Hook size reference [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Hook size reference


Night Raider
01-21-2006, 10:44 AM
I'm looking for something I can use as a hook size reference. I've always had a tough time guessing the size of a hook. I can tell a 2 from an 18 but when a report says try a size 14 caddis it's a wild guss as to which one I pick. I was hoping there might be a page I can print off that would have hook sizes on it drawn to %100 scale.

Thanks

GrantK
01-21-2006, 03:17 PM
Don't know of any you can just print out online. I don't think I've ever seen a hook comparison chart or the like that showed actual sizes. Griffin makes a hook and hackle gauge that you can pick up at most shops for around $5.00. It will help with sizing hooks from 8 through 16, and sizing hackles down to about 20 I think. Depending on what kind of vise you have, it can be affixed to the shaft.

Probably the best thing to do is never let your hooks get out of labeled packaging or storage of one type or another. That takes away all the guesswork. If you have lots of hooks in different sizes and styles, like a lot of us do, letting them get into unlabeled packaging or storage could be a real nightmare. I either place new hooks in a series of boxes that I have that are pre-labeled for the hooks I use most, or I mark the packaging the hooks came in with a permanent marker as soon as I get home--brand, model number, and size. Works well when they don’t have a label and is insurance in case their label gets damaged or lost. Saves a lot of headaches down the road.

bluenose
01-22-2006, 08:27 AM
The only thing I've come across similar to what you're after is on the Mustad web site. When you go through the different hook types, there is a link that opens up a printable page showing the hooks in their actual size. It's a bit fiddly to use but it does give you a good idea of the comparative sizes.

Regards

flytyer
01-23-2006, 04:28 PM
There is an excellent reference book on this very thing, "THE HOOK BOOK" by Dick Surette. It has been out for at least 10 years and shows full size photos of the hooks and list all the hooks from all manufactures that are equivalent to each other.

rankinstein
01-23-2006, 05:11 PM
Hello Bluenose doesn't the Doak's catalogue have the actual size of the hook on their catalogue page or they used to.How long has it been since you fished the La Have ?Rod:smokin:

bluenose
01-23-2006, 09:01 PM
Doak's catalogue states: "the hooks pictured are very close to actual size", so you are correct on that.

As to the LaHave, I've never fished it but was born next to it in Bridgewater! Hope to get back down this summer and give it a try.

Regards

baldmountain
01-24-2006, 06:58 AM
I'm looking for something I can use as a hook size reference. I've always had a tough time guessing the size of a hook. I can tell a 2 from an 18 but when a report says try a size 14 caddis it's a wild guss as to which one I pick. I was hoping there might be a page I can print off that would have hook sizes on it drawn to %100 scale.

Thanks

The trouble is hook sizes seem to be a random thing between manufacturers and even between styles. A size 8 bass bug hook looks HUGE next to a size 8 wet fly hook. You're best bet is the hook and hackle guide that GrantK suggested. There are a ton of differrent ones and they are cheap.

Having said that I had a look and over a the Tiemco site they have a PDF hook catalog. I don't know if the hooks are displayed actual size but you can print it out and give it a try. There is a space after the www so that the link isn't a hot link. Just copy and paste it to the URL entry box and remove the space...

http://www .tiemco.co.jp/english/products/fly_prod/tmc/tmc_fly_hooks_e.pdf

flytyer
01-24-2006, 01:09 PM
Guys,

Dick Surett's book on hooks does everything you are looking for. I'm surprised more folks don't use it.

GrantK
01-24-2006, 01:37 PM
Guys,

Dick Surett's book on hooks does everything you are looking for. I'm surprised more folks don't use it.

Is the book you're trying to refer to "The Hook Book: a Reference Guide for Fly Tyers " by Dick Stewart? Surette wrote a couple tying guides, but not that one. Stewart's book would be a good choice if you wanted to spend $20.00 and wanted something more detailed.

baldmountain
01-24-2006, 03:18 PM
Guys,

Dick Surett's book on hooks does everything you are looking for. I'm surprised more folks don't use it.

Yeah but who is going to carry it on the stream to look up a hook size?

GrantK
01-24-2006, 04:28 PM
Yeah but who is going to carry it on the stream to look up a hook size?

I guess I didn't interpret the original question as referring to a streamside problem either. I was thinking more in terms of hooks themselves during tying and not completed flies.

Eye balling fly size to "close enough" is more than adequate in actual fishing circumstances way more than not. The only time exact is going to matter is when you're trying to match a natural while fishing to selective fish, and in those cases you should be matching the naturals you're observing if at all possible. If you don't have naturals to inspect for fly sizing, then take a guess. The difference between a #14 and a #16 isn't generally going to be critical, and if you're getting refusals or aren't catching fish then change flies.

If the question was in reference to a streamside issue, then maybe organize your fly box by size if you like. Little pieces of surgical tape attached to your box next to your patterns with the size of the hooks printed on them might help with both identification streamside and with helping you to develop the ability to see the difference in smaller hooks sizes sufficiently well enough to be able to estimate in the future. I guess a tool like the hook and hackle gauge might be helpful if you're totally lost in guessing at hook size streamside, but I don't know that it would really be all that valuable for actual fishing.

flytyer
01-25-2006, 05:10 PM
GrantK,

Oops! Me bad. Yes, I mean Stewart's book. Anc't even blame this one on a typo, it was just carelessness.

Baldmountain,

Like GrantK, I too read the question as someone looking for a reference guide to hooks and which ones are equivalent to each other in size and shape.

baldmountain
01-25-2006, 07:25 PM
Baldmountain,

Like GrantK, I too read the question as someone looking for a reference guide to hooks and which ones are equivalent to each other in size and shape.

Looking back at the original question it is unclear if it he'd like a streamside reference or a general reference so I may be misinterpreting the question too. When he said, "but when a report says try a size 14 caddis it's a wild guss as to which one I pick.", I assumed he was looking for a stream side reference. In any case we've given plenty of options for both situations. :D

Night Raider
01-25-2006, 08:52 PM
Thanks for all the replies.
I am looking for a stream side reference. I looked on the mustad site and found something that might be useful, I'll see what else I can turn up.

thanks