Eel Hooks: All you need to know & Review


Anyone who has worked more intensively with eel fishing in the past will eventually come up against the question of which eel hook is really effective.

We would like to introduce you to various eel hooks that we have all tested and found to be good.

We will also discuss the different eelhook brands such as Gamakatsu, Owner, VMC, Maruto, Mustad, Balzer and Daiwa. We also show you how to tie an eel hook and how to release it safely and properly.

Because sometimes the eel swallows the hook too deep.

Here you will learn everything you need to know about the eel hook.

Which size is recommended?

Basically, fishing hooks are very effective for fishing for eels in sizes 6 to 4. We have found out that this size is not too big but not too small either. With this hook size we could catch really big eels over 60 cm.

Some anglers also fish with size 2 eel hooks, but we think this is almost too big. If you order size 6 hooks, you are on the safe side.

Which brand of eel hook should I use? Which ones are good? Which ones are the best?

Here we can recommend various fishing hooks for eel fishing. For us, especially Specitec hooks from Sänger and DAM-Sumo hooks have proven to be the best. But also Fox is very good and has various good characteristics and attributes. Furthermore, we were able to catch capital eels with the High CS Hooks from Exor. An insider tip are also the AnzeigeDAIWA TOURNAMENT fishhooks size 6.

We were able to achieve further good catches with Zebco-Topic fishhooks in sizes 5 – 8. These are very robust, resistant and can only be bent with great difficulty. But also with AnzeigePaladin eel lines/lead lines with 20 hooks (available at Amazon) we have had very good experience so far:

In general, worm hooks are also suitable as eel hooks. These have small hooks so that the worm cannot slip off so quickly.    This is especially important when ejecting the worm.

Most of the time we use 2 to 3 roundworms directly. 1 single worm is usually too few and is often eaten by other fish in the water.

In the following we will briefly go into the most important and well-known brands of eel hooks.

Gamakatsu (loose)

Gamakatsu eel hooks can be found in different sizes (1 to 8) here.

Gamakatsu offers a wide range of fishing accessories in addition to fishing hooks. These include not only eel hooks but also fishing lines, snap rings, spin rings and even fishing clothes. But of course the range also includes jig heads, leader hooks, loose hooks and jig hooks. That’s why Gamkatsu offers a wide range of products for all aspects of fishing.

Gamakatsu eel hooks are preferred by many anglers because the quality has been particularly convincing in recent years. This makes eel fishing much more effective and capital eels can be caught more easily. The large assortment usually leaves nothing to be desired.

And the brand has a long tradition: The Japanese company Gamakatsu has been offering high quality fishing hooks (including eel hooks) since 1955. Even in the beginning they were still made by hand. But in the meantime, high-quality machines have taken over this job.


Of course alsoAnzeige Owner offers different hooks for eel fishing in different sizes.

Owner has been developing eel hooks since the 70s. The highest quality nail hooks are even made of carbon. And the individual hooks are shaped and ground by laser. This makes them particularly precise and clean.

The hooks for the eel are additionally treated in chemical baths. This makes them particularly strong and gives them their particularly high degree of hardness. This prevents the hooks from breaking and bending open when the eels are often very mobile.

The tips of the hooks are also decisive for the owner eel hooks. This is because the special shape and the respective razor blades allow the eel to be “hooked on” relatively effortlessly. The hook tips are forged and are subject to a special manufacturing process.

Eel hooks from Owner should therefore never be sharpened. Otherwise the respective degree of sharpness can suffer considerably.

You therefore never need to regrind them.


VMC also offers various eel hooks in their assortment.

VMC PECHE has been active in fishhook production for over 100 years and is now present in 97 countries on 5 continents.

In 1981 the US subsidiary, VMC Inc. was also founded, which promotes internationalisation, especially in the USA. VMC Hooks has a daily capacity of 4 million fishing hooks and is therefore one of the market leaders in the triplet segment.

VMC’s eel leader hooks are generally made of high carbon steel. These have long legs with small barbs.

This makes them perfect for the mouth of the highly mobile eel. But also eel baits can be better placed.


Another top brand for eel fishing is definitely AnzeigeMaruto. The Maruto eel hooks are made of carbon like the Owner hooks. Again, the precise laser cut is used.

This gives the Maruto hooks their special sharpness. Of course the eel hooks are also heated and quenched. However, chemical baths are also used. This makes them flexible but at the same time extremely “firm”.

This prevents the hooks from breaking off or bending open when the eel is being fished. The eel hook size is available between 2 and 12 with a line diameter of 0.20 to 0.35 mm and a load capacity of up to 11 kg.


Mustad also makes display hooks for eel fishing. The particularly sharp eel hooks are known for their sharp needle tip. They are therefore also popular for competition fishing. As they are available in different sizes, they are especially suitable for small and large eels.

They are also suitable for both natural and artificial bait.


One of the better known brands of eel hooks is also Balzer. They have a large selection of suitable hooks (available at Amazon) and are constantly expanding their range. The leader hooks for eel fishing are characterized by the fact that they have particularly long legs and are therefore well suited for the rather large mouths of the eel.

As a rule the eel hooks also have 2 barbs that prevent the eel from slipping off unintentionally. This can be very annoying after a long fight when the eel suddenly says goodbye.

The hooks are also distinguished by their often very straight tips. This means that direct penetration into the eel skin is usually possible without any problems.


DisplayNaturally Daiwa also offers suitable eel hooks. The leader hooks manufactured in Japan are the absolute top class among the eel hooks. Because every hook for eel fishing is controlled during the manufacturing process and closely examined. Tensile and tearing strength play a particularly important role.

The lines used are also from Daiwa. And these are only bound by absolutely qualified personnel and therefore carry the seal “Made in Japan”.

All fishing hooks are cut exactly to the eel. Because especially when fishing for eel, a particularly high degree of strength is extremely important.

Eel hooks according to application

Of course, every angler has different preferences when fishing for eel. In the following we will therefore go into the different eel hooks that are currently available.

Loose eel hooks with eye

Eel hooks with eye have the advantage that they are very flexible in use. You can decide yourself what kind of fishing line you want to use. You can also tie your leaders the way you need them (how to set the right eel knot is explained below).

We can therefore recommend the Gamakatsu fishhook display. These have a long curved shaft and additional barbs. The barbs ensure that the lure is optimally held for the eel.

Especially when “casting up” the eel bait cannot drop so quickly. The straight hook tip also allows the hook to “stick” very precisely into the eel.

Usually 11 pieces are delivered.

Eel hooks for smoking

The following characteristics are especially important for eel hooks for smoking:

  • stable stainless steel
  • solid hold
  • sharp points
  • high load capacity

The stainless steel ensures that the hooks do not suddenly start to rust. So you can use them for a long time. So you do not have to fear that the fish will get a “rusty” taste.

They should also be strong enough so that they do not “bend open” during the smoking process.

The tips should also be sufficiently sharp. This makes it relatively easy to insert the hook into the eel. Of course 2 separately welded tips are best.

The load capacity should also be high. Normal eel hooks have a load capacity of 2 to 3 kg. High quality eel hooks for smoking have a pure load capacity of up to 5 kg. This means that “bending open” is almost impossible.

We can therefore recommend this smoking hook display from Croch.

On the following picture you can see eels being smoked:

Smoked eels usually taste particularly delicious after being caught.

Eel hooks with braided leader

Eel hooks with braided leader have the advantage that they save you a lot of time and you no longer have to tie the leader yourself.

For eel fishing we recommend a tied monofilament fishing line. The display hooks from Owner have proven to be very productive in the past.

How to tie an eel hook (tie it yourself)

The improved clamp knot is perfect if you want to connect a hook eye with it, for example. It is very effective and is often used for eel fishing. It is also called a clinch knot.

Below are the individual steps on how to tie it yourself:

At the end you should have the finished eel fishing knot. The following is an eel hook with bait:

For the perfect fishing knot we also recommend our book “the best fishing knots”. Here you will find many more fishing knots for all different scenarios.

What to do if the eel has swallowed or swallowed the eel hook too deeply?

It can happen that the eel has swallowed the eel hook too deeply and it is very difficult to remove it. Many anglers report that they leave it in their mouth because it may be dissolved again by stomach acid.

Other eel anglers report that it is difficult to remove the hook in a minor emergency operation. We strongly advise you not to let the fish suffer under such circumstances.

If the eel hook really cannot be removed, the only thing that usually helps is to kill the eel properly. Everything else is cruelty to animals and a violation of the fishing regulations.

How do you remove or release an eel hook safely and properly?

Sometimes you can still remove an eel hook with a very long hook release.

We recommend the long hook release from Daiwa. It is an especially long and very robust stainless steel release pliers. It also has curved jaws.

It is especially suitable when you have to remove deep-seated eel bait. In addition, the Teflon coating ensures that the pliers do not rust.

If you cannot loosen the hook, you can either kill the eel waidgerecht or cut off the eel hook.

Cut off the eel hook

If it is not a stainless steel hook and the eel has swallowed the hook too deeply, you should simply cut it off at the leader.

Because this can (theoretically) dissolve again.

However, you should be careful here: Eel blood is poisonous and you should not come into contact with it. Mucous membranes are particularly sensitive.


Choosing the right eel hook is not always easy. In any case, make sure that you choose the right size and that the eel bait can be pulled up easily. Because nothing is worse than finding out later that the lure has slipped.

Don’t buy cheap hooks just because the price is better. There is simply too great a risk that the lure will bend and cause damage to the animal. And that’s more than annoying when fishing for eels (at night), when the bite is there but the eel immediately disappears again because it was able to free itself.

When fishing for eel you should therefore not save at the wrong end.

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