saltwater hooks?

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by chadk, Jan 21, 2006.

  1. chadk Be the guide...

    Posts: 5,057
    Snohomish, WA.
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    How important are saltwater hooks? I'm thinking that for beach fishing, I'm bound to loose them to rocks, barnacles, fish, seals, etc at some rate. Also, I figure I have to rinse off my gear anyway, putting a few flies in a bucket of fresh water to rinse should be fine shouldn't it? I guess if I was fishing the salt fairly often, then I'd reconsider, but as it is, I hit the beach 5-10 times a year. Anyway, I want to start tying up some clousers and other salty flies, but just wondered if I should bother using different hooks than my salmon and steelhead hooks :confused: :hmmm:
  2. Jerry Daschofsky Moderator

    Posts: 7,688
    Graham, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +652 / 5
    I think the nice thing about them (stainless steel) is that the hooks are going to be exposed to salt more readily then if you were river fishing. I know I had a box of flies I had partially tied with standard upturned salmon hooks (was a chum box where the river was still partially saltwater). Rinsed off the flies. But the box got damp enough from just changing flies that some of my "non fished" flies already had some rust on them. So now, try to keep them all saltwater hooks (just for those rivers I fish that are still tidal influenced). Just my experience though.
  3. kodiaksalmon Jeff B.

    Posts: 946
    Muskie country!
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I use exclusively salt water hooks. Of course there are exceptions, dry flys nymphs and things of that nature. But everything I fish for salt water, pike, bass, anything over size 8 really, I use 34007. If you're wanting to save some cash, you could use the 3407, but they'll rust much quicker than the -007's.

    Jeff
  4. gt Active Member

    Posts: 2,616
    sequim, WA
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    a straight eye is the key here. some like stainless, some like plated. my current tying is being done on gamakatsu SL11-3H hooks. i really like these way better than the old mustads.
  5. chadk Be the guide...

    Posts: 5,057
    Snohomish, WA.
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    Why does the eye matter?
  6. alpinetrout Banned or Parked

    Posts: 3,891
    Hiding in your closet
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    Keep in mind that even with stainless hooks, you need to wash your flies after fishing them in the salt. It's not as bad in the sound as it is in the open ocean, but stainless hooks will still rust if you don't clean the salt off them.
  7. Jim Kerr Active Member

    Posts: 693
    Forks Wa
    Ratings: +138 / 0
    I am with gt on this one for sure. The gamakatsu saltwater(and fresh water) hooks are a stupendus value. There light wire salt water hooks hold fish like no-ones buisness and if you shop around you will find that they are the most inexpensive chemicly sharpend hooks on the market.
    Jim
  8. ibn Moderator

    Posts: 1,885
    Federal Way
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    Tie some small beach tube flies, then you can toss the hooks that rust but keep your flies.

    Agree w/GT and Jim, gamakatsus are great, in particular the SC15 ties a nice clouser.
  9. Teeg Stouffer Fish Recycler

    Posts: 683
    Omaha, NE / Council Bluffs, IA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Here's a thought.

    I tie all of my saltwater patterns on freshwater hooks, and I wash them when I'm through.

    Every so often, I run across one in my box that's become rusty, but I was tying tonight, and noticed that my box has 3-year-old flies in it, and these are flies that have seen many outings.

    I'm not saving money by using the freshwater hooks, probably, because I do throw away a rusty one now and again. I lose a lot to rocks and stuff, too.

    But if I break one off in a fish, I suspect there's a better chance that the fish will shed a freshwater hook, and if I leave one on the bottom somewhere, I suspect it will spend a shorter time in the environment.

    That last part is a little hypocritical, because if you looked through my box, you'd also see a few with lead eyes, and that's probably not best for the seafloor either. :hmmm:

    But in a study I've been working on for the past 6 months or so, I've found that fish don't shed hooks as easily as we thought they did, and with SRC such a precious commodity - and with the resident silvers hitting as hard, and taking flies as deep as they do - I don't mind knowing that every once in a while the fly I might lose to a fish has a better chance of not killing it.

    I also use 3x tippet, minimum, for what that's worth.

    Enough preachin'.
  10. wet line New Member

    Posts: 2,313
    Burien, WA, King.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    When I fished salt water a lot I learned that any gear used should be washed with running water and a lot of running water. Just throwing stuff in a bucket does not really do an adequate job.

    Lures, flies etc. when removed should be put in a seperate plastic box until they are thorougly washed and dried. Then put them back in your fly box.

    Dave
  11. WT Member

    Posts: 768
    Seattle, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    I tie all my clousers on Dai-Riki #930s. The smallies don't seem to mind that they're tied on a saltwater hook. They cost ~$8 for 50.
    DT
  12. ibn Moderator

    Posts: 1,885
    Federal Way
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    Teeg- do you know how nickle plated hooks compare to your freshwater hooks? I know stainless hooks obviously last longer in the salt, most of the salt hooks I use are nickle plated. Interesting thoughts.

    I don't think I've ever broken off a searun, I use 1x or 0x usually, they don't seem leader shy. Another good reason to use a tube, if it does breakoff you only leave the hook in the fishes mouth, no clunky fly.
  13. WT Member

    Posts: 768
    Seattle, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    Good point cuz 9 out of 10 fish prefer to only have hooks embedded in their mouths.
    DT
  14. chadk Be the guide...

    Posts: 5,057
    Snohomish, WA.
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    Heck, on capitol hill in seattle, 9 out of 10 kids do...
  15. Bob Triggs Your Preferred Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide

    Posts: 3,956
    Olympic Peninsula
    Ratings: +625 / 0
    I tie a boxfull of flies on stainless, and also bronze hooks, for the salt, about once amonth or so in season.

    As I use flies I throw them back in the box. It is a process of decomposition, a composting fly box if you will. Each added wet layer of flies seeps into the next until the whole thing is a matted mass of fur and feathers, tinsels etc. Once in a while I add some new ones to the pile, as the old ones disintegrate or blow away in the wind, fall into the water, get lost etc.

    About twice a season I start to feel guilty about all of this and I drop all of the flies into a basin of freshwater and soak them overnight. Sometimes I use a laundry stain spray called "Shout" on the flies first and let them sit for a few hours before the freshwater soak. This gets rid of all the schmutz of fishing, proteins, funk etc. It works very well. Afterwards I rinse them all thoroughly with very hot freshwater for a few minutes in a cooking collander.

    Whatever does not make it through the holes and down the drain during rinsing gets dumped into a pile on a paper towel for a day to dry, usually in the sunlight and fresh air outside. By virtue of the elements, the repeated wetting, drying and
    corrosion, the bleaching effects of the sun etc, I end up with some exotic looking flies.

    Then I do a final sort; checking the flies, the wraps and heads and eyes, and sharpen up the points, then carefully arrange them by size, color etc, back into the nice neat, frehly cleaned fly box. Within a few days or weeks the whole thing is a messed up jumble of salt, hooks, water and matted seawweed. Use them, then I stuff them all into the box in a big wet, rude wad, and I take off again.

    My obsevation on stainless hooks is that they are heavier and wear better than other types. I do like bright plated hooks, like some of the Eagle Claw hooks, especially for larger fish in the salt. I use stainless in the rivers sometimes too for the added little bit of flash and weight. But if you use a bronze hook in the salt, and just rinse them in freshwater and let them dry- out of the box in the open air- they will do fine. Most of my sea run cutthroat and salmon flies are tied on traditional hooks. When I take good care of them they last.
  16. Teeg Stouffer Fish Recycler

    Posts: 683
    Omaha, NE / Council Bluffs, IA
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    Bob, that post was one of the most fun I've read in a long time.

    ibn, I don't know how nickle or stainless hooks compare, either anecdotally or via a legit study. Our current study uses barbed hooks, but maybe if your stainless hook is barbless, it might also stay "slicker" longer, and make it easier for a fish to shed it. With no barb to hang it up, it may slip back out easier than a hook that became rough with rust.

    Personally, I fish with barbless hooks. Three times this past fall I found myself removing fish for someone else, all three times with barbed hooks, and I was amazed at how much harder it was to get the fish off. I used to use barbed hooks exclusively back when I was a midwestern bass guy, but I'd forgotten how much tougher they are to get out of a fish. In one case, I was removing a treble hook from a big trout, the fish shook, and I took a pretty good jab to the knuckle.

    That's the long way around to saying I don't know, but I suspect it's less relevant when using barbless hooks. I'll probably keep tying most of my flies on "freshwater" hooks though.
  17. tyler Member

    Posts: 339
    Ballard
    Ratings: +5 / 0
    nice post, bob. agreed that if rinsed and dried properly bronze hooks in the salt should be fine. one question, though: any problems with bending and/or straightening? in other words, do they hold up on hard pulling fish? thanks.

    t
  18. Jim Kerr Active Member

    Posts: 693
    Forks Wa
    Ratings: +138 / 0
    Bob, you and I seem to use an almost identical system. I am getting better at keeping the flies out of the box once I fish them so as not to cross contaminate, but I still end up with the bi-monthly sink dump and sort.
    When I find a hook stuck in a fish, whether its a black rock bass, Ling Cod, or steelhead, 9 out of ten times its an Octopus style. Of course these are enormously popular hooks, but I would guess that the bend style has alot to do with how long a fish carries the hook, maybe more so than the material its made of.
    Jim