When selecting long-shank hooks for tying
streamers for fishing, my advice is to concentrate
on the overall length of the finished fly rather
than the manufacturer's designation of hook-shank
length. Let's continue using 8X-long hooks as our
example. Suppose the minnows in your favorite
trout stream are 2 inches long. You have a proven
pattern for a streamer that imitates a minnow calling
for an 8X-long hook. The fly you tie might have a
tail, and the hair or feathers in the wing and belly
might hang out past the bend of the hook. To tie
this fly so that it imitates those minnows, you'll
need to use a hook with a shank that is 1 1/2 to 1 3/4
inches long. This translates into about a size 8,
8X-long hook. If you're a stickler for accuracy,
you'll put one of those hooks and a vise and start
tying. What I would do, however, is another thing.
I'm not a fan of 8X-long hooks that are smaller than
size 6. Why should I use hooks with narrow gaps
if I don't have to? Rather than worrying about
the numeric designation of hook-shank length, I
would concentrate on the length of those minnows
and choose size 4, 6X-long hooks. With these
I can tie flies of the proper length and have
hooks with larger gaps, thus increasing my
chances at catching fish. ~ David Klausmeyer
Credits: This tying tip is from
Tying Classic Freshwater Streamers,
By David Klausmeyer, published by Countryman Press.
We appreciate use permission.
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