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Midge hook extractor

PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 1:28 pm
by Tom Smithwick
You guys have probably figured out by now that I love gadgets. I live in spring creek country and often have to fish tiny flies. If they are tied with delicate materials, they can be difficult to grab and extract from a fish without damage. I just came up with this. The jaws are made by grinding the end off the eye of a large needle, in this case .050 diameter. The handle, obviously, is an old toothbrush. The end tooth of the alligator clip is ground and filed down, and the clip acts as a guard over the needle so I can carry the thing in a vest pocket without getting stuck. I have only used it once, but it seems to be OK. You do have to control the fish with your other hand, or net. Any other solutions?

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Re: Midge hook extractor

PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 5:44 pm
by hankaye
Tom Smithwick, Howdy;

Great idea, 8-) , however, before reading it all the way through I was thinking that the
alligator clip was to hang it on your vest or anything else available. Something I can use
out here in the land of tiny flies. Thanks for your inquisitiveness.


Re: Midge hook extractor

PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 7:10 am
by Tom Smithwick
Hi Hank - The clip does grab the needle pretty tight, but I would be afraid of losing the device if walking through brush. I thought about putting foam inserts into the jaws to improve the grip more, and thought of some kind of a pen cap covering the whole tip. My vest has a deep, skinny pocket on the inside. The other end of the string is pinned to the flap. So to use the device, lift it out of the pocket and pull it away from the clip. It's no worse than when I had to reach the same pocket for some forceps.

Re: Midge hook extractor

PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 7:55 am
by tie2fish
Drill a hole in the "Oral-B" end of the toothbrush handle and hook it to a zinger. Cover the tip with a short section of midge tubing.

Re: Midge hook extractor

PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 6:15 pm
by Old Hat
Cool idea!

But I have a hard enough time just trying get my forceps off my vest. ;)

Re: Midge hook extractor

PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 11:09 pm
by William Anderson
Tom, this is very clever. I rarely fish flies small enough to require a surgical extraction, but lots of guys do and you've hit a nice solution. I was frustrated with my forceps several times today and wished I had one of the hook release tools. That or build something cool like Bill Lovelace made. I've hooked several fish right in the pincer or corner of the mouth and even a barbless hook required the forceps.

Cool tool, Tom.

Re: Midge hook extractor

PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 9:20 pm
by letumgo
Bill Lovelace has a wire tool he showed us at Yellowstone. Im not sure how small of a fly it is designed to remove, but maybe he will chime in. Your solution looks excellent for very small flies. Thanks for sharing. ;)

Your tool reminds me of the New Zealand strike indicator tool. I wonder if they could be designed as a dual purpose device.

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Re: Midge hook extractor

PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 11:04 pm
by Roadkill

My tool was made out of coat hanger wire and would be too large for small flies. Like your tool I would suggest a loop turner tool from a fabric shop. I use one for tying knots in Pheasant tail fibers for Hopper Legs.

Re: Midge hook extractor

PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2016 11:59 am
by Tom Smithwick
I will take a look at the loop turner next time in a fabric store. I am not familiar with those. I did think about seam rippers or a nitpicker, but the needle seemed like it might be more effective on the really tiny hooks, which is where I have the trouble. Sometimes a midge pheasant tail will work well during a trico hatch, for example, and save you thee trouble of drying out a dry fly between fish. But you can't grab them with forceps many times before you destroy the fly.