The evolution of the modern fish hook
The fishing hooks we use today are not a whole lot different than what the Cro-Magnons
Or also called the modern European post ice age, they lived in the European Paleolithic era probably 35,000 to 10,000 years ago
The first hooks were shaped out of bone or what ever resource they had available, and were referred to as gorges. Shaped as a straight elliptical form and connected to twine. They would put there bait on and wait for the fish to swallow or gorge themselves . The first metal gorges were made from bronze and called bricoles.Then they eventually took form of what we would think of as a fish hook, around 3000 BC by the first Egyptian dynasty and were barbless , but by 1500 BC they attached some sort of barb to them , made of bone and and some made of wood carved and joined by twine. Early native americans used gorge and line around 5500 BC.
The Greek roman and Macedonians used hook line and rod around 4 century BC. Some of the the Alaskan Eskimos were still using gorges as late as mid 1800’s. I have watched recent shows on tv , fisherman using a metal gorge with barbs to catch squid for bait.
As the sport of angling began to become popular in England after Dame Juliana wrote “The Bake of St. Albans” in 1486. The populas really started to get interested in fishing as a sport , thus created a greater demand for hooks commercially. The hooks of this era were nothing more than bent needles fitted with a crude barb.
The first mass production of hooks was done by English and Scandinavians around 1826
Then the Norwegian and Swedish hook makers went back to Norway with their skills. The famous Mustad Co. Was formed in Oslo Norway in 1836. The processes that were done by hand in England were now being done by machines developed in Scandinavia.
Wright and McGill Co. was formed in the late 20’s . This company produced high quality flies for fishing, Drew McGill was fly fishing one day, and was not having much luck hooking fish.
He was watching an eagle land on an old weathered limb , and it’s strong curved talons gripped the limb, then he looked at his hook , tried to hook it on his creel without success , then he bent the point down to a curved shaped and the hook stuck to his creel, and this is where Eagle Claw fish hook name was coined , also this is when forging of hooks started for hardness.
Fisherman are a finicky bunch, so it’s no wonder why we have so many different options these days from the less expensive Eagle Claw brand to the Lazer Trokar brand that are surgically sharpened . Both of these brands are made by Wright and McGill . Some hooks these days have bait keeper barbs on shank. Some have pins attached to shank or small epoxy ball around the shank to keep plastic worms from balling up around the bend.
There are many other brands to choose from , Mustad, owner, truturn , Gamakatsu
To name a few. All super sharp, with many options! And affordable!