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  1. #1

    Default Rookie question about streamers

    I picked up a box of flies at our recent TU dinner. It had a nice cross section of flies including a few streamers.

    When I got it home, I noticed a lateral bend in the streamer hooks right near the bend of the hook. It looks to be about 15 +/- degrees. I assume the reason for it is to impart a lateral movement to the fly as you strip in line.

    Is this common practice? Does it work? Can I bend hooks with pliers without breaking them?

    Thanks for any help,


  2. #2

    Default Re: Rookie question about streamers

    If I understand your description the hook point is offset from the shank. This is common with bait hooks and I think the theory is it improves your hook up percentage. But this process is done before the heat forging. I personally do not recommend putting any kind of bend in a hook yourself. It certainly has the potential to weaken it.
    Hand crafted wood fly boxes.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    quiet corner, ct

    Default Re: Rookie question about streamers

    If you tie bend back style flies, then shaping the hooks with pliers is normal. There's plenty of other flies that require opening up the hook gape too. Even the Klinkhammer Special was originally tied on a hand bent hook.
    However I suspect that your streamers were just tied on bait hooks...
    Hey, they're cheap
    The simpler the outfit, the more skill it takes to manage it, and the more pleasure one gets in his achievements. --- Horace Kephart

  4. #4

    Default Re: Rookie question about streamers

    Thanks jbird and Rip Tide.

    Let me see if I can explain this better. If you were looking down at the top of the fly, you would see the bend occurs just before the bend of the hook on the shank.......the whole bend is off set.... not just the barb. Sort of like a rudder.

    I don't know if that explains it better?

    Thanks again,


  5. #5

    Default Re: Rookie question about streamers

    Yep, that's what I thought. Its called an offset hook. Not common in fly hooks. Very common in bait holders.
    Hand crafted wood fly boxes.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Rookie question about streamers

    Thanks jbird,

    I just did a little R+D, took a pair of pliers to bend a discarded hook......snap!

    Oh well.............

    Thanks again,


  7. #7

    Default Re: Rookie question about streamers

    Some guys do like to bend hooks for one reason or another. I used to too. But hook failure comes into the equation when stressing a hook like that. I used to bend the back of my big steelhead stoneflies. I had about a 5% failure rate on those hooks when connected to a large fish. Its just not worth it to me. You can tie all the effective patterns you need with factory shaped hooks IMO
    Hand crafted wood fly boxes.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Manning, S. C. (formerly MD)

    Default Re: Rookie question about streamers

    In my early days of fly tying, I used some Carlisle style hooks for streamers. They're a long shank hook, available in several sizes & have an offset to the point. They're also relatively inexpensive & never noticed any negative affects from using them. I've heard others say they won't track straight, but that was not my experience. May have been because I was generally using large sizes, size 2 to 2/0 & simple style patterns such as bucktails or Seaducers. However, I did sometimes tie on smaller sizes & again never noticed any problems as a result.

    Some styles of hooks are kirbed, some are straight, such as most fly hooks & some have a reversed point. The difference is in which direction the point is bent. A kirbed hook point is offset to the left, a straight point has no offset and a reversed point is offset to the right, all relative to the shank.

    I have also straightened Carlisle style hooks, but they will sometimes break. All depends on the tempering of the metal.

    Many years ago, when I was tying commercially, Capt Jeffrey Cardenas told me of a trip he made to fish for Bonefish, where the guide had used all kirbed hooks to tie the flies they used. He indicated that the hook-up rate was actually better compared to straight shank hooks.

    I can't say my use of hooks with an offset to the point resulted in any better hook-ups, but that's probably more due to my inexperience at the time than anything else!
    Remember, no one likes to be behind the big truck, but that's better than being under it!

  9. #9

    Default Re: Rookie question about streamers

    forged hook means very stiff wire. prolly snap if you try to bend it.

    kirbbed, reversed hook , do a google search


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