What's your favorite hook?

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What's your favorite hook?

Postby Bazzer69 » Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:41 pm

What's your favorite hook for soft hackles, flymphs and why?
I've been using some older Hardy Hamilton hooks which are japanned black. They are good looking but the japan finish can be a little rough and the eyes are not always fully closed. Because most the waters I fish are barbless, I prefer to fish barbless but crushing the barb down is no big deal. So barbless hooks,would be preferred. I would like to see what others use. Remember I use my flies for fishing not showing so the strength of the hook is important to me as well.
So let's see what you like to use and why.

Barry
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Re: What's your favorite hook?

Postby joaniebo » Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:10 pm

Barry

I mostly use Daiichi 1550 or 1530 wet fly hooks and sometimes Mustad 3906 or 3906b hooks. Also old Partridge Capt. Hamilton hooks that I get from Richard Jefferies in France.

Bob
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Re: What's your favorite hook?

Postby Johnno » Tue Apr 04, 2017 11:44 pm

Kamasan B170 or 175. Just because they handy to get :)
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Re: What's your favorite hook?

Postby Ruard » Wed Apr 05, 2017 6:58 am

Johnno wrote:Kamasan B170 or 175. Just because they handy to get :)



I use the B 175 #12 or #14. I press the barb and make the eye right ( first burn it till it is red else they break)

Greeting

Ruard
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Re: What's your favorite hook?

Postby redietz » Wed Apr 05, 2017 3:43 pm

Mustad R50 for me, mostly because it's what I'm most familiar and I don't like surprises when it comes to size.
Bob
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Re: What's your favorite hook?

Postby William Anderson » Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:20 am

Barry, it's a mixed bag for me. I used to tie most all of my wets on Daiichi 1550 and 1530 but I've added some of the Fulling Mill tactical style hooks to the mix as well. Especially the 35075 short shank and the 35050 ultimate dry fly hook. I have a soft spot for the Mustard 3906's as well. They just look great.
"A man should not try to eliminate his complexes, but rather come into accord with them. They are ultimately what directs his conduct in the world." Sigmund Freud.
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Re: What's your favorite hook?

Postby Greenwell » Thu Apr 06, 2017 2:22 pm

Barry, I am surprised that you have found such defects in the old Capt. Hamilton hooks you are using. How old are they? Partridge hooks have been made in China for several years and the quality isn't what it was in the originals.

As to your mention of a Jappaned finish on the Capt. Hamilton, I don't recall ever seeing that. Every L3A, L2A, etc. I have ever seen had a lacquer finish. Being a handmade product there was a fair amount of variance from batch to batch with some showing a darker finish than others. Not saying your's aren't Jappaned, they very well may be! I just don't recall ever having seen any with a black finish on them.

I began using Partridge hooks nearly 40 years ago primarily because of the problems I was encountering with Mustad hooks, the industry standard at the time. Mustad hooks had a much softer temper as the old automatic hook making machines used then demanded a soft wire to run properly. The result was the often a hook that straightened in use. Also, I was throwing out 10 - 20% of a box of hooks because of open eyes and other defects.

When Partridge hooks became available I began tying all of my own flies on them even though they were nearly twice as expensive as Mustads. But then I hate losing fish to bad hooks and have always felt that saving a few cents on a hook is false economy, especially when fishing for large fish with small flies.
I met Alan Bramley, the Managing Director of Partridge, in 1977 and began buying quantities of hooks directly from him. My favorites were the Capt. Hamilton Dry (L3A), The Capt. Hamilton Wet (L2A), the Standard Length Dry Fly (E1A), the "A", (an extremely strong hook) and the Sproat (G3A). With foresight uncommon to me, I was smart enough to hoard a fair amount of these models when they were still available and bought up all I could find as they dropped out of favor.

One of the reasons that I like the older Partridge hooks, and still tie a lot of flies on them, is their temper. Unlike most hooks now, they had a hard temper and would break before they would straighten in a fish. The downside to a hard temper is that sometimes they would fracture when one went to flatten the barb. Many tiers and anglers might find this annoying but a lot of contemporary hooks have a springy temper which will often allow a hook to open enough to loose a hooked trout and then spring back to shape. Consequently, and as much as I like modern hooks, I usually tie on heavier hook models; I even dress many of my dries on wet fly hooks. I did say I hate losing fish to hook failure! The old hard tempered Partridge hooks seldom failed on hooked fish, all other things being equal, and I have great faith in their strength and durability. In fact, I often recycle old hooks after the fly is worn out.

In the early 1980's the Japanese entered the fly hook market, Tiemco being the first I believe. Tom Rosenbauer at Orvis gave me samples of the 200, the first model available, before they were cataloged. They were a revelation as the wire was very strong for it's weight. Also, the points were the sharpest I had ever seen, every eye was perfect, and the quality and consistency were amazing. Plus in a box of 100 hooks you got 100 perfect hooks, even Partridge would have a few bad hooks in every box. While I have tried many different manufacturers' hooks, and most modern hooks are pretty good, I believe that the Tiemcos are about the best available right now. My "go to" Spider hook is the TMC 3769. I also like the 9300 and have used both models for many years.

The very best discussion of hooks as they relate to fly tying/fishing for trout is in Datus Proper's 'What the Trout Said'. It's a must read for any angler and what he has to say is still fresh 35 years after it was published.

I've always wondered why most fly fishers take such little interest in hooks other than their shape, style, and cost. Arguably, the hook is the single most important component of our tackle and success or failure often depends on it's qualities. I have been fascinated by fish hooks my whole life.
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Re: What's your favorite hook?

Postby joaniebo » Thu Apr 06, 2017 4:25 pm

Re: Partridge hooks, many of the old (and I mean OLD), Capt. Hamilton hooks can be obtained from Richard Jefferies, who now lives in France. I've purchased quite a few different Partridge hooks from Richard for well over 10+ years and have never had a problem with the trout hooks that I get from him. My most recent order was just a couple months ago. Here's the link for anyone that might be interested:

http://www.troutandsalmonhooks.com/prod ... out-hooks/
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Re: What's your favorite hook?

Postby Bazzer69 » Mon Apr 10, 2017 12:12 am

I actually did buy my Hamilton hooks from Richard Jefferies. I believe the Hardy hooks were made by Partridge and rebadged. I have no idea if they are lacquered or japanned, their black. Some of them have a rough finish. The tempering seems fine but on some of the eyed hooks, I have blind eyed hooks as well, the eyes are not fully closed. I have no intention of anealing them and trying to close the dodgy ones up. They will work fine for my purposes but since I only want to fish with them it's a,hassle to purchase from the U.K. Not know exactly what I'm going to get.
I was looking for a inexpensive very strong, good looking hook to use. I've been a guide for many years and ther is nothing that pisses me off more than a hook that breaks or bends straight. It amazes me that client who spend $1000 dollars a day( when all costs are taken into account) go and buy Fly Shop cheepo hooks. My mainstay is Tiemco hooks that are sharp and very strong. I would like them to make a lovely black or bronze hook specifically for soft hackles. Maybe they do and I've never seen them.
I've rowed. My drift boat so many miles over the years my shoulders have told me I've got to quit! So I'm not guiding more than a few trips a year but I like to fish for me! Using soft hackles on a small creek is a beautiful thing, maybe only bettered by swing a Spey fly, which after all is a large soft hackle, using one of the custom two handed rods from Meiser or Burkhemer of which I am lucky enough to own one of each. No, no, a c.c. de France on a creek is better. Just got to afford a bloody nice hook!
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Re: What's your favorite hook?

Postby Bazzer69 » Mon Apr 10, 2017 3:29 am

Greenwell, I will try the Temico hooks you mention, are they available in black?
Thanks
Barry
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