How to Make Your Own Fishing Hook

How to Make Your Own Fishing Hook

To make your own fishing hooks, all you need is a few tools and materials. You can use safety pins, soda, or beer can tabs, wood, a wishbone, and even thorns. For the tools, you may need a pocket blade, scissors, a multi-tool, or diagonal cut pliers. What exact tool(s) you will need depends on the type of hook you are making. These homemade hooks are functional, easy to make, and will catch fish the same as the hooks you buy.

How to Make Your Own Fishing Hook

Beer or Soda Can Tab Hooks

Most everyone drinks soda or beer from a can so take just a few minutes to pop off the tab. Store the tabs in a plastic bag or container with a lid so you will always have a supply when you need to make a fishing hook. To make these, all you need is a steady hand, a knife, and patience.

soda can tab fishing hook

Once you have the tab off the can, use a sharp knife or anything that will cut metal. Cut a small section from the bottom of the tab. Shape it into a hook. Make sure that when you cut into one side of the bottom of the tab that you are doing it at an angle so that the slanted cut can be formed into a hook. To ensure you do not cut the fishing line or yourself with the sharp end, file down any unwanted sharp edges with a file, stone, or sandpaper. Securely tied the top part of the tab onto your fishing line and you are ready to fish.

Safety-Pin Hooks

When you open the safety pin, make sure that you bend the pointy end outward slightly. The hook will work better if it is a larger safety as it can catch the bigger fish. The smaller safety pins may catch fish but they are not as strong as the bigger ones. Next, you will need to bend at the bottom of the pointy end until it is shaped like a hook. The other end will be tied securely to your fishing line.

safety pin fishing hook

Gorge Hooks

This is a primitive type of hook that has been in use since about 3000 BC and all you will need is the right size stick and a sharp knife. The size of the fish you want to catch will decide the size of the stick that you need. Find a sturdy tree-like Pine or Birch and cut off a branch. The branch should be about a third the thickness of your finger. The length should be as long as your pinky. If it is a bigger fish you want to catch, the length can be as long as your ring finger.

Next, you will need to strip off the bark and then sharpen one of the ends. In the center of the stick, you need to cut a shallow notch going all around the stick. This notch is where you will tie your line. Hold the line and gorge hook, the end that was sharpened, parallel to each other. You want to make sure that the gorge is held vertically by the bait. This has to be done so that when the fish swallows the bait, it will become lodged in the fish’s throat horizontally to prevent the fish from getting loose.

Wood Hooks

Just like with the gorge hooks, all you need is a small stick which you carve to resemble a fish hook. Find a stick that is as long as your index finger and break off about a third of the stick. You will also have to strip off the bark. Sharpen the short section to a point. Using some type of fishing line or paracord, tie the sharpened point to the remaining length of the stick to form a “V” shape. You are now ready to fish.

Thorn Hook

Yes, this does sound funny to use a thorn as a hook but it is good for catching small fish. For larger ones, you will have to use the safety pin hook, gorge hook, or pop can tab hook. Cut or snap off the piece that you need from the thorny bush and tie it to your fishing line. Put a piece of bait on it and you are ready to fish.

Wishbone Hooks

At Thanksgiving or whenever you have a whole chicken or turkey, save the wishbone to make a fishing hook. Gently snap off one piece of the wishbone and on the remaining bone of the shortened piece, carve a sharp point using a knife. Make sure you do it carefully so you do not break the bone. On the bone below the point carve a small barb to complete the hook. At the other end of your wishbone hook, make a small hole so you can attach your fishing line. Since this requires delicate carving, this type of homemade hook should only be tried by someone with steady hands and has the knowledge of how to carve it without breaking it.

wishbone fishing hook


As you can see, there are many different ways and things you can use to make your own fishing hook. Always keep some soda or beer can tabs in your tackle box so if you need an extra hook you will have the material to make them. You can also keep a few large safety pins in your tackle box. Keeping these in your tackle box will help to ensure you will never be without a hook.

When you use a gorge hook, you have to be patient and give the fish time to swallow the hook. With this type of hook, give out 10-15 feet of line and wait 30 seconds before you gently retrieve the line. To get the fish out of the water, you should use a net or something to lift it from the water because if you try to life the fish without one, it could throw the hook and you could possibly lose the hook and fish, with the hook still being in the mouth of the fish.

You may also enjoy reading What is Fish Chum Made Of?

More To Explore