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Old 01-24-2009, 01:38 PM
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Default Bead Size

Is there any rule of thumb to determine what bead size to use on a given hook size for tying bead-headed nymphs?

Thanks - Jim M
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Old 01-24-2009, 03:08 PM
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Default Re: Bead Size

Yes, at least sorta. Just be aware that different hooks accept beads easier than others. Some like the Mustad 3906 and 3906B don’t accept them very well because of the bend and thickness of the wire. And there may be some difference in the drilling of the beads, so sometimes different beads of the same size from different companies won't fit the same hook.

Here’s a thread with some links to a hook comparison chart and a bead size to Mustad hook chart. Again, use it as a ball park not as gospel.
http://www.theflyfishingforum.com/fo...tion-8634.html

Also, since a lot of beads are also sold in mm instead of inches, a pretty good matchup is something like this at least for the stuff I use (mostly Mustads) though i don't tie a ton of them:
1.5 mm – 1/16” (for sizes 24-20)
2.0 mm – 5/64” (for 18-20)
2.3 or 2.5mm – 3/32” (for 18-16)
3.0 and 3.2mm -7/64” (for 16-14)
3.5mm - 1/8” (for 14-12)
4.0mm – 5/32” (for 12-8)
4.6 4.8mm -3/16” (for 10-8)
4.8mm – also around 3/16” (for 6-4)
5.5mm- 7/32” (for 6-4 and maybe some 2’s)
6.3mm- Ό” (for size 4-1)

But again different hook brands and models will accept different ranges of sizes some a bit wider than the ranges listed above, some a bit smaller- but if you aim for the middle you should be OK, unless you run into a odd model that doesn't accept beads well at all like the 3906's and the caddis 37160 from Mustad.

Maybe other folks have a favorite bead hook?

Hope this helps.

peregrines
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Old 01-24-2009, 07:33 PM
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Default Re: Bead Size

P. Thanks for the chart. Most excellent!
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Old 01-25-2009, 07:59 AM
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Default Re: Bead Size

peregrines -

Thanks for the guidelines.

Interesting about the Mustad 3906B, since that is my main nymph hook. I'll see what I can sub for it from the chart, I assume it is the bend (and not the barb) that prevents it from being used.

Jim
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Old 01-25-2009, 09:35 AM
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Default Re: Bead Size

Jim,

I use a Mustad 9671 (2xl) to sub for the 3906B (1xl) in the same size, and 1 size smaller for the 3906 (std length).

It seems like Mustad is also making some small changes to their hooks for 2009, with some new replacement models coming out for some of the old standbys. Perhaps some of them will accept beads a little more easily.

I'm sure other folks have favorite hook models they use for beads, maybe they'll weigh in.

peregrines
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Old 01-25-2009, 11:45 AM
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Default Re: Bead Size

You also need to look at Orvis. They have a "BIG EYE" that is sweet as heck!
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