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Spanky29ca

Question about hook quality. What do you look for in your hooks

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I purchased some hooks online, they are dohimoto hooks, they were a great price so I thought I would try them. When they arrived I put some in a garage vice and bent them and tested their strength with pliers. They were tough to bend and tough to break, they seemed strong enough and they are definatly sharp. I hear so many people that swear by the really expensive hooks and was just wondering what do you look for in your hooks that you tie with and use. In your opinion what are the advantages in buying the really expensive hooks and what makes them better than the other hooks available. Having bought flies for so many years and not knowing what hooks were used with the flies that I bought I really don't know the difference in hook manufacturers and what makes for a really great hook.

I primarily fish for trout and the rivers I fish have can have large brown and bull trout in them so there is definatly potential to catch larger fish. Thanks for any and all input on this subject.

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I buy non brand hooks if I can find a batch that I am confident with and if that is the case I bulk buy cause I'm not always sure of the consistency on non brands.

With the big names you are buying quality control and confidence that out of 100 hooks 100 should be usable. Thats not to say they always are.

I have been very happy with the own brand Allen hooks and at the price am willing to accept one hook / 100 that may have an eye missing or a short point. (thats my experience so far with a range of their styles.

If you are buying hooks that are heavier hook for bigger fish I don't think you will suffer many failures in the trout sizes, but the sharpness of the point and the time that point will last when bumping rocks, weed and fish may not be anywhere near the lifespan of a big brand hook.

 

After reading several responses to this type of Q on this forum and others (boo hiss) I am starting to question myself. The hook really is the only bit of equipement that really really matters. I can have the best rod, reel line leader and tippet and then I try to save pennies on the hook and thats what I need to hook the fish and hold the fish for the fight. I am very happy with my Allen own brand hooks and don't feel I need to spend twice the price for the same hooks from elsewhere. But if you gave me the chance to fish in paradise for the biggest fish I was ever going to hook............ it would be an Owner or similar cause having used them they do justify their price in testing conditions and over multiple fish.

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You make some very good points, I didn't really take into consideration the duration / lifespan aspect of these hooks. They very well could lose their sharpness over time, I guess I'll really have to keep an eye on them throughout the season to see how they hold up when being used a lot. I pretty much expect to lose a certain amount of nymphs getting hung up on rocks and such fishing them close to bottom, but the ones that make it throught the season i will definatly keep note of what kind of shape the are in. Thanks very much for your input.

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I am using old bait fishing hooks from my Dad's old tackle box. Since I fish for bass and sunfish, I don't use barbless hooks. In fact, the barb is the only thing I really look at before tying a fly on a hook. If the barb and hook point area are clean, and look like they'll hold a fish, it's a good hook.

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Some hooks -- like Gamagatsu -- have amazing strength and duarble sharpness for their diameter w/o being brittle. I like that a lot but the styles available are limited and they are pricey.

 

Asthertics also matter but a whole lot. I do tend to fish nicer looking flies more intently. But I have alot of very strong, ugly Eagle claws that do the job on Great lakes salmon.

 

Mostly now I use Dai Riki or Daichii when I can find them. I gave all my old Mustads, and Tiemcos to healing Waters for their lesson sessions.

 

Rocco

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Spanky, I've been tying for a long time, and have used many brands & styles of hooks. I tied commercially for many years too. When I started tying flies, the hook brands & styles that were available then were very limited compared to what is available today. Those hooks were not very sharp, and needed to be sharpened. In some cases, they were not always formed properly either. That was the result of the manufacturing process back then & the quality control. For some brands now, such issues are still sometimes present, but IMO, generally, what is being produced today is better quality than what was produced in the past. However, depending on what type of flies you need to tie, some of the older style hooks are still adequate for tying.

 

I don't tie many "trout" flies now, as I rarely get the opportunity to fish for trout. I haven't tied a dry fly in many years. The majority of fishing I do is for panfish, Bass, & Striped Bass, so my hook requirements are different than someone like yourself who primarily fishes for trout. I don't mind sharpening hooks either, particularly the larger hooks, as it's something I've always had to do. I also rarely tie on hooks smaller than a size 8.

 

If you stick with the popular brands of hooks for trout flies, most will be fine. I know some folks prefer one brand over another, but when just starting out tying you won't really see much difference. If the eye of the hook is closed completely, and the hook is sharp right from the package, it should be a good hook to tie on. Strength & such will sometimes vary & all brands can have problems, but that's usually isolated incidents.

 

There are some brands, like the the Dohimoto that you have, and Maruto, or even Kamasan that may be better known in some parts of the world, but not as well known in others. That does not make them a bad choice if they become available to you. I've never tied on or used the Dohimoto, but have used both Maruto & Kamasan, and have had no problems with either one. I suspect that some of the "no name" hooks being sold by various fly shops & fly fishing companies may even be products of these companies. I used Maruto hooks for many years for tying trout flies when I tied commercially.

 

I have a very large supply of hooks of various brands (including jig hooks for lure making, probably in excess of 100,000) that I've accumulated over many years. I tie on some styles that are not even sold as fly hooks, like "worm hooks" sold for plastic baits, or even jig hooks, because they fit my needs for large hooks better than some of the larger "fly" hooks. After you've been tying for a long time, you may find that what's available in "fly" hooks does not fit all of your needs, so you'll need to look around!

 

When I buy hooks, I try to buy in bulk whenever possible, at least in 100 hook quantities, which usually results in the best price, or as cheap as possible without buying 1000 hooks at a time. I spend a lot of time browsing Ebay & other online sources! I've also joined email lists for many online fly fishing related retailers, so I get notices about sales & such. (The sponsor, JStockard is such a retailer.) But, in order to get great deals, you need to know what you're buying. As I said, I've used many brands, so I know which are the best for my tying purposes.

 

These brands, IMO are all good quality. Some I'm listing may not make fly hooks, but are brands I use or have used.

 

Tiemco, Daiichi, Partridge, Dai-Riki, Maruto, Kamasan, Orvis, Montana Fly Co., Gamakatsu, VMC, Mustad, Matzuo, Eagle Claw & Owner. I also have some hooks I tie some flies on sold under the South Bend brand, but they're not fly hooks.

 

In order to get good quality hooks for your purposes, you need to shop around & compare. Compare not only prices, but also styles. You may find that buying a particular style, and paying a bit more for it suits your needs better than buying a lesser priced hook that really isn't what you want to use.

 

In the end, you will buy some hooks you'll not like, but you won't know that until you buy them & tie on them. Hooks are no different than any other material we use for tying.

 

As far as whether or not expensive hooks are better than cheap ones, only you can decide that, but not until after you've used both & have a good amount of experience with both. I don't like paying any more than I have to, but will pay a higher price for some hooks when it's something I need.

 

Awhile back, I bought some Owner hooks that were on clearance for 99 cents per pack. It's a worm hook & Owner has discontinued this style. They had sold for about $4 per pack. There's only 5 hooks in a pack, so even at the clearance price, with shipping that's over 20 cents per hook. Comparatively, it's expensive! But, it's a hook I like, a hook I've had great success with & if I hook a fish of a lifetime, I have no doubts about whether or not it's a hook that will do the job! Even at 20 cents per hook, the flies I tie on them are less than $1 to tie. ( Not counting my time, but it's a hobby again!) For me, it's worth it!

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i bought 31 packs of green caddis hooks today. when they come in and I get the chance to tie a few, i'll post up a review. I have really high hopes that they will be good.. I just couldn't pass on the price.

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Thanks you very much for all the input. Tidewaterfly also thank you, the dohimoto hooks I purchased are from ebay and they get sent from a retailer about 8 hours from where I live so the shipping is really fast. Ill try out some different hooks too and just see how they work for me. Throwinflys also let me know how you like those hooks it never hurts to see what people are using and how they like them.

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I've used a bunch of different brands of hooks and really the only trouble I've had is 'dry fly' rated hooks that were heavier than I wanted. For small dries I like Orvis big eye hooks since I find I can lightly hackle a dry and have it float well, the big eye makes switching flies easy on the river, and I've never had a problem with one. For streamers, foam flies, and nymph/wets I look for the profile I want and a good price and beyond that don't worry about what name is on the package.

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