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Bazzbozz

What hook do I use?

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How do I know which hook to use?

Which size, shape, thickness, length?

Are all the hooks a standard size between manufacturers and if not how can I tell which hook compared to a different maker?

Is a dry fly hook the same as a wet, streamer,scud, caddis?

is their a simplified chart?

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There is no standardisation at all. Not even within the range of hooks from one maker. Yes it is a nightmare. But it is one of our own creating by putting up with it.

 

The best advice is the pattern, when written out, will tell you, or at least give some indication. If it doesn't you need to ask yourself, "If this person can't tell me what hook to use, does he know enough to be telling me anything else?"

 

Generally "Dry fly hook" means one of finer gauge wire.

Wet fly hook is a medium gauge wire, and is a little shorter in the shank. (not more than 1/4)

Long shank and short shank hooks are denoted by 1x long or 1xshort. You can get long shank hooks up to 10x long possibly longer. Each x doubles or halves the hook shank length.

 

Curved hooks. Well that is an even bigger nightmare. Try to use the specified hook, or one that looks like it.

 

All this could be avoided by us acting together to insist that hook packs all have the size of the hook on them measured on a standard scale. This doesn't mean changing any hooks. Just measuring them and putting that on the packaging. All we need do is not buy a hook unless it has the standard sizes on the pack. Unfortunately that is like trying to herd cats.

Cheers,

C.

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I am with Crackaig on using patterns.

Tying from a recipe (and SBS if given) shows you all the materials needed to tie that fly. After a while, you'll get to know which hooks you prefer for different types of flies you're tying.

 

If you are trying to tie flies from a picture, or coming up with your own design, and you don't know what kind of hook to use, then you need to go back to patterns.

 

There is ALWAYS a learning curve. Trying to jump the curve ALWAYS results in frustration ... and usually ends in quitting.

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Most places that sell hooks list them as "Dry Fly", "Wet Fly", "Streamer", etc. Start there and buy what fits the type you want to tie.

Most of the patterns list a brand and style number, or a generic type like above. If they list it as brand and style you can put that in a Google Search to see which type they are calling for. In the vast majority of cases, it is not necessary to tie on the exact hook the pattern calls for. Swap Diichii for Mustad for store brand generics. The sizes may not be exactly the same, but it will (generally)be close enough.
(How do like the way I qualified that? LOL There are no absolute truths, even in fly tying.)

 

Good luck. While there may be a few aspects of this hobby that can get aggravating, it is well worth it for the satisfaction when a fly turns out right, and when a fish grabs one you thought turned out only so-so.

Don't forget to have fun!

 

Kirk

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How do I know which hook to use?

Which size, shape, thickness, length?

Are all the hooks a standard size between manufacturers and if not how can I tell which hook compared to a different maker?

Is a dry fly hook the same as a wet, streamer,scud, caddis?

is their a simplified chart?

 

No one has mentioned hook conversion charts so I will.

 

Every manufacturer has a model number for every one of their hooks. Every manufacturer makes a version of the most popular hooks. So if a fly pattern calles for a specific hook brand and model, you can use the conversion chart to find a close match for that hook from another manufacturer.

 

Here are three popular conversion charts:

 

http://www.buckeyeflyfishers.com/Articles/hook_xref/hooktiem.htm

http://killroys.com/chart/hook-charts/

http://www.erobillard.com/FF/HookChart.htm

Think of a hook as the skeleton of the fly. You cannot make a model of a snake using the skeleton of a bird. The hook determines the shape and length of the body of the fly. All other factors such as the wire guage, hook eye direction, hook bend shape, etc, can be worked around.

Hooks come in standard wire, light wire (XF), and heavy wire (XH). For example a dry fly hook would be XF so it is of a lighter guage wire to float, and a wet fly might be XH so it will tend to sink. If you cannot afford both hooks, buy the XF first. You can always use lead to weight a fly to get it to sink but it is impossible to make a hook lighter.

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for starters, most pattern recipes specify what hooks and size should/could/might be used

 

hook charts available on the internet will give equivalents of hook styles between manufacturers (not all manufacturers are represented in these charts) see links above

 

Googling a particular hook will also give you what the hook is designated for

 

ex: tiemco 2488 = straight eye, 3x wide gape, 2x short, curved shank, fine wire, bronze. uses: nymphs, wet flies

 

GOOGLE the different hook manufacturers to learn about their hooks and what designations they use

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If you want the fly to float, use a light hook...generallly these will be marked "dry fly" hooks. If you want the fly to sink use a "Wet" hook. If you want the body to sink and be longer, use a 2X hook or longer. If you're tying streamers, these hooks are marked as well.

 

But for several hundred years, fly fishers made out with just "hooks." I'm not sure when we started floating flies, but since then the light wire hooks came to prominence. Except for light-wire dry fly hooks, most of the others will work.

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ex: tiemco 2488 = straight eye, 3x wide gape, 2x short, curved shank, fine wire, bronze. uses: nymphs, wet flies

 

 

 

 

Oops I've been using this for a foam dry for years. Maybe I should look for an alternative. wink.png

Cheers,

C.

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At least 2 years ago I won a few online auctions for a bunch of boxes of old freshwater hooks. Most did not indicate their intended use nor could I find their part numbers in any books or online search. The task of sorting boiled down to what was said on this thread. Those that indicated light wire or looked like light wire went to my dry fly stash. The remaining shorter heavy wire hooks went with my wet fly stash, while longer heavty wire ones went to my streamers or large nymph bin.

Another thing to mention. Wet flies and streamer often come in contact with rocks and submerged stuff. That is exactly why these hooks are made from heavier wire to prevent bending or breaking in these situations. Using heavy hooks is also a good idea when targeting really big fish.

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I got a lot of strange old mostly Mustad hooks like the ones mentioned above. I gave most of them away, but kept some odd ones. Which is why I ended up with #16 1x short 3x heavy hooks. And some 14 light wire about 5x long, which I haven't used yet. Long out of production.

 

They will work just fine, although look unconventional.

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