Hooks???? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Hooks????

Jamey McLeod
12-21-2004, 09:49 AM
I have been tying my wets on Tiemco 200R's as of late. They are much cheaper, and the #4 is about perfect sizewise in my opinion for the patterns I am fishing, and they don't tear up the mouths on the little trout that I hit now and then like A.J.'s or sal/steel models do. I like the sloping bend of that style hook also. I bend the eye up a bit in the vise before tying. Thing is, I only seem to be getting a good hook set about half the time, compared to 80-90% of the time like it seemed I did before using this model hook.

Am I missing something here?

12-21-2004, 10:38 AM
i use 200r's for a particular pattern and have had great success with it as far as hookups go. my customers buy lots of them and i have had no complaints except they seem to break instead of opening up like aj's do on snags. i switched to 200r in #6 instead of aj's in #7 because it kept the price of the flies down, everything seems about the same except the ring, straight eye.

Jamey McLeod
12-21-2004, 11:48 AM
I have broken a few trying to bend the eye up in the vise, but not on snags, I usually only fish 8lb Max. green though. I can get 100 of them for $15.00, guess its worth breaking a few for 15cents a piece though.

12-21-2004, 03:05 PM
Why bother bending the eye up? A straight eyed hook, like the 200R, has the best hooking angle and the best hook holding (although a circle hook has the best holding ability of any hook, it is not the easiest to get a good hook set on) combination. Perhaps the reason you are experiencing more fish coming unglued has to do with changing the hook holding ability of the 200R by bending the eye up?

I've also got to say that I've always felt it was false economy to buy hooks on the basis of lower price. One is always better off buying hooks made for the purpose he is using the hook for and buying the best quality available, and if that means paying $45.00/100 instead of $15.00/100, it is no big deal. Instead of $0.15/hook you pay $0.45/hook a whole $0.30 cents more. The amount of time the average person spends tying a salmon/steelhead fly makes the $0.30 additional cost mute because his time is worth more than $0.30 per fly. If you break the cost down, you have $3.60/dozen ($0.30x12=$3.60) additional cost with the AJ spey hooks compared to the Tiempco 200R and most average/casual tyers don't tie a dozen salmon/steelhead flies in an hour, about $0.15 cents in other materials (unless you use jungle cock, bronze mallard, speckled bustard, etc. which all increase the material cost per fly pretty quickly). Also, very few people use up or lose 100 flies of a single size in a season, so the price difference/year of fishing really isn't as much as it seems on its face.

I use AJ spey hooks, Veverka hooks, AJ steelhead irons, Daiichi 2441 and 2421 hooks all the time, including on those I tie commercially for resale by fly shops. I never worry about the slight extra cost, and don't charge extra because I use more expensive hooks. All of us spend a lot more on rods, lines, reels, tying materials and tying tools than we spend on hooks, so why not get the best?

12-21-2004, 03:08 PM
If you're looking for a straight eye hook with an AJ bend for smaller wets, take a look at the Kamasan B220 Black Nymph hook -- very nice. A high quality hook at not too steep a price.

12-21-2004, 04:33 PM
Similair to the 200R and the Kamasan B220 is the Daiichi 2151. Although I don't like it as much in the bigger sizes I do use it for size 10 and 8 wets for ginclear winter water. It is a very nice hook for Valk's Petite series.


12-21-2004, 07:58 PM

The Daiichi 2151 is a great hook, and many folks here on the west coast are using it without realizing it because Alec Jackson markets it as his Alec Jackson Steelhead Hook. I think it is far superior to the 200R because it is heavier wire, although it does cost more than the 200R, about $32.00/100.

Brian Simonseth
12-21-2004, 08:33 PM
Russ is right about 2151, beens using them for years now.

12-21-2004, 09:01 PM
i don't believe the 200r is an inferior hook in any way. i am making a simple bugger type pattern with them and passing the savings on to the customer. they love them. i use them myself and don't think twice. btw i use thousands of daiichi 2051 and 2441 every year for the appropriate patterns. both are top quality hooks.

12-21-2004, 10:07 PM
Black Francis,

You are right, the Tiempco 200R is not an inferior hook, but it is a hook that was not designed for spey or salmon/steelhead flies, not is it a hook that was designed to hook and land fish of over 10lbs. I was responding to what others appeared to be justifying using it because it was cheaper than the AJ spey hook to tie flies not appropriate to the hook. It is a terrific hook for the trout flies it was designed for, but like you alluded, it wasn't designed, nor intended to be used as a substitute for salmon/steelhead hooks.

For Woolly Buggers, I prefer the Daiichi 2220 over the 200R because it has a longer, straight shank, round bend, and heavier wire than the 200R. To my eye, the longer shank and round bend of the Daiichi 2220 works better on buggers or bugger type flies because the body then ballances the long marabou tail. And the 2220 cost about the same as the Tiempco 200R.

12-22-2004, 05:36 AM
ok here is the pattern we are talking about. the 200r is the right match for this pattern with a bead because some won't go over the return wire. i agree that the 2220 is THE wooley bugger hook, but this is a woody bugger. tell me that's not a good match of hook to pattern.

Jamey McLeod
12-22-2004, 06:28 AM
I had also mentioned that I started using them because the AJ's were tearing up the mouths of the small trout(10-12in) that I have been catching in the Muskegon when swinging flies. This may not be a big deal to some, but it bugs me. I have landed fish over 10lbs on the 200R's with no problem. It just seems like they come unhooked more than with other model hooks. It maybe winter fish? This is the first year I have swung flies this late in the year. As of late I have been tying a dozen or 2 flies a night, its winter in west MI, not much to do after 6pm or so. I am somewhat new to this style of fishing, it could be something I am doing, who knows. I am sticking with them for now though.

12-22-2004, 07:26 AM

I did not realize that the 2151 was marketed as an Alec Jacson Steelhead Hook. I have only seen the ALec Jackson Spey Hook. I assume it is an identical straight eye hook just marketed different ?

Nick and Jamey,

I used to use the 200R when I was still fishing nymphs on the GL. I too have found it to be a very capable hook on the GL. However, I agree that it is not designed to be a primary steelhead and salmon hook. I would not fish it in the PNW and I think that is some of the difference between you and Flytyer. The rivers are much larger and the potential for much larger fish exists on many of the PNW rivers. If I wanted the features of that hook but added strength I would stick with the 2151.

Jamey I'd be curious if you tried the 2151 to see if you have the same problem. They should not tear up the smaller fish mouth and will give you a more traditional salmon hook.

I have to admit that part of my bias is I prefer a black finish to my hooks, they just look cool :cool: .


12-22-2004, 08:03 AM
I have been using the Partridge CS14/1 Salar.

Pretty neat hook, very strong and comes in black, gold, and nickel. 5's and 7's seem to fit most GL ties.

12-22-2004, 09:07 AM
The Salar does look like a very interesting hook. I haven't tried it yet though. I guess I'll have to give it a try.


Jamey McLeod
12-22-2004, 09:10 AM
Is there an online distributor you guys get your hooks through, or does anybody know of one? Most of the shops around me carry your typical sal/steel hook, or AJ's, and thats it.

12-22-2004, 10:16 AM
I would reccomend Kauffmans, The Spey Shop, and Whistler FLy Fishing. They are all sponsors and can get you almost anything. I find Daiichi hooks a little more difficult to find than Tiemco.


12-22-2004, 10:54 AM
call Aaron @(425) 333-4446 speyshop.com.

he can get you anything you need. great guy and a sponsor.

12-22-2004, 01:26 PM
good discussion guys. Valks petite series was mentioned earlier. Does anybody have samples of these or discriptions? I am working on a series of small marabou speys for low/clear water using chicken marabou. The shorter, webby fibers create a size 10 palmered spey. Picked up some chicken Marabou in a bargain box and the flies came out suprisingly well. they look are the size of egg sacs but still had that motion of the popsicle. anybody have any smaller popsicle style flies?

12-22-2004, 02:06 PM
I'm at the office but can post a picture of a petite. It is not a spey but rather a standard wet fly. If you have either Kustich's recent book or Supinski's book they are shown in there. I have only fished the black one and have had some luck on it when there are stoneflies in the salmon river. I will swing these deep at the same time the other guys are nymphing with stoneflies.

That creates a quick tangent. Last season I had a friendly conversation with a gentleman nymphing with stoneflies. The snow on the banks was littered with stoneflies. He thought I was crazy to swing flies because nymphs drift downstream. I simply asked him; if the nymphs only drift straight downstream how did all these stoneflies get on the bank ? :rolleyes: .

Back on topic, I'll post a black petite for you later.


12-22-2004, 02:15 PM
Thanks I will look for it. Nice tangent, must have been march. Have you had much success swinging the smaller flies on the Salmon. One of the guys I fish with actually believes the fish respond better in the Salmon to a profile of a fly swinging in the current. That is the reason you hook many more fish on the than guys using indicators. Even the swing at the end of C & D entices more strikes than the "Dead Drift." I am trying to come up with a selection of "In between" flies that I can drift through on tips then swing the rest of the way. The chicken marabou seems to look good on the vice, we'll see on the water. In the past I have done real well with large, rubber legged nymphs.

12-22-2004, 03:02 PM
Here's a sample of the original orange Valk Petite:

12-22-2004, 03:04 PM
Thanks Peter. Love your streamer page. What size hook is that?

12-22-2004, 03:13 PM
Thanks -- working on two new sites -- one day I'll get them finished. :rolleyes:

The hook is a Kamasan B220 #8.

My best winter colour producer for this fly has always been yellow floss body with yellow chickaboo grizzly hackle.

12-22-2004, 03:14 PM
ok here is the pattern we are talking about. the 200r is the right match for this pattern with a bead because some won't go over the return wire. i agree that the 2220 is THE wooley bugger hook, but this is a woody bugger. tell me that's not a good match of hook to pattern.

Do you ever use this pattern for browns and smallies? Looks like it would be great for them.

12-22-2004, 03:27 PM
Black Francis,

I agree with you that the fly you pictured is a very good match for the 200R. Hook return wire never poses a problem to me because I don't tie or use flies for steelhead with bead heads. I don't fish dead drift and only swing flies; therefore, I use sink tip from type 3 to a section of 700 gr Deep Water Express to take the fly down.


Alec Jackson markets the Daiichi 2151 as the 'Alec Jackson Steelhead Iron', but he only offers it in #4,6,8, and 10 (he calls them #3,5,7,and 9, but they are the same sizes). It is a heavier and shorter straight looped eye hook than the AJ Spey Hook (Daiichi 2050, 2051, 2052, 2055, or 2059). Alec also has a heavy wire version of the AJ spey Hook (Daiichi 2060, 2061) available in sizes #1.5 and #3, which I like to put G.P.'s on since they have less tendency to roll over with the heavyier dress of a G.P. compared to a spey or dee.

Another hook Alec markets under a different name is the Daiichi 2131 Veverka Low Water Hook. Alec calls it the River Dee Low Water Hook, but it is Veverka's hook. Alec names the sizes differenty (#3,5,7,9) than Daiichi (which sizes them as #2,3,6,8) even though they are the same hook.

Your local dealer should be able to get these hooks from Alec or from Anglers Sport Group (the Daiichi distributor for North America). Aaron (River Run Angler, a site sponsor) carries many of them and can get them quickly for you if he doesn't have them in stock since his shop is only about 25 miles from Alec, all it takes is an email or private message to Aaron.

12-22-2004, 03:34 PM
I found that the AJ steelhead iron has a thin enough return wire that I can fit a cone head over it with no problem. It actually holds it in place pretty well and a bit of thick cement secures it. I have some popsicles I tied with the cone and work pretty well for higher water. I also tie a cone head steelly muddler on that hook.

12-22-2004, 04:07 PM
that fly has caught just about everything, especialy in clear water. i think it makes a good emerging hex for the smallies on lake erie
these things are swung not deaddrifted i use tips also but like the fly to be weighted to keep it down with the tip.
that pnw stuff is bs the fish get just as big here in the gl as they do out west. the rivers don't get any bigger than the niagara. that hook has just as heavy if not heavier wire than a #5 aj. go compare them if you don't believe me. i have nothing against aj's or daiichi and you have seen our hook selection to prove that, but i would bet on the strength of these two side by side. aj #5 vs 200r #4. go see for yourself i have them right in front of me.
sometimes it's just a fish hook. now i too prefer a black, up eye, but that wasn't the question. :)

12-22-2004, 06:03 PM
Black Francis , I use that Phil Rowley pattern as a damsel imitation for big kamloops rainbows in lakes. It is my favorite subsurface trout pattern. Never thought to try it for steelhead and while I usually do not fish weighted flies for steelhead, do not see the need seeing you only have a three foot leader with a sink tip, I may give it a try.

I use the 200r for a bunch of summer patterns and it is a great lower cost hook. Too bad they do not make it a little bigger for winter use.


12-22-2004, 07:10 PM
Black Francis,

Didn't mean to offend. I know they can be used, but I'm not a fan of light wire hooks in bigger rivers. That includes the Niagara. We all have our own styles :devil: .


12-23-2004, 05:49 AM
not offended at all, and how i got to defending a tiemco is beyond me. another question for someone who has fished the pnw (you), does anyone use standard aj's in #5 for those big fish rivers? i have always thought they were a little on the light side. i know friends that use the larger 2051 for atlantics but that #5 seems awfully light. opinions, please.

12-23-2004, 07:17 AM
Even though I'm out there a couple times a year I'm sure there are more qualified people on the forum to answer this. I do know that in the summer on the Deschutes a size #5 AJ is very common. John and Amy Hazel who guide out there do most of there flies on light wire AJ. In the summer on the deschutes I have found 10 lbs to be an average fish.
My experience with winter fishing is that most of the people I've fished with stick to heavier irons due to the potential for larger fish in heavier flows. I think the ability of the larger iron to sink also plays a large role.
The smaller AJ's have always been a source of internal conflict for me. I think they are a beautiful hook and I think they fish very well with a floating line for near surface presentation. I have certainly landed fish on them up to 15 lbs although I have also straightened a few out (the most vivid memory I have of straightening one was trying to turn a fish on the Umpqua that was headed for rapids where I had no chance to follow, the fish came loose and the hook gap was opened up when I retrieved the fly back in. For reference I think I was fishing 12 lb tippet but might have been 15).
For the GL I really prefer the2441, 7999 and 2151. I also fish the AJ heavy wire spey. I wish Alec would come out with the heavy wire in #5 and #7. Those would be perfect for the GL winter fishing.

I've been rambling, but in summary I avoid AJ #5 in big rivers for winter steelhead but like them for dry line summer steelhead.

The nice thing about this forum is I'm sure someone will disagree and share another perspective :hihi: .


12-23-2004, 07:59 AM
I bought a pack of targus hooks from Cabelas and have found them to be a decent heavy wire hook. They have a nice shape for tying hackled spey flies and landlock salmon type flies.

12-23-2004, 08:28 AM
I've found that the 2051 AJs #5s will open up and break off points on snags but I still use 'em anyway. For the get-down stuff, I'm using Kamasan B190 Deepwater Salmon Singles. Not as pretty as an AJ but they do get down. Generally, if I have to use a T-6 or a T-8 then I'm switching over to the Kamasans.

12-23-2004, 04:12 PM
I live in the PNW and use the AJ spey hook in both #5 and #7 for summer fish and have not had a hook open up. However, in summer I use 8lb tippet and if I horse a fish, it will break the tippet if it decides to take off.

I find the AJ spey hook in #5 to be a very good hook for low water spey flies and even carry a few royal blue and red spey flies on them in winter for when we get a freeze and the water gets low, clear, and cold (in the low to mid 30's). I've caught fish to 13lbs on the AJ #5 in the low, clear, cold conditions just mentioned and did so on my 16' T&T rod with 12lb tippet with no probelm. I just have to remember not to horse the fish or the hook may bend or open up.

The #7 AJ spey hook I use only in the low water of mid-summer to mid-fall and use it tie spiders and light wire Spade's finding it too short and small for a spey fly to look right.

I use the AJ spey in #1.5 and #3 for spey flies in winter and the #3 during the early summer and later fall as well as during very early morning and very late evening in summer low-water. In fact, I use the #3 more than any of the other sizes during winter. I also use the #1.5 for marabou spiders for winter fish. And the #3 makes for a very nice bunny leech hook and it the hook I use for the fuchsia bunny leeches I tie and fish for chum, and I've caught chum to 22lbs on it without a problem. I also use the #1.5 for some full dressed, married wing classics I fish in winter because I prefer the smaller wire it is made of over the heavier wire of standard salmon irons, which results in fewer flies lost to logs or rocks.

I use the AJ blind eye #1.5 for dee flies that I only fish during winter/spring. I haven't used the AJ #3/0 because it has such a large gap that there is too much probablility of damage to smaller fish like Dolly Varden, although when the return eye is opened up and straightened out, it makes for a very nice, long dee on which to tie double wing dees.

The heavy wire AJ spey hooks I use only on G.P.'s because the standard wire AJ's don't have enough mass in the hook bend and point to keep a full-dressed G.P. riding properly in the water with the hook point down, while the heavy wire ones do. I tie them in both #1.5 and #3.

For standard winged flies, Ally's Shrimps, and Irish Shrimp flies, I use either the Daiichi 2441 or the 2141 depending on the time of year. In winter I use the 2441 only in sizes #1/0, 2, and 4 and almost exclusively for Ally's Shrimps is several colors for my own fishing. In summer fall I use the 2441 in #4 and #6 for Ally's Shrimps I fish in the heavier water on a floating line so they sink a little instead of being in the film. The 2421 I use in #4,6,8 for summer-fall fishing and usually only tie Ally's Shrimps or Irish Shrimps on it for my own fishing.

The Daiichi 2131 (Ververka's low water hook, or AJ's River Dee Low Water hook) I use for dry flies (except Bombers, which I put on Daiichi 2220's in #2,4,6) in #4,6,8 and for true low-water featherwings (the body is only 1/2 of the shank with tail, wing, and hackle reduced in size in proportion to the body) in #4,6,8 with #6 being most common.

The Daiichi 2151 (also known as AJ's Steelhead Iron) I use exclusively in summer/fall and only in #8,10 for tying Spade in several colors, which are fishing on floating line.

I wish Alec had a blind eye AJ spey hook in both #3 and #5 on the market (although I've told Alec many times since before he put the #1.5 blind eye on the market that the #3 would be perfect for larger speys) because both would be perfect for spey flies. If you open up and straighten the eye on these, like Steve Gobin has done for years, you get the same thing. It would just be very nice if they were available already made this way.

12-24-2004, 12:22 AM
what about just `touching' the sides of the point with a file or stone,and bending the barbs down halfway,helps me with the doubles i use here,the smaller sizes=`wee doubles' make it tough to keep them pinned,i also bend the body of the fly with my hemos=results=points go down,out

12-24-2004, 05:33 AM
thank you all for the opinions.