Which worm hook style would be best for you to use? Soft plastic lures come in hundreds of shapes and sizes from top brands like Berkley, Big Bite, Googan, Yamamoto, Zman and Zoom. It can be a challenge to know what hook will work for each plastic shape or size. Gamakatsu has four primary worm hook styles that will have you covered for any soft plastic. One or two packs of each of these styles will have you covered for any soft plastic fishing situation.
Also, we suggest buying 1-2 sizes of that hook style in each of these styles so that you can fish small and large plastics. As an example, if you choose a round bend style to fish a 7” worm a 3/0 size hook would be a good choice for that size. Also, if you have a 5/0 size in that same style you will be covered to fish 10” worms easily. Now let’s take a look at the four key styles.
The oldest type of worm hook is the traditional straight shank. This style hook is a great choice with soft plastic lures that are long and narrow like plastic worms. They are also very popular for flipping and punching. Gamakatsu has a number of styles and colors to choose from in this category with two different styles. The first and more traditional straight shank style includes 011 Series, 014 Series and 481 and 494. These all are the original straight shank style and feature small barbs below the eye to hold the plastic in place. Newer versions of a straight shank style include 311, 310 and 304. These were designed specifically for flipping in heavy cover. They have the original straight shank, but no feature a larger “bite” and have added keepers on the shank of the hook to hold plastics securely in place.
The Offset Shank style was an early advancement of the straight shank. It features a bend below the eye which helps hold plastics in place. Like the straight shank it is a great choice with long narrow soft plastics like worms and sticks. The design of the hook aligns very well for those plastic shapes and maximizes hooking percentages while allowing it to be as streamlined as possible to pass thru cover. Top selling styles in this family are 071, 074 and 544 Series hooks. As a reminder, picking two sizes in one of these series allows you to be prepared to rig both big and small plastic baits. The new 398 Series is a superline version of our most popular offset shank and it is designed for anglers using braid or other heavy lb test lines. The stronger wire used to make this hook prevents the hook from bending when an angler is using stronger lines or battling the largest fish.
Our top selling style of worm hook is the Extra Wide Gap (EWG). It is a great choice for any soft plastic but excels with bulkier soft plastics. The larger gap of the hook between the point and shank allows plenty of room for bulky soft plastics. Without this wider gap, bulky soft plastics will often slip down during a hook set and prevent the hook point from penetrating into a fish’s mouth. EWG series are a great choice. 584 is our best-selling hook overall and is the top choice in this series. There is also a superline version available, 744 Series for use with stronger lines. In recent years,
Gamakatsu also developed a modified EWG style in conjunction with pro angler Mike McClelland. The Hybrid worm hook is a combination of the offset shank and extra wide gap making it a true hybrid. It features a new acute hook angle to keep baits aligned perfectly straight. It works well with “skinny” or “fat” soft plastic baits.
This picture below shows a comparison of the round bend, EWG and hybrid styles.