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Thread: Hook vs Fly Length

  1. #1
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    Default Hook vs Fly Length

    Hi Gents,

    I was wondering what your rule of thumb is in regards to hook vs fly length in the salt. I usually go with 2.5x the hook length in the hope of a solid hook up, but i just got some sample semper fly and its about 18cm on a 4/0 hook... geez a big fish would need to gulp the entire thing to get a hook up!!

    So what do you guys say is the ideal lengths? or the outer limit you have used successfully?
    Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience - "Ralph Waldo Emerson"
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  2. #2

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    Good question
    Thinking about a metal "spoon" lure e.g. Toby with a treble way down the back end - seems to work rather well.
    Even with hard body lures with two hooks, one in the middle and one at the end you mostly see the back hooks in a fishes mouth and the middle hook either free or attached somewhere on the body - often lodged there well after the tail hook was eaten.

    So there is a lot to be said for long shank hooks on short flies. BUT the problem with that basic design is tail-wrap So a short shank hook tends to be more popular even on long streamer patterns regardless.

    Most flies are smaller than most lures, so fish will often try to engulf the whole fly and get hooked regardless of where the business end of the hook is.

    But there are those days when short-taking tail nipping fish will drive you nuts I keep some keel-fly designs on long shank hooks in my flybox for such occasions. A little bit of clear silicone glue massaged into the fibres just beyond the hook bend help to combat tail-wrap a little - but it can still be a PITA.

    Squid-flies lend themselves to long shank hooks, or extended, or even articulated hook setups. Very big long flies need two hooks in tandem to give sting to the full length of the fly.

    Some fish do normally hit the head of their prey but other buggers like shad have made a living out of amputating tails first - for them a longer shank hook with the point a bit closer to the rear not only works better but also offers some tippet protection.
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  3. #3

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    I guess I didn't answer your question directly - there is no rule of thumb - it's all about fly design and using a configuration that works.
    The highest form of existence is play.

  4. #4
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by William Ewels View Post
    I guess I didn't answer your question directly - there is no rule of thumb - it's all about fly design and using a configuration that works.
    Agreed! and thanks for the reply. My thinking was when do you start pushing the limit in fly movement and size vs your hook up rates due to shorter hooks? I guess the fact that there are so many fly designs shows that there are a lot of options and each has there own pros and cons in different situations, but where is the sweet spot?

    You would want to have a arsenal of flies that could cater for the most situations out on the water as your first option in your flybox to have the best chance of getting fish, then also you would want to cater for a hook vs length ratio that would give you the best chance of a hook up? Like you said on plastic lures the hooks are in a different configuration to our flies with hooks at the back and middle, so are we as flyfishermen not limiting our success rate by having short or even long shank hooks on big flies? thinking of the Semper fly I got here as a example but its applicable to all large saltwater flies, this Semper has a length to hook ratio of 5:1! wouldn't it be a better option to tone down the length and have the best possible chance of a hook up than to have a bigger fly?

    Ahh I guess it all comes down to personal preference and searching for that perfect fly is what keeps us tying and trying, but it would have been nice to have a nice baseline to fall back on...
    Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience - "Ralph Waldo Emerson"
    www.flyordie.co.za

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