Sea Angler guide to Aberdeen hooks

Look in any angler’s hook box and we bet you will find a huge range of Aberdeen hooks; probably the most popular pattern used by shore anglers and for some boat fishing jobs. Here Alan Yates lines up the popular makes and tells you what he thinks of them...

 

Here is no argument about the most popular and versatile-eyed hook we use - it is the allround Aberdeen. The pattern stands out from the rest because of its long shank and distinct squared, round bend and small eye. Available in a host of wire types, strengths and colours from various manufacturers, it is the most often used hook pattern in British waters.
Favoured for easy baiting with worms and sandeels because the long shank makes threading the hook easier and the small eye passes through the flesh causing minimum damage.
An Aberdeen is also easier to remove from fish, especially smaller species and flatfish because the long shank can be gripped tight and worked free more effectively than a short shank hook.
The Aberdeen is also the leading pattern for catch and release, being available in fine wire with a micro barb, which aids its easy retrieval from the fish causing less damage. There are a number of modern patterns similar to the Aberdeen with long or medium shank and some have been included in this hook review.

 

HOOK SIZE

The choice of hook should be based on the size and type of bait being used and the weight of fish hunted. Beware using a small hook in a large bait because the bait will mask the all-important hook point.
Here is a rough guide of hook size/bait type:
● Size 6 to 2 are best for small flatfish, mullet, garfish and scratchy match fishing with small wriggling worms, fish strips etc.
● Size 2, 1 and 1/0 are for general freelance and match fishing from the beach or pier for all species with multiple small lugworm, ragworm baits.
● Size 2/0, 3/0, 4/0 take large worm baits, sandeels or cocktails of lug, squid, fish etc for cod and bass.
● Size 4/0-6/0 are the heavyweights for large whole crabs, calamari squid, multi squid, live fish, mackerel head and cocktails for seriously big fish.

Prices quoted are for size 1, except where otherwise stated.

 

HOOK BUYING TIPS

● Buying hooks by the 100 is cheaper, although many anglers mprefer the small plastic-sealed packets of ten or so because there is less risk of corrosion.
● Hooks are mass-produced and it is fairly common to find open eyes or missing barbs. Check before you use them.
● Many hook sizes differ only slightly in size or wire diameter. For example, many size 2 Aberdeens are the same size as the size 1, the only difference being the size 1 are thicker wire. Buy the size 1.
● Small hooks catch more fish, but big hooks hold larger fish better. The choice on size is yours, but you can improve the odds by using the strongest patterns. Blues and match patterns are not for big fish.
● Spade-end Aberdeens are available from the extensive Kamasan range.
● Don’t skimp on hooks, buy enough to be able to replace them regularly. All hooks tend to blunt after a day’s use, stones, rocks and shingle can dull, break, and even turn over the point.

 

Mustad Blue Aberdeen 3262NPB
Price: Box of 25, £2.65

Lightweight, small-eyed, blued, fine-wire Aberdeen. The original hook for smaller species, especially flounder. The shank can be bent easily to remove it, causing less damage. Being seriously soft, do not use when large fish may be hooked. Available from size 2-4/0.

Mustad Nickel Aberdeen 3282
Price: Box of 25, £2.69

Amini eyed, nickel-plated fine-wire Aberdeen made from high carbon steel and heavier, stronger wire than the blue. They are needle sharp and popular among clear ground match anglers. Not a pattern to use too many times in the small sizes. Excellent in a size 1 for small crab baits. Available in sizes 4-4/0.

Mustad Aberdeen 32601BLN
Price: £3.59

A popular, eyed Aberdeen in black nickel in a heavier wire, chemically sharp with a more consistent and pronounced barb than some rivals. Good all-round choice. Sold in sizes 6- 6/0. Also sold in boxes of 50 and 100.

VMC Aberdeen Red worm E144
Price: Box of 25, £2.41
An eyed Aberdeen with bait holder barbs in a red tin finish. A sharp, strong pattern with a large barb, ideal for fishing at maximum range with lug, crabs and fish baits. Available in size 6-4/0 and also in boxes of 50 and 100.

Black Eagle Aberdeen E595
Price: Box of 25 (size 2), £2.29

An eyed laser-sharp, high carbon, extra strong black Aberdeen. UK Hooks reckon it’s the best Aberdeen in the world. Well, they would, wouldn’t they! They hold their point well and are a good choice if you want a small hook that will handle the odd bigger fish. Available in even sizes 6-6/0 Also available in boxes of 50 and 100.

Razor Claw Gold Light Wire Aberdeen E202
Price: Box of 25, £3.12

Eyed, gold plated, hollow point. A light, sharp match fishing Aberdeen for catch and release fishing. Available in sizes 10-1. Also in boxes of 50 and 100

Sea Match Blues
Price: Box of 100, £7.95; packs of 10, £1.25

This hook was born out of the need for a stronger wire hook than the lightweight Mustad Blue, yet retaining the ease of removal. A favourite of measure-and-return match anglers, being strong enough to handle occasional better fish.

Gerry’s Black Aberdeen
Price: Box of 100, £2.99

A tough, eyed black Aberdeen. Can be offset like most of the patterns in this review with a slight tweak with pliers to give an extra hooking dimension. An all-rounder, offering excellent value. Available in sizes 4-to 6/0.

G-Point Aberdeen Competition
Price: 10 x size 1, £2.50
A lightweight, small eyed, fine wire Aberdeen best suited to worm baits used in catch and release match fishing. Available in 2, 1, 1/0-2/0.

G-Point Aberdeen All-Round
Price: 10 x size 1, £2.50
An eyed Aberdeen aimed at cod, sharp and strong looks set to make inroads into the British angling scene. Perfect for worms, crabs and fish baits. Available in size 1-6/0.

Alan Yates Match Plus
Price: Packet of 15, £2
A fine-wire, chemically-etched, Japanese silver nickel Aberdeen. A strong all-round match fishing hook that is ideal for fishing sandeels. Has a regular barb and small eye. Available in sizes 2-2/0.

Kamasan Aberdeen B940M Match
Prices vary, a packet of 7 x 1/0, £1.30

A light, mini-eyed, black Aberdeen that rivals the old Mustad blue. Particularly efficient for the smaller delicate worm baits.One of the sharpest chemically-etched of all the hooks tested. A great hook to bait with sandeels for dogfish in size 2/0. Available in sizes 4-4/0

Alan Yates Aberdeen XS
Price: Packet of 15, £2

An extra strong, chemically-etched Aberdeen in black nickel with regular large barb. A good choice for pier or rock fishing, when fish often need to be lifted or bullied. This model won’t bend or snap easily, which is a problem with some of the more brittle patterns. Available in sizes 2-4/0.

Partridge Pro-Match
Prices: 14 size 1, £2.50

A small eyed, lightweight, sharp, fine-wire Aberdeen, with a heavily-forged shank and bend. A pattern especially favoured for baiting with mud ragworms etc using a baiting needle. Again, the boxes clip together to form a unit.

Varivas Saltwater Champions
Price: Box of 30, £2.10
A light, but strong long shank eyed pattern with a gun metal finish. Chemically sharpened, it is recommended for worm baits from the beach and for light boat fishing. Available sizes 3-4/0.

Kamasan B940 Aberdeen
Prices vary, a packet of 7 x 1/0, £1.30
This small-eyed, high carbon steel black, chemically-sharpened model is the most used Aberdeen boat and shore hook. Especially strong in small sizes, it is possible to land fairly large fish on even size 4. Size 1 is a great all round hook for lug and cocktails. Available in sizes 6-6/0.

Varivas Aberdeen
Price: Box of 30, £2.99
A Classic eyed Aberdeen in black nickel. Chemically-sharpened and extra strong, this hook is for rough ground and big fish. Available in sizes 2-4/0.

VMC Aberdeen Extra Strong
Price: £1.25 for 10

A black Aberdeen that’s forged for extra strength. Neat round eye and wicked barb, designed to hold small to medium size fish. Made from high carbon steel, which produces a tough, but light hook. The Masterline catalogue does not state
sizes available.

Partridge Aberdeen Perfect
Prices: Vary with hook size; 14 size 1, £1.75

A small-eyed, carbon steel Aberdeen, made by Partridge, who claim a 30% increase in strength from their unique tempering and hardening process. With a coned point and fine barb, it is suitable for most baits. The water-resistant boxes clip together for easy storage.

Drennan Aberdeen
Price: £1.30

A small-eyed, high carbon, steel black Aberdeen. Especially strong in the small sizes and the same specification as the Kamasan B940. A popular all-round hook for baiting with lugworms, ragworms and match fishing size cocktails.