Originally Posted by Local66
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.
.....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