The angler on the phone says, “Yeah, I need size fours for my Shad Assassins”. “So you really need ‘four-ought”, right?” I ask. “Uh, yeah.” Either this person is too tired to say, “Ought” or he’s clueless. There is one heck of a difference between what he said and what he needed.
To that end, let us review how hook sizes work.
Regarding sizes below one-ought, (1/0) the larger the number, the smaller the hook. The opposite is true above size 1/0. The quick photo below really simplifies things.
Now on to circle hooks.
Hook manufacturers will never agree on circle hook sizing. So forget the sizing. That’s right. Throw the numbers out the window. Look at the gap between point and the shank. Will it fit the lip of the fish your are fishing for? Will it allow room for the bait you are using? Then you may be looking at the right size for you.
Tip: put the card from your hook package in your tackle box. Now drop the the hooks on top of the card. When you get low, pull the card and take it with you to your favorite tackle retailer. That’s much better than guessing!