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chugbug27

Dry hackle sizing with wide gap hooks

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When using a non-standard, wide gaped hook for dry flies (like a Filling Mill or a Fire Stick), do you measure your hackle to be 1.5x the actual gape of the hook you're actually using, or stick with the hackle gauge length, or?...

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Interesting question. Basically, I tie on hackle and really don't follow guidelines except what might will catch fish. I also trip the bottom so the dry fly will sit flat. Rather have too much than not enough.

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2 hours ago, chugbug27 said:

When using a non-standard, wide gaped hook for dry flies (like a Filling Mill or a Fire Stick), do you measure your hackle to be 1.5x the actual gape of the hook you're actually using, or stick with the hackle gauge length, or?...

Hooks are sized by the gape. BUT we tie flies to match the BODY length of the natural which is the hook shank length.

Secondly, there is no hook sizing standard that holds between manufacturers. However, for standard dry flies, the hook shank length is about 1.5 X the hook gape.

Thirdly, there is a relatively set relationship between the body length, tail length, and wing height of a typical mayfly pattern

Therefore, the ONLY reliable way to compare hooks is by shank length.

We pick the hook size that has the shank length for the pattern size we want and tie the tail and wing lengths to match.

If you tie length of the body, wing, and tail of fly to match the hook shank length, your fly will be a close match to most natural mayflies. Most fly charts show this relationship between the body, wing, and tail of fly so IGNORE the hook Gape and the fly according to the hook shank length

35684732276_24e71c1174.jpg

49936719427_492ba16f3f.jpg

spacer.pngdry-fly-proportions.jpg?w=450&h=256

 

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Thanks for that, Silver Creek, super clear. I hadn't realized that 1.5x the gape was designed to get the hackle to be equal to the fly body length.

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2 hours ago, chugbug27 said:

Thanks for that, Silver Creek, super clear. I hadn't realized that 1.5x the gape was designed to get the hackle to be equal to the fly body length.

Sometimes ya ask a great question and ya get a great Answer....

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9 hours ago, chugbug27 said:

When using a non-standard, wide gaped hook for dry flies (like a Filling Mill or a Fire Stick), do you measure your hackle to be 1.5x the actual gape of the hook you're actually using, or stick with the hackle gauge length, or?...

Hi you always measure the hackle size to the gape of the hook your tying on hope this helps

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Thanks sparkie but I found that approach gave me truly enormous hackle on a Filling Mill standard dry fly hook...

@Silver Creek on further thought re your reply & diagrams... If 1.5x the gap is = to 1x the shank length, then wing tips wouldn't stick out over the hackle... I'm figuring the normal gape is actually 1/2 the shank length, and that 2x gape hackle is shank length hackle....

Well, I don't have a hackle gauge...  but now I'm remembering, I do have a fly tying gizmo called a phi gauge, so there you have it. Problem solved. Back  to the natural order! 

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25 minutes ago, chugbug27 said:

Thanks sparkie but I found that approach gave me truly enormous hackle on a Filling Mill standard dry fly hook...

@Silver Creek on further thought re your reply & diagrams... If 1.5x the gap is = to 1x the shank length, then wing tips wouldn't stick out over the hackle... I'm figuring the normal gape is actually 1/2 the shank length, and that 2x gape hackle is shank length hackle....

Well, I don't have a hackle gauge...  but now I'm remembering, I do have a fly tying gizmo called a phi gauge, so there you have it. Problem solved. Back  to the natural order! 

I was curious so I got out a Dai-Riki 300 size 10 dry fly hook and measured. I used a tape measure so take these for what they are worth. The hook gape was 1/2 inch the shank length was one inch. Mileage may vary for other dry fly makes (2x or 3x long for example) or manufacturers.

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Yeah, hard for me to get off my butt this morning... Sorry

5 minutes ago, TSMcDougald said:

I used a tape measure

ūüôĄ

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It's all quite complicated. I have found it's easier to stick to one gauge, measure everything off of the shank (like SC says) because all other things are variable. But, even the example he posts shows the tail and the wing being measured by the shank and the hackle measured by the hook gap.

After a little while your own eye tells you what's right. Tie it, fish it, and you'll be eating trout for dinner.

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the proportions presented above are based on regular hook gape dimensions and not on the newer style wide gape hooks

the hook is the guide. period

use the proportions for the dry fly below. go up a size hackle if youre not satisfied of the look. fish will not care

and disregard the the hook gape measurement on the newer wide gap hooks

dry-fly.jpg

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32 minutes ago, Mark Knapp said:

After a little while your own eye tells you what's right. Tie it, fish it, and you'll be eating trout for dinner.

Kimo

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Both #14, top is Filling Mill, bottom is Umpqua U series, both standard length

IMG_20200526_160339.thumb.jpg.706a59ae2b6129dcb51a531e2c078078.jpg

IMG_20200526_160452.thumb.jpg.48ef79665779c4e96967a8df0e6db84f.jpg

Here they are one on top of the other...

IMG_20200526_161804.thumb.jpg.12eb42f8e7ae5fd2008591f37f949894.jpg

I guess I was just surprised there'd be such a big difference in how such minor differences in hook shape would affect the "right" seeming hackle length. I had always thought it was the gape that drove it, but I'm seeing it's not.

Thanks all

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I always believed that the main points of flotation for a dry fly are the hackle tips and the tail,  resting on the water surface tension.  Aside from color/silhouette/etc, the rest of the materials, including the hook type, are used to minimize weight or water absorption.  I don't use a gauge or other metered measuring device, but usually eyeball it as I tie, trying to achieve what in @flytire last picture is referred to as the 'ideal floating line'.  I eyeball from the tips of the hackle to the tips of the tail to get proportions, and discounting the hook from the equation.  I think the point should sit below the surface.  It comes down to that line, not the hook gap.  

So, my answer to your question is - I don' measure, I eyeball, and the hoop gape is a minimal consideration. I too have no qualms about clipping my hackle to get the desired effect.  The fly tiers of yore did not have the benefits of the genetic hackle we have available to us today.  They made do.  

My $.02

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