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hook size for sm bass


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15 replies to this topic

#1 swampsinger

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Posted 22 August 2016 - 08:24 PM

I like to fish for smallies in big creeks or small rivers. I've had good success and lots of fun. I use a 5 wt outfit, and have been using larger sized Trout nymphs ie. size 10 zug bugs, prince nymphs, hares ears, etc. Lately I've been using larger, stone flies, Iso, and Hex nymps tied on # 6/8 curved nymph hooks. I believe this has increased  the number of larger bass but has seemed to affect the number up missed hook ups and throwing the fly. I swear I had better hooked and caught ratio with the smaller hook size. I blame this on the longer shank and small hook gape. The two part question will a larger hook gape help and can I ty the same pattern in a larger size and keep the hits still coming.  Thinking of tying Isonychia on a # 2 or 4 stinger hook. 



#2 Cold

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Posted 22 August 2016 - 11:01 PM

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#3 heavynets

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Posted 23 August 2016 - 07:01 AM

I nearly always use streamers for smallmouth bass. I usually tie them on a size 4, 2, or 2/0, Mustad 3366 hook. It doesn't really answer your question, but these rather large hooks work just fine for me.

#4 Rocco

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Posted 23 August 2016 - 08:13 AM

I also like to fish nymphs for smallies and agree that larger patterns get more and bigger fish.  2X  is as long as I go to get the best kookups per strike too.

 

But, the real secret is extended body --wiggle -- nymphs tied on 2x strong, 1X short Dai Riki #075 hooks.  I especially like strip nymphs with tails made of thin zonker strips made from Aussie Possum body or water critters like mink, otter, marabou clumps, and so forth. Use an HE dubbing body, Peacock strand wing case, and grouse feathers for legs. A little weight under the thorax. Bang zoom, a real killer up to size 4. 

 

They also work on trout and steelhead.

 

Good luck,

Rocco



#5 Philly

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Posted 23 August 2016 - 07:49 PM

I use hooks ranging from size 4 up to 2/0 depending on the type of fly I'm tying. I prefer fishing top water for smallies but use bait fish, leech and crayfish patterns also. I don't usually fish nymphs but when I was up in Northern Ontario a couple of weeks ago. I pulled out a yellow stonefly nymph that I picked up at my local fly shop when a company was there promoting new materials and realistic flies and giving away samples. It measures 1 1/2" long and looks to be tied on a size 1 or 2 hook. There are hexes in the lake, so I tied it on drop it over the side to see what it looked like and this guy came our from under the boat and nailed it.

Attached File  P7310020.JPG   160.09KB   0 downloads

I may have to considered adding large nymphs to my smallie box.
"All things considered, I'd rather be in Philadelphia."

#6 Brian Myers

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Posted 24 August 2016 - 03:16 PM

I fish a smaller river for smallies all summer. If you want to use a curved hook try a Dai Riki 285 , it's a 3x long heavy wire down eye curved hook. I've been using size 6-8 on nymphs and soft hackles for smallies especially the size 8 and they seem to hold well.The gap on this hook is decent , at least to me it is. The only other curved hooks short of scud hooks that I have used are knock offs of 200r's & 2302's  , their gaps are narrower and only seem to hold well on smaller bass. The Mustad 3366 works well and are cheap but you need to sharpen every hook in the box. I like using them on things like backstabbers and other short bodied inverted flies. I agree with Rocco , a strip nymph is a must have in a smallie box. They don't seem to like to let go of the fur strip. Tie your strip nymphs inverted with small dumbbell eyes to reduce snags on the bottom. Most of my smallie flies are size 10 to 4 with the occasional size12 soft hackle when they don't seem to want to chase anything but can be seen feeding in the current. I do tie streamers/crayfish from size 10 to 1 and this year size 8 to 2 seem to be working the best.



#7 Cold

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Posted 24 August 2016 - 04:27 PM



#8 Dave G.

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Posted 25 August 2016 - 09:21 AM

I use hooks ranging from size 4 up to 2/0 depending on the type of fly I'm tying. I prefer fishing top water for smallies but use bait fish, leech and crayfish patterns also. I don't usually fish nymphs but when I was up in Northern Ontario a couple of weeks ago. I pulled out a yellow stonefly nymph that I picked up at my local fly shop when a company was there promoting new materials and realistic flies and giving away samples. It measures 1 1/2" long and looks to be tied on a size 1 or 2 hook. There are hexes in the lake, so I tied it on drop it over the side to see what it looked like and this guy came our from under the boat and nailed it.

attachicon.gifP7310020.JPG

I may have to considered adding large nymphs to my smallie box.

Philly, I can attest to smallies loving Hex Nymphs where hexes are prevalent. You want some real fun come back in the evening before sunset when the hex hatch is getting under way, about everything in the pond is up on them and smallies crash them. Around here size 6 is well received.


John 7:38 ESV  is about "Rivers of Living Water"


#9 Dave G.

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Posted 25 August 2016 - 09:26 AM

I like to fish for smallies in big creeks or small rivers. I've had good success and lots of fun. I use a 5 wt outfit, and have been using larger sized Trout nymphs ie. size 10 zug bugs, prince nymphs, hares ears, etc. Lately I've been using larger, stone flies, Iso, and Hex nymps tied on # 6/8 curved nymph hooks. I believe this has increased  the number of larger bass but has seemed to affect the number up missed hook ups and throwing the fly. I swear I had better hooked and caught ratio with the smaller hook size. I blame this on the longer shank and small hook gape. The two part question will a larger hook gape help and can I ty the same pattern in a larger size and keep the hits still coming.  Thinking of tying Isonychia on a # 2 or 4 stinger hook. 

I've caught a lot of smallies on size 10 hooks , possibly more than any other size. This is because I'm often fishing size 10 streamers for trout and smallies get in the picture. That said, I've caught a bunch on size 4 as well ( poppers). And then as mentioned in my other post, size 6 Hexes too.


John 7:38 ESV  is about "Rivers of Living Water"


#10 Hatchet Jack

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Posted 25 August 2016 - 09:54 AM

 I swear I had better hooked and caught ratio with the smaller hook size. I blame this on the longer shank and small hook gape. The two part question will a larger hook gape help and can I ty the same pattern in a larger size and keep the hits still coming.  Thinking of tying Isonychia on a # 2 or 4 stinger hook. 

 Yes & yes.

Go with a larger hook gape.

I remember losing trout after trout years ago, when fishing Thunder Creek streamers tied on the Mustad 3665A hooks.

Very long shanks w.r.t. to the narrow hook gape.

 

Let us know how your new hook/pattern turns out.

Hooks are deceivingly simple yet complicated.


Always quit when you're through.


#11 rstaight

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Posted 25 August 2016 - 05:24 PM

I usually use hook sizes from 10 through 4 for smallmouth. I have also gone down to 16. Smallmouth at least in our area have been known to sip much like a trout.


"Scholars have long known that fishing eventually turns men into philosophers.  Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to buy decent tackle on a philosopher's salary." - Patrick F. McManus


#12 Brian Myers

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Posted 25 August 2016 - 08:43 PM

 

 

 

The Mustad 3366 works well and are cheap but you need to sharpen every hook in the box.

Is that a recent thing?

 

I ask because I bought a bunch of tying stuff at an estate sale years ago that included a box of 100 3366's in #6 from back when they came in the paper box, wrapped in glassine. 

 

I pretty much just use em for clousers, so I haven't used them up yet, but they're one hook in my menagerie that I have come to associate with being rather sharp out of the box.

 

I've been buying 3366's for awhile now (8 to 10 years) and sizes 6 and up always needed sharpening . Size 8's maybe a quarter of them needed a touch up but this years batch all the 8's have needed sharpening. I didn't need to buy sizes 10 and down this year as I still have plenty from a few years ago so maybe even 10's would need sharpening now, I don't know.



#13 swampsinger

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Posted 28 August 2016 - 09:31 AM

I'll have to wait another day to try these, "still on call". I put a well used # 10 hares ear in for reference. I tied two isonychia one just up sized, the other I used peacock for the wing case and legs, with rabbit strip for extened body and tail.  The other is supposed to represent burrowing nymphs, I used foam for the body and tail and with the beadhead and lead wire underbody its almost neutral boyant. I'am hoping in slow currents it will drift and rest on bottom in a vertical position.  I'm looking forward.                    

 

  Attached File  # 4 nymphs.JPG   100.66KB   0 downloads   

 

ps Almost forgot I tied them on Gamakatsu B10S # 4



#14 tidewaterfly

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Posted 28 August 2016 - 01:29 PM

I'm no longer near SM bass fishing, but when I was I generally went with bigger flies (larger than a size 8) than I might have used for trout. However, in some small streams the same sizes caught both. This being flies in the size 8 or smaller range. 

 

Yes, it may be prudent to tie some patterns on a wider gap hook. What swampsinger has shown above would be great examples of doing exactly that IMO. I've always liked "buggy" patterns for both trout & SM bass. 

 

For the Mustad 3366, I used them a lot years ago, not so much now. I caught fish on them without sharpening, but IMO they really need to be sharpened to get better hook ups. If it won't easily stick my thumb nail, it's not as sharp as it can be. Compared to the chemically sharpened hooks of today, they're not very sharp from the package. 

 

It's still a good, & economical hook to tie bass flies on. smile.png



#15 swampsinger

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 09:22 PM

Went out this evening to try the new flies. I have no idea which pattern is better. I tied the foam nymph on and never took it off.  Lost count of the smallmouth bonus 17" largemouth and 4 nice 10/11 inch yellow perch for supper. I did notice something about the hookups on the smallies, I didn't lose any {except a couple of the little fellas} and 99% percent were hooked right in the corner of the jaw and funny enough all on the same side.