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Why use a 2xl

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I am getting ready for a trip to the Ogallala tail waters and started tying some copper johns. The pattern calls for a 2XL hook, which is rather difficult to find in a size 20. So my question is, why use a size 20 2XL? Why not just use a size 16? Seems the only difference would be the hook gap?

 

Thanks.

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I am getting ready for a trip to the Ogallala tail waters and started tying some copper johns. The pattern calls for a 2XL hook, which is rather difficult to find in a size 20. So my question is, why use a size 20 2XL? Why not just use a size 16? Seems the only difference would be the hook gap?

 

Thanks.

 

I would not tie it on a 2XL in size 20. But a 20 2XL should be equivalent to a size 18 standard shank. This could vary by manufacturer and hook style.

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whenever i tie beadheads i usually use a 2xl hook to accomodate the bead while maintaining body length (thats my reasoning, yours will be different smile.png)

 

for instance: mustad 3906b vs 3906

 

just tie your copper john on whatever hook you have

 

if anybody knows how to tie a copper john, charlie craven sure does

 

https://charliesflyboxinc.com/portfolio-items/copper-john/

 

dont obsess with a 20. tie it on an 18 and just shorten the body

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I am getting ready for a trip to the Ogallala tail waters and started tying some copper johns. The pattern calls for a 2XL hook, which is rather difficult to find in a size 20. So my question is, why use a size 20 2XL? Why not just use a size 16? Seems the only difference would be the hook gap?

 

Thanks.

 

As Jaydub says, a 2XL hook has a shank length 2 sizes longer so size 20 2XL = size 18 standard length.

 

There are odd sized hooks like the TMC 102Y dry fly hooks.

 

 

post-27478-0-03615500-1565997870_thumb.png

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I agree, tie it in size 16. I tie and fish copper johns routinely. It's one of three flies that I always take with me. Never tied or fished it in size 20. Just to much going on for me to want to tie it on a size 20 hook. I tie them 14 to 18 with 16, closely followed by 18, being my favorite size. I have no preference as to hook, just whatever I have on hand.

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In this case, and tying on a size 18, the extra wire thickness would be an asset for tying beadhead nymphs.

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In this case, and tying on a size 18, the extra wire thickness would be an asset for tying beadhead nymphs.

Exactly. And if for some reason the extra wire thickness did matter, just use a size 18 2x fine.

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So my question is, why use a size 20 2XL? Why not just use a size 16? Seems the only difference would be the hook gap?

Thanks.

I know it was mentioned above, but from later posts it might not have been clear, hook sizes are numbered 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 etc. including the odd numbered sizes, the odd sizes aren't common any more, but, a #16 is four sizes bigger than #20 so substituting this would be going both 4X long and 4X wide gape, as well as heavier wire. #18 would be the 2X size. Not that I think it makes a great deal difference to the fish as long as the resultant fly is the size and silhouette of a common food. I believe that more fish are caught with size 20 flies on a #18 or #16 hook than are caught with what is really a size 16 fly by dimension tied on #20 or #22 hooks, just because of the gape being so small. I see examples of trout anglers telling me they are fishing #22 whatevers and then showing me flies that look like #16s with the point broke off til I look closer and see the point is almost buried in the body, they mention lots of strikes, but missed fish.

As we age our eyes lose the ability to see tiny things clearly, #20s and the tippets that work for them are on my hard to see list and I have not fished any #20 or smaller in years, I think I catch enough trout now on #14 & #16 wets and #16 & #18 dry. (sometimes a short shank helps with proportions)

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I was up reading Engle's Tying Small Flies, and on page 43 he has an sbs for what he calls a "tiny Copper John," which Rick Murphy modified and downsized from John Barr's pattern...

 

Hook - TMC 100 #18-20

Bead head - gold, silver or other

Thread - black 8/0-14/0

Tail - pheasant tail fibers

Abdomen - copper wire

Wing case - pearlescent mylar or similar

Thorax - peacock herl

Legs (optional) - dyed mallard or lemon wood duck

 

To avoid bulk wrap the wire directly on the thread base, don't tie it on, per Murphy / Engle

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