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Hooks for Bones, Permit and Tarpon?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Planning on visiting Cuba in June next year - Cayo Largo in particular using Avalon ...

I want to do a trip where every fly I take has been tied by my fair hand and need some advice on hooks - I prefer Gamu's or Owner and will settle on Owner AKI's for the tarpon and jack patterns but still undecided what to tie on for Bones and Permit? (sizes 6-2)

Got some Mustad C 70 SD's (Light Game 2x) but not totally happy - they are fairly flexible and soft I reckon ... any preferences for a general crab and shrimp hook guys?

Any decent Gamu shrimp hooks? (prefer silver rather than their black bone hook!)

Thanks!
post #2 of 12
Gama SC15, i tied a bunch of flies on them for a trip to turks and caicos in may, now i have about 150 bonefish flies lying around
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Just sourcing some from Orvis UK - only go to a sz 4 here ... I love the SC15's and tie alot of my UK bass flies on em'

Think SWE has them down to sz8?
post #4 of 12
I have been using the mustad C70SD's for quite some time, for bonefish flies, and also tie almost of my small Albie and Striper flies on them.....They have NEVER EVER let me down, and I promise you that they have had a thorough work out for the past 3 years......This Autumn, I must have had well in excess of 100 stripers of between 12-20lb on size 2 and 4 C70SD's. They are certainly more than capable of handling any bonefish you are likely to catch in Cuba, without a problem

My crab patterns are tied on Gammy SC15's, and nearly all of my Tarpon flies are tied on Varivas 2600 v and 2600 st-v in sizes 1/0 and 2/0....I do have just an odd few tied on 3/0, but the smaller sizes are well capable of handling Tarpon in excess of 100lb

If you stick to these hook patterns for your up coming trip, you can fish with confidence, knowing that the hook wont let you down
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks Genty - where do you source your hooks? UKSaltwaterflies, Lakeland or over the pond?
post #6 of 12
Light bones (2-5lbs) - Gami SL45
Big bones (5lbs+) - gami SL-11 or daiichi X452(#2's & 4's)


With permit it depends on your flies, proportion is very important with permit flies. Tiemco 800S and Varivas 2600's (high carbon or stainless) in #2's, 1's. You want your flies to plummet, so don't be scared of heavy hooks. The SC15 is too light.
Tarpon is kind of a no-brainer. They eat just about anything. 600SP's and varivas 2600's are fine.


Jordan, I've had REPEATED failures from C70SD's. Two bad batches on two seperate occasions. I would not recommend flying out to a destination with a box full of flies tied on those hooks.
post #7 of 12
Tiemco TMC 811S I never had a problem with them very strong hook.
post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by jordanis3r View Post
Thanks Genty - where do you source your hooks? UKSaltwaterflies, Lakeland or over the pond?


I think it is against forum rules to start discussing various commercial sites, so I have pm'd you, but as far as our side of the pond is concerned, get them off of Oz most of the time.

As for C70SD's just as local66 is that adamant that he wouldn't trust them, so I am the opposite, I trust them explicitly.......Turning to Tiemco 600SP's wouldn't touch 'em with a barge pole......Very brittle, and if dinged on a rock, boat engine or whatever, are liable to snap.

Just an example, as with most things, (rods, reels, lines, flies, tying materials vises etc, etc.,) of one man's meat being another mans poison.... Down to personal preference, which in itself breeds confidence, which in turn leads to a better chance of success.
post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Genty View Post
As for C70SD's just as local66 is that adamant that he wouldn't trust them, so I am the opposite, I trust them explicitly.



Just out of curiosity. Why C70SD's? What makes you prefer these over other hooks?


I'll agree with genty on the 600SP's, they are brittle, but you won't have any issues with them if you keep them off the rocks/gunnels. The only 600SP I've ever broken was while crimping a barb. I've landed tarpon to 80lbs on #2's.
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Local66 View Post
Just out of curiosity. Why C70SD's? What makes you prefer these over other hooks?


I'll agree with genty on the 600SP's, they are brittle, but you won't have any issues with them if you keep them off the rocks/gunnels. The only 600SP I've ever broken was while crimping a barb. I've landed tarpon to 80lbs on #2's.



Local.......My hook preferentials evolved simply because salty fly tying gear in general is very limited over this side of the pond, as in reality it isn't really worthwhile fly fishing over here in the sea.

When I first made the swap from tying Atlantic Salmon flies to Saltwater flies around 10 years ago the only saltwater hooks readily available over here were the Mustad 34007, so as many before me have done, my first flies were tied on these hooks.

Not being entirely satisfied with their performance I switched to the Tiemco 811s, but was badly let down by these hooks on a trip to Abaco a few years back. I then started to search around for what I considered to be an alternative standard shank hook, suitable for bone fish, stripers, albies etc.,

Eventually came across the C70SD which the only saltwater specialist outlet at the time in the UK, had just started to stock. This happened to coincide with him stocking EP Fibres, and the hooks that the commercially produced patterns were tied on, the Gammy SC15.

Consequently, I tried some C70SD hooks, and also bought some EP Fibres, and started tying all sorts of things on the hooks......After a learning curve with the EP Fibres, it became obvious that these hooks were not suitable for the baitfish patterns I was tying with EP, so I did the obvious thing and purchased some SC15's.

My preference for Varivas 2600 series came a little later, and was brought about by lots of guys over on your side of the pond extolling the virtues of them as a brilliant Tarpon hook, when the were numbered the 900s (I think)

Someone asked me to tie them up a few tarpon flies, and sent me some Varivas to tie them on.....Liking the look these hooks, remembering all the good publicity they were getting, and the fact that they were becoming readily available over here, I bought a few, and tied up some flies for myself, as the profile looked more suitable to me than the Gammy SL12's /Trey Combs hooks that my original Tarpon flies were tied on.......I am not saying that the SL12's or Trey Combs, had let me down, because they hadn't, and I still tie GT flies in sizes 4/0-10/0 on these hooks; it is just that the Varivas profile seemed more akin to the Tarpon (and Crab) flies that I was tying.

All of this has evolved over some considerable time, and I really am a bit of an old fuss pot when it comes to fishing tackle and fly tying, but seeing as I have never been let down by any of these hooks, I continue to champion their cause, and as I am happy with the profile of each of them allied to the applications in which I apply them, I see no reason to change, or experiment with other hooks....That will all change the moment one or other of them lets me down though.

I absolutely agree with you re the 600SP which I used to tie GT flies on, they are super strong, and provided you don't ding them on anything, which is hardly likely in a skiff/flats fishing situation, they will never let you down......It is a little different however when you are trying to cast some big GT flies from a boat being bounced around on the outside edge of a reef.....Things happen, and a little ding on an engine casing, might not immediately cause any apparent damage to the hook, but the next hook up then fails......I have seen it happen a couple of times, so rather than worry about it whilst fishing, now use the GammySL12 orTrey Combs for such situations.

Sorry for the long winded reply, but you did ask, and as I said, all of this is only a personal preference, for as with you and I who disagree totally over the C70SD hook, whilst agreeing over other things, folk the world over are doing the same with everything to do with fishing.....There many out there who absolutely hate EP, and wouldn't have a fly made out of the stuff in their box......I know, just like me, you love the stuff
post #11 of 12
Great reply. Sometimes it's hard to imagine how one persons preferences can evolve so differently from anothers, while fishing the same conditions/species/waters. I've always been pretty vocal about my experiences with mustads, but I'm satisfied with your response, and we'll leave that sleeping dog where it's at.

When I'm tarpon fishing, I wade out to a cocquina reef that runs parallell to the beach. Casts are typically short, and there's little chance of an errant backcast hanging anything at all. The 600SP's have served me very well for what I do. The weight/proportion of this hook is what I fell in love with, and with that in mind I would use it over the varivas in any situation that required a suspending pattern.
My boat fishing is pretty simple stuff. I walk to the bow, make an 80' cast with 600 grains of tungsten, then start counting as I make my way to the transom. I do this over and over and over again, but when it's all said and done I might make 20 casts in an afternoon. If there's a good chop on the water I might goof on a back cast, but it's pretty rare.
post #12 of 12
A very valid reason why it could be our opinions on the C70SD differ so greatly, and come to that on any salty fly fishing item of tackle......

I am stuck over here in the UK, where the saltwater fishing is so dire, that people proudly post pictures of their catches of 12oz mackerel, and any sea fish on a fly rod of 5lb or over is headline news (Honest!) Consequently, and as already stated I only fish fresh water over here, therefore, all of my saltwater flies and tackle, are only ever used on my trips abroad. These equate to two, or if I am very fortunate three trips a year. 13 days fishing in the Florida Keys mid May, and 7 days in Montauk, 1st week of October. Therefore, except for an odd year or two, when I can squeeze in another trip of 7-10 days, my salty stuff only gets a work out for just 20 days days fishing per year.

Now whilst when I go, I do a full day every day, and fish hard all of the time, your rods, reels, lines, and flies, probably see such service more times in a year, than my own equipment sees in 5 or more.

This being the case, the opportunities of an equipment failure occurring within your own fishing exploits, are manifested many, many times over.

Accordingly, the truth is, your opinion, based on practical experiences over a much greater period of time, (based on actual fishing days) holds a far greater validity than my own, bearing in mind that at best, in the case of the C70SD, my opinion has been based on what amounts at the very most to 200 days practical use with these hooks..... In reality it is probably somewhat less, however, I will stick with what I am using until I have an adverse experience
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