Circle Hooks Vs Octopus Hooks: Which One Should You Choose?

Circle Hooks Vs Octopus Hooks

Whether you intend on joining some harmless catch-and-release fish games or you want to get serious with landing fish, you cannot forget to bring some high-quality hooks along. Hooks are small pieces of stainless steel shaped in a way that impales fish right through their mouth or sometimes snagging across the body. As each hook has unique characteristics that set it apart from others, it is essential that you understand its pros and cons. With the right hooks, catching the most aggressive fish can be a piece of cake. 

Circle Hooks Vs Octopus Hooks

If you are new to fishing, you might get confused about the battle of circle hooks vs octopus hooks. Keep reading to find out what they are and which one you should use next time fishing!

Everything You Need To Know About Circle Hooks

As the name already indicates, circle hooks pride themselves on the round shape that curves inward at the end, which can pierce the fish right through the mouth’s corner. 

In recent years, circle hooks have been the number one choice for both amateur and professional anglers, thanks to their ease of use and effectiveness.

So, do you know how a circle hook works? When you cast, and the hook slowly dives underwater with the bait, a fish swimming nearby is likely to take a bite. 

Once settled, the hook tends to get stuck around the fish’s lips. If it tries to run away, chances are it will end up tucking itself in the jaw’s corner, securing the hook even better. When the fish tires out, all you need to do is to reel back, and ta-da, the catch is already in your hands without much struggling.

The hook tends to get stuck around the fish’s lips.
The hook tends to get stuck around the fish’s lips.


  • Circle hooks lower the mortality rate: The hook’s design allows it to attach to a shallow surface only. And in most cases, it is the corner of the lip or the fish’s jaw. 

These positions provide enough exposure for fishermen to land a fish successfully without damaging the internal organs. This way, the fish is still alive should you want to release it.

  • Circle hooks are harder to swallow: The circular end of circle hooks prevents fish from absorbing the whole item. When the fish yank out, the hooks will get stuck outside instead. 
  • Circle hooks get more fish: There have been studies backing up the idea that using circle hooks results in a bigger catch compared to other types of hooks. 

Circle Hooks

Circle Hooks


  • Circle hooks are not compatible with a traditional hookset: If you perform a hookset whenever a bite is detected, the hook may slip out of the fish’s mouth. 

For the hook to get tucked in properly, you need to reel the fishing line in slowly. 

  • Circle hooks require certain skills to execute: The majority of fishermen cannot master circle hooks, as they call for more than simple techniques to be done properly. 

If you want the hooks to fix on the fish’s mouth, you have to act swiftly and closely monitor how the fish moves.

Everything You Need To Know About Octopus Hooks

Octopus hooks are better known as a sub-branch of J-hooks, featuring a round shank that bends towards the sky. At first look, they are pretty similar to circle hooks. But closer examination would reveal how the bend is much less dramatic, meaning the octopus hooks are shaped more like a letter J. 

The application of octopus hooks is mostly limited to bait fishing, especially when minimal hook weight is required for an effortless presentation. 

They are perfect to combine with a leech or a worm, as the elongated body of the bait can conceal both the shank and the bend. When a fish gets hooked, the point will slide into the body and secure your catch effectively.


  • Octopus hooks are better to catch fish with a small mouth: When the lip surface is too small, cutting through it is a challenge. 

Octopus hooks provide a better alternative by tugging the fish deep inside, thus ensuring your fish cannot escape.

  • Octopus hooks are more beginner-friendly: As you do not have to pay attention to whether the fish gets gutted or not, feel free to swing your rod around without much hesitation. 

For newbies who have just familiarized themselves with fishing, octopus hooks provide a hassle-free approach. 

Octopus Hooks

Octopus Hooks


  • Octopus hooks result in more gut-hooked fish: Consider how sharp and straight the bend of octopus hooks is, it should be no surprise if it cuts through the innards of a fish, or at least the gills. 

If you prefer having live catches and wish to release them later, using these hooks is not the best bet.

  • Octopus hooks are easier to get swallowed: Since octopus hooks do not have a curvy point that attaches to the fish’s lips, they tend to fall into the fish’s stomach completely. 

In case you encounter some aggressive fish, chances are they would fight and snatch the hook away from your fishing line. 

Circle Hooks Vs Octopus Hooks: What Are The Differences

Circle hooksOctopus hooks
The overall designThe circle hooks are shaped in a rounded way, which faces inward like 3/4 of the letter O.The octopus hooks are a bit straighter, with the point placed in an axis.
The bend The bend of the circle hooks is extremely curvy.The bend of the octopus hooks is less drastic and more lenient.
The eye’s positionThe eye of the circle hooks is bent forwards, making it almost face-to-face with the point.The eye of the octopus hooks is bent backward, which faces the opposite direction compared to the bend and shank.
Working mechanismThe point of thecircle hooks will make its way inside when a fish takes a bite. When the fish tries to escape, the hook will slowly be dragged out until it cuts through the corner of the mouth. The hook stays in its fixed position until you reel back and remove it.When the fish swallows the octopus hook, the hook itself will be cylindered in. In most cases, the point reaches the fish’s guts and remains there until the fish is out of the water.
Level of expertiseUsing circle hooks requires more practice to perfect the techniques, or else anglers run the risk of letting the hooks slide out of the fish’s mouth.Using octopus hooks is more straightforward since all it takes is the fish to swallow the hooks.

Which Hook Is Better?

Most experienced anglers agree that circle hooks are a better way to land fish. First of all, they do not damage the catch, so whatever you end up with will still be breathing. No more worries about destroyed gills or gutted fish!

Secondly, circle hooks are easier to get hooked on a fish’s mouth, which saves you a lot of time and energy. Once you have grasped how they work, the proportion of fish you manage to acquire will increase substantially.

Circle Hooks Vs Octopus Hooks Which Hook Is Better

Thirdly, circle hooks are more economical. While the initial costs of circle hooks and octopus hooks are the same, the former stands a lower chance of getting lost or swallowed by runaway fish. As a result, you do not have to replace them as frequently. 

However, this does not mean that circle hooks are a must-have for all fishing trips. Remember, the efficiency of these two items can vary based on the species you are aiming at. 

For example, circle hooks offer excellent assistance when you hunt down white marlin, sailfish, both bluefin, and yellowfin tuna. 

These animals have quick reflexes and usually revolve when realizing they have fallen into a trap, making the extreme sharpness of a circle hook’s point useful.

On the other hand, feel free to take advantage of octopus hooks if your intended catch takes their time with taking a bait, like a panfish, flathead, or salmon. 

Also, since octopus hooks are usually combined with live bait, they can create an effective combo with a bobber should you want to drift fishing


When comparing circle hooks vs octopus hooks, deciding which one is better can be a real problem. At the end of the day, it mostly boils down to the types of fish you want to land and the purpose of each fishing trip.

If you do not care about the state of your catches and only focus on quantity, then octopus hooks would suffice. Their sharp point and straight bend enable anglers to collect fish effortlessly, even if it comes at the expense of their being gutted.

Vice versa, circle hooks are more ideal if you insist on keeping the fish alive and intact. And do not forget that circle hooks are more suited for fast, aggressive fish.

While studies have suggested that circle hooks are more capable of landing more fish within a short period of time, it is up to you whether you want to use them or not. So, make sure you evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of each type before making a decision!

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