Don’t just pick any circle hook you come across randomly. Instead, look for its features and the factors that make it the best fishing hook. If you have no idea what features to look for, here is a simple list for you :


The very first thing to look at while purchasing a circular fishing hook is its size. Generally, the bigger hooks don’t penetrate the fish’s mouth properly and get away from the path. Similar is the case with extremely smaller hooks.

So, always look for a hook of medium size. It should be able to penetrate the mouth of a majority of big and small fishes.


Sharpness is again a crucial factor to consider when selecting the best circle hook. If your hook is not sharp, your target will simply devour the bait and run away. So, if you don’t want this to happen, look for a high-quality and sharp hook. If you can, always prefer surgically sharpened circle hooks as they are much better.

We recommend getting a chemically sharpened hook.

Type of Fish You’re Targeting

Generally, a majority of people ignore this factor while purchasing a fishing hook which later results in problems at the time of catching bigger or smaller fish species. For this reason, it’s an important factor to consider. Always keep the type of fish you’re going to target while determining the size and type of the fishing hook. Moreover, pay attention to the type of water where you’re going for fishing because a hook that works fine in freshwater may not work in saltwater.

Fishing Location

As we already discussed above, different kinds of fish live in different types of water. So, the choice of hook depends on the fishing location to a great extent. To repeat once again, the same hook may not work both in saltwater and freshwater.

The reason behind this is, that the saltwater tends to corrode the hooks by forming a tough layer of rust which ultimately degrades its quality. To prevent this from happening, look for hooks that have a corrosion-resistant layer on them.

However, if you’re only willing to perform in freshwater, the hooks without anti-rust protection will work fine. But again, invest in the one that is safe from corrosion because you never know when you might shift to a new fishing location.


Last but not the least, the material from which the hook is constructed plays a very important role in deciding the strength and durability of the hook. The better the material quality, the better will be its performance. So, look for a hook that is made from high-quality material. Don’t go for cheap materials just to save a few bucks. Also, if it is possible, go for non-toxic and environment-friendly materials.

There you have it! Keep in mind the following factors and you’ll surely be able to select the right circle hook for yourself.

Happy fishing!

Photo of author

Russ Egan

Russ is an avid fisherman. He has fished all over the world for more than two decades, primarily for saltwater game fish but also for local trophy fish. Russ writes reviews for all of his fishing gear to help others achieve their own fishing goals. There is nothing I prefer than heading down to my local tackle store, buying the latest fishing reel, and taking it to the water to test. My favorite reel is a Shimano Curado Baitcaster. My dream is to catch a Black Marlin.

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