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Selecting Hooks for Streamers
By David Klausmeyer

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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