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Uses for different hooks


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16 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.


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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.

#13 SilverCreek

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Posted 21 October 2018 - 09:59 AM

I have a different opinion about the hook gap of downeye vs straight eye hooks for small flies. I think whether the hook eye is down or straight has no effect on the hooking gap. I also thought that straight eye hooks were better for small flies but Gary Borger convinced me that this was not true.

 

Lets use the Tiemco TMC 100 down eye dry fly hook and the TMC 101 straight eye dry fly hooks as examples.

 

tmc100_380_266.pngTMC101-2T.jpg


 

The hooking gap is measured from the hook point to the hook shank, not from the hook point to the hook eye. Once you place material on the hook, you effectively narrow the gap. So what is important is the amount of material on the hook. If you look at flies, the material on the hook will have an equal or more "bulk" than the down eye. For example look at this pheasant tail nymph or parachute adams as examples.

 

Not only is the gap from point to shank narrowed by the body, but the thorax of the fly narrows the gap from point to the front of the fly more than the down eye does:

 

american_pheasant_tail_nymph.jpg14-0080_Parachute_Adams.jpg

 

If the pattern has less body and thorax material blocking the hooking gap than the down eye, I agree that the down eye can be a negative factor. I believe the best way to maintain "hooking ability" is to use a wide gap hook that has a larger gap to start with and an offset point which improves hooking ability.

 

Another commonly held misconception is that a down eye hook gives a better "hooking angle" than a straight eye hook. You will see photos of hooks placed on a foam block with point and eye against then surface that supposedly demonstrate this fact. This is also false. The hook actually rotates when the tip of the hook point grabs the grabs the flesh, so that the angle of pull at the point of the hook is the same for up eye, straight eye, and down eye hooks.

 

The first point is that the angle of pull is actually determined by the position of the hook in relationship to the tip of the rod and not the angle of the hook eye. Also the strike occurs when the fishes mouth is closed on the fly which places the hook in direct contact with the mouth of the fish.

 

When the fish closes its mouth on the fly, the fly rotates so that the fly lies flat or in a horizontal rather than in a vertical position. Ergo, the point is directed sideways and when you strike, it lodges in the side of the mouth at  junction of the upper and lower jaw. Ergo, the position of the hook eye makes little difference.

 

Once the point of the hook enters the flesh of the fish, all angles of pull will bury the hook because the bend of the hook causes the point hook to rotate down into the fish, which then buries the hook until it the bend of the hook causes the hook point to rotate out of the flesh.

 

So the slight offset of the up or down eye from the straight eye really makes no difference on hooking ability. What does make a difference is the sharpness of the hook point and whether the hook gap is limited and the whether the hook point is offset.

 

If the hook point is sharp, I don't think eye position matters much. The hook point will enter the flesh regardless of the difference in hook eye position. Hooking gap and offset have a greater effect in my view because they affect the probability that any fish flesh comes to lie against the hook point.

 

I think hook eye position is more about the aesthetics of the fly and the ease of tying the fly than any effectiveness in hooking.

 

For the same reasons, the type of knot makes no difference on how the well the hook will impale the fish. It does make a difference on manipulation of the fly such as the making a surface fly skate but as to hooking fish, all knots are equal. Once the point enters the flesh, all knots will rotate the hook into the fish.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Regards,

Silver

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#14 tjm

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Posted 21 October 2018 - 07:28 PM

SilverCreek, do you think the eye position maters in regards to the leader relative to a dry fly? It appears to me that the down eye has an advantage of getting the tippet into the water so that the shadow may be reduced, or is that sunken tippet a myth also?



#15 SilverCreek

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Posted 21 October 2018 - 11:14 PM



SilverCreek, do you think the eye position maters in regards to the leader relative to a dry fly? It appears to me that the down eye has an advantage of getting the tippet into the water so that the shadow may be reduced, or is that sunken tippet a myth also?

 

I don't know about the down eye but I generally use down eyes on my dry flies.

 

Here is a very long answer to your question about sinking the tippet that explains why I think it works and how some highly selective  trout are conditioned (trained) to avoid floating tippets and leaders. This a  complilation of several of my posts on the subject from other BBs.

 

As to submerging the tippet, I think it is important when fishing in still water or when fishing on slow flowing spring creeks with spooky fish. Sunken tippets are less visible than floating tippets. But just sinking the tippet is not enough. Tippets have shiny surfaces and shiny surfaces reflect light whether they are floating or sunken. The British anglers are masters at fishing chalk streams and still waters and they treat the tippets with degreasers and sinkants.

 

When a fish refuses a fly we often really know why. We assume it is drag and that is probably right a lot of the time. But I also believe that the spookiest of trout that have been caught many time also are conditioned to refuse because they detect the leader or signs of the leader such as I explain in the post below.

 

Here is a post I made on another BB about degreasing and removing sheen form leaders and tippets.

I have to agree that degreasing a leader decreases the ability of the fish to identify the leader material.

 

The presumption is that if a tippet is floating outside the trout's window it cannot be seen.

 

That is actually not true if by "seen' we mean "detected". Any object that floats on water does so by depressing the water's surface. When the water's surface is depressed, the water surface along the object is at an angle.

 

We all know that when light crosses the air water barrier it is bent. This bending of light is called refraction. When the water surface itself is bent, the light that it refracts is at a different angle that the light refracted from the rest of the water surface. This differentially refracted light causes a disturbance in the water surface that can be detected whether it is in or outside  of the trout's window. It can be likened to a twinkle of light.

 

Take a look at the photo below of 3 identical tippets treated in 3 different ways. The tippet on the left that has been wiped clean, the middle one degreased and the right one treated with a floatant. If seeing is believing, which tippet is most easily seen?

 

35593441721_f289423e60_z.jpg

 

The photo above shows direct visualization of the tippet. What it does not show is the effect of refraction on the bottom of the stream. When refracted light hits the stream bottom, bright flickers of light are cast on the stream bottom (see photo below). This spooks trout that are heavily fished over in clear slow moving water. During bright days you might as will toss a rock into the water. The fish immediately stop feeding.

 

35724727945_9964a3055e_z.jpg

 

If the goal is to make the tippet less visible, one must decide for oneself what is more apparent to the fish when it is examining the fly? Is it a lower visibility sunken tippet visible both underwater and in the mirror, or a floating tippet with differential refraction seen both in the mirror and the window at the same level as the fly?

 

The question is NOT which is more visible to us, but what is the trout more likely to notice as being correlated to the fly? It is this direct correlation between being hooked by the fly and the visible leader that creates the operant conditioning, which causes the avoidance behavior in a trout.

 

Like many strategies in fishing degreasing, is NOT a yes or no proposition. In some situations, it may make little difference but in some situations it is makes a huge difference in determining success or failure.

 

There are three factors at work here and we tend to concentrate on only one of them - refractive index. The second is the residual oily sheen on the leader surface from the manufacturing process. The third is the fact that refractive index comes into play ONLY if the leader material is SUNKEN and completely surrounded by water. Degreasing eliminates factors two and three.

 

I cannot post references to other BB's but there is extensive evidence that removing the sheen and sinking the leader reduces the visibility of fluorocarbon. The sister BB of this site has numerous posts degreasers.

 

Both nylon and fluorocarbon are denser than water. Most nylon mono has a specific gravity between 1.1 and 1.2 compared to fluorocarbon at about 1.8. So fluorocarbon is 50% denser than nylon mono. One might think that this would cause the fluoro to sink but what it does is that it causes the fluorocarbon to indent the meniscus more. 

 

Since the depression of the meniscus increases the visibility of the floating line and it increases the refraction of light onto the river bottom, it makes the line more visible. It has been demonstrated that density of fluorocarbon in the sizes used for tippet will not sink by itself.

 

Fluorocarbon vs. Nylon | Fly Fish America

 

"....Surface tension—where the water’s surface behaves like an elastic film—must be broken before an object will sink. A object’s density and contact angle with the water’s surface are the two most significant variables in its ability to break surface tension and sink, and the “just slightly heavier than water” specific gravity and zero contact angle (i.e., laid out flat) of a nylon monofilament leader or tippet are not sufficient to do it most of the time. If pushed or pulled under the surface by a weighted fly or roiling current, nylon monofilament will sink . . . but very, very slowly.

 

Fluorocarbon has a specific gravity in the range of 1.75 to 1.90. Tungsten it ain’t, but it is significantly more dense than nylon. But is it sufficiently dense to quickly and reliable break surface tension and sink all by itself, even at zero contact angles, and even in the smallest diameters? No, it’s not. Our testing reveals that most brands of fluorocarbon tippet material in 0X to 8X diameters are no better than nylon at breaking surface tension and sinking on their own. Larger diameter fluorocarbon materials do demonstrate a slightly better ability to break surface tension without the assistance of current or other external influences, but for practical fishing purposes fluorocarbon has little benefit over nylon on this measure."

 

A leader floating on surface tension, displaces the water surface just like a person lying on a trampoline displaces the surface. Since the water surface under the leader is now tilted and not horizontal, this creates mini windows that the fish can see just like the legs of an insect dimple the water surface allowing the trout to detect them even though they are theoretically outside of the "window". Since the light pattern is disrupted, it can be seen by the fish that are looking up AND by the fish that are looking down, because the disrupted light pattern is displayed on the stream bottom as well. This is important in still waters and the clear slow waters of spring creek type fishing situations where the water surface is smooth. It also only important IF the fish are wary enough that this change in light pattern (either by the  floating leader or by leader sheen) puts the fish off.

 

That is why over in Europe where the fish are extremely heavily fished, they use leader degreasers to remove the sheen and get the leaders to sink just below the surface. I think if you can make the leader less apparent to the fish, that is a good thing and I can't think of much of a downside to lowering visibility. 

 

Suggestions for best line degreaser? - Fly Fishing Forums

 

How do you degrease leaders? - Fly Fishing Forums

 

http://www.flyforums...our-leader.html

 

Commercial degreasers are commonly called "mud", such as Loon Snake River Mud or "tippet degreaser" such as >Airflow Tippet Degreaser.

 

Degreasers do three things. First they contain a cleaner (detergent) that removes any oils or residual chemicals that are on the surface of commercial tippets. These oils prevent the leader from sinking. Secondly, they contain a sinkant or surfactant (detergent) that destroys the surface tension of water molecules so the leader sinks immediately. Thirdly they contain fuller's earth compound that dulls the leader to remove the shiny surface so that the leader surface is less reflective. And finally, they contain a substance (glycerin) that keeps the degreaser from drying out.

 

If you look at the formula you may think that the only thing you have in your house is the detergent. However, you may already have a substitute for fuller's earth which is a special kind of bentonite clay. Bentonite is a clay material that anyone who visits Wyoming for fishing has probably walked on. It is a common material in cat litter and commercial bags of clay oil absorbent. So if you have clay cat litter or oil absorbent for your garage, you have the major ingredient for making your own degreaser.

 

Glycerin is used in commercial leader degreaser to keep it from drying out. If you don't have glycerin, you can get some at a drug store. It is used as an anti-constipation agent. However, it is not absolutely needed.

 

I make my own degreaser by crushing the clay to get the finest particles and then mix in Dawn or another dishwashing detergent to get a paste. I happen to have glycerin and so I also use it but you don't have to. I store the degreaser in a 35 mm film canister and rub it on the section of leader you want to sink.

 

Degreasers are different from sinkants such as Gerke's Xink. These are liquids surfactants that you put on flies that you want to sink. They are commonly used on the marabou of wooly buggers so that they sink and absorb water from the very first cast. Another use is for small flies like midge pupa so they will sink faster. You can make your own sinkant as well. 

 

KodakPhoto Flo, a wetting agent used in photo processing, is used by fly fishers to sink flies. The main ingredient in Photo Flow is ethylene glycol, which is also in antifreeze. Ethylene glycol disrupts the hydrogen bonding of water that creates the meniscus surface film that supports flies. That is how ethylene glycol prevents water from freezing. So try some antifreeze as a wetting agent.’

 

If you read my post on how trout become selective feeders, you will become familiar with operant conditioning, which is the method by which behaviors are modified by a positive reward (food). This is positive reinforcement and this is how selectivity develops.

 

My post on selectivity explains how this occurs:

 

http://www.theflyfis...ve-feeders.html

 

This section of Trout Sense: A Fly Fisher's Guide to What Trout See, Hear, & Smell by Jason Randall describes the search image process and operant conditioning.

 

ScreenShot2014-10-23at31602PM_zps804c576

 

There is also a phenomena called ”positive punishment” under the umbrella of BF Skinner’s theory of operant conditioning that modifies behavior when negative things happen (getting hooked and dragged around by the mouth). This ”positive punishment” works to condition fish to avoid objects that have properties that it associates with this “punishment” (negative result). Drag is the most obvious negative property the puts fish off, but I believe the finding of a floating tippet (even with NO drag) in certain circumstances can also be a negative property and eventually become a negative trigger when becomes associated often enough with being caught.

 

See “positive punishment” under the operant conditioning section of Wikipedia.

 

Positive punishment (Punishment) (also called "Punishment by contingent stimulation"): Occurs when a behavior (response) is followed by a stimulus, such as introducing a shock or loud noise, resulting in a decrease in that behavior. Positive punishment is sometimes a confusing term, as it denotes the "addition" of a stimulus or increase in the intensity of a stimulus that is aversive (such as spanking or an electric shock). This procedure is usually called simply punishment.”

 

http://psychology.ab...-punishment.htm

 

http://en.wikipedia....nt_conditioning

 

http://en.wikipedia....idance_response

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Regards,

Silver

"Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy

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