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Freddo

Hooks Without Eyes?

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Hi All,

 

A fellow musician in our church's worship band was a fly tyer years ago. He stopped a while back and after learning that I'm into fly tying, he thought to give me a bunch of hooks he had on hand. As I was going through the envelope containing the small packages of various hook sizes I noticed that these hooks had no eyes for the tippet to go through! What?!? What's the deal? There must be a good reason as I doubt these are all defective hooks and would really like to know.

 

Thanks in advance!

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Thanks SilverCreek! Quite interesting too! The hooks I received are all on the small size, nothing in my opinion that would make a salmon fly; I'd think bigger hooks would be used. Well knowing this, I'll have to see about getting gut somewhere maybe or just store them away.

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You could use braided line, or even mono to make an eye, doesn't have to be gut..

 

Thanks - I may try that. Would I match the "gut" type material (mono, braid, etc.) to the tippet size or at least a size or two larger?

 

Lastly, is the tippet tied to the gut eye the same as I'd tie on a metal hook eye or is there a specific know for that too?

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The smaller hooks were more often snelled to horse hair rather than gut. The horse hair was a single strand from the tail of a stallion. (Mare's tail hairs were not used as they can't pee straight! The urine running down the tail weakens the hair.) Once the fly was tied the horse hair would be incorporated into a "cast" by braiding it together with some lengths of hair without flies and more with flies. A single fly could not be changed on a cast on the water. Rather the whole "cast" was changed as one. That is why when you look at collections of tackle of more than 100 years old the fly box isn't present. You will see "cast wallets" instead.

 

Here is a link to a plate from Brook and River Trouting and the same for North Country Flies, these show the flies to horse hair.

 

It was only in the late 19C that eyed hooks became available, and took some time to catch on, and become the norm.

 

A few years ago someone wrote an article in Fly Fishing and Fly Tying about trying to catch a trout on a horse hair tippet. I don't recall all the details, but his estimate was that a single strand of horse hair had breaking strain of around 2 lbs. Remember though that rods were softer, and generally longer, back then. Also that the braid had much more stretch than modern tackle. All that cushioned the jolts from a fighting fish.

 

Cheers,

C.

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Still have a #32 with no hook eye & always looking to get a few more because if a fly tyed that small isn't enough of a joke to saltwater fisherman, they are always good for a rod inlay since micro-surgery snelling a hook knot tying practice is quite a task for old eyes.....

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You could use braided line, or even mono to make an eye, doesn't have to be gut..

 

Thanks - I may try that. Would I match the "gut" type material (mono, braid, etc.) to the tippet size or at least a size or two larger?

 

Lastly, is the tippet tied to the gut eye the same as I'd tie on a metal hook eye or is there a specific know for that too?

 

I found some old eyeless hooks several years ago, in one of my Dad's old tackle boxes. I didn't snell a loop on, I just tied in a loop of braid for the eye. I also head cemented the loop to keep it open, to make it easier to thread the leader through.

Then I just tied on like any other fly.

I'll post a picture or two when I get home.

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Thanks guys - this is neat stuff! Maybe I'll try using them, there are a lot of them!

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I read somewhere that an eye on a hook was the most difficult part to make. And on a size 32, the hook eye would add a whole lot of relative weight to a dry fly.

 

I've made blind eye hooks from needles and snelled them with Kevlar thread, which is way stronger than is needed. Dame Juliana Berners gives instruction for hook making in the booklet "Treatise on Fishing With an Angle."

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This is one of the hooks I found in Dad's tackle box.

 

 

With some braid tied in for an "eye".

 

 

You could stop at that point ... and have a small fly that mimics fry or nymphs or anything tiny.

Or embellish a bit to add some bulk.

 

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That's weird! I didn't know they still had eyeless hooks. My only wonder is... WHY?

I recall seeing pictures of old early fish-hooks made of bone by early homo sapiens. Instead of eyes, they had notches cut into the shank, where they apparently wrapped the fishline around the shank.

post-52210-0-95621100-1434509449_thumb.jpg

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This is one of the hooks I found in Dad's tackle box.

attachicon.gifDad's hook 2.JPG attachicon.gifDad's hook 1.JPG

 

With some braid tied in for an "eye".

attachicon.gifDad's hook 3.JPG attachicon.gifDad's hook 4.JPG

 

You could stop at that point ... and have a small fly that mimics fry or nymphs or anything tiny.

Or embellish a bit to add some bulk.

attachicon.gifDad's hook 5.JPG

These are not blind eye hooks per se, but spade hooks.

The "spade" flat area instead of the eye is used to hinder the line to fall of the hook.

 

Hooks like this is typical used for rigs with many hooks, like Mackerel or herring rigs:

Image00024.jpg

 

Tied on like:

spadeend.gif

 

/Henrik

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No VICE Henrick?!? There's a challenge for a newb like myself! Nice work though and thanks all for sharing.

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