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Uses for different hooks


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6 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

#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   1 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!

#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!