Hook Style Matters – Really

TMC 7999 top center. Daiichi 1530 lower left. Ahrex NS110 lower right. All of these hooks are size 4.

TMC 7999 top center. Daiichi 1530 lower left. Ahrex NS115 lower right. All of these hooks are size 4.

Yup. Contrary to what a person might think, different hook styles and manufacturers exhibit characteristics that are quite different, and these differences have a HUGE influence on the appearance of a finished fly tied on each specific hook.

The flies above, all superior summer steelhead enticers, are tied on different hooks. I prefer one over the other two (but only by s small margin that is based on appearance rather than performance. Which hook I prefer is irrelevant, what counts most is deciding which hook you might prefer. All of these will perform nicely—and please excuse the matter of my forgetting to pinch the barb.

Saying that a fly is tied on a #4 ho0k is not very helpful without knowing what hook model is preferred. Take a look at the row of #4 hooks pictured below and imagine how different a Silver Hilton or Comet would look and possibly (perform) if tied on each of the hook styles below.

Features that can vary considerably between hook models include at least the following—and it is best to become familiar with these hook properties and how your finished fly will function when it is tied on the end of your tippet:
hook shank length
barb height
length of the point forward of barb
wire diameter
shape of the point
shape of the wire (round vs forged)
shape of the eye (up, straight, or down eye and blind — versus tapered return)
shape of the bend

These are all size 4 fly hooks. Well imagine that!

These are all size 4 fly hooks. Well imagine that!

The size 4 hooks pictured above are as listed below (left to right):

Daiichi 530
TMC 777 SP
Gamakatsu SL 12S 1X Short Big Game
Gamakatsu B 10-S
Gamakatsu SC 15
Ahrex NS 110 Nordic Salt Streamer
Ahrex NS 115 Nordic Salt Deep Streamer
Gamakatsu SL 11-3H
Gamakatsu 11S-3H
TMC 7999

I will follow with future blog posts that feature some of the hooks I have discovered recently and the flies tied on same.

My best to you all:

Jay Nicholas – mid-2018

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