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Uses for different hooks


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11 replies to this topic

#1 dflanagan

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Posted 22 December 2016 - 08:53 PM

I just bought an assortment of dry fly hooks and am kind of curious about what to use some of them for. I've got standard, standard straight eye, short shank/wide gap, and a few other styles in various sizes. I imagine you can tie whatever you want on any of them but are there certain patterns that work better on specific hook styles?

Thanks,
David
Tight lines,
David

#2 redietz

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Posted 22 December 2016 - 11:31 PM

Straight eyes are often the best choice for smaller flies (smaller than, say size 18) because they leave a larger gape (or gap in front of the the gape, I suppose). Short shank/wide gape have a similar advantage. And although I always use TDE (turned-down eye) hooks for almost everything, unless you're using a Turle knot, there's no real advantage except they're traditional. (Same with TUE, obviously). 

 

Curved hooks are often used for emerger patterns, where you want the tail down in the water.  (Kilnkhamer hooks are an extreme example)

 

You might want a light wire hook ("2x Fine", for example) to help a fly float, or a standard wire hook if you're targeting larger fish that are likely straighten out a light hook. 

 

Stimulators are usually tied on long shank, curved hooks, although I don't really know why (other than they look right.)  Hoppers and crickets are usually tied on long shank hooks, either straight or curved.

 

And ... some people just prefer a certain style of hook over others just for aesthetic reasons.


Bob


#3 Flat Rock native

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Posted 23 December 2016 - 12:43 AM

Agree with redietz on his good information. Another fast way to see how different dry fly hooks may be used, is to look at those for sale in a catalogue. Feather-craft comes to mind for me... think you can use their website, many others, too. Charlie's Flybox may have several examples. Hope you find some great ideas, Carry On
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#4 j8000

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Posted 23 December 2016 - 10:05 AM

I got a similar assortment for my dry hooks.  I chose to use a longer hook, 2xL for a new pattern that I wanted the extra room for, a Royal Wuff.  For spiders with no tail, I like the shorter hooks.



#5 Philly

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Posted 23 December 2016 - 03:11 PM

I've never been of down eyed hooks despite being traditional.  I use the long shank for patterns like the Usual, stoneflies and mayflies.  I use the short shanked wide gape hooks for midges, emergers and my deer hair caddis patterns(CDC and Elk).  The reason for using them for the caddis patterns if if you take a close look at a caddis fly the body makes up about a third of the overall length of the fly.  I learned that lesson not to long after I started tying and I was trying to match a little Black Caddis hatch on a local creek.  The pattern book I was reading told me it was a size 16.  So I tied it on a size 16 regular shank dry fly hook.  Next time I went out the LBC's were hatching. Trout were chasing them, but none of them chased my fly.  I'm sitting on the rock with my fly next to me and the actual caddis  were landing on the rock and my fly dwarfed them.  I manage to catch a couple and took them home pulled out the pattern book.  In the beginning of the book there was a chart that showed the average shank lengths on standard dry fly hooks and the size 16 was 7 mm.  I measured one of the caddis and from head to the tip of its wing.  It was 7mm.  So the fly was a size 16 but it wasn't meant to be tied on a size 16 hook.  Tied some up on size 20 short shank wide gape which gave me the correct body length and trimmed the wing to size.  It worked.  This is what the fly ended up looking like.

 

Attached File  Little Black Caddis.jpg   7.41KB   2 downloads


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#6 dflanagan

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Posted 24 December 2016 - 09:22 PM

Thanks for the responses, everyone. Really helpful.

Merry Christmas!
Tight lines,
David

#7 antolex

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Posted 06 August 2017 - 10:29 PM

Straight eyes are often the best choice for smaller flies (smaller than, say size 18) because they leave a larger gape (or gap in front of the the gape, I suppose). Short shank/wide gape have a similar advantage. And although I always use TDE (turned-down eye) hooks for almost everything, unless you're using a Turle knot, there's no real advantage except they're traditional. (Same with TUE, obviously). 

 

Curved hooks are often used for emerger patterns, where you want the tail down in the water.  (Kilnkhamer hooks are an extreme example)

 

You might want a light wire hook ("2x Fine", for example) to help a fly float, or a standard wire hook if you're targeting larger fish that are likely straighten out a light hook. 

 

Stimulators are usually tied on long shank, curved hooks, although I don't really know why (other than they look right.)  Hoppers and crickets are usually tied on long shank hooks, either straight or curved.

 

And ... some people just prefer a certain style of hook over others just for aesthetic reasons.

This is so useful to know. Thanks a lot!



#8 tede

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Posted 26 September 2018 - 06:26 PM

What is the advantage of using jig hooks? I’ve been informed that they ride up, thereby, less snagging on bottom. I’ve also been told it doesn’t matter whether the pattern is tied on top or under the shaft because the current impels tumbling. Sounds contradictory!?

#9 mikechell

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Posted 26 September 2018 - 06:41 PM

Welcome to the site, tede.

 

No one will ever get 100% consensus on hook styles and their usefulness.

 

Jig hooks DO keep the hook point riding up with tension on the line ... it's built into the design. 

On a slack line, weighted correctly, the jig hook will still ride point up.  BUT ... slack line and current, yeah, probably still some tumbling going on.


Barbed hooks rule!
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#10 Flicted

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Posted 27 September 2018 - 07:40 AM

Jig hooks are also useful for ice flies or micro jigs that are fished vertically.  Especially ice fishing when fish don't bite aggressively, they barely suck the hook into their mouth.  Basically, when fishing vertically, hook-up ratio is better on a hook that will ride horizontally.



#11 tjm

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Posted 27 September 2018 - 01:00 PM

Reason there will be no 100% consensus on jig  hooks or  how to use them is we all have different fishing conditions ranging from still mud bottom warm water to raging white water rock bottom rivers and the character of the water has much to do with how we fish, it's hard to visualize what happens in/on water you have not fished.

I fish some streams that on  a tight line a 1/32 oz.  jig swims near the top. I have fished clear lakes where an unweighted nymph could be fished on the bottom with a hand twist retrieve. Flies that worked in those lakes are useless in my current creek. If I had only experienced only one of those, it would be impossible for me to visualize the difference in methods and performance. Best thing is to take in every ones ideas and sift through them for what applies to you and your particular style of fishing.

I think that jigs are/were designed to be fished vertically. Through the ice, from a boat or under a cork. That is how I perceived them from magazine articles and advertising fifty years or so ago. ("jigging motion" describes an up and down action-lifting the lure and letting it fall) Then we adapted them to other jobs.

I crawl 1/16 & 1/8oz  jigs on the bottom in very clear water as crayfish and my observation is they lay on their sides as often as not.. Do they ride hook up sometimes, yes, but certainly not always. I really have my doubts that they ever tumble in the current, what I have seen is they either lay still if they are heavy enough, or wash down stream in a head down position on a slack line (hard to do in current) or swim on a taunt line. Now this is just my observation on my creek.Obviously you will have somewhat different results in your water.

Personally, I don't like flies (other than jig designs) tied on jig hooks, and don't like jigs except in fast water or through the ice. jmo



#12 Abel M.

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 11:42 PM

I personally like to tie spider patterns on short shank dry fly hooks. They don't sink as fast.