The Best Hooks for Trout Fishing: 6 Awesome Hooks to Cover All Your Needs

Written by: John Baltes
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Hook selection is always important, but for trout, it’s nothing short of critical.

And whether you fish for steelhead off the west coast or cast into bubbling streams in search of brook trout in Colorado, the wrong hook is going to ruin your morning.

As we’ve discussed before, the right hook is going to be a trout-specific style in a size that matches the bait or lure you’re offering and the species you’re chasing.

And the good news is that you have some great options to choose from, depending on exactly what you need.

Below, we’ll review some of the best trout hooks available, giving you the details you need to make the right choice for your situation:

Related:

Best Hooks for Trout Reviewed

Owner Super Needle Treble - Best Treble Hook for Trout

Owner American 5636-011 Stinger-36 Treble Hook, Size 10, Needle Point, Round, Multi, 10 (8 per Pack)

Amazon 

Sizes: #18, #16, #14, #12, #10, #8, #6, #4, #2, #1, 1/0, 2/0, and 3/0

Treble-hooked lures like in-line spinners, crankbaits, and jerkbaits can be exceptionally effective on trout. And whether you’re casting a ⅛-ounce Mepps to brown trout or working a Strike King KVD Jerkbait over steelhead, you’ll eventually need to swap out those tired trebles for sharp new ones.

Owner’s Super Needle Treble is just what you need, and the range of sizes allows you to match the factory size, no sweat.

From tiny #18s all the way up to massie 3/0s, Owner’s got you covered.

These trebles are sharp, and they grip trout like they’re dipped in superglue.

When your original trebles get dull, bent, or just plain beat up, switch them out for these Owners and never look back!

Pros:

  • Excellent quality
  • Offered in a wide range of sizes
  • Very sharp!
  • Awesome grip

Cons:

  • ???

Owner Mosquito Light Wire - Best Streamer Hook for Steelhead and Rainbow Trout

Owner Mosquito Hook (Size 2, 51 Per Pack)

Amazon 

Sizes: #10, #8, ,#6, #4, #2, 1/0, and 2/0

Owner’s Mosquito Light Wire Super Needle Point Hooks are an excellent choice for all five species of American trout. 

These hooks offer a short shank, a wide gap, and a very sharp point. They penetrate easily, and the wide gap ensures a tight lockup. And when sized properly for your bait and species, they’re just outstanding.

I prefer the #10 for most of my trout fishing, especially in clear, slow-moving water. It’s small enough to go unnoticed if I do my part, but stout enough to fight a big rainbow when the time comes.

I’ll size up to a #8 in faster currents or water that’s not glass clear.

And for throwing larger baits to rainbow and steelhead, you’ve got larger sizes like #2 and 1/0.

Streamers tied on an Owner Mosquito Light Wire will be more buoyant than when tied to heavier-gauge hooks, improving the presentation of your hard work. That makes this light-wire hook perhaps the very best option for streamer tying, and it’s hard to imagine a better hook for this purpose.

Guides love these hooks for good reason, and they’re popular with the likes of Ed McCoy and Steve Pels.

Pros:

  • Excellent quality
  • Offered in a wide range of sizes
  • Very sharp!
  • Short shank
  • Wide gap
  • Light wire
  • Awesome grip

Cons:

  • ???

Gamakatsu’s Trout Stinger - Best Stinger Hook for Trout

Bass Pro

Sizes: #14, #12, #10, and #8

When you’re presenting bait like an egg sack or soft plastics like tubes, grubs, or worms to trout, you want a wide gap, a sharp hook, and a short shank.

Gamakatsu’s Trout Stinger hooks are purposely designed to provide enviable penetration, remarkable grip, and the stealth you need to fool wary trout into a bite.

But as its name suggests, this hook is absolutely perfect for stinger flies. It won’t burden the fly with excess and unneeded weight, but it will hook trout like nobody’s business!

Gamakatsu doesn’t offer these hooks in larger sizes, but there’s no reason to shy away from using these hooks with larger fish. In fact, like the Owner Mosquitos, they’re strong despite being manufactured from light-gauge wire.

I prefer the Owners for tying streamers, but for stingers, these Gamakatsus are nothing short of deadly.

Pros:

  • Excellent quality
  • Very sharp!
  • Short shank
  • Wide gap
  • Light wire
  • Awesome grip

Cons:

  • Not available in larger sizes

Gamakatsu Finesse Wide Gap - Best Live Bait Hook for Rainbow and Steelhead

Gamakatsu Finesse Wide Gap Hook-Pack Of 25 (Black, 2/0)

Amazon 

Sizes: #4, #2, #1, 1/0, 2/0, 3/0, 4/0, and 5/0

While you’ll probably never use the larger sizes offered by Gamakatsu for trout, their Finesse Wide Gap is a very good hook for presenting live bait or streamers to large fish like rainbows and steelhead.

These hooks offer the short shank, sharp point, and wide gap you’re looking for, and they’re great for presenting big minnows to hungry trout!

The gauge of these Finesse Wide Gap hooks is a bit thicker than the Mosquito Light Wires or Trout Stingers, and these alternatives are probably the better choice for fly tying. 

That said, if you’ve had hard fights straighten a hook, these Gamakatsus might be your best bet.

Pros:

  • Excellent quality
  • Very sharp!
  • Short shank
  • Wide gap
  • Medium wire
  • Awesome grip

Cons:

  • Not available in smaller sizes
  • Heavier than the Owner Mosquito Light Wire and Gamakatsu Trout Stinger

Raven’s Wide Gap Specimen Hooks

Sizes: #14, #12, #10, #8, #6, #4, and #2

Raven’s Wide Gape Specimen hooks are just about perfect for presenting eggs, egg sacks, skein, and a variety of Gulp trout baits, as well as being pretty darn good with minnows and nightcrawlers, too.

Made from a stout, heavy-gauge wire, they’re not my first choice for fly tying, but for presenting live or artificial bait, they’re top flight. Where these specimen hooks really shine is that in small sizes, they still offer enough strength to fight big fish.

If I’m offering eggs, these are a great choice, as the wide gap and short shank are just perfect for this application, while the heavy gauge gives me confidence when the battle begins.

Pros:

  • Excellent quality
  • Very sharp!
  • Short shank
  • Wide gap
  • Heavy wire, even in small sizes
  • Awesome grip

Cons:

  • Not great fly hook as they’re too heavy
  • Not as stealthy as the Owner SSW

Owner SSW Super Needle Point - Best Egg or Bead Hook for Trout

Owner American SSW All Purpose Hook with Super Needle Point, Size 1 5315-101,Multi,1 (46 Per Pack), Black

Amazon 

Sizes: #8, #6, #4, #2, #1, 1/0, 2/0, 3/0, 4/0, 5/0, 6/0, and 7/0

Professional guides can’t afford to have their clients come home skunked by a day on the water, and when they recommend eggs, egg sacks, or beads, the right hook can make all the difference.

A great egg hook is made from slender wire while retaining its strength, and the Owner delivers on both fronts. It penetrates easily while disappearing behind your bait or bead, and it really does deliver more fish than its competitors.

Owner’s SSW Super Needle Point just might be the perfect egg hook. Pros love them, recommending a #4 with 10mm beads or a #6 with 6mm to 8mm beads. And for larger beads or egg sacks, there are even bigger hooks available.

Given their “up eye” bend, you’ll want to secure these hooks with a Snell Knot.

Pros:

  • Excellent quality
  • Very sharp!
  • Short shank
  • Wide gap
  • Light wire
  • Awesome grip

Cons:

  • ???

Buying Guide: What to Look For in a Trout Hook

Size

While it’s true that most anglers use a single hook sized between #8 and #14, the right size depends on actors like the bait or fly your throwing as well as the current and conditions.

Check out our top recommendations for the best flies for trout!

The longer a trout has to examine your hook, the more likely it is that they’ll detect that something is off and give it a pass. It’s essential, then, that you use the smallest hook you can, trading absolute strength and size for subtlety and deception.

Don’t forget that small hooks can catch big fish, and only size up when really necessary.

Style

Great trout hooks share a few things in common.

They’ll have a short shank that allows them to be easily concealed by bait or tied such that the gap, bend, and point are concealed by the fly when viewed from below.

They’ll also sport a wide gap, creating as much distance as possible between the shank and the point. That allows for more space for bait, whether lie or artificial, and it improves the hook’s ability to grip as it’s less likely to tear through.

Finally, good trout hooks need needle points to penetrate easily.

Gauge

Hook gauges can make a lot of difference in how they perform.

Light wire hooks injure the lie bait less, keeping them alive and kicking longer. They also encumber a fly much less than heavier hooks do, keeping streamers, stingers, and other wet fly styles off the bottom and up into the water column where they can be seen and hit.

But light wire hooks are less sturdy than thicker gauges, and they can bend out under a heavy load.

Heavy wire hooks cause more internal injury to lie bait, generally shortening their life span on your hook. They can drag a fly to the bottom, too, as they just weigh more than light wire hooks.

But they are much stronger than light wire hooks, and it’s very hard to straighten them out in a fight.

Most trout anglers prefer light wire hooks, but there are fans of heavy-gauge options like the Raven Specimen hook, too.

Final Thoughts

There’s no one perfect hook for trout fishing, and the best choice for you depends on what bait you're offering, what fly you’re casting, the water clarity, the speed of the current, which species you’re chasing, and other similar concerns.

Each of the hooks on our shortlist is a winner, and if you select the sizes and styles that best suit your needs, you’ll be delighted with their performance.

As always, we’re here to answer any questions you might have, so please leave a comment below.

We look forward to hearing from you!

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