Hook shapes and names are as varied as fish themselves. In some cases hooks are identified by a traditional or historic name, e.g. Aberdeen, Limerick or O'Shaughnessy. In other cases, hooks are merely identified by their general purpose or have included in their name, one or more of their physical characteristics. Some manufacturers just give their hooks model numbers and describe their general purpose and characteristics. For example:

Eagle Claw: 139 is a Snelled Baitholder, Offset, Down Eye, Two Slices, Medium Wire
Lazer Sharp: L2004EL is a Circle Sea, Wide Gap, Non-Offset, Ringed Eye, Light Wire
Mustad Model: 92155 is a Beak Baitholder hook
Mustad Model: 91715D is an O'Shaughnessy Jig Hook, 90 degree angle
TMC Model 300: Streamer D/E, 6XL, Heavy wire, Forged, Bronze
TMC Model 200R: Nymph & Dry Fly Straight eye, 3XL, Standard wire, Semidropped point, Forged, Bronze

The shape of the hook shank can vary widely from merely straight to all sorts of curves, kinks, bends and offsets. These different shapes contribute in some cases to better hook penetration, fly imitations or bait holding ability. Many hooks intended to hold dead or artificial baits have sliced shanks which create barbs for better baiting holding ability. Jig hooks are designed to have lead weight molded onto the hook shank. Hook descriptions may also include shank length as standard, extra long, 2XL, short, etc. and wire size such as fine wire, extra heavy, 2X heavy, etc.

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