Anthropology Curatorial Postcard 6-24-20

Where’s the Loop? This fishhook may appear strange as the “loop” or “eye” is missing. It’s also over 130 years old and was found in a cave along the shoreline of former Winnemucca Lake, Nevada, presently a playa. At that time, this type of eyeless fishhook was common. Smaller versions are still used today by some fly fishermen. Why does a fishhook need an eye? In a modern fishhook the fishing line leader merely passes through the eye and is tied or snelled to the fishhook’s shank. The outside of the eye acts as a stop to keep the snell knot from slipping off the shank as well as shielding the leader from fraying. This fishhook’s shank is diagonally “marked” with shallow cuts to help hold the snell knot in place. Fishermen refer to these fishhooks without an eye as “blind fishhooks.”
Photo Credit: Dr. Gene Hattori