Treble Hook Size Chart: Dimensions and Types Explained

Find out how to choose the right size treble hooks for your lures with this treble hook size chart with dimensions and number for common trebles

Treble hooks are fundamental part of many lures.

Trebles give you a greater chance of hooking up when a fish strikes your lure.

But it is important to know that you have the right treble hook size and type on your lures to maximize their effectiveness.

And sometimes it is best to change out the treble hooks on your lure to single hooks.

In this article we bring together all the key facts about fishing with treble hooks and their effect on anglers and fish.

Treble Hooks

To summarize briefly, a treble hook is a hook comprised of three prongs each with a point arranged around a single shank with an eye at the end.

Treble Hook Terminology

Shank

The shank of the hook is the straight wire section between the eye and the bend of the hook. With a treble hook, the shank splits into three separate sections before the bend to create the three-pronged design of this type of hook.

Eye

The eye is the circle of at the other end of the shank. Usually a split ring is used to join the eye on the hook to the eye on the lure when fitting treble hooks to a lure.

Bend

The bend is the curved section of wire that joins the shank to the point of the hook. With a treble, there are three of these bends.

Gap

The gap is the distance between the hook shank and the point of the hook. The gap varies between different types of hooks with wide gap models having a more pronounced gap than standard hooks. The same applies for treble hooks.

Point

The point is the finely sharpened end of the hook – the bit that penetrates the fish’s mouth when you hook up. Obviously with a treble hook you have three points, and just one with a single hook. There are three main types of hook point: needle point (the most common), knife edge (common for big game hooks) and curved or beak hooks often used in bait fishing.

It is important when fishing to sharpened the point of your hooks from time to time as they do get blunt.

Barb

The barb is the sharp raised prong near the hook point facing the other way. The purpose of the barb is to ensure the hook stays embedded even when the fish is shaking the lure. To an extent, good technique in fighting fish (mostly keeping the line tight at all times) avoids the need for barbs and many anglers choose to fish barbless hooks these days to minimise damage to the fish.

There are also barbless treble hooks.

Styles of Treble Hooks

Like single hooks, treble hooks come in a variety of styles, which we discuss below.

Standard Shank Treble Fishing hook

Standard Treble Hook
Standard Treble Hook

This is the basic kind of treble hook with the shank sized in proportion to the bend and gap of the hook.

Short Shank Treble Fishing Hook

Short Shank Treble Hook
Short Shank Treble Hook

Short shank trebles have a reduced shank length which brings the hook points back closer to the body of the lure. The result is a set up that is less prone to snagging in weedy areas. They are also useful in small lures where the anchor points for the hook and the snap swivel/eyelet are all close together as you can ensure that the hooks don’t catch on each other.

Extra-Wide Gap Treble Hook

Wide Gap Treble Hook
Wide Gap Treble Hook

These trebles have extra width in the bend bringing the book points further out from the shank. The hook points tend to be angle back towards the shank slightly. These helps ensure more hook ups and helps prevent the fish from throwing the hook.

Extra wide gap treble hooks are more prone to snagging than other types so they aren’t the best choice for weedy or snaggy areas.

Heavy Wire Treble Fishing Hook

Heavy Treble Hook
Heavy Treble Hook

Heavy wire trebles use a gauge of wire that is typical twice as thick and strong as the wire used in a standard guage treble hook. These are useful for fish with strong crushing jaws or sharp teeth as it is harder for the fish to bend the hook.

Keep in mind that using heavy wire treble hooks adds significant weight to your lure so it will sink further down in the water column.

Feathered / Bladed Treble Fishing Hooks

Feathered Treble Hook
Feathered Treble Hook

These are speciality treble hooks that are dressed up with either a feather or similar material tied in below the hook eye or a single reflective blade attached to the shank. 

The purpose of the feathers is to hide the hook point while providing a bit more sparkle or flash to attract a fish. Similarly, the blade is designed to attract fish from further afield and convince fish eyeing the lure to strike.

How Treble Hook Sizes are Measured

See the diagram below for how to measure the dimensions of a treble hook to help you choose an appropriate treble hook size for your lure. These dimensions for each common size treble are tabulated in the treble hook size chart below.

Treble Hook Dimensions Graphic
Treble Hook Dimensions Graphic

Treble Hook Size Chart

Treble Hook SizeLength inchesGap Width inchesGap Height inches
14.45 (11.4mm).15 (3.8mm).16 (4mm)
12.5 (12.7mm).15 (3.8mm).2 (5.1mm)
10.55 (14mm).2 (5.1mm).24 (6.1mm)
8.59 (15mm).2 (5.1mm).28 (7.1mm)
6.71 (18mm).32 (8.1mm).35 (8.9mm)
4.87 (22.1mm).35 (8.9mm).39 (9.9mm)
2.95 (24.1mm).43 (10.9mm).51 (13mm)
11.2 (30.5mm).45 (11.4mm).55 (14mm)
1/01.25 (31.8mm)5 (12.7mm).6 (15.2mm)

Treble Hook Size Chart: By Species

SpeciesHook SizeRecommendation
Bluegill#14Mustad Treble (buy from Bass Pro)
Crappie#14 to #12Mustad Treble (buy from Bass Pro)
Perch#12 to #10Mustad Treble (buy from Bass Pro)
Trout#12 to #8Mustad Treble (buy from Bass Pro)
Smallmouth Bass#10 to #6Gamakatsu Wide Gap Treble (buy from Bass Pro)
Largemouth Bass#4 to 1/0
Gamakatsu Wide Gap Treble (buy from Bass Pro)
Walleye#10 to #6
Gamakatsu Wide Gap Treble (buy from Bass Pro)
Catfish#6 to #1Gamakatsu SP XH (buy from Bass Pro)
Pike#8 to #1Gamakatsu SP XH (buy from Bass Pro)
Salmon#8 to #4
Gamakatsu Wide Gap Treble (buy from Bass Pro)
Steelhead#8 to #4
Gamakatsu Wide Gap Treble (buy from Bass Pro)
Musky#6 to #2Gamakatsu SP XH (buy from Bass Pro)

Treble Hook Sizes Explained: Aught system

Just a quick note on the treble hook size chart above on the “aught” system. That’s where you see the sizing as go from 1 to 1/0.

For numbers with no zero on the end the higher the number the smaller the hook. When you get to size #1, the next size up is 1/0, then 2/0 and 3/0 and so on.

It’s a bit confusing because the system reverses in the “aughts” in that the higher the number the larger the hook.

Treble Hook Sizes: Life Size Chart

See below for an image that shows treble hook sizes against a dime to give you and idea of how big each size is in real life.

Choosing the Right Size Treble Hooks

Often when we are choosing a treble hook we are replacing the treble hooks on a lure. They might have worn out or rusted through or one or more points might have been damaged by a fish.

The simplest way to choose a treble hook size is to go with the lure makers recommendation. They may suggest a treble hook size range for the lure – say #8 to #10. 

It is generally advised to stick within this range as the lure manufacturer has tested it with trebles of this size and verified that it will swim correctly and the treble hooks won’t affect the lure’s action.

If there is no recommended size for the lure, or you can’t find any info on it, then measure the existing trebles and use the treble hook size chart above to work out what size they are. Then replace them with trebles of equivalent size.

If there is no info guiding you (say you want to put trebles on a lure that’s fitted with a standard single hook) then take a lure of similar size and check out what size treble hooks it has and use that as a starting point. Again, if you can’t tell what size trebles are on the comparable lure, then measure them and use the treble hook size chart here to find out what size they are.

Choosing Shape & Style

So while we don’t recommend going outside the treble hook size range recommended for any given lure, you should feel free to change what type of treble you are using to give yourself the best chance of hooking and landing a fish and keeping your lure from getting snagged.

Weedy and Snaggy Areas – short shanked treble hooks

Use these when you want to avoid the trebles getting tangled up in weed or snags. The hook points are tucked in closer to the lure and that makes these a great type of treble hook to use in heavy cover or structure.

Short shanked treble hooks are also great to use on smaller lures or lures where the anchor points for the trebles is quite close together. In this situation, standard shank treble hooks can get tangled up with each other even when using smaller treble hook sizes.

Fish With Strong Jaws and Teeth – heavy treble hooks

Mackerel, barracuda and other toothy fish – as well as big reef dwelling fish with tough grinding plates in their jaws –  are really hard on treble hooks. To avoid having to replace hooks, and potentially lose fish during the fight, it is advisable to use heavy treble hooks when fishing for these species. Keep in mind that these hooks weigh more – something to keep in mind if fishing surface poppers or other lures that you want to float.

Fish that are Finicky – extra wide gap treble hooks

Extra wide gap treble hooks are great for finicky fish that tend to peck at a lure and can be hard to hook even when using a fast action rod set up with non stretch braid and a fluoro leader. The wide gap makes for a hook that is more likely to catch the inside of the mouth as the fish bites the lure.

When Fishing is Slow – feathered or blade treble hooks

These speciality trebles come into their own when fish are being shy. They might follow a lure but not strike. Sometimes just adding a bit more “bling” to your lure with a feathered or bladed treble hook is enough to get the eat. 

I wouldn’t advise changing the treble hooks, but rather you might have two versions of the same lure one with treble hooks without a blade or feather and one with either feathered or bladed hooks. It’s quicker to change the lure than replace the trebles on the water.

Treble Hook Sizes: FAQs

Are treble hooks better than single?

This very much depends on the situation

Treble hooks are often used in fishing when a higher hook-up ratio is desired, or when fish are biting aggressively and are more likely to strike at the bait or lure. Treble hooks have three points, which can increase the chances of hooking a fish when it bites. They are also effective at holding onto fish that are fighting hard, which can help prevent them from getting away.

Single hooks, on the other hand, are often used when a more natural presentation is desired, or when fishing in areas with a lot of vegetation or other obstacles that can snag a treble hook. Single hooks have a single point, which can provide a more subtle and natural presentation that is less likely to spook fish. They are also less likely to get snagged on underwater obstacles, making them a good choice for fishing in areas with a lot of vegetation or structure.

Do treble hooks hurt fish?

Treble hooks have more potential to cause damage to fish than single hooks. When a fish is jumping with a big lure with trebles in its mouth, then it can result in lacerations to the face and mouth that are a consideration when you are fishing catch and release. 

For this reason, some anglers like to swap out trebles for single hooks in some situations. Most of the time, though, it will make for a lower hook up ratio,

What size treble hook should I use for trout?

As per the chart above, use smaller treble hooks for trout in keeping with the smaller lures. I like to use #14 or #12 hooks for smaller minnows and crankbaits and maybe go up to a #12 or #10 for inline spinners and rooster tails.

What size treble hook should I use for bass?

The size of treble hook you should use for largemouth bass can depend on a variety of factors, including the size of the bait or lure you are using, the size of the fish you are targeting, and the fishing conditions. However, as a general rule of thumb, treble hooks in the range of size 4 to 1/0 are commonly used for largemouth bass fishing.

Size 4 treble hooks are typically used for smaller baits or lures, while size 1/0 hooks are used for larger baits or lures. It is important to choose a hook size that is appropriate for the size of the bait or lure you are using, as well as the size of the fish you are targeting. Using a hook that is too small may result in missed hook sets, while using a hook that is too large may make it more difficult for the fish to bite and can also cause unnecessary harm to the fish.

What size treble hook should I use for catfish?

Targeting catfish involves relatively large lures and strong fish. For this reason, treble hook sizes in the #6 to #1 size is recommended. These are small enough to allow the lure to run correctly but big enough to handle these strong fish.

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Rick Wallace is a passionate angler and fly fisher whose work has appeared in fishing publications including FlyLife. He's appeared in fishing movies, founded a successful fishing site and spends every spare moment on the water. He's into kayak fishing, ultralight lure fishing and pretty much any other kind of fishing out there.
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