Hook Selection
The Complete Fly Fisherman|October/November 2019
Hook Selection
Are you selecting the right hook for the pattern you want to tie? Contributor ARNO LAUBSCHER sheds some light on this often difficult choice.
Arno Laubscher

Over the years, I’ve had some very interesting discussions and even requests with regards to hook development – most of these being about hook profiles and choosing the right hook for a certain pattern and its purpose. One request that has stood out was for a long-shank, wide-gape hook. First of all, I do not believe that there is such a thing. Some may disagree with me, but that depends on how you look at hooks in general, so allow me to explain.

There is an important relationship between the hook gape and the hook shank. These are always in proportion to one another within the range of sizes of a specific hook style, and together they play an important role in creating the hook profile. Let’s take for instance the Grip 11001 hook style, which is a standard dry fly hook, with no extra-long or extra-short shank. If we extend the shank of this hook without changing the shape or size of the hook gape and bend, you will notice that the hook gape grows smaller in relation to the hook shank. If you shorten the shank you will notice that the hook gape grows larger in relation to the hook shank. Even though the gape size does not physically change, the hook profile changes.

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October/November 2019