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Thread: How durable must your flies be?

  1. #1
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    Default How durable must your flies be?

    I recall a post awhile ago, where some one said, if his fly lasts one fish he is happy.
    Another post was rubber legs, so that it will be more durable.

    I fished on the Holsloot the a week or so ago, and fished the same flies for 2 days, taking over 80 fish between the 2 flies.
    The one was a Spider/soft hackle pattern(Partridge and Orange) tied on a jig hook with a bead and the other a Gold Bead PTN, with paint bristles for a tail.
    After the all of the fish, the flies went back into the box, ready for the next trip.

    I am wondering how long do you expect your flies to last, not counting losing them in the trees, break offs on big fish etc?
    Do you "plan" or evaluate a fly to see how durable it will be?
    or specificly tie certain methods so that it will last longer?
    Korrie Broos

    Don't go knocking on Death's door, ring the bell and run like hell. He hates it. (anon)
    Nymphing, adds depth to your fly fishing.
    Nymphing, is fly fishing in another dimension

  2. #2

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    Fish magnetism is a higher priority than durability.
    If the materials and fly style have fish magnetism I will put them together in the most durable way I can.
    Having said that, many of the flies I need for most of my fishing also work quite well enough with synthetic materials.
    So all I have to do is regularly add thin penetrating head cement (my own blend made with thinners and automotive acrylic clear topcoat) at various stages to get a pretty durable fly.

    Bucktail clousers and deceivers are an interesting case - bucktail is more effective than most synthetics - don't ask me why, I'm not a fish. But fish with teeth devastate flies made with bucktail. Some synthetic materials e.g. DNA are a close second to bucktail in fish magnetism. I usually carry both types and fish the bucktail ones first - if there are fly destroying fish like shad around, on first necessitated fly change the synthetic jobs will get a run.
    The highest form of existence is play.

  3. #3
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    Obviously if there are two ways to do something, and one is more durable than the other, we would all do the one that is more durable, but sometimes it is not possible when you want a desired effect. The flies you are talking about are very simple though and the answer to your question is not as easy as yes/no because it depends on the type of fly and what you want to achieve in the water. Unfortunately not all the flies that we require are as simple as your choices (yes they caught 80 fish that weekend, but they wont do that every weekend)

    Sometimes one finds a pattern that is so deadly, yet is such a las to tie or the nature of the end product requires that it is impossible to make it durable past a single fish. In those situations i am happy for those types of flies to last 1 fish before they need to be retired. Luckily for me i like tying flies so it's more a case of making sure i have enough of them to last me till the next time i can sit behind my vice.
    "So hereís my point. Donít go and get your ego all out of proportion because you can tie a fly and catch a fish thatís dumb enough to eat a car key.." - Louis Cahill - Gink and Gasoline

  4. #4
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    Default

    When I was tying on Grip hooks I expected the fly to last 1 hook up, if I was lucky.

    Now having changed the brand I have had flies last me 3 years ( Drys which I only fish in winter on the Vaal. )

    My wet flies , I will bin after they either open up ( on a rock or a fish if I'm lucky ) or at the first sign of rust = not being used, so why is it in the box anyway. Remebering that in Summer my flybox is almost always submerged, 'cos I like to fish deep, and I yet to have to find a flybox that is PROPERLY waterproof.
    It's not in the catching, it's in the learning something new.
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  5. #5
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    I have recently been fishing a whole body CDC mayfly as tied by Marc Petitjean. Works a charm but unfortunately one fly one fish. I have been trying to make it more durable but I have not been able to crack the code yet.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herman Jooste View Post
    When I was tying on Grip hooks I expected the fly to last 1 hook up, if I was lucky.

    Now having changed the brand I have had flies last me 3 years ( Drys which I only fish in winter on the Vaal. )

    My wet flies , I will bin after they either open up ( on a rock or a fish if I'm lucky ) or at the first sign of rust = not being used, so why is it in the box anyway. Remebering that in Summer my flybox is almost always submerged, 'cos I like to fish deep, and I yet to have to find a flybox that is PROPERLY waterproof.
    I have to be honest - i have used Grip hooks a LOT on the vaal and other places for yellowfish, and i have never had one open on me. The important thing is to use the right hook models. Their ranges are vast, and you want to make sure you get the 2x or 3x Heavy hooks. If you have those they will not open easily (from my experiences), even down to size 16. If you use the fine gauge wire ones then sure, it will open, but that is not the right hook for the job.
    "So hereís my point. Donít go and get your ego all out of proportion because you can tie a fly and catch a fish thatís dumb enough to eat a car key.." - Louis Cahill - Gink and Gasoline

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkieser View Post
    I have to be honest - i have used Grip hooks a LOT on the vaal and other places for yellowfish, and i have never had one open on me. The important thing is to use the right hook models. Their ranges are vast, and you want to make sure you get the 2x or 3x Heavy hooks. If you have those they will not open easily (from my experiences), even down to size 16. If you use the fine gauge wire ones then sure, it will open, but that is not the right hook for the job.
    I doubt this is the place for a discussion about how poor grip 14731 hooks are in sizes smaller than #8 (those are the scud/emerger hooks), but with all due respect if guys who in the peak of the season were fishing the vaal two to three days a week like myself, Wade, Herman J, Gerrit, Bertu, Graeme, Mike N, Rory etc have all had issues there's a very serious problem.

    The hooks dont open, they snap.

    We all use different vice's, some of us debarb while others dont, we fish tippet ranging from roughly 2kg's-5kg's, some prefer nymphing a trio of flies tight to the bottom while some swing a pair of flies across and down mid-water etc... We all live in different areas and buy our hooks from different retailers, tie flies in varying quantities etc. While hardly scientific, a more varied field test you're going to struggle to find.

    The conclusion? Well, none of us use grips 14731's anymore unless we're really really desperate.
    Check your knots!

  8. #8
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    I've had the exact same problem . they bend and break and become blunt quickly , not my favourite hook . They work for trout but not for the proper fish in the vaal

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jock0 View Post
    The conclusion? Well, none of us use grips 14731's anymore unless we're really really desperate.
    Damn! That's one of my favourites for the vaal and have not had a single problem while fishing. I will submit though, that when debarbing the hooks they sometimes snap, and then i chuck them. Perhaps i am weening out the bad ones before i get to the water.

    I agree with what you are saying about you guys fishing the vaal more than me, but my experience with these hooks is good relative to the majority of other hooks i have used on the vaal. By that i mean that i have had more problems with others, like hanak, knapek, dohiku, etc
    "So hereís my point. Donít go and get your ego all out of proportion because you can tie a fly and catch a fish thatís dumb enough to eat a car key.." - Louis Cahill - Gink and Gasoline

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkieser View Post
    By that i mean that i have had more problems with others, like hanak, knapek, dohiku, etc
    Grant, I have been playing around with various hooks for the Vaal for about 5 years now.

    When it's a dry fly application I use a fly hook, normally the Gamakatsu barbless.

    If it's a wet fly under # 6 it's a Carp hook, normally a Daiichi.

    If it's a streamer over #6 it's a Bass stringer hook.

    Comparing the prices versus quality, the carp/bass hooks far outperform the "supposed" specialist fly hooks.
    It's not in the catching, it's in the learning something new.
    view albums at. http://www.flytalk.co.za/forum/album.php?u=659

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