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pmflyfisher 05-08-2002 06:49 AM

Help - Skammania Hook Recommendations
Need the toughest strongest hook available for Skammania summer run fishing. Will be using streamers, speys, and matuka type leech patterns.

These are 15 - 25 lb fish and the meanest and strongest we have in the great lakes, some call them the great lakes tarpon.

I don't think the TMC 7999 hooks are strong enough. will be using size 1/0 and 2/0 with 10 -12 test leaders.

What recommendations are there ? What are the PNW guys using for their big winter wild fish?

I am tying now on saltwater hooks Mustad 34007, what other salt water hooks would you recommend such as those used for stripers in these sizes. My fly shop seems to have a good selection of salt water hooks.

These fish would be comparable to those, however our water temps are in the 50-60 degrees range so these things are super charged beasts out here, and jumping machines.

Thanks in advance for any comments.

fredaevans 05-08-2002 07:26 AM

Hal, first I'm going to ask you to sit down before I tell you..
how much per hook.

Only in my wet-dreams do we get steelhead that size.:rolleyes:

But Mr. Salmon .... ah yes. Take a look at the TMC 600SP hooks. they're a "super point (aka chisle), round, straight eye 3x heavy, 3x wide, 2x short forged black nickle." I use the 1/0's for the salmon; but these are the biggest, strongest ..... most expensive .... freash water hooks I've ever seen ... and cost about 90 cents each! But they will hook and hold a Mac Truck. And sink like a rock without extra weighting. I run these behind 250, 300 and 400 grain RIO heads for the salmon.

Not sure how widely they're destributed but I got mine from Mark B's shop in Welches, OR. Price was $25.00 for 29 hooks. Thank God they pay the shipping. :eyecrazy:

striblue 05-08-2002 07:28 AM

The new Mustad "signature" series... The Trey Combs by Gamagatsu.. The New Verivas have a different look and are extremely sharp out of the package but I have not fished them yet... The new Mustads have a great point and seem better made than the standard Mustad and are a good price.

DFix 05-08-2002 11:37 AM

I believe the wire diameter on the Varivas 1/0 990S or 994S is .0555 - it sure seems stiff enough to give it a try.

NrthFrk16 05-08-2002 09:54 PM

Alec Jackson Heavy Wire or the Alec Jackson Steelhead Irons are both excellent heavy wire hooks. The Steelhead Iron is a 1x short, 1x heavy while the Heavy Wire is just a 1x heavy.

pmflyfisher 05-09-2002 08:52 AM

Thanks will check them all out.

Fred, yes they average 15-20lbs with some over 20. Several in the high 20s have been caught. New state records in Wisconsin and Indiana from Lake Michigan were set in the last two years.

Both were 27-29 lbs or so.

If you like I can send you further corroborating independent evidence.

The returns to the rivers are usually in the 50-100K range.

Can't tell you where my zipper lip locations are though, thats a trade secret

Eugene 05-09-2002 03:19 PM

Has anyone ever had a 1/0 or a 2/0 TMC 7999 straighten out on a fish while using 10-12 lb tippet? Seems like a non-issue to me. Those are meat hooks. Bury the point into a rock and the hook might straighten out but the leverage is totally different. Unless you get a bad hook your knots are going to go first.

pmflyfisher 05-09-2002 07:22 PM


Will let you know what they do to the TMC 7999, probably a non issue, after a few jumps they will probably be off anyway. Don't think I can go much higher in the leader strength with out them being scared off in clear water. I will give a 14 lb test leader a shot though in the stained water situation one river usually has. Just hooking them and fighting them for a while is a great thrill, landing them is another story.


Pat Bahan 05-24-2002 10:03 AM

I think Eugene summed it up nicely. Nothing beats break testing to know where you stand.
As for hooks, I love the Mustad 7970 5x strong for big nymphs. and I have yet to break or bend a Mustad 36890 in #4 or larger, but then I haven't put them up against >10 lb. test.
Before you go to salt hooks concider that they won't rust out if broken of in a fish.

kush 05-24-2002 05:41 PM


The 7999's are serious hooks - you will not have issues with straightening them on fish. The only problem I've ever had is with Alec Jackson Spey hooks in larger sizes, IMO they are so "springy" that they will open up under heavy loads - then spring back - but minus the fish.

My personal favourite hook (before I switched to tube-flies) is the Partridge Bartleet Supreme, it is a heavy wire hook that has just enough of a sweep to its styling that it wears elegant patterns very well.

One of the problems that standard hooks present - especially in larger sizes is the length of the shanks gives a struggling fish a great deal of leverage. This, I believe results in alot of lost fish. My traditional hook-up to landing ratio was approx 50% on a year in year out basis. In the 2 seasons since Dana and I converted to tube flies (and the short shank wide gap hooks like Tiemco 105's or Partridge Nordic Single Spey) our combined landing ratio is now up to 75%. It has only been 2 seasons - but the early stats are good enough for me to say that I will not fish traditional hooks again. The one possible exception might be for small low water patterns - even then I'm not sure.

pmflyfisher 05-27-2002 09:57 AM


Thanks, I wish I was competent at tying tube flies where I could use the shorter strong shank hooks which I agree is a better option than the longer shank hooks. Looks like learning to tie tubes should be the next priority on my FF list along with learning to spey cast better. Need to figure out what line to use with the 7/8 weight St. Croix 13 footer with 9/10 weight sink tips. Too many spey lines to choice from and when you are stranded in the mid west without dealers with spey rods, many spey anglers, or spey claves to test multipe set ups it becomes a crap shoot to choice an expensive spey line. I now have an old 9/10 weight WF scientific anglers sink tip on it with a deep water express head I made up years ago.

Its kind of sloppy on the cast but rolls casts ago. Remember we have smaller width rivers here widest being 60-70 yards most are 20-40 yards I would say. Look at the picture of the Muskegon I posted up in the forumn from my trip last month, thats about the widest river we have here.


kush 05-27-2002 01:48 PM

Spey lines

I'm not familiar with the 7/8 St. Croix, so I think someone like Dana would be better to suggest the line/weight specifics. However, my .02 is to consider one of the "mid-spey" types such as the Airflo Long Delta or Rio Mid-Spey. My rationale is that they have the best of both the long and the short bellies. They both load rods well with short lengths of line out (good for small to medium streams), while stripping will be required for longer casts there is minimal need for it on the mid-sized waters. Yet these lines will also allow you to shoot a great deal of line for the times when you may need to boom out a big cast.

I use an extreme long belly line for most of my fishing and do love how it fishes. However, I was given an Airflo Long Delta this spring and I fished it on the upper Squamish which is not too big -the line was perfect - I really liked how it loaded and cast, as well as how it handled on the water. I can definitely see myself using it on medium to small waters. I will also use it on the big waters of the Thompson when one of those nasty afternoon winds start to quarter upstream and the long-belly becomes difficult to use.

fredaevans 05-27-2002 06:01 PM

Kush, vis a vis fishing the Thompson ..
it's been a zillion years since I've fished in BC. My memory of the Thompson is that it's BIG WATER; far larger than the typical Southern Oregon river.

What type of 'water' do you and Dana look for when your on stream? Any 'web connects' you could direct the folks to to get a flavor of the fishing conditions?

Gardener 05-28-2002 07:33 AM

Heavy hooks/light leaders
It sounds to me as if you may have a somewhat unbalanced setup there. Don't know what sort of leader material you are using, but at 10/12lb test it's probably about .30-.32mm diameter, assuming you're using conventional nylon. Fluorocarbon/copolymer will be even finer.

I think 1/0 or 2/0 hooks just aren't going to fish properly on a leader this fine - it doesn't have the stiffness to present that weight of hook properly, and you may even find you have problems with breakages caused by excessive hinging. If I was using a 1/0 hook I would want at least .40mm diameter leader, and the same goes for heavy tubes.

If you need to use a fine leader, you'd be better to use a hook no bigger than size 4. Use a lightweight tube fly if you need a big pattern, or use a sinking leader/tip if it's depth you're after. I find that small hooks will land big fish at least as well as big; they tend to bury themselves right in to the bend, so you get virtually no leverage which is, I think, the main cause of losses. I have landed many large atlantic salmon on small hooks. You rarely see hooks over about size 4 used in the UK these days; above about 1" most people opt for tubes/waddingtons, or just a long, streamy dressing.

dansteelieman 06-20-2002 10:09 PM

I know that many of you guys are talking about skamania and the strongness of te hook, but I can get by with 6lb test and standard nymph hooks. Now, I am not saying that this is right for every situation because sometimes the stronger the better is essentail. For me, the main thing is playing the fish and staying under control. The tiemco hooks(7999??) are very strong, and I have never had problems with them. I do use saltwater hooks when fishing the surf since the pattern is usually attacked viciously. Now not to brag, but the great lakes has alot to offer.....and chasing toperdoes in the middle of summer when it is 100+ deg. cannot be rivaled....or wait, maybe that is chasing steelhead in sub-zero temps in the middle of january as your guides are iced and your hands are numb???.....well, whatever it may be, us lakers go to the extreme.

:eek: :rolleyes: :D :eek:

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