Welcome to Warmwater Fishing!


By Richard Zieger
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 bad.

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 ziegeria@grm.net

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