Fish Hooks: Round Bend vs Extra Wide Gap When and Why

EWG vs Roundbend-1

Once upon a time, all you had to choose when fishing was what color of ribbon tail worm to throw on a round bend worm hook. You’d toss that sucker out on a pool cue on monofilament line, and that was the juice, well, all the juice that was available anyway. Fast forward to 2021, and there’s a never-ending selection of soft plastics in colors not even seen in the rainbow and profiles ranging from perfectly mimicked shad bodies to super soft thin finesse worms. As new profiles of soft plastics enter the market, anglers need hooks to match the profiles to optimize both action and performance. I know by now you think a book is coming below with every hook imaginable and the best use case for that hook. That’s coming, but for this blog, let's stick to something easier to digest—two different hooks and when/why to use each.

Short Cuts: 

Round Bend 

Extra Wide Gap 

Thoughts From Anglers 


Before I present these hooks and when to use them and why, know that these aren’t absolutes. Fishing doesn't deal in absolutes where you have to use anything one single way, or you wont catch fish. In the interviews below, Matt Massey eloquently talks about his rod being a paintbrush that helps him paint a mental picture of what’s below the surface. I love that so much I’m going to borrow it for a different perspective. All of our fishing rods can be paintbrushes. The important thing is to create true to yourself art not a paint by numbers clone of something someone else did. In other words, take the below as general guidance where you can find what works best for you. Your preference is predicated on the confidence YOU have built on the water, painting… your way. If you use these hooks differently than we talk about below, that doesn’t mean what you’re doing is wrong. Ole buddy, that means you have found something that works for you, and by all means, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I will say that many of us are brought up and treat worm hooks like moms used to use Robitussin in the ’80s-- A cure-all that could effectively treat anything from a common cold to a broken bone. Now I’m not saying pouring a little "Tussin" on a broken bone didn’t offer some sort of relief, but in many cases there was probably a better medicine available. The same thing goes for hooks. A round bend can catch fish paired with just about any soft plastic, but are there sometimes better options available? You be the judge.


Round Bend Worm Hooks

Round bend worm hooks work exceptionally well with slender soft plastics and or presentations where you’re making long casts like Carolina rigging. I specifically call out slender soft plastics because the space between the bend and the point of the hook ( referred to as the gap) has enough room for slender soft plastics to collapse, giving plenty of bite room to set the hook. Another feature of the round bend worm hooks worth mentioning is the offset from the hook point to hook eye. The hook point is higher than the line tie (eye), which naturally leads to a higher hook-up percentage. Carolina Rig anglers have taken advantage of this for decades. A few soft plastics that bass anglers all over the country love using with round bends are Flukes, Senkos, ribbon tail worms, and straight tail worms to name a few.

A gif showing the attributes of a round bend worm hook

Extra Wide Gap

EWG worm hooks are the cat’s pajamas when fishing bulkier soft plastics like creature baits, tube jigs, or beaver style baits. A few features of the EWGs that make them a favorite among bass anglers throughout the country are the line tie (eye) and hook point are in line with each other, which does a great job of making baits weedless even when the hook point isn’t buried in the soft plastic. The larger gap from shank across to hook point is perfect for bulkier baits, giving a thicker soft plastic room to collapse during the hookset.

A gif showing the attributes of an extra wide gap worm hook

So generally speaking, slimmer style soft plastics are better suited for round bend worm hooks like the Lazer Sharp L091 or Trokar TK100, and bulkier soft plastics work well on EWG’s like the Lazer Sharp L092 or Trokar TK110 or TK120 to name a few.

I mentioned earlier that preference and confidence come into play with all things fishing and always will. To give a little more insight, we interviewed a few anglers who are a part of the Eagle Claw family to get their take on round bend v. extra wide gap and when to use them.


Thoughts From Anglers 

George Mauries

If Eagle Claw had a bro staff, George would be the head of it. G as he’s affectionately called, is a bass head and then some. His garage is a hybrid between a well-kept just stocked tackle shop, a man cave full of tools to tinker with tackle, and of course, a functioning garage with his beautiful Ranger boat acting as a centerpiece. G is always up to date on tackle trends, the latest and greatest gear, and what local bass are chewing on at the moment. He also happens to be the BASS Conservation director for Colorado and has been for years. The long and short of it, when G talks about fishing, ole freckles here listens.


Matt Massey 

Matt Massey is a man following his dream, competing professionally with the National Professional Fishing League. I heard stories about Massey well before I met the man. By multiple sticks in the mountain states region, I’ve heard him called the best bass angler to ever come out of Colorado. Now I can’t confirm or deny those claims as my buddy Sam Heckman has also received that high praise, but I will say this: when Massey makes waves across the bass fishing scene nationally, it won’t surprise anyone who’s ever met him, fished with or against him. As a professional, Massey needs to make the most of every cast, and hook selection plays a huge role.


Matt Mascarenas

Matt Mascarenas, a former guide and multi-species angler is more of a meat and potatoes bass angler than a tinkerer. As a former guide, Matt needed to provide his clients with presentations that they could use to succeed. While tournament anglers or bass heads might focus on the latest and greatest, Matt’s needs were a bit different. He needed tried and true hook-ups regardless of experience level so his clients could get those cheesing grip and grin photos to show all their friends.




If you’re new to bass fishing, this gives you a jumping-off point to decide which hook to use when and why. If you’re an experienced bass head that only utilizes one hook, maybe this is the push you need to look at both. If you’re an experienced bass head that uses both (and in a way that you’re extremely confident with, the comment below section is your place to shine). The question at the end of this blog is…

When do YOU use Round Bend/EWG hooks, and why?

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