Learn from my experience!
Read this before you buy cheap fly tying hooks! I bought some cheap fly hooks a few years ago now, I thought it would save me some money on my fly tying.
Why spend so much on premium brand fly hooks, I’ll get some budget ones in bulk, they’ll work just as well, nobody will know the difference.
So I ordered some, they arrived a few days later and looked fine. Great, I thought that’s saved me some cash and I’ve found a new supplier, sorted!
A few days after they’d arrived I sat at my fly station and started tying a variation of a black spider pattern which had always worked well for me. I tied a dozen or so and they looked great, so all good.
Cheap Fly Tying Hooks
Eager to try my “fresh off the vice flies” tied on my cheap hooks, I rang Steve, my best fishing buddy and arranged a fishing session for us the next day at a local Stillwater.
The fishing was tough and weather conditions were poor, but I was confident and knew there were plenty of fish here, we just needed to locate them. We tried a few spots but no dice. Moving further around the water we saw fish activity so set about catching a few!
The fish were taking just below the surface. A fish rose to my left, quickly I covered it with a cast, waited and slowly started my retrieve. About half way back with my retrieve I got a quick pull… I paused for a few seconds and waited with baited-breath.
A sudden savage take followed and my line locked up! I was in, with one of my new flies, fantastic!
The fish started to fight, I started winding in quickly so I could play it off my reel. His head was down and it was taking line fast, heading down and deep out to the middle of the lake.
It jumped, clearing the surface long enough for me to see it was a large blue trout. I adjusted the drag on my reel to apply more tension. It jumped again, but I was confident in my setup and I was sure that my line was strong enough to take the strain.
By now my buddy Steve was alongside me shouting excitedly, holding my landing net at the ready. The fish turned and started thrashing near the surface and suddenly without warning everything went slack.
Instantly I got that sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach and knew the fight was over and my trophy fish was gone.
I wound my line in swearing under my breath, frustrated and angry with myself. I put my rod down, resting it on the last few coils of line and tippet, on a large rock. I replayed the battle in my head wondering what mistakes I’d made and what I could’ve done differently. I was gutted and turned to face Steve who looked equally disappointed.
As if telepathically we both said in unison “the fly!” Reaching down to my tippet, I pulled it through my fingers until I reached my fly, the spider pattern I had so much confidence in. It was a real mess, chewed up and the hook was bent out of shape, with the gape opened right out! I was angry with myself for making such a stupid decision, those cheap hooks didn’t seem like a bargain now!! Never again, true to my word I returned straightaway to using quality premium branded hooks.
Why I Only Use Quality Branded Tying Hooks
There are many quality hook brands out there. I tie virtually all my flies on Kamasan, Fulling Mill or Dohiku hooks. They are all made in Japan and as you would expect are consistently high quality.
The points don’t blunt or deform in any way. They are all strong tempered hooks and are hard enough to keep their shape under the stress and pressure of playing a strong fish. They have never let me down, If I lose a fish it’s down to me not the hook!
Some hooks are sharper than others. Most hooks nowadays though are chemically sharpened, which means that after the mechanical sharpening has been completed, the manufacturer puts the hooks through an acid bath process, making them even sharper.
I would recommend every fly tyer to buy the best hooks they can afford. Remember the hook is the only connection between the angler and the fish. If it fails, that fish is lost and you can bet it’ll have been a big one, possibly a PB!
A quality fly tied on a quality hook lasts and stays in condition a long time.
That cheap fly you bought will need to be replaced many times because the hook will bend, break or the point will blunt.
So my questions to you- did you learn from my experience? Did this blog- Read this before you buy cheap fly tying hooks, make you think twice? Can it really be worth losing a good fish just to save a few dollars?
In real world terms, you are not saving any money! AND more importantly, as happened to me, it will lose you fish!
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