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Circle hooks

Also known as recurve or closed gape hooks, a circle hook is a type of fishing hook where the point is turned back towards the shank to form a circular shape.

J hooks

Also known as suicide, octopus or open gape hook, a J hook is a type of hook where the point remains parallel or close to parallel to the shank, creating a ‘J’ shape.

Offset hooks

An offset hook is when the hook point is turned out slightly from the eye and shank of the hook. This increases the hook up rate but also the chance of gut hooking a fish. This is due to the hook point facing away from the shank of the hook and the direction of pull, so the chances of the hook point catching on the way out increases.

Non-offset hooks

Also called an inline hook, the point of a non-offset hook lines up with the eye and shank. Because of this, non-offset hooks decrease the chance of gut hooking a fish as its less likely to get caught on anything when coming back out of the fish’s mouth/throat

Everything you need to know about circle hooks:

  • The design of circle hooks tend to be friendlier on fish, as they usually hook in the corner of the mouth. This makes it easier to remove the hook, causing less damage to the fish which makes for a safer and healthier release. This is especially important for undersized fish. If a fish is gut hooked, they are highly likely to die when you try to remove the hook.
  • Circle hooks work well in shallow water but are ideal for fishing in deeper water (over 20m) when bites are harder to detect and striking the fish is less effective.
  • They are ideal for deep dropping for species like bluenose, hapuku and bass – because of the depth, you’re less likely to feel the bait being taken, and if using mono line, the stretch of the line also affects how well you’ll be able to strike the hook. Therefore, circle hooks which can self hook as the fish swims away with your bait, are recommended for deep drop or deep water fishing
  • When you’re surfcasting off beaches or rocks, you’ll be fishing with a couple of hundred meters of line out, and usually in surf or swell. This affects your ability to feel a bite or strike when a fish takes the bait. Like deep dropping, circle hooks can self hook as the fish swims away with the bait, usually resulting in a more successful hook up rate
  • They are ideal for kids in any depth of water, because the kids don’t need to strike to hook their fish
  • Circle hooks are also effective for all forms of bottom fishing when the fish are biting, or actively feeding, as they will try to snatch the bait and swim off with it, usually resulting in the fish self hooking

The key things to remember when fishing with circle hooks are:

  • Ensure the point and barb of the hook are visible once you’ve added your bait
  • When you feel a bite, don’t strike (yank the rod) as this will usually pull the hook back out of the fish’s mouth
  • Let the fish take the hook and bait. As the fish tries to swim away, the hook will usually roll into the corner of their mouth, essentially self-hooking them
  • Let the rod take the weight of the fish, then start winding in your fish

Everything you need to know about J hooks:

  • A J hook will potentially increase your hook up rate, however it’s easier for an aggressive fighting fish to “throw the hook”. This is due to its open shape, or gape. Closed gape hooks (circle hooks) generally hold fish better than open gape hooks.
  • J hooks generally need to ‘set’ meaning you have to strike (pull the rod up sharply) when you feel the bite, or if the fish swallow the bait
  • They can be more effective if you’re trying to hide a hook in a bigger bait
  • This style of hook is very effective when are not feeding hard, or when you’re fishing in shallow water (under 20m). Referred to as a “soft bite”, the fish will mouth the bait and not aggressively swim away. You can strike the bait and achieve a solid hook up, hopefully in the mouth or jaw
  • A J hook is always used for trolling lures as a fish caught on a trolled lure is every rarely gut hooked
  • They are ideal for fishing with any kind of bait, including live and dead baits, and can be used for most fishing applications. This includes shallow water straylining when fish are soft on the bite, or lure fishing as lures are usually moving when the fish strikes and you have a high chance of mouth hooking your fish

The key things to remember when fishing with J hooks are:

  • Ensure the point and barb of the hook are visible once you’ve added your bait
  • Fish with the reel in free spool, as this allows the fish to swim off with the bait
  • Strike (pull up the rod sharply) to set the hook
  • A slightly stiffer rod is useful when fishing with J hooks as the strike is more dramatic and more likely to set the hook
  • If a fish swallows a J hook, its mortality rate (or chance of a safe and healthy release) diminishes considerably, as the exposed point of the hook will often embed itself in the fish’s throat when being pulled out

Black Magic circle hooks:

An offset hook made from medium gauge high carbon steel wire, with a matte black finish, making it harder for fish to spot.

A non-offset hook made from medium gauge high carbon steel wire with a PTFE coating which reduces friction, improves penetration and extends the life of the hook and point.

A non-offset hook made from extra strong gauge wire, with a red on gold rust resistant coating, making them ideal for most deep water species.

Made from heavy duty, corrosion resistant stainless steel, making them ideal for targeting Marlin, Tuna and other large game species

An offset hook made from high carbon steel, with rust resistant black nickel or red over gold coatings.

Black Magic J hooks:

The original Black Magic hook, with an offset point, made from heavy gauge high carbon steel with a matte black coating which makes it harder for the fish to spot.

An offset hook with 4 micro cutting edges tapered into a super sharp point and a PTFE coating, delivering ultimate penetration, reduced friction and extended life.

An offset hook and eye, made from premium grade high carbon steel with a smaller barb and 3 micro cutting edges.

Made from extra strong wire with a black lacquer coating making it harder for the fish to spot, and allows the hook to rust away quickly if left in the fish’s mouth.

A long shank hook made from thick gauge wire with a black lacquer coating making it harder for the fish to spot, and allows the hook to rust away quickly if left in the fish’s mouth.

An offset hook and eye, made from high quality carbon steel with rust resistant black nickel or red over gold coatings.