Saturday, August 3, 2013


Life has been getting in the way of my recreational activities & in keeping this blog going. seems the older I get the less time I seem to have for important things like fishing, fly tying & tackle making!

In some recent discussions on several websites I frequent, there have been questions & discussions about hooks used for tying flies. I've never been one to get caught up in labels, and since I primarily tie larger size flies, I've found that there are hooks available that fit the tying I do, that are not sold as "fly" hooks.

I maintain a good assortment of typical fly hooks, because some patterns are best tied on "fly" hooks, but I also will look for & use those that strike my fancy, that are not fly hooks.

I'll attempt to list here some non-fly hooks that I've found to be practical & effective for various types of flies.

The first is straight shank worm hooks, intended to be used with plastic baits. There are various brands, and they all will work for tying flies. Some, because they have barbs on the shank, can be used as either popper hooks, or as subsurface fly hooks. The barbs aid in mounting popper bodies, but are of little consequence once they're covered with tying thread & materials used with subsurface flies. This type of hook is both sharp & strong. The only down side to them is that they may rust, particularly if used in salt waters, and the sizes available are somewhat limited. Most brands are made in the 1/0 to 5/0 size range, while others may be as small as a size 2. There may also be larger sizes, but I've really had little use for them. When I need a larger hook, there are plenty available in other styles.

Owner, Daiichi, Gamakatsu, Eagle Claw, VMC, Mustad & Trokar all make straight shank worm hooks.

Here are some flies I've tied on straight shank worm hooks. These are all tied on Daiichi size 1 hooks.

This fly is tied on a Gamakatsu size 2/0 hook. It's BIG!

The next type of hook I've found very useful are sold as spinnerbait hooks. Spinnerbait hooks are as the name implies, intended to be used in making spinnerbaits. They're of the same design as straight shank worm hooks, but lack the barbs on the hook shank and may be slightly heavier wire in similar sizes. Most are available in nickle, black nickle or red finishes. These are again both strong & sharp. The draw backs are again available sizes & they may rust.

All of the major hook makers produce such a hook.

Here's some flies I've tied on 2/0 size spinnerbait hooks.

McNally Magnum

Large Clouser Minnow style flies tied for Peacock Bass or Striped Bass. These flies are approximately 7" in length, tied on a 5/0 Mustad 32608 hook.

Flies for Bluefish. Spinnerbait hooks are not expensive, so are great for Bluefish.

The last type of hook I'll mention now are offset, wide gap worm hooks. There are many available, but not all are well suited for tying. One of the best I've found is made by VMC. The model number is 6319. This hook has a longer front section than most so it makes tying on it much easier. It's available in either black nickle finish, or red finish. Sizes range from 2/0 to 5/0. I've found 2/0 & 3/0 to be the most useful for tying flies.
Here's some flies tied with the VMC 6319 hook.

Well, that's about all I have time for this time. I have more hooks I like to use that are not fly hooks, but will have to get some photo's taken. So, until my next post, keep tying & tie as often as you can. Life's way too short!
Tight Lines!

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