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smallest hooks

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Oh yeah, those first images of poppers are mine, but I've changed my painting technique now and do a lot of blending with 2, 3, 4, or 5 paint colors. I like this much more and am able to get some nice colors, shades, and textures, really fun.

 

The poppers that come right after that are John Maddux'; both of us live in Waco and travel to tie. Mountain Home is about 500 miles north from us, so a 1,000 mile round trip. John ties hundreds and is now carving balsa for bodies; he is in big demand.

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I tie up some 32s just for fun once in awhile. They are strictly a tail, dubbing, dry fly hackle. No wings of any kind on those YET. I have put wings on size 26 okay but that's about as small for now. I keep a good supply of 20-26 on hand both dry, wet, soft hackle and emerger. Maybe someday I'll catch a fish on one. So far a 20 is the smallest I've caught fish on since I tend to over stress those tiny hooks and end up pulling or popping leader.

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32 is the smallest I've seen.

 

A friend of mine ties perfect parachutes on size 32. He has done this for many years. Years ago, he would split tying thread to achieve perfection, now one can purchase thread thin enough. Over the years, I've sat next to him many times while he ties these microscopic masterpieces and I still don't believe it.

 

I've fished the flies too, often behind a giant fly size 18 that I can almost see. You don't want to hook a big fish on a size 32... Or maybe you do.

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helen shaw tied a size 40 royal coachman

 

http://www.spencerewert.com/WesternTroutFlies/HelenShaw.html

 

unfortunately most (not all) tying materials are not proprtionally sized for tiny size 32 hooks

Interesting article flytire.....thanks for sharing ....I own a copy of one of her books , it was actually my first fly tying book :)

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My buddies and I have talked about the "22" club. A 22 inch fish on a size 22 fly.

 

I have tied down to a size 32 just to do it.

I used my desk lamp with magnification, wore 2.75 power reading glasses, and my fishing hat with flip focals. Of course this was before bifocals.

 

I don't believe I have fished with anything smaller than a size 20 dry.

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I fish with what I have called size 22 for 70 years. These dry flies called 32 look bigger than my 22. The one fly I saw on the person's finger looked like my 24 which I really don't need to fish with, although I have them. My father tied his own flies and got all his hooks from Herters, sizes smaller than a 24 were not available in the 1950 to 1980 time period, when he tied flies. When did any size smaller than 24 become available and is it really smaller than my 1950 size 22?

Edited by HayHay
I did find old info on size 30 from Herters. Still looks like what I call 22

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Tough to get a lot of information on small hooks.   The consensus is that the Mustad 277 gold plated spade head size 32 is the smallest hook ever made.   It appears that Mustad made this hook briefly in the early 1980's and then discontinued them.  Right now a single hook is going for $10 on e-bay.  I actually tied a fly on the Mustad 277 size 32 for Hans Weilenmann's  "Smallest Fly Project"  back in the early 2000's.  He had come across a box of the Mustad 277's and sent a hook to a bunch of fly tyers and asked them to tie a fly on the hook.   Unfortunately, the pictures were lost when he switched web sites. 

We know that hook sizes are not consistent across brands.   The TMC 518 is a 2xs hook with a 2xl gape. It most likely is larger than a Herter's size 22 from the 1950's.   Just for comparison I did find a picture of the TMC 518 size 32 and the Mustad 277 size 32. It's much easier to tie a fly on the TMC hook.

 

 

 

Size 32.jpg

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On 2/13/2015 at 5:09 PM, shoebop said:

post-35746-0-53690400-1423879705_thumb.jpg

size 32

A guy asks about a hook and you give him the finger. 😁

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Size 30 on the gamakatsu hook.  I like the large eye.  This is next to a size 14 of the same fly.  9F61BBBE-FC30-4591-BB4B-57BB54F7BD61.thumb.jpeg.b9be1a9a93363d99e3ce2812a3f29746.jpeg

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Trico on a 32 Mustad. Wire to keep track of it and show there really is an eye in there.

 

 

DSCF5444 (2).JPG

DSCF5446 (2).JPG

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Saw some 32s at Little River Outfitters, Townsend, TN. Met a fellow in AR who was doing a tying demo. I asked what the smallest he had ever tied. Said a 32. Thought he lost one but found it under his thumbnail.

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