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Best Hook Size For Carp Fishing

Best Hook Size For Carp Fishing

Carp fishing can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it requires the right equipment, techniques, and knowledge to catch these elusive fish. One of the most crucial components of a successful carp fishing trip is selecting the correct hook size. So, what is the best size hook for carp fishing?

How do you Choose the Correct Size of Fishing Hook for Carp?

Choosing the best hook size for carp fishing is a complex task, as several factors must be taken into account. The size of the target fish, the rig and overall setup being used, as well as the type and size of bait can all play a role in determining the ideal hook size for any given situation. With so many points to consider, choosing the right hook size can take time. Here's a more detailed breakdown of the variables you should think about when selecting the best hook size for carp fishing:

Size of Target Fish

Generally speaking, the larger the target fish, the bigger and stronger your hook needs to be. Using a hook that’s too small can result in the hook not setting properly, leading to missed chances, hook failure or hook pulls. On the other hand, using a hook that is too large can result in unbalanced rigs or spooked carp, resulting in fewer bites.

Bait Type

The hook should be balanced to the size of the bait without compromising its natural movement. For instance, when fishing with boilies, the hook size should be chosen according to the size of the boilie. If you plan on fishing with smaller-sized bait such as corn or maggots, a small hook size will be the best option.

Rig Setup

The rig and setup used can also impact the choice of hook size. For example, certain rigs, such as the zig rig, require smaller hook sizes to be used effectively. 

Fishing Environment

If you're fishing in snags, stronger line and hooks may be necessary to hook and land a carp successfully. On the other hand, if you're fishing a clean spot in open water, a smaller hook can be used as there is less chance of it getting snagged on vegetation or other objects.

Time of Year

During certain times of the year, carp tend to be more aggressive and willing to take larger baits. In these cases, choosing a larger hook size is often beneficial to capitalise on this opportunity for a big catch.

As a rule of thumb, most anglers opt for a hook size between 10 and 4, adjusting their selection depending on the abovementioned factors. However, it's worth pointing out here that hook sizes are not standardised, and the dimensions of hooks produced by different manufacturers can vary, even if labelled as the same size. Therefore, it's always advisable to double-check the measurements of your hooks before use.

Choosing Hook Size for Different Baits

Here are some guidelines to help you choose the right hook size when using various baits:

Best Hook Size When Carp Fishing with Boilies

Boilies are a popular bait for carp fishing, and their size can vary from small 10mm to larger 20mm or even 24mm. The hook size you should use will differ depending on the size of the boilies.

  • For smaller boilies such as 10mm or 12mm, a size 8 hook is ideal.
  • For medium-sized boilies around 15mm to 18mm, a size 6 hook is recommended
  • Larger boilies are also available, coming in at over 20mm in diameter. These boilies are typically used when fishing European waters for very large carp. In this case, larger and stronger hooks should be chosen to ensure the hook sets properly and you can safely land the fish.

Best Hook Size When Carp Fishing with Other Bait

Carp fishing is often admired for its simplicity, and the range of baits that anglers can use is no exception. From bread to worms, plenty of natural and basic baits can be used to catch carp, as well as artificial versions manufactured from plastic. . 

Bread is a popular bait that can be a good approach for surface fishing. Smaller hook sizes like 8 or 10 are recommended when using bread as bait.

Plastic baits such as artificial Sweetcorn or Casters are also frequently used as bait for carp fishing when fishing over a bed of corn, mixed particles, maggots or castors. The hook size you use will depend on the size of the plastic bait, how many plastic baits are on the hair/hook ring swivel, and their buoyancy. Smaller hook sizes, such as 8 or 10, can be used with single baits, while larger sizes, such as 6 or 4, may be necessary for multiple or larger baits.

For worms, a hook size of 8 is recommended for smaller pieces, while more significant cuts or whole worms may require a size 6 or even size 4 hook to secure them properly.

Which Fishing Hook Sizes for Carp Weighing 10lb, 20lb & 30lb?

Here are some general guidelines for selecting the correct hook size based on the target size of carp you're fishing for:

What Size Hook for 10lb Carp?

Smaller specimens of carp have smaller mouths and therefore require smaller hooks. For 10lb carp, a size 10 or 8 hook is usually recommended. While 10lb carp can bite at larger hooks such as size 6, using a smaller size will help increase your chances of landing them.

What Size Hook for 20lb Carp?

Fish up to around 20lb usually require a hook between size 6-10, depending on the bait used. Smaller hooks (sizes 8 and 10) are less visible, while the larger size 6 provides more security.

What Size Hook for 30lb Carp?

Carp weighing around 30lbs or even heavier require a larger hook size of between 6-2, particularly when using larger boilies. The larger fish will usually spit out anything smaller than this.


Choosing the right hook size is undoubtedly one of the most critical components of a successful carp fishing trip. It can make the difference between landing a prized catch or going home empty-handed. Selecting the correct hook size for the situation, using the right bait and rig, and understanding the behaviour of the fish will all help to increase your chances of success.

By following the guidelines discussed in this article and using the right hook size for the carp you are targeting, you can increase your chances of landing a monster carp and have a successful day on the water. 

Remember, carp fishing is a skill that takes time to master, and patience and practice are essential. However, with the right approach, anyone can become an experienced carp angler and enjoy the excitement and thrill of landing a beautiful carp. So, go ahead and put these tips to the test on your next carp fishing trip and make it a memorable one!

Take a look at our extensive range of carp fishing hooks now, and make sure you're kitted out with the best gear for your next carp fishing adventure. Happy Fishing!

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