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flyfisha1 02-23-2004 10:47 PM

Black-finished streamer hooks
I like the appearance of salmon hooks for the color, as well as the shape. The question is whether there are any traditional streamer hooks offered in the black finish? Does anyone know of any? Everything I've seen for freshwater is bronze-finish. Specifically, I'm looking for a 6X to 8X hook. If nothing is available, I'll stick with my TMC300. TIA...


flytyer 02-23-2004 11:14 PM


Belvoirdale sells one they have made in England. Do a google and you will find them. Partidge used to make one called the Ken Baker Streamer Hook, but Mustad (who bought Partridge a few years ago) discontinued it, you might be able to find some though. I'd go with the Belvoidale hook.

My favorite streamer hook is the Dick Talleur hook of Daichii. Even though it is bronze, it has a finely tapered loop eye, is 7X long, and has a beautiful modified Limerick bend.

I almost forgot, Daichii also makes the J171, which is black, tapered loop down eye, 6X long, and Limerick bend. The down side, it is only offered in #1 and #2.

fredaevans 02-23-2004 11:18 PM

This is really off the top of my head ...
but, if memory serves, the 'black finish' on the hooks is/was referred to as "Japanned." Can only assume this may indicate the 'black finish' hooks first came out of there at some point in time.:confused:

flyfisha1 02-23-2004 11:35 PM

Thanks; I'll look into those. When it comes to actually fishing these hooks, would you say that one stands out against the other as a superior choice? I realize that "look" may be just suited for flies that I intend to keep out of the water, but I'd like my fished flies to be tied on the black hooks also. The loop eye is important to me, BTW. I would think that neat features of a streamer hook would be a black finish, looped eye (up-turned, as in the salmon and steelhead hooks), 7X long with a Limerick bend. Of course, I'd like them offered in everything from a size 10 to 1/0, though I suppose that this "modified salmon hook" could be sized in odds (1,3,5, and so on).

Fred - I think you're correct regarding the dsignation as "Japanned hooks".

flyfisha1 02-23-2004 11:42 PM

And one more question, semi-related: I just ran across Mustad 36890's on Kaufmann's site; 100 for $9.25. Am I correct in thinking that these would be a case of "you get what you pay for", since most salmon hooks are much more expensive than this?

flytyer 02-24-2004 12:28 AM


Run away from the Mustad 36890's as fast as you can. They are awful hooks, poorly tempered, non-taptered hook return (the hook's wire is simply bent back against the shank and this makes it difficult to make a nice transition from hook shank to fly head), several hooks in each box of 100 will be malformed, points are too long, barbs too high, points don't hold up, etc. Yes, they are cheap; however, they are so poorly made that they are a waste of time and make tying into a chore.

The Daichii Dick Talleur hook is made in #2-#10. The Belvoirdale Sprite hook is offered in #2-#8.


The were known as Japaned black or just Japaned because that is where the lacquer was made that they dipped the completed, polished hooks in to paint them black. Japaned Black hooks are really only hooks that have been painted black instead of bronze.

flytyer 02-24-2004 12:29 AM


I forgot about Castle Arms, they offer a black, tapered loop down eye streamer hook.

flyfisha1 02-24-2004 12:34 AM

Got it; thanks!

BobK 02-24-2004 07:46 AM

Check around...
The "NEW" finish that some hooks are offered in is "black nickel".
The "Japanned" hooks are the old traditional.

There are some brands that make 'em this way. You need some good hook catalogs of all of the brands.


DFix 02-24-2004 08:25 AM


Varivas makes some nice japanned hooks, and now Daiichi is stepping up with their own numbers. I've tied on both and I like them.

John Desjardins 02-24-2004 08:33 AM

The black nickel finish is interesting. It has a shinier apearance than the traditional japaned black. If your interested this is what a mustad 80400bln hook looks like.
Unfortunately, I haven't seen the black nickel in anything longer than 4XL.

flytyer 02-24-2004 06:32 PM


I forgot to mention that you can always get some black "touch up paint" in a spray can from an autoparts store and paint any bronze hook black. This is best done by suspending the hooks from a wire that is strung through the eyes of at least a dozen hooks at a time. Just remember to keep a little bit of space between the hooks. Spray the paint on and let it dry. the remove the hooks from the wire suspending them and let them sit for another 3 days to a week before tying on them to let the paint "cure". This is a cheap and easy way to get black hooks with a tapered loop eyes that are 6X-8X long.

kjackson 02-28-2004 11:41 AM

Ken Baker hook
Flytyer-- I just looked in the latest Partridge catalog, and it features the Ken Baker streamer hook and shows it offered in sizes 4 and 6. I can't say if that's still the case, but I can find out if you're interested.

Also, for those looking for premium salmon hooks at less than premium prices, check out the Partridge Michael Frodin Salar Salmon hooks (CS14/1B) in black finish. The Salar hook series is one of the best I've fished. It's extremely sharp, nice diameter, and short barb.

As for the 36890 hooks, the box I just opened showed a tapered return-- it wasn't finely tapered, granted, like on the Partridge Salar, but if you're tying flies to fish with and not display, I wonder how much extra a couple thousandths matters. I can't speak for the temper or the poor quality control alluded to by Flytyer, but I haven't had any serious problems.

If it seems like I'm coming down strongly on the side of Mustad, it's not because I'm connected to Mustad in any way but because I've seen a lot of unjustified and somewhat fraudulent Mustad bashing on another board. It's one thing if the criticism is accurate and another if it's not.

I do know the guy who manages the fly tying hooks for the company in the U.S., and his concern for design and quality control are pretty strong.

My $.03,


flytyer 02-28-2004 08:32 PM


I have never had a box of 100 Mustad 36890 hooks that had zero defective hooks. However, with Daichii hooks (which is the only hook brand I tie on), you are lucky if you find a single hook defect in 1,000 hooks of the same size and style. To me, quality hooks do not have defective hooks in virtually every box of 100 hooks. I've seen hook eyes not closed, hoks bent, hooks broken at the bend, eye loops not tight against the shank, eye loop retruns bent away from the shank, points that were malformed, shanks that had kinks in them, and shanks that had forging nicks in them in boxes of Mustad hooks. These are quality problems.

The lack of a nice tapered hook return on them is a pain to deal with when tying because the hook return is not very long making it tough to tie a nice small unobtrusive head. The hook return also makes it difficult to tie the head of the fly back from the hook eye a 1/16" or so to facilitate the use of improved turle knots that seat on the eye wire and not the fly's head. The Daichii hooks have beautifully formed tapered loop eyes, even in #1/0 and #2/0 heavy wire standard salmon irons. The Daichii return wire is not only tapered right into the shank, they are much longer and it is easy to form the fly's head with the 1/16" gap behind the hook eye.

The 36890 hook temper has a lot to be desired as well. The temper of the 36890 is on the soft side and I've seen 36890 hooks open up the bend when fighting fish. The hook point on them also doesn't hold up very well when you hang a rock because of the temper either, which neccesitates the need to inspect the hook point any time you hang up no matter how little to be sure the point wasn't bent requiring resharpening. In contrast, Daichii tempering is excellent. I've never seen a Daichii hook bend totally straigthened. Yes, I've seen #5 or #7 Alec Jackson Spey Hooks (which are made by Daichii) bend to the left or right; but I've not seen them straighten the bend. And the Alec Jackson Spey hook in #5 and #7 is of much smaller diameter wire than the 36890 in #10.

The finish on the 36890 is also not very consistent. There will be runs or spots on the hook were too much finish was put on the hook during manufacturing on quite a few hooks in a box of 100. This is also a hook defect because if you tie a tinsel or floss body these defects will show through. Again I do not find these probelms with the Daichii's that I exclusively tie on.

If a person is looking only at price of the hook, Mustad has a place; however, there are other choices among the lower priced hooks that have better quality than Mustad. Dai Riki for instance is much better quality than Mustad standard hooks for about the same price.

Many of the things that I find unacceptable in Mustad hooks are of no consequence to many others. As a result, Mustad sells a lot of fly tying hooks in the U.S. They are an OK hook; but they are not a high quality hook. Sort of like the difference between a Chevy Corsica and a Mercedes Benze. Me? I'll take the Mercedes and pass up the Chevy when it comes to hooks.

kjackson 02-29-2004 11:45 AM

Once more to the Mustad well...
Now you've got me curious, Flytyer, as to when you evaluated the 36890s with the problems. The hooks I'm basing my comments on are 20-30 years old. I haven't picked up any since then, as I don't tie on them much. The boxes I looked at didn't have the problems you listed (with the exception of opening up on fish and that I haven't tested). Mostly I use these for trout flies, and that's an area where you won't see many problems with a 36890 opening up. On steelhead, stripers or salmon, that may be something else. There I tend to use the Partiridge Salar hook for many of the reasons you mentioned.


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