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Thread: Fly Sizes

  1. #1
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    Default Fly Sizes

    How do you tell what size a fly is? ie: 12-14-16-18

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Fly Sizes

    After awhile of fishing them, you just figure them out. A 12 is a medium sized trout fly. An 18 is a rather small one.

    MP

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Fly Sizes

    seajay: If you have a local fly shop nearby, pay them a visit and browse through their fly selections, you will be able to recognize the sizes after awhile. You could also visit Cableas or Brass Pro.

    Larry

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Fly Sizes

    Hey Seajay, welcome to the forum.

    As others have said, once you have some flies and you know their sizes, you'll be able to tell with just a little practice.

    I see that you're in Florida and just starting out--- let us know what you're fishing for and the line weight of your rod and maybe we can give you a few suggestions for fly patterns and sizes.
    Mark

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Fly Sizes

    I fish the inshore creeks for Flounder Reds and Trout. While in Highlands, NC
    I picked up a combo Pflueger 5/6wt. Not sure what line is currently on it. It measures 1.11mm. I would say the rod has a fast action. The reel is a Mod. #1094

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Fly Sizes

    Like others said after awhile you will able to tell by just looking.
    At first it is a little more difficult to tell by looking at finished flies. When you are in a shop take a look at some bare hooks of the same style and brand in different sizes (TMC 100, #12, #14, #16, #18) side by side. You will see quite a difference.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Fly Sizes

    The fly sizes for reds, specs and summer flounder will normally be somewhere around 4 on the smaller side on up to 2/0 to imitate the bait they normally eat (crabs, shrimp and small baitfish). With a 5/6 rod these flies might be a bit difficult to throw because they'd be a bit bigger and wind resistant than the size 8-18 flies typically used with an outfit like that.

    That's not to say that you can't have fun with your outfit. It would be perfect for chasing panfish and bass or freshwater trout. And it can certainly be used in salt water too, though a heavier weights are generally used. For use with your 5/6 in salt water for reds etc, I'd look for flies that are mostly size 2-4 sparsely dressed and not too heavily weighted. Examples might be size 4 crab or shrimp imitations, and size 2 small baitfish imitations like sparsely dressed Clouser minnows weighted with bead chain instead of lead dumbbell eyes, small bendbacks, and glass minnows.
    Mark

  8. #8
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    Lightbulb Re: Fly Sizes

    Peregrines, thanks for such a clear explanation. Now I have a starting point.
    Jimmie so the fly size is actually the hook size per say. I know it depends on the brand and type.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Fly Sizes

    Quote Originally Posted by seajay View Post
    Peregrines, thanks for such a clear explanation. Now I have a starting point.
    Jimmie so the fly size is actually the hook size per say. I know it depends on the brand and type.
    The answer is yes 99% of the time seajay.
    Occassionally a tyer will tie a smaller fly on a larger hook if out of the size the tyer needs for the fly.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Fly Sizes

    The fly size refers to the size of the hook gap (or gape), which is the distance from the shank to the point. Here’s an illustration from Mustad:



    Hooks of a given size will vary also by the thickness of their wire, by the length of their shank, whether the eye is turned up, down or straight, and several other characteristics like whether it is finished to resist corrosion in salt water, the shape of the bend etc. all depending on its intended use.

    If you take up tying you'll want to learn more about this, but for now, if you're buying flies from a reputable source, the flies will be tied on the "correct style" of hook, so all you have to worry about is the "size".

    But even hook size can be a little confusing.

    Hooks sizes designated with a "__/0" get bigger as the number increases.
    These would be designated as "ought size" hooks, so "2/0" would be referred to as "2 ought"

    Biggest 19/0, etc etc 12/0, 11/0, 10/0, 9/0, 8/0, 7/0, 6/0, 5/0, 4/0, 3/0, 2/0, 1/0

    and from here hooks get smaller as the size number increases. Except for size "1", down from here hook sizes usually are even numbered:

    bigger < 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22 etc. etc, until size 32 (incredibly tiny)

    Just to give you a general idea, here are just some rough guidelines (as opposed to hard and fast rules) for fly sizes for different fish:

    Size 11/0 and up are generally used with bait for the biggest man eating sharks etc

    10/0 generally the upper size limit for flies, used on flies for marlin, biggest tuna etc.

    Big tarpon 3/0-1/0

    Redfish, 2/0- 4

    Snook, specs 2/0-2

    Summer flounder 1-2

    Florida bonefish 2-6

    freshwater bass 1/0-6

    panfish (like bluegill etc) 8-12

    fresh water trout typically size 6-20, and tiny specialized 22 and smaller

    Hope this helps!
    Mark

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