How Often To Change Out Your Fishing Hooks (And QUIT Missing Fish!)


Here’s a great question I just got asked: how often should you change out your hooks?

This is such a good question because the hook is on the only thing that touches the fish, so if you don’t have a strong, sharp hook, you probably won’t catch anything.

On the other hand, hooks, especially jig heads and weighted swimbait hooks, aren’t exactly cheap, so you don’t want to be using new ones unless you have to.

So in this video, you’ll learn several questions to ask yourself to help you decide whether to keep your hook or tie a new one on.


How Often To Change Fishing Hooks [VIDEO]

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Whether or not you should keep your hook on comes down to what kind of shape it’s in.

Here are the questions I ask when inspecting a hook before I put a bait or lure on it:

Is the hook point dull?

After a lot of fish, the hook point will eventually wear down.

Also, it’s possible that the tip will even break off, especially if you get snagged on a rock, oyster bar, or piling.

Many people don’t notice that when it happens and it can lead to them missing fish.

So make sure that your hook point is sharp before using it.

Is the eye of the hook in good shape?

The eye is where your knot attaches to the hook, so definitely be sure it’s smooth.

If it’s rusty or corroded, it could be sharp which could tear your line and cause you to lose a fish.

This is especially important if you have a loose knot like a loop knot where the line has freedom to rub against the eye.

That’s happened to me before and it’s not a good feeling!

Has the hook been bent?

Sometimes if you hook into a big fish the hook will bend.

Yes, you can bend it back, but when you do this, it weakens the hook.

So once a hook is bent I toss it and tie on a new hook.

Is the hook rusty?

In addition to the eye being rusty, the shank or bend of the hook can be rusty, too.

This could leave you with a weak hook since you don’t know how deep the rust goes, so I recommend not using a rusty hook.

Bonus tip #1: Don’t use steel pliers

Try to avoid using steel pliers when removing hooks because the bare metal on metal can scrape away the coating on the hook which will leave it more prone to rusting.

Bonus tip #2: Clean your hooks after every trip with fresh water

To make your hooks last longer, clean them with fresh water and dry them.

Doing that can help you get more trips out of each hook and can help you save money from not having to buy new ones.


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Hooks are so important because they’re the only thing that actually has contact with the fish.

Inspect your hooks before you tie them on to help ensure they’re in good shape and you’ll give yourself a much better chance at landing fish.

Also, by cleaning them after every trip you’ll be able to extend their life span and save money on hooks in the long run.

Have any questions about fishing hooks?

Let me know in the comments below!

You can get the hook in this video here:

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George Beatty
8 months ago

Does the presence of rust smell on hooks reppell fish?

David Lipsius
8 months ago

You forgot to mention; keep hooks sharp.

8 months ago


David Johnson
8 months ago

Tony, do you ever sharpen hooks and if so what would you use?

Adam Bailey
7 months ago
Reply to  Tony Acevedo

I check hook sharpness before or after every trip, and sharpen any hooks that don’t stick into a finger nail. I even touch up hooks on the water if needed. The only hook that I can recall that has ever had any rust on it after I’ve sharpened it is a Johnson Silver Minnow spoon. I’ve never had rust on any black nickel or other soft plastics hooks, or hooks on hard body lures. Save your dull hooks and learn to resharpen them. You’ll save a lot of money and have sharper hooks all the time.

J.T. Carricato
8 months ago

Testing the Hook Point

Hey Tony, Great stuff as always.

One thing I have learned from a local charter captain, is to lightly test the hook point on my thumb nail. If it slides without grabbing, then it is too dull and I use a point sharpener to lightly bring back the point until it does so that it can penetrate a tougher fish’s pallet.

The other thing I do, is to keep an old plastic coffee container. After my trip the hooks all go in to clean, then dry by hanging on the side, or inside on a paper towel. With a busy family, losing one hook in a sink or on the floor is a bad day for all. So its just a simple way to keep the hooks in one place while cleaning, drying, and once dry, to reuse on the next trip.

Adam Bailey
8 months ago

Great video Tony and lots of good recommendations. I have a small hook file that I keep in my bag and use it regularly. One thing that I’ve found is that most files seem to be too coarse. I recommend a fine grit or even a small sharpening stone. My file is small and made for fly fishing. I also check new hooks and touch up any that don’t easily stick in my fingernail.

Kyle McGee
8 months ago

Great tip about the pliers Tony. I noticed recently some very premature rust on an owner weighted hook that had only been fished a couple times. On inspection I noticed that I had damaged the shank of the hook with my pliers while pulling it out of a stingray. I rinse my rigs with the hose with everything else and let them air dry but that damaged bit still rusted quickly.


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