I read a while ago a statement that went
something like this: "I don't know why fly
fisherman will use a $500 rod, $60.00 line,
$300.00 reel and use a hook that costs 3 cents
on the end of the line."
The point being that we all want to get hooks for
the lowest price that we can. I may be the worst
one in the world for this. I can not walk past
Aberdeen hooks that are on sale.
I know that there will be some folks that are
aghast or ashamed to see that written. I still
do several of my patterns for crappie and gills
on these hooks. My feeling is that several of
the Aberdeen hooks are like a 2x long fly tying
hook. I have set them up side by side and checked
them to see how different they are, and I don't
see much difference.
One of the points of the author that wrote the
article was to say whey do we spend so much on
all of the equipment and then gripe about a hook
that costs a dime. If the hook is bad then the whole
things comes apart. With a bad hook you can loose
the fish and the material in the fly is gone also.
Depending on the materials that you use on the fly,
you can have more cost in the materials than in the
hook, but the hook is the contact point.
I will be honest with you and tell you that I do buy
some of the more expensive hooks. If I am in a swap
it is usually the more expensive hook that I use. I
also use some of these for my own use.
I do tie my patterns on hooks from three or four
manufactures. Hooks from Mustad and Eagle Claw
have thicker, heavier wire than do those from Tiemco
and Dai-rki for example. By using these different
hooks I can get flies that fall at different rates
in the water. On those patterns that I want to
suspend then the same amount of foam will cause
the flies to suspend at different depths. There
are days when this seems to be very important.
I also tie some of the flies in each hook style
with bead heads. Again I will get different rates
of drop with the flies. These flies tend to get a
little deeper than the unweighted ones and I can
change how fast the fly drops even when it is deep
in the water column. Heavier hooks and a bigger
bead head give more of a yo-yo effect to the fly.
This works better on some days and not as well on
others. I tend to let the fish tell me what is the
best thing to do.
I will tell you that having read that article and
thought about my hook buying, it does not bother me
near as much to order the more expensive hooks
now. When I look at what I spend on other things
to fish with or to tie flies, then the one piece
that attaches me to the fish had better be in pretty
good shape. I am not saying that any of the hooks are
I will still use the other hooks and not pass up any
bargains. Earlier this year I hit an online sale and
got 500 size 10 and 500 size 12 Mustad hooks.
I will use these on patterns and not have to buy those
hooks for a long time. When I am at tying demonstration
these are good hooks to use as there is not much cost
in the flies that are given away.
The way that the article changed me was to get me to
buy hooks for what I want to do and not to worry about
the cost very much. We still buy good hackle and pass
on the cheaper hackles for most of our flies. Still use
Indian necks and such on popping bugs. They do have
their place. But for my dry flies I use a high quality
hackle so they will float like I want and I never blink
when I pull the feather out of the package to use it.
Hope you have a good time while you are tying your flies.
Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick email@example.com