When selecting hooks, fishermen are particular about the size and style of fishing hook needed to catch their fish of choice. In Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina, anglers have ample opportunity to cast a line in both fresh and saltwater. The number of fish species available between the coastal regions and inland lakes is astonishing. However, those who are new to the sport are unfamiliar with kahle and circle hooks. What is the difference between a kahle and a circle hook?

Why Is Selecting The Correct Hook Important

Hook selection is essential for several reasons. Believe it or not, anglers have unsuccessful fishing outings due to improper hook selection. 


The size of the fish and, most importantly, its mouth determines what hook size is best for catching particular species. 

Selecting hooks that are too large for a fish’s mouth will lead to the bait continuously being pulled free from the hook without ever becoming secured in the mouth. 

Conversely, small hooks will not be adequately secured to the fish’s mouth, resulting in pulling free and the fish getting away. 

To put it simply- size matters!


There are numerous hook styles. The design of a hook is essential when fishing depending on the type of bait being used and the species of fish targeted.

The hook styles include circle, J-hook, kahle hook, treble hook, weedless hooks, and more. Each hook type has a specific purpose. For instance, when anglers are securing live bait or soft plastic worms when bass fishing. 


Often overlooked is the diameter of a fishing hook. Hair hooks used to catch bait are thin, while offshore gamefish require heavy-duty shanks with thick diameters. 

Anglers face challenges by improperly selecting the correct diameter hook. A thin hook will bend, rustling in the fish escaping before reaching the boat or shoreline. 

On the contrary, thick shanked hooks are visible to weary fish reducing the likelihood that bites will occur. 

What Is a Circle Hook

The traditional hook that most anglers are familiar with is the J-hook. However, the circle hook has become mainstream for several reasons. 

Gut hooking fish has been a concern by wildlife experts in addition to anglers. A gut hooked fish is when the entire hook is swallowed and became lodged deep. As a result, the hook cannot be removed and is killed in the process.

Fortunately, the circle hook helps reduce the number of gut hooked fish due to its design. When the angler feels a strike and reels, the hook moves from deep in the stomach to the corner of the mouth.

Saltwater fishermen are more apt to use circle hooks; however, they are becoming more popular with freshwater anglers. 

What Is A Kahle Hook

The kahle hook is a modified J-hook and circle hook as the design falls in between the two. 

A kahle hook is best suited for live bait fishing due to the thin diameter and size of the gap between the point and the shank.

Anglers have the opportunity to fish large baits as a result of the increased gap. Lastly, the bait reduces injury because of the reduced diameter. 

Where Can Kahle and Circle Hooks Be Purchased

Anglers have the opportunity to find kahle and circle hooks both on the internet or at local tackle shops or major retail outlets like Bass Pro Shop.

We recommend stopping in a store when determining hook size for the first time because you can handle the tackle. Once you are familiar with what you need, online purchases become the most convenient method.

So What Hook Is Best Suited For You

Both hooks provide a great opportunity to catch fish. One drawback to the kahle hook is that it is more prone to gut hook a fish when compared to circle hooks. Each style is highly effective, so the best approach is to gauge the size and diameter best suited to the target fish.