Pryce-Tannatt B-E Hooks [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Pryce-Tannatt B-E Hooks

12-01-2004, 03:21 PM
So I was able to get some of these in 2/0 size and was curious about what applications they were mainly used for. I have not recieved them but was mainly wondering about fishing applications. Are they good fish holding hooks unlike my bartleet experiences? Should I even be thinking about using them on none display flies?


12-02-2004, 01:19 AM

I bought 400 of them in (200 #2/0, 100 #3/0, and 100 #4/0 when Alec Jackson first got them after his sister-in-law found them in the UK about 6 years ago for two reasons: 1) they are beautiful hooks; and 2) they haven't been made since before WWII. They are rightly called the Price-Tannat Rational Hook and where made to Price-Tannat's specifications, but I don't know which now defunct English hook maker made them for him. They were designed to be fishing hooks first and foremost; however, we tyers have turned them into display fly hooks only because they have not been made for nearly 70 years. They used to be $1.00 a piece retail, but I don't know if the price has gone up on the few still available.

The bottom line, if you want to fish with a hook that is $1.00 or more and no longer made, go right ahead and do so, they are great hooks.

Don Johnson
12-03-2004, 11:29 AM
What follows is paraphrased from conversations I have had directly with Alec Jackson. As the story goes, there was an old, established fly tying company in
England that decided they were going to get into tying full-dress Atlantic salmon patterns commercially so they ordered a huge lot of custom made Pryce-Tannatt
Rational hooks in 2/0, 3/0 and 4/0.

For some reason there was a change of heart and the tying of these flies never occurred. It was said that was because the hooks didn't match the Rational profile
but neither myself nor Alec has been able to determine that as the hooks do match the profile in P-T's book. Regardless, the hooks were moth-balled. Then a gentleman with the fly tying company approached Alec Jackson to purchase the lot of 15,000 hooks. He, at that time, had been an employee of this (unknown to
me) company for over 30 years when Alec bought them in 1999. He (the seller), judging from where they were stored, believed that the hooks had been in storage for possibly decades prior to their "resurrection" which was the first time he had become aware of their presence. So if you calculate back, it is possible to
surmise that they may well in fact be very old and possibly pre WW-II era.

What is known for certain is that they are handmade, English, blind-eyed, conform to the P-T Rational profile, and are in mint condition, regardless of
their modern repackaging, which was done by Alec to help facilitate sales.

So that is the lineage of these hooks as I have come to understand it. If you have any further questions about them, I will be happy to answer what I can. These hooks are in beautiful condition and will truly make some exquisite presentation flies. I hope you enjoy them.

12-03-2004, 06:37 PM
Are these hooks avail for sale now?

12-04-2004, 02:33 AM
There are shops who have some, but you'll have to search them out. I don't know if Alec Jackson has any left to sell to dealers though. The best thing to do is see if your local fly shop will contact Alec Jackson to see if he has any left and if so, get you some. They were put into packages of 10 of a size by Alec and had a retail price of $10.00 when Alec first got them. The other thing to do is contact the shops who advertise here on the forums and see if they have any or if they can get some for you.

At times they show up on ebay as well, although they sometimes are selling for as much as $85.00 for the package of 10. That's pretty expensive, l but if there aren't any available through normal fly tying retail shops, you may have to spend that much per hook to get some. Even at the $8.50 a hook this is, it is cheaper than the $10.00-$15.00 per hook from custom hook makers like Reinhold from Michigan.

Ronn Lucas
12-04-2004, 02:52 PM
"...this is, it is cheaper than the $10.00-$15.00 per hook from custom hook makers like Reinhold from Michigan...." Surly you aren't comparing the quality or value of the two! The PT's in discussion here are ok hooks but don't compare in any way with Ron's hand made hooks! Anyone who's seen both in person would know this.

Happy Trails!

12-04-2004, 03:45 PM
Hey Ron,

Could you elaborate a little more on these hand made hooks? fishablity, quality (why they are good), options? If I remember right, he has a catalogue of the ones that he offers, you would happen to know the prces would you?

Ronn Lucas
12-04-2004, 04:34 PM
Hi Zo,

Ron Reinhold makes his hooks entirely by hand starting with coils of wire. As far as I know, he is the only custom hook maker to make them from scratch. Others rework existing hooks. He is one of the most meticulous craftsmen I know. Every single hook is a beautiful iron in every respect. He has two grades of hooks, what he calls "Victorian" or, his standard and the Exhibition grade which are the same except for guttering and a high shine finish. The finish is the true Japan coating not, paint. They are very special hooks. Of course, these are just my opinions but they are well founded.

Prices vary from a low of around $5 to ??. Some of mine which are far from typical are in the $25 +- range by the time we're done with them.

They are all fishable and Ron tells me that some customers do fish them. My pockets are not that deep so mine are reserved for display flies.

There is some very good news coming about blind eye hooks for Tyers who use them.

If you want to contact Ron, let me know.

Happy Trails!

12-04-2004, 04:38 PM

To me it is a given that Reinhold's hooks are far superior to the P-T hooks. I just assume (probably wrongly) that most everyone would know this. Reinhold's hooks are the finest hooks I've ever seen, so I don't even think about saying something about the quality difference. However, the P-T blind eye hooks Alec was able to procure and offer to tyers are of far better quality than what is available from Castle Arms, Belvoirdale, or Partridge.

Ronn Lucas
12-04-2004, 06:25 PM
It is easy for "seasoned" Tyers to assume everyone else is as up to speed on a given topic as they but the truth is, that isn't always the case. I know that I try to keep that in mind when I'm talking to someone or just posting on a board.

I have a few of the PT (Jackson) hooks in one size and as I said, I think they are ok hooks. I don't have near the quantity that you do so mine may not be as fine as yours but would think that they would be a good representation. I don't use such small and short hooks as the PT's so I never bought a lot of them. I have used a lot of the larger/longer Heritage hooks and would rank them comparable with the PT's as far as finish. I tend to like a more tapered eye than the PT's have and an unforged bend. These are minor preferences though and have nothing to do with quality.

I have never tied on or even handled a Belvoirdale blind eye hook so I can't draw a comparison between them and the PT's. Partridge hooks were a mixed bag particularly a few years ago just before Mustad bought the company. Since they opened the Singapore factory, they have been extremely well finished all round.

Bottom line is that I'm sure all of those brands are fairly close in form & finish and that to the casual observer, would be indistinguishable, one from another.

Happy Trails!

12-04-2004, 10:09 PM

Yep, I readily admit that I don't always remember that there are a lot of tyers who haven't seen various hooks, etc.

Regarding Partridge blind eye hooks, there are still quite a few of them out there in shops that were made before Mustad bought them and moved the hook making to Singapore. And like you said, you took your chances with the hooks produced then, some were good and some were bad in virtually every package. The other thing I don't like about Partridge blind eyes is the shape of the longer shank model 10/03 Bartleet is its shape is not conducive to lower set married wings and the tip, tag, and tail need to be positioned a bit more toward the hook eye, which is problamatic for those new to tying full-dressed featherwings because nearly all the books on tying them reference point of barb, root of barb, and point of hook for positioning these. The Partridge HE long shank hooks I don't like either because they use the bartleet bend and have the same curve in front of the hook point the barleets have. And the heavy wire Partridge blind eye hooks have a terribly thick hook end and a very long barb, neither of which I care for.

I'd love to see one of the major hook makers put a blind eye hook on the market with the shape of those in illustrated in the Francis Francis book, but with a finer tapered end so more folks could use blind eye hooks without having to pay what the gorgeous hooks of Reinhold cost, especially if they want to fish them. I'd also like to see one of the major hook makers put both a regular long shank dee hook and an extra long shank dee hook on the market with the shapeReinhols'a Droughtwater Dee, but I'd like to see them in sizes #1/0, 2, 4, and 6, but with the same shank length as Reinhold's 3/4 long shank 3/0 and larger ones. And in the extra long shank ones I'd like to see the same shape as Reinhold's Droughtwater Dee, but with a shank that is 1/4 to 1/2 longer than Reinhold's and in sizes #1/0, 2, and 4. These would make wonderful fishing hooks, the shorter one for speys and the longer one for dees.

12-04-2004, 10:32 PM
Flytyer and All others-

Then I propose that we start bombarding the hook manufacturers with requests for a change in hook design or a new hook model, here is a copy of an email that I sent Ron R. about custom hooks:

My question is, I have come to find the preference in hooks for salmon and steelhead is unique, and I am no different in my tastes. I am looking for a barbless, strong, straight needle point (or one that would lend itself to a sharpening stone) hook that has either a looped down or straight eye (which may be easier as a blind eye) hook with a good size off-set gap (able to handle the two fish). The goal is to have a hook that moves away from the "traditional" and traditions inadequacies and moves towards a functional hook with all the best hooking/holding capabilities for Pacific Northwest fly fishing. My size needs are a 1/0 and a 4 or 6, what would your fees be for something like this?

I also agree with your requirements for size and design, so add to the specs herein and lets see if we can get some of these manufactures to meet the needs of the public...

Ronn Lucas
12-04-2004, 11:05 PM
Getting a major (or minor one I bet) hook maker to tool up for a new hook shape with all the sizes is not an easy thing to do I would expect. Just tooling costs are huge let alone the rest of the attendant costs. They would be hesitant without knowing that there would be a market for them in enough numbers to make the cash flow positive. One way to do it might be for someone/or a group to underwrite the costs and purchase the initial product run and try to market them to demonstrate the potential market.

As to Ron Reinhold making eyed hooks, the last he told me when we discussed such a thing was that he'd leave that to me. Which means, no eyed hooks. LOL He will however alter the hook length at an extra charge. So, you could get the long shank Dee hook in an even longer shank but still a blind eye. The tooling for a loop eye is much more complicated than even a ring eye and certainly the blind eye. Ron's grind on the eye is very nice by all measure but so is the heritage. Actually, I think all things considered, the Heritage hooks were a good value.

The Partridge Bartleet bend as pertains to the tag et all. Yes, those rear components do need to be moved forward to keep the dressing looking somewhat traditional IF it's a traditional dressing that is wanted. I really like the long shank Bartleet for many of my flies but mine are far from traditional.

As in life, tying is full of compromises.

Happy Trails!

12-05-2004, 01:03 AM

I think you have to pay for the design work, then buy a minimum of 500,000 to 1,000,000 (I'm not sure if these are the correct number, it may only be 100,00, but I honestly don't know. At any rate, it is a lot of hooks you have to buy.) hooks of a single size to get a hook manufacturer to make a new hook style.


As can be seen, such an undertaking is not cheap, and each size requires the design, tooling, and minimum 100,000 hook run. This is why custom hooks from Reinhold will always have a market. It is far cheaper to get hooks from a custom hook maker (even if you pay $40.00 per hook) than to pay for 100,000 of a single size. Also, barbless hooks cost more to produce than barbed ones because the hook making machines use the barb to help form the bend and shape the hook.

12-05-2004, 08:52 AM
"It is easy for "seasoned" Tyers to assume everyone else is as up to speed on a given topic as they but the truth is, that isn't always the case. I know that I try to keep that in mind when I'm talking to someone or just posting on a board."

Well said, Ronn,...well said.


Don Johnson
12-05-2004, 09:24 AM
For the hooks I was contemplating, there was a 50K piece minimum per size. For hooks of the nature discussed in this thread, roughly calculating, for three sizes, custom made to one's specs would probably be in the $26K range. My bet would be that it's probably gonna be a tough sell to a hook manufacturer.


12-05-2004, 05:04 PM

Thanks for the info on the 50K minimum per size requirement.

I agree with you, it would be very difficult to get a hook manufacturer to make them, even if one would provide the money to pay for the production run to the manufacturer before any work is begun.

Don Johnson
12-05-2004, 07:38 PM
For a scenario such as this, that being a major company bringing a B-E profile to market, I think once they have you "on the hook" (no pun intended) for a production run, the pre-run R&D (in the true sense of the term) shouldn't be as bad as we think. This is because, for the most part it'd probably be the case that the shank, gape, wire diameter and other specs of the hook would be known as it's mostly a copy of an older hook (a P-T for instance). If, however, one wanted one built from the ground up, then I agree with'd be much more.

That'd be where the other definition of R&D comes into play: Rip-off & Duplicate. This lessens the production curve and costs....or as some say, "Targus-ish".