Single hooks for tube flies [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Single hooks for tube flies

11-15-2005, 01:35 PM
While working a tube fly through one of my favorite pools the other day and using some new hooks I began to think about my trials and tribulations with tube fly hooks. So I thought I would share what I went through so other people will not have the same problems I had.

My initial experiments with tube flies went very poorly primarily, I think, because of the hooks I started using. Most of the mail order catalogs I got recommended using the Daiichi X510 Xpoint hook for tube flies (hook in upper right of the picture). And since this was the only source of info on the subject I could find I went for it. Looking back on the whole thing I realized that these people didnít know any better than I did. My hookup and landing percentages both proved to be very poor using this hook.

The next hook I tried was Partridge Boilie hook (hook in upper left of the picture), again on the recommendation of a fly shop person I met at one of the fly fishing shows I worked at over the winter. This hook seemed to be better than the X510 but my hookups where still not on par with standard fly hooks for some reason.

I was getting ready to give up the ghost on tube flies when my friend Nick recommended using a different hook, the Daiichi 2451 (hook in lower right of the picture). This hook worked very well both in terms of fish hooked and fish landed.

A fourth hook I have started to use is the Partridge Salar tube fly hook (hook in lower left of the picture). My info on hookups and fish landed is still incomplete for this hook because I have only been using it for a short time. However, it does have one point in its favor that is not readily visible in the picture. It has a larger than normal eye that seats very well in the junction tubing.

If anyone else has info to share on the subject I would be very interested in it. Its always better to let someone else make the mistakes. :lildevl:


Willie Gunn
11-15-2005, 03:10 PM
Do any of the hooks have an offset, as I think this might help

11-15-2005, 08:27 PM
I have been using the Gamakatsu SL45. It's a bonefish hook which is the closest thing that I could find to the Diachii 2451. I think that the shank is slighty shorter than the Daiichi one, but have had good success on most of our waters here. Talk to ya soon Charlie.

11-16-2005, 04:11 PM
Can't add much here since I'm still getting started with tubes. The only hook I've tried is the X150 mentioned above. I've not had the good fortune of a strike yet, possibly because I've hardly used the hook, but I was concerned that it didn't stay put but instead rotated out of position. I would say that since tying on tubes seems to be taking off, it would be good to develop some standards regarding hooks and perhaps other aspects as well. What do the Europeans use? They have been tying on tubes a long time now. Somewhere others must have gone thru this same dilemma. We shouldn't have to reinvent the wheel.

Willie Gunn
11-16-2005, 04:43 PM
Trouble is the Europeans usually use trebles, now starting to use doubles (Loop and Partridge Salar) Single users are rare but some of us exist.

I got an interesting hook from Nobou of CND a Japanese double with a very wide gape and not soldered along the join. Great hooker on Sunrays!!

11-16-2005, 06:06 PM
Looks like the successful hooks have slightly longer shanks. I'd like to add to the data pile but all of my tube fly successes have been on overeager smallmouth who got to the fly before the steelies. I used the Partridge hook intended for tubes but I don't have the package anymore so . . . .

Ran across the Mustad 10456BLN Ultra Point the other day in a tackle shop and I bought a couple of packets to try. Up eye, nickel plated, thin wire and a shank about as long as your "good" ones. We'll see how it works on the end of some Waddingtons.

In a similar vein, what do you think of beaked hooks or those with an "English bait hook" type of profile?

11-17-2005, 08:05 AM
size 4 have worke well for me. I have not used tubes as much as standard hooks, but do not remember a grab on the tube that did not hook up, and the landing ratio has been better than with standard hooks. That is just my experience to date.

11-17-2005, 03:43 PM
I bought a pack of those x-point hooks and like you, I found them to have very poor hooking power.

For flies with trailing hooks (not tubes) I have been happy with a Gamakatsu no 2 bait hook that is slightly offset, and with an upturned eye that holds the return wire nicely. It is available at the local sporting goods stores. I would think that a straight eye version of that hook would be great for tubes, probably one exists.

11-18-2005, 12:01 AM
Funny, I've had great success with the X-Points. Mind you, it was over a short period on highly aggressive Queen Charlotte's fish. There is another hook I use, for which I can not remember the model number. Made by Daichi, short shank, off-set, japanned, and slightly upturned point. May have cost me one or two, but can't say for sure. I have a bunch of the 2451's, but have yet to fish them. Will definitely throw them in the box on my next trip.

11-18-2005, 04:55 AM
IMHO the effectiveness of one hook vs the other depends on whether the barb is removed or not (among other things). I for the most part do not fish with a barb, except maybe when facing the white stripe at the end of a week of dropping steelhead or salmon and only where regs permit (maybe 1-2% of the time). 0% of the time for stripers or trout for instance, in other words always barbless.

Therefore my hook choices are more prone to favor designs that hold better when barbless. Just about any decent hook will hook better barbless, but few hold well that way.

A couple examples of hooks I've found to hold very well barbless are the Tiemco 200R for fresh, the 811S in salt. Looking at Charlie's 2 most favored hooks the resemblance is pretty distinct, thus from my perspective I see his findings as damn good advice for my next tube hook purchase.

11-18-2005, 08:53 AM
Please explain your thoughts about holding. Other than circle hooks, I do not see a lot of diffierence in ability to "hold" after hooking in the designs mentioned. One idea has been that longer shanks allow for more leverage on the area of contact between hook and fish. This supposedly makes it easier to bend the hook or tear tissue, so the hooks works out.

11-18-2005, 09:10 AM
Hi Ted -

Hope you are well.

Not sure if I can offer anything scientific about the topic but I have anecdotal beliefs that I feel are to some degree qualified, albeit all fishing wisdom is a 'work in progress' for the wise angler.

There is a particular hook I fished for a while with a perfectly round bend from shank to point. There were aspects of the hook that made it great for a fly I used to fish a lot, but I found that it constantly dropped fish during the fight. This was a striper hook, and I fished this fly in the spring and fall migration when flashy attraction was key so we are talking about those 40-50 fish hooked days when one can compile some statistics.

In these same situations, I switched to the offset J (for lack of better term) where the bend starts more gradually off the shank and condenses into a corner radius before rising to the point.

Venturing scientifically (beyond my means) the material in the bend should be forced into this corner, limiting pitch and yaw during battle.

All I really know is that the 811S is a very, very effective barbless hook and I never fish it barbed. I land as many fish as any barbed angler next to me, on good days many more ;)

I will not name the brand / model of the other hook, but it's considered a top brand and widely used. Probably fine barbed.

On the steelhead front, we can use the profile of the common spooner's siwash verses an English Bartleet to emphasize the differences. I am convinced that a short shanked siwash fished barbless would be near useless due to it's perfectly symmetric bend radius. Some bartleets are made with such a short point segment that the design relies on the barb, I don't fish these. The 200R is a very good summer hook with a good bend profile and they are priced right. I like the Alecs but have lost too many good fish on them coming straight and won't use them smaller than 1.5s anymore.

In short, the eliptical radius bend pushes lip into the corner and helps hold without a barb IMHO, the research continues... maybe I can get a grant :lildevl:

11-18-2005, 12:36 PM
IMHO the effectiveness of one hook vs the other depends on whether the barb is removed or not (among other things). I for the most part do not fish with a barb, except maybe when facing the white stripe at the end of a week of dropping steelhead or salmon and only where regs permit (maybe 1-2% of the time). 0% of the time for stripers or trout for instance, in other words always barbless.

I think this is a very important point. Before going to scottland last spring I crimped some of my loop dobble tube hooks according to the recommendations of the Dee conservation code. The first two fish I hooked was only on for about 15 seconds and when i confronted the ghillie with this he said that they quit crimping the barbs on these hooks several years ago. While this hooks are very popular on the Dee they are almost useless as barbless hooks, it's almost impossible to land the fish. The ghillie also told me that the few fish they had landed when fishing this hooks barbless where more damaged in the mouth when using hooks with barbs because they had loosen and fasten again many times.

I've never tried the single hooks on my tubes. Never had any problems with releasing fish cought on a double hook with barbs.

11-18-2005, 08:21 PM
My best tube/waddington hook is a Gamakatsu octopus barbless in #1 (for steelhead, 4/0 for chinook)- upturned eye, offset point, fine wire, semi circle style and razor sharp. Next most effective is the Daiichi 3111 - straight eye but needs the barb to be crimped down.

11-18-2005, 09:32 PM
speydoc, that is the Gamakatsu that I was thinking of...

11-18-2005, 09:59 PM
I almost never loose steelhead on this hook. I have streached these hooks on chinook, but have never lost chinook on a streached hook - because of the streaching I have been experimenting with other hooks for chinook, but always wind up going back to the Gamies when my loses get too high. I just wish they would bring this hook out with a straight eye on maybe 10% thicker wire - anyone out there in the industry listning?

Big K1
11-19-2005, 08:19 AM
I have had good luck with the Partridge Nordic Single hook. Short shank, straight eye.
I do not care for upturned eyes for a tube hook.

Jamey McLeod
11-23-2005, 06:33 AM
Gamakatsu finnesse #1 or 1/0. The things are sticky sharp. I tried the Octopus and found it made some patterns want to rool. Just the same the finnesse also like to ride with the point up on some patterns. I also was steered towards to X510's by a local shop owner when I first got into tying/fishing tubes. Had problems with fish coming unglued when using patterns that had alot of rabbit, seemed it would "clog" the hook. Another steelheader here in town recommended to Gama's

11-23-2005, 11:02 PM
For what its worth, I tie nearly all my globugs, which I use a lot, on a Gamagatsu #8 Red Octopus. I've strayed from that a few times but keep coming back, finding it the best answer for globugs. A major complaint I have with Gama is that they don't make this hook in smaller sizes than #8. Or at least a lot of research I've done indicates that is so.

11-24-2005, 11:59 AM
I have a lot of customers that like the Kamasan B-982 hook in sizes #2 or #4.

11-24-2005, 06:20 PM
How are you rigging an Octopus hook on a Tube (with or without junction tubing) or a Waddington shank without the hook riding 'down'


I've had fair success using the Partridge MM3STBN (Nordic) and, believe it or not, a Mustad #9174.


11-24-2005, 07:56 PM
hi There

I'm just learning about tubes flies. I understand the part about tying the tippet to the hook and then pushing the eye of the hook into a softer plastic that couples the tube fly to the hook.... but are there other ways of rigging a tube fly? Whats a waddington shank?

11-25-2005, 01:13 AM
A waddington shank looks like a cotter pin with a loop on each end. In fact a cotter pin will serve the same purpose as a waddington shank. A search on goggle with the term waddington shank will show some sites with pictures. Pick waters west.

11-25-2005, 04:40 AM

Call me cynical *g*, but I'd personally have my doubts about tying a fly on a cotter pin. In a pinch I suppose you can net a fish using a safety pin as a hook, too.

However, being somewhat open minded (and thrifty by nature) would you mind posting (or PM'ing me) one of your flies dressed on a readily available cotter pin?


Here's a link to a rather nice article on dressing flies on Waddingtons...


11-25-2005, 01:13 PM
Call me cynical *g*, but I'd personally have my doubts about tying a fly on a cotter pin. In a pinch I suppose you can net a fish using a safety pin as a hook, too.

I am rather surprised at the above statement as I always considered you to be practical and inventive.

At present I do not have a picture of one of these cotter pin flies but I will see if my wife will take one for me. I have several customers that fish these with just as much success as using the waddington shank version.

The way I tie them is to put a slight bend in the eye of the cotter pin and then tie the fly just as I would a waddington only leaving a small portion of the cotter pin bare. For fishing I run the leader through that eye and along the the fly body and through a small piece of junction tube then tie on my hook of choice. If I use a straight eye hook I seat that in the junction tube and slid the junction tube on the exposed cotter pin. For something like an octopus hook I leave the eye out of the junction tube. These flies are no harder to tie then a waddington, are inexpensive, and sink very well.

The same method can be used with brass welding rod if one ties a small loop of mono on in lieu of the eye or uses a small mono loop at each end of the welding rod with or without the junction tube on the hook end. I believe this is simular to the way the needle flies are rigged if my memory serves my correctly.

Economical junction tube can be had by pulling the copper wire from pieces of heavier electrical wire while retaining the plastic outer sleeve.

11-26-2005, 04:26 AM

I'm hardly practical, and I'm certainly not inventive - although I'm game to try just about anything new or different.

Understand too, I meant absolutely no offense to you when I said I was cynical about using a cotter pin in lieu of a proper Waddington shank. I was leery the first time I tried Sushi - and now eat enough of the stuff to feed the Japanese Imperial Army. *g*


11-27-2005, 02:56 AM
Understand too, I meant absolutely no offense to you when I said I was cynical about using a cotter pin in lieu of a proper Waddington shank.

No offense taken. I rather enjoy reading all of your posts.

beau purvis
11-27-2005, 08:42 PM
I used to use 2451 ,but it was a pain becaushe way I used it was to bend the eye down ,under heat,to where it lined up with the point.Worked very well that way but was only good for one fish and did not trust it,eventhough it never failed.Have used up eye Gama bait hook and SSW.Both work fine.I ,like Willie,like offset! .The SSW is the strongest.Presently using the Gama finesse wide gap the most.Dont like long shanks!If I did, I would use Alec Jacksons more.They dont hold fish well!Shorter the shank the better.That is the main reason for using a tube.I use tube as general style word.Actually I much prefer Ed Ward style Waddington shanks to tube!!!Beau

11-27-2005, 09:06 PM
Why do you like Waddington's better than tubes? What do they do that tubes do not, or do better?

11-28-2005, 03:19 PM
Ted asks a good question; one that I am not qualified to answer. I did get my hands on some waddington shanks however so hopefully I will figure it out.

Getting back to my original experiments, I think I finally have a good read on the Partridge Salar tube fly hook. I have been using it for a few weeks now and the results have been very good. I give this hook thumbs up.


12-23-2005, 01:44 PM
Personaly I prefer Waddingtons over tubes (although I fish both) mainly in the smaller sizes as the Waddingtons are thinner and heavier and hence denser with a faster sink rate.

01-07-2006, 03:17 AM
Perhaps I've missed a mention above, but some time back Willie Gunn sent me some Partidge "Jack Hilton Carp" hooks (several sizes) in "Black Nickle." Thin wire, ring eye, sharp as a new needle and an excellent choice for small tubes or strung behind the smaller Wellington shanks.

Thank you again Malcolm. :D Obviously I haven't run out quite yet.