What Size Hook For Rainbow Trout Is Best?

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When it comes to tasty fish that are abundantly found, one of the best ones you could possibly fish for, it’s the rainbow trout. There’s also the fact that it’s quite a beautiful looking fish too. With that being said, to catch rainbow trout, you do of course need to have the right gear, and this includes the right hook. So what is the best size of hook for a rainbow trout?

The official recommendation here is that you use hooks between size #14 and size #4 (remember that here the number scale is inverse, which means that the smaller the number, the larger the hook). When it comes down to it, what hook you use depends on the bait in question, but that said, many will use sizes #10 and #12.


What Size Hook Should I Use for Rainbow Trout?

Ok, so exactly what size of hook you should use for rainbow trout really depends on the bait that you are using.

One thing to remember here is that you do want to use relatively small hooks for rainbow trout, as they have relatively small mouths, so they just cannot fit large hooks into their mouths.

Moreover, because they have relatively small mouths, they also tend to eat small bait, and when you are using small bait, you want to use a small hook.

The other important thing to remember here is that rainbow trout can be very picky and skittish, so if they see a hook, or even catch a glimpse of a shimmer, chances are that they will turn tail and run for the hills.

So, when it comes down to it, most people would recommend going with either a size #10 or #12 hook (remember that #10 is larger than #12). If you want to fish with something like Powerbait, and you need to hide the hook (but also need it to be large enough to hold onto the hook), then a size #12 trout hook works well.

However, if you plan on using very small bait, something like salmon eggs (which trout love!), you should use an even smaller size #14 hook.

Using a slightly larger hook is an option if you are using bigger bait, but do keep in mind everything that we have talked about so far in reference to rainbow trout and hook size.

What Is The Best Hook For Trout Fishing?

Now you know what the best size of fish hook for rainbow trout fishing is, it is also quite important for you to know what the best type of hook for trout fishing is.

The number one best type of hook that you can use for trout fishing is the circle hook. There are a few different reasons why the Circle Hook makes for such a great trout fishing hook.

  • A circle hook is a great hook to go with if you plan on fishing catch and release because they are extremely easy for you to remove from a fish’s mouth.
  • On that same note, a circle hook is also a great option to go with for trout fishing, because with a circle hook you really don’t have to do any work to set it due to the circular shape of it. As soon as a fish moves, that hook point will dig right into the mouth of the fish without any effort required on your end.
  • Circle hooks are also great options to go with because they do a fairly good job at holding on to bait.

Types of Hooks You can Use for Trout Fishing

Let’s talk about all of the hook types that you can use for trout fishing. The ones that work better than the rest.

Circle Hooks

Of course, we already covered circle hooks above, so let’s move on to the next type.

Treble Hooks

Another type of book that works really well for trout fishing is that treble hook.

Now, although the treble hook is not the number one best hook for holding onto bait, it does work really well for getting a great hookset.

The simple reality is that there are three points instead of just one, which triples your chances of hooking a fish once the hook gets into its mouth.

Once a fish is hooked with a treble hook, it’s game over. With all of that being said, treble hooks can cause some serious damage to the mouth of the fish, which is why they should only be used when you plan on killing and keeping the trout.

Baitholder Hooks

If you were going fishing for rainbow trout and you want to use live bait such as small bait fish, then the best option to go with is the good old bait holder hook.

Bait holder hooks are of course designed to hold on to bait so that it does not come loose as it swims around.

Moreover, baitholder hooks are also ideal because they allow for an extremely stealthy presentation that makes it hard for the trout to see the hook, which is of course always a big problem when it comes to rainbow trout fishing as they are very skittish.

Octopus Hooks

The other type of hook that you could try using for trout fishing is the octopus hook, which is a short Shank hook that features around bend at the end, although not quite as rounded as circle hooks.

The Octopus Hook is another great one to use for bait fishing, especially if you were using live bait, although they also work well for fake bait, as they allow for an extremely natural and stealthy presentation.

That said, achieving a good hookset with an octopus hook can sometimes be a challenge.


What Size Circle Hook for Rainbow Trout?

If you plan on using circle hooks, remember that trout have very small mouths, and circle hooks are quite wide, which means that you do want to use a small circle hook.

For the most part, a size #4 circle hook is small enough to fit into a trout’s mouth, yet also large enough to hold onto bait and to allow for a good hookset.

Barbed or Barbless Hooks for Trout?

The number one thing to take note of here is the fact that it is not legal to fish with barbed books for rainbow trout in some areas.

Whether or not you are allowed to use barbed hooks for rainbow trout fishing depends on exactly where you live. So always do some research in terms of the laws first, because you don’t want to be caught using a barbed hook when you are not supposed to be using one.

With all of that being said, there is of course the fact that barbed hooks allow for much better hook sets and greatly decrease the risk of a fish pulling off the hook.

However, do keep in mind that barbed hooks do generally cause a good deal of damage to the mouths of fish, which means that they should only be used if you plan on killing and keeping the fish.

However, if you are planning on catch and release fishing, then you absolutely need to use barbless hooks to prevent unnecessary damage from being caused to the fish.



There you have it folks, everything that you need to know about what types and what sizes of hooks to use for rainbow trout fishing. Now that you know, you should be able to catch a whole lot more of them!

Jason Downs

I created Fishtackly to share my 30 years of fishing experience and knowledge with others with the aim to help, and hopefully get more people involved and educated in this fantastic hobby that I love.