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Bonefish, Tarpon, and other Obsessions Turquoise water, silver demons on the fly

Thread: barbless hooks? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
08-24-2004 05:37 PM
carlpasha
Quote:
Originally Posted by JR SPEY
To me the cost of pursuing fish like this is such that the cost of the hooks is really small potatoes. I just choose to use the best, which at this point in time means Gamakatsu and Owner, though Mustad and others are doing a good job of trying to catch up.
Two points JR... Here in London, UK, the cost of a packet of Owner hooks is actually too high for the human ear ! Secondly, as the proud possessor of 6 or 8 packs of Mustad's 34007s, I found them perfectly adequate for even a large (7-8 pound) bonefish. It was just my fluorocarbon that gave up the ghost ! Secondly, I do also have a couple of packs of Owner hooks, an Xmas treat to myself, and I'm sort of scared to handle them as they're EVILLY sharp. I only look at them sideways from across the room in case they put my eye out. They do seem pretty d*mn good.
By the bye... does anyone have any opinions on Orvis 28GX circle wides (2X-short shank) and their "bog-standard" 9034s for bones, 'pon and, whisper it, permit ? Silly question really, as this is probably the opinion capital of the 'net.
Post away.

Best fishes, Carl.
08-24-2004 09:43 AM
JR SPEY To be honest, a bluewater flyrod isn't worth owning unless it can dead lift twenty pounds. Now this is for pursuit of marlin, large bluefin and yellowfin tuna, etc. There are several rods on the market right now that can do just that and more. I was not able to duplicate Mel's results on the SC15 and I worked with a number of the same hooks. I don't know why that happened, but maybe he got a package of defective hooks. I debarb the SC15 all the time and have no more problems with them than any other hook I debarb. While I probably wouldn't use the SC15 on potential world record tarpon or large billfish, they are fantastic for about everything else. And, Gami does make a stronger hook, the SC15C-2H (meaning 2X strong) to handle those fish. To me the cost of pursuing fish like this is such that the cost of the hooks is really small potatoes. I just choose to use the best, which at this point in time means Gamakatsu and Owner, though Mustad and others are doing a good job of trying to catch up.
08-23-2004 05:23 PM
carlpasha
Unsuitable hooks...?

Hi all (and Mel !). Mel tested his hook with 80lb breaking strength mono and a Boga-grip whereupon the hook straightened at 13lbs. I suspect that that would not be a fair test ! Reading Thomas McGuane's "The Longest Silence", he maintains that NO ROD is capable of pulling more than (I think...) 6lbs. I assume he means without failing catastrophically, or as I call it... breaking.
Would Mel be kind enough to try the same test using a tarpon rod or, just leaving out the hook, tie the mono direct to the Boga-grip. I am categorically NOT asking that he endanger any rod but just see if he can even approach 6 or 7lbs.

Best fishes, Carl.

By the way, Mr McGuane's book is utterly brilliant with lots of tarpon,permit,and bonefish within. Buy it !
10-28-2003 04:58 PM
MarshRunner Eddie,

The SC15 and the SL11-3H depending on profile and fish size. The TMC 800s is a pretty good bone hook too.

Dick
10-28-2003 04:10 PM
Eddie Dick, which Gami hooks do you like for bones?
10-28-2003 01:07 PM
MarshRunner I've found Mustads (34007, 011s, and 07s) adequate for bones, permit, and tarpon for over 25 years and I have great respect for them. But I've also lost plenty of good fish on broken and bent-open Mustads. And while I've always sharpened my Mustads before I tie, the Gamakatsus I'm using today are better out of the box--esential for penetrating a bone's or a permit's hard crusher plates. The new hooks are expensive, even if you buy 100 packs, but well worth it for a $3-5k trip to the flats.

I'll be tying some flies for March in about a month and I'll be using Gamakatsus.

Hope this helps.

Dick Brown
10-24-2003 12:35 PM
Eddie Another vote for the 2/0 SC-15. Amazing penetration and surpriseingly strong. This is for the ocean side flats off Isla Morada. Small flys and fish maybe not as big as Capt. Mel's.
10-23-2003 06:27 PM
JR SPEY Actually, those hooks are among the strongest available. The 3H stands for 3X strong. They are heavier and will therefore require a little better timing in your casting. They will certainly be stronger than 13lb of pull. Their shank is also full length so any pattern should fit. I think they'll more than handle any tarpon you'll find in Belize. Good fishing.
10-23-2003 05:42 PM
BlueH20
barbless hooks

whoa
things got a little heavy there for a while, its amazing that my little question about barbless got carried so far. Thanks guys.
I just started tying some saltwater flies, the hooks I bought were GamaKatsku sc11-3h, I dont know anything about salt hooks, only to buy non corrosive ones. These hooks were the only ones available in town. They look strong??? they are about $5. for 12 hooks, is that considered cheap or expensive. Hopefully these hooks will hold up to that first tarpon I know i am gonna get in belize in a couple of months. If not, its the hookup that counts,.
see ya
blueh20
10-23-2003 05:42 PM
BlueH20
barbless hooks

whoa
things got a little heavy there for a while, its amazing that my little question about barbless got carried so far. Thanks guys.
I just started tying some saltwater flies, the hooks I bought were GamaKatsku sc11-3h, I dont know anything about salt hooks, only to buy non corrosive ones. These hooks were the only ones available in town. They look strong??? they are about $5. for 12 hooks, is that considered cheap or expensive. Hopefully these hooks will hold up to that first tarpon I know i am gonna get in belize in a couple of months. If not, its the hookup that counts,.
see ya
blueh20
10-23-2003 03:54 PM
Capt. Mel Simpson OOps, they were GamaKatsu SC15's.

And OH! Did I mention semi-circle...another thing I don't like.

There may be those that can let a 120# tarpon stick itself but my customers are trained to strip strike. Bam! Stick em hard and deep!

OK, that's all I've got...Mel.
10-23-2003 03:31 PM
Capt. Mel Simpson Just got in from a half day charter, washed my boat and ate some lunch while I checked my email, and decided to run to my local fly shop and get some "NEW" hooks. At the 3rd one I found them.

They only had 3/0 and 4/0 GamaKatsu SC 10's, (well some I couldn't read the size) so I bought what they had. There was no one there that knew anything about the hooks so I came home.

The first thing I noticed was that there is a huge difference between a 3/0 and 4/0. That's a problem with the AKI's too.

The next thing that bothers me is that the barb broke off when I tried to mash it flat. Too much carbon in the steel? Could be I'm a grumpy old guide, ...don't know.

I also don't like the short shank, pretty hard to get a full size tarpon fly tied onto it. I am picky!

So I finally tested it's strength. Now this is only my way of testing and by no means scientific, but it's all I've got to go on....works for me sort of thing. I tied on 80# mono using a Homer Rhode loop knot and hooked it to my "IGFA certified Boga Grip"!

The damn thing bent at a little over 13#'s...!?!? What's up with that!

Nah...I guess I'm just one of "those" guides. I do fancy a nice Zin or Cab once in a while tho, if I can find one for under $25.

Mel
10-23-2003 03:27 PM
Adrian Good points and , to be fair, most of the guides I've fished with over the years have been great guys - (Chateau Neuf Du Pape Viex Telegraph 1985 ).

We've strayed a bit off-topic here (barbless hooks wasn't it?) but advice to anyone booking a guide whether for the first time or the hundredth - discuss your preferences and expectations beforehand. Ideally do this when you make your reservation or if not possible (e.g. fishing camp scenario) then before you get out on the water.
10-23-2003 02:11 PM
juro Guiding is not easy.

There are only so many factors you can control, then the rest are up to fate. You are responsible for all of them.

Anglers who are up to the task upon arrival are the exception not the rule. A day of instruction does not seem appreciated even when completely necessary. Often only the fish are the measure of success, not the skills gained.

The pay is not the real reason one guides, unless they are paid astronomical rates. This does not necessarily equate to the ability of the guide, but it may. One has to love it to overcome the frustrations, demanding situations, and pressure to deliver the goods.

It's hard work. Before a trip, the equipment must be tuned, the right flies must be tied, the conditions must be understood and the itinerary must match the behavior of the fish and the tides, weather, abilities of the angler and likelihood of success. You're a tourist bureau, a chauffer, an entertainer, a teacher and a fish finder.

You have to have a deep knowledge of the fishery; deep enough to overcome situations that would defeat most angler's attempts to succeed. You have to have the confidence to leave a flat visibly crawling with shrimp sippers to find a pack of crab eaters, eel chasers, or silverside slammers.

Knowing fish are in a spot at a given tide phase is one thing, knowing where fish that are aggressive during a tide phase is another thing completely. Only the latter yields high results.

You need good physical abilities - vision, perception, and good judgement. You need a sixth sense to pull a rabbit out of a hat on a dead day on the water. You need a rabbits foot.

It's challenging, difficult and you could make more per hour flipping burgers when you count all the hours and work invested.

But when the new day breaks over the atlantic and the rush hour begins beneath the surface of the flooding flats, there are few pleasures greater than having something eye-opening to share with fellow anglers that they can enjoy and appreciate; and if one can build a life around offering a square deal for a quality day on the water for a few bills then more power to 'em. Guiding is an important part of the social and economic balance of the angling world that has always been and will always be.

Don't tell my family but I am praying that I'm full time again next year from May to October!
10-23-2003 12:00 PM
JR SPEY I agree. About the only time I have a problem with guides, whether trout, salmon, or saltwater is when they insist on treating their clients as raw beginners even though at least some of us are not. I had that experience again this summer with an Atlantic salmon guide. I mean the guy really meant well, but it just got to be too much. As much as Florida guides get ripped (epecially Keys guides) for being screamers, most of the one's I've fished with (in fact, all but one) were total gentlemen. I had a Homassasa guide recommend using his tackle to me since he was not familiar with the model of reel I had. He semed to be saying that if he never heard of it then it probably wouldn't work on the big tarpon there. But, it took only a little while to explain that the reel was more than up to the task and to his credit he listened and didn't push it any farther. The only arrogant guide I've had in Florida is better known for his writings on trout and other freshwater fish, and even he wasn't too bad.
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