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Thread: Hook Question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri
    Posts
    327

    Default Hook Question

    I have only recently returned to tying flies after not tying for about 25 years, and so far I have limited my tying to a couple of consistent performers. When I decided to tie a different fly, I started out by looking up the pattern for that fly on the internet from several different sources. As I check patterns for a single fly it is apparently common to find multiple conflicting recipe components for some of the standard basic dry flies. I understand that people experiment with lots of variations, but I am talking about basic components, like hooks.

    For example, I looked up (on the internet) a half-dozen patterns for a Pheasant Tail nymph, a pretty basic nymph. Each pattern recommends a different hook for this fly, and it is not a case of a similar hook only by a different manufacturer. Recommended hooks included Tiemco 100, Tiemco 200R, Tiemco 3761 and Tiemco 3769, Tiemco 5262 and Mustad R73-9761. The Tiemco hooks vary in length (standard to 3X long) and in shape (straight shank vs curved).

    Is there any consistent source for patterns, or are my options - buy the Benchside Reference (very expensive) or simply pick any one pattern for a specifi fly and follow it?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Monroe, Michigan
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    2,584

    Default Re: Hook Question

    Pick the fly recipe that calls for the hooks you have, or something close. People experiment with old standbys to get what they want in a fly. If I see a pattern I like I adapt it to the materials I have on hand...

    Dan

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Southeast Pennsylvania
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    2,760

    Default Re: Hook Question

    It's not uncommon to find a recipe for a PTN that calls for a "standard nymph"
    hook, whatever that might be. Mustad's 3906 is a standard nymph hook, but
    I find it too short for my PTN's, and use at least a 3906B (1X long). If I use
    a beadhead, I go to a 2X long hook. You can always tie a pattern short on a
    long hook, but it's tough to stretch a short hook.

    I don't know how many recipes are in the Benchside Reference, as it's more
    of a technique book (I've only skimmed through it). Google up Charlie Craven,
    and you'll find a wealth of free recipes on his website.

    ---------- Post added at 08:12 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:05 AM ----------
    EDIT
    Here's Charlie Craven's website o' recipes: Charlie's FlyBox - Colorado's Best FlyShop and online Fly Tying Tutorials

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Northern California
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    Default Re: Hook Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Brewmaster View Post
    Recommended hooks included Tiemco 100, Tiemco 200R, Tiemco 3761 and Tiemco 3769, Tiemco 5262 and Mustad R73-9761. The Tiemco hooks vary in length (standard to 3X long) and in shape (straight shank vs curved).
    A lot of tiers will play around with hooks to get a desired effect. Here is what I notice with the hook selection

    TMC 100 - This is a dry fly hook. Some tiers will use this to make the fly lighter.
    TMC 200R - This will give a humped back.
    TMC 3761 - Standard nymph hook. Straight shank.
    TMC 3769 - Very close to the 3761. I believe the bend in the hook starts earlier giving a slightly shorter shank.
    TMC 5262 - This is a 2x long hook. Some tiers want the extra length to accommodate a bead.

    I don't tie with Mustads.

    Denny
    Last edited by MoscaPescador; 03-27-2010 at 10:26 AM. Reason: forgot the 100

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    4,019

    Default Re: Hook Question

    Yup it can get really confusing, but as others have said use what you have. One of the big challenges when starting out in tying--- or restarting-- is learning what are acceptable substitutes for stuff listed in recipes. That goes for hooks as well as other materials.

    Just pay attention to the different properties of hooks so you end up with something that will work for you.

    Wire thickness:
    nymphs and wets on heavy wire hooks will sink faster. Use light wire hooks for most dries and emergers and nymphs you want to fish high in the water column.

    Shank length-- you might be able to get a way with a larger size 1xl nymph hook instead of using a 2xl or 3xl nymph hook in a smaller size. Use differences in shank length in different models of hooks to fill in any gaps in your hook inventory.

    For many years, Mustad was the standard, and I more or less grew up with them and still use them, so i'll list the ones i still use below. But there are many other choices available. Here's a hook chart that might help to get equivalents in recipes you see, and you can use it to translate it into your preferred hook brand/s:
    Fly Hook Comparison Chart

    dry flies standard length, extra fine wire. For dries and emergers and nymphs you want to fish high in the water column. Mustad R50-9484. The Tiemco 100, a light wire dry fly hook with a wide gap is very popular and doesn't really have a Mustad equivalent.

    wets (soft hackles and winged wets)
    Standard length and heavy wire Mustad 3906

    Nymphs 1xl or 2xl
    Mustad 3906B (1xl heavy wire, sproat bend) or 9672 2 xl (standard wire, perfect bend, I use this with beads)

    Bugger, muddler (and stonefly or hopper dries with foam bodies) 3xl
    Mustad 9672

    Streamer 4xl (can also be used for above)
    Mustad 79580 or 9674 (I also use a size 12 4xl 79580 for Eastern Green Drake dry flies. Because of their large size (standard 6 or 8), using the smaller size 12 4xl is actually lighter in weight (thinner shank) than a standard size 8 dry fly hook, but is the right length.)

    Scuds (and caddis pupae, emergers)
    I use Tiemco 2487, a light wire 2xshort hook for emergers, and caddis pupa that I want to fish in the film or close to the surface and Tiemco 2457 ( the same hook in heavy wire) for scuds and caddis pupae that i want to fish deep. Both hooks can also be used for nymphs for a different look.
    Mark

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri
    Posts
    327

    Default Re: Hook Question

    Thanks for the responses. I have a few hooks and will pick up a couple more types/sizes from Feather-Craft next week. The breadth and depth of new fly tying materials and pattern options is amazing compared to what was available 25+ years ago. Back then I was tying more for warm water fish, and less for trout; and now I am tying almost totally for trout, so between very old (and limited) experience and materials overload, there is definitely a learning curve I will be working through.

    FrankB2 - I agree, I have been using Charlies Flybox as a starting point for most of my online fly pattern research - thanks for the suggestion.

    MP - Thanks for the concise synopsis of the TMC hook types, it definitely helped me make my selection. I agree with your recommendation, I have only been using Tiemco hooks too; I find them to be super sharp and very strong. Don't see a need to switch from a hook that outperforms my expectations.

    peregrines - Thanks for the general definition of whch hook to use for what type of fly. Your comments made me think more about shank length before I chose which hook to buy - I appreciate your recommendations.

    I am sure I will have more questions inthe future - thanks for everyone's help.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Hook Question

    I'd never looked for it before, but was hoping to find the chart Mustad has in their printed pro catalog on their web site, and bingo, there it was:

    Signature Fly Hooks - Alphacode

    Maybe this will help you a little, at least with the Mustad hooks.

    I can't offer much else in the way of advice. Not a trout guy, and while I'm on Mustad pro staff, I pretty much fish the C71S-SS saltwater circle hook, some leftover C51S freshwater circle hooks (now discontinued), and have been experimenting with the Demon Circle hooks some.

    Craig
    FlatsLander Guide Service
    www.flatslander.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Upper Mojave Desert
    Posts
    1,822

    Default Re: Hook Question

    I'm most familiar with TMC hook sizes since that's all I can buy in my town. When I get recipes that call for other hooks I cross ref. to this chart:
    Fly Hook Comparison Chart
    I'm usually just interested in Nymph, or Dry; 1Xl, 2XL, 3Xl, 4XL. Then occassionally a specialty hook like straight eye (TMC101). Oh yeah Scud hooks also.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri
    Posts
    327

    Default Re: Hook Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmie View Post
    I'm most familiar with TMC hook sizes since that's all I can buy in my town. When I get recipes that call for other hooks I cross ref. to this chart:
    Fly Hook Comparison Chart
    I'm usually just interested in Nymph, or Dry; 1Xl, 2XL, 3Xl, 4XL. Then occassionally a specialty hook like straight eye (TMC101). Oh yeah Scud hooks also.
    Jimmie - GREAT multi-manufacturer hook cross reference chart! Thanks!

  10. #10

    Default Re: Hook Question

    folks use different style hooks for different reasons
    some may want a wider gap a curved nymph or a longer shank an up eye or a down eye
    or perhaps a barbless hook.
    use what you have . there are a few different patterns for this fly also
    some tie it with cooper wire as the thread others use a bead head and rib it with copper wire.

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