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ccb

fly hooks for tying

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"Best" is relative. Joe may not like what Tom likes, and Tom may not like what Al likes, etc., etc., etc. I don't tie either of those patterns, so I can't make a recommendation. You might want to ask over in the fly tying forum.

 

Whatever hook you choose, make sure it's sticky sharp -- either out of the box, or after you've taken a file to it.

 

:-)

 

Steve Culton

 

X2

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ccb, I've used a lot of different hooks over the years & have yet to find one that won't work for tying those styles of flies. Some are stronger, some sharper, some with various price points. All depends on what you need & are willing to spend. Most of the hooks already mentioned are stainless, which seems to be what many prefer.

 

But, I agree with Steve about "best" being a personal choice. For most folks there needs to be a balance between the function & the price of a hook. I'll still use tinned hooks for a lot of tying, simply because they're less costly than stainless, and I don't mind sharpening them when necessary. They'll rust, but nothing lasts forever anyway & I lose enough flies before they can rust so not a concern.

 

If you want to try some different hooks, which you should to see what you like best, check out what's been listed already & the following alternatives:

 

VMC/Rapala 9255 - tin plated hook, similar to the old Mustad 3407, but much sharper from the package & IMO much stronger

Eagle Claw -254, either the tinned or the stainless, as they make both, not particularly sharp, but they're strong & reasonable cost

Eagle Claw 250, similar to the 254 in tinned, but a 1X longer shank

Eagle Claw 354, larger eye than the 254, heavier wire, also made in both tinned & stainless

Eagle Claw 253, lighter wire than the 254, nickle plated, but a decent hook, also not particularly expensive

Eagle Claw P115, Lazer version of a 253 basically, Platinum Black finish

Eagle Claw P120, Lazer version, similar to the P115, but 2X strong & comes in both tinned & red finish

Allen Fly Fishing, SW001, SW002, both stainless, both relatively sharp. Jury is still out for me, but they seem like decent hooks, especially for the price

 

Hope this helps! :)

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Thanks for all the info I also wonder about S.S. Hooks staying in the fish for a longer time? The tins rust off faster , I think?

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At one time there was much concern over using the old Cadmium plated hooks. Cadmium apparently caused more damage to the fish than the hook being there, as it's toxic. So, hook makers went to tin, which is not as good as the Cadmium for preventing rusting, but better for the fish. Stainless hooks are certainly worth using for the rusting issues, but most of the better stainless hooks because of the high carbon content will still rust, eventually.

 

I look at it this way. I know I'll break fish off sometimes, that goes with fishing. The only way to prevent it is to not fish at all, which is not an option for me. There's also going to be some fish that are not hooked in the ideal parts of their body, so mortality will happen to released fish sometimes. Again, the only sure way to prevent it is not fish.

 

If you use a hook that's sharp & strong, you improve your chances of solid hook-ups. Also have to use a strong enough tippet/leader & rod combination. This is not delicate dry fly fishing we're talking about & most salt species are not especially leader shy. Go too light most of the time & you'll increase the chances of break-offs.

 

I generally use 20 lb test tippets, even when fishing for schoolie size fish, and only occasionally break off a fish. The hook rusting issue is not a big concern for me, except in my fly boxes. I don't have problems with that too often either. If a fish is hooked well in the mouth area & is broke off, they'll usually get that hook out themselves. Makes little difference what the hooks made of. If they're hooked deep, or in the gills, certainly not the best for them, and again may contribute to mortality. Once that fish is gone, there's no way of telling how well they fare. It's only a guess.

 

I had some Key West guides tell me they often would release Tarpon by cutting the tippet as close to the hook as they could, leaving the hook in place. Trying to remove the hook often did more damage than leaving it. The warm saltwater would cause it to rust out, usually at the smallest area, which would be the barb, and simply fall out of the hard mouth. The attempt at landing the fish would wear a hole in the mouth where it's hooked, so the hook would usually be loose anyway. Not sure that would apply to other species, or other waters, but it seems the warmer the water & higher that salt content, the better it would be for rusting the hook, but the colder the water & the higher the O2 content the better it would be for the fishes survival. IMO, there's a lot of variables to whether that hook will rust out or not, so I don't get too concerned over it.

 

Anything we do to limit the break-offs is the best choice for us IMO, and the rest is up to nature to deal with.

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I understand choosing a korean import rod over and 800$ sage, and I understand not wanting a custom finished abel, I don't understand saving forty cents on a hook.

 

To each his own, but I completely agree with this statement...pretty much sums it up! Hooks are not the item to try and pinch pennies.

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One of the reasons I ask is, I had some Eagle Claw #1 hooks and they curved to the side, after tying them? They said Bait Holder hooks I think they may be the wrong kind of hook for tying ?

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I understand choosing a korean import rod over and 800$ sage, and I understand not wanting a custom finished abel, I don't understand saving forty cents on a hook.

 

I could not agree more. Hooks and tippet are the most important thing in your set up.

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To each his own, but I completely agree with this statement...pretty much sums it up! Hooks are not the item to try and pinch pennies.

 

I agree, but you want the right hook for the job

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