Campeche Tarpon and Varivas hooks!
I just returned from 7 days of baby tarpon fishing in Mexico. No, it wasn't a dream trip or even great fishing. In fact, it was the toughest I've had in 4 trips to Campeche, but the new (for me) Varivas hooks I used saved the trip! I had previously used Owner Aki's, which I still believe are very good hooks for baby tarpon. But with the Varivas, I only jumped off about 4-5 fish in 7 days. I removed the fly from a couple dozen. That kind of ratio just has never happened for me before. Hell, I'm usually thrilled if I get half of 'em to hand. Some days I remember 1 in 3, 1 in 4, when I'm doing it right.
On this trip, I was sticking the fish, and they were jumping all over the place and staying hooked for the most part. I didn't miss too many hits either, probably only about one in 6 or so. There just weren't too many misses. I didn't change anything I've been doing for years except that I took a bunch of flies tied on the Varivas 2600 V. Same fly patterns I've always used. Same size of hook gap. (1/0 and 2/0 Varivas, 2/0 and 3/0 Owner)
For another test I guess, I'll be going back to Campeche the last week of March, and then I'll see if my hook-up rate and land ratio remain so crazy-high.
As said, fishing was slow compared to other trips there, but I was met with some VERY low winter morning tides (which I knew going in), and a cold front that had passed 3 days before I arrived, which dropped temperatures 15 degrees into the shivering 60's and 70's. Not a lot of action, but I believe the hooks allowed me to keep the rod bent and the silver flying much more than usual, for me anyway.
*I don't have any interest in the sales or marketing of Varivas hooks. They're Japanese imports. But I sure sold on 'em for a while now!