Best Tarpon hooks ? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Best Tarpon hooks ?

Trevor B
02-09-2008, 04:06 PM
So I think it's time to try my hand at the Tarpon game and I need to start tying up some Tarpon flies and I know from what I have read that really good, sharp hooks are required. So what should I be looking at using, I really have not had much experience with tying these type of flies.
Also does any one know of any really good books or videos that deal with Tarpon fishing and flies?
Thanks guys Trev

02-09-2008, 09:00 PM
If you're targeting large fish: Owner Aki

02-10-2008, 05:48 AM
I agree. They are the best. Depending upon the pattern I'm tying I also use Gamakatsu SC15, SC15/2H, SL12, and the new SC17. The SC15 and 15/2H are wide gap hooks which when tying on them seem to have short bodies. The SC17 is even more so and has very heavy wire. I like using the SC17 on patterns that essentially have no body---Apte-type patterns, for instance. For toads and patterns like that, the Owner Aki can't be beat. Forget about the cost. Tarpon fishing is rarely inexpensive.
As far as books--Tarpon on Fly by a good friend of mine, Don Larmouth, will get you started. Good DVDs are the Chasing Silver series by Jamie Howard. The Billy Pates videos, that are now twenty or more years old, are still quite applicable. Stu Apte has done several that tend to be a little long-winded but contain some terrific advice that's still appropriate. I think Tim Borski's tying DVDs have some tarpon patterns featured.

02-10-2008, 09:40 AM
Owner AKI are great.

02-10-2008, 11:19 PM
After thinking about all the tarpon I've lost... I've concluded that it all boils down to sh*t luck whether you get the point into a crack in the armor (or not).

I am going to try circle hooks this winter, I bet they will work :smokin:

02-11-2008, 04:33 AM
I know that a lot of the guides in the Keys recommend Owner Aki hooks. Normally in comparatively small sizes like 1/0. These are great for toad flies.
In the Keys because of fishing pressure the guides prefer smaller flies and lighter leaders (50#).
In areas where there is not so much pressure I use larger flies like 4/0 and I tie tarpon bunnies usually using Tiemco 600SP hooks.

02-11-2008, 09:35 AM
I find that the smaller Tarpon (say, 30# or less) are harder to get hooked up than the larger fish. My theory is that a 10# fish has just as hard a bony mouth as a bigger fish; but when you tighten up then hard strip-strike a smaller fish, you move the fish more easily and thus reduce the penetration force (compared with a larger fish). I have found that I have a higher "stay stuck" rate with the smaller fish when I use circle hooks (typically the Mustad C71). When fishing for larger fish, I use Owner AKI and Gamakatsu SC-15.
As said, it's just a theory. And, since I follow it, there's probably an element of self fulfilling prophecy.

02-11-2008, 01:49 PM
The circle hooks make sense to me. There's certainly no lack of tension when they hit :Eyecrazy:

Do you find they hold on the jawplates or only in the cracks and crevices?

02-13-2008, 06:01 PM
I have had hooks hold in the jaw plates of both large fish and juvies. Twice I've had juvies hooked in the tongue ridge (both with circle hooks), and it was really hard to get the hook out.