Raspberryfisher's Blog

notes on fishing & travel

Lets get going ….. Nymph Hooks

with 3 comments

I blend traditional with study and experiment, but lets start with Nymph Hooks. There are so many out there, but what is important?  For nymph hooks, drifting at the bottom of the water column, nothing I say in the next 4 bullets is surprising , but here it is …

  1. Weight, heavy … get it to the bottom – of-course!
  2. Strength – if you are winter steelheading or going for Salmon
  3. Length – to match the length of the imtation
  4. Hook Gap – Maintain a good hook-up.

Yes, sharpness counts and go for a turned down eye.

But notice, I did not say model-hook size. Often books, tying manuals, refer to a brand, model and size, but does not specify the importance of size as it pertains to the length of the imitation and hook gap.

Now add the complications ….

  • With the multitude of manufacturers, not all hooks are readily available or sizes or models.  A store may carry Mustad, but not Daiichi, et cetera,
  • Add the complication product lines – come and go – a particular problem with Mustad.
  • A hook model may be excellent at one end of the size scale, but poor at the other.  As a hook gets smaller, you want it to be heavier.

To this end, I have defined my defaults base on -> weight, strength, length and gap. From the small to the large, as defined by maximum body that could be tied:

  • 5.6mm body – Mustad 3399 – 16
  • 6.8mm body – Mustad 3399 – 14
  • 7.7mm body – Tiemco 3761 -16
  • 9.1mm body – Tiemco 3761 – 14
  • 11.8mm body – Tiemco 5263 -14
  • 13.6mm body – Tiemco 5263 -12
  • 15.5mm body – Tiemco 5263 – 10
  • 18.5mm body – Tiemco 5263 – 8
  • 22.2mm body -Tiemco 5263 – 6
  • 27.3mm body – Tiemco 5263 – 4

Mustad hooks can be a mixed bag and add to their constant changing product line, it is difficult to standardize with them on the longterm.

Tiemco can be too light on small end, especially if you are after Steelhead.

If I need very strong and heavy hooks at the small end, look to Mustad R90 and Daiichi 1520 Wet Fly Hooks.

I like Daiichi, but they are not readily available in my stores, so the listing of Tiemco and Mustad is based on availability, and just a suggestion (not an endorsement).

If there are lessons here

  1. Think about body length and the hook gap for the particular imitation you are working. As the fly needs to get larger, look for a long hook and as the fly gets smaller move to a standard length hook.
  2. Think of size in terms of body length in mm (in inches).
  3. The manufacturers model and size is just a reference number to buy more of the same after you establish what is right and not a good way to define a size of a nymph.

In the next two weeks, my best flies this summer

  • The Marabou Muddler
  • The Gorilla Fly (still being worked on)
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Written by raspberryfisher

2009/09/05 at 17:11

Posted in Fly-Tying, Nymphs

3 Responses

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  1. […] to nymphs. Earlier, I discussed nymph hooks and listed my standard hook and my considerations for a standard nymph hook – length of body, relative to gap and strength. Now, lets list the best reference tools, the […]

  2. […] Refer to previous post on Nymph Hooks. The above fly is on a TMC […]


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