mr trout

Trevor Hutton
So, just another question to ponder. I have been using dai-Riki hooks mostly for the better part of my fly tying endeavors. I am starting to run out of a bunch of stuff that I had stocked up on before, and I am looking at the catalogs now. Tiemco - Stocked by almost every Fly Shoppe, and I guess considered to be one of the "name brands". Mustad - Way cheaper, perhaps not made as well? Daiichi - Never used 'em. Targus - seem a lot like tiemco.

So those are my perceptions. I like the price of Mustad hooks and it seems maybe worth it to tie on "cheap" hooks for general tying purposes, as you can afford to break them, bend them more. Hooks tend to be one of the most expensive things in fly tying I have noticed (along with hackle, beads, etc.)

What hooks do you guys use and why? I don't know why I tied so much on Dai-Riki except that they were there, and less expensive than Tiemco They have never let me down, though. Is there anything you guys dont like about mustad hooks? I have thought at times they tend to be a little weaker (different metal?) But maybe that was just me being a new tyer (I first tied on a couple packs of old mustad hooks, I threw most of those flies away because they were so ugly...) But now looking at the price, they are a lot cheaper than others. I must admit, I like the designs of some of the tiemco hooks a lot more... Thoughts?
I've been tying on Mustad's for close to 40 years. I've never had a problem. If I'm tying for a steelhead or salmon swap I'll swith to Tiemco or Daiichi's Alec Jackson hooks because they have a tapered eye return (Mustad's don't) and the fly just seems to look better. Plus I like the gracefull sweep of the AJ hooks. If I'm tying steelhead or salmon flies for me to fish, Mustads.


John Hicks

Owner and operator of Sea Run Pursuits
I personally use Tiemco for steelhead/salmon/striper. I use Daiichi for trout. I used mustad a while back but did not like the sharpness of them. I guess I'm just too lazy to sharpen my own hooks. Nothing wrong with them though.
I tye alot of flies on Mustad hooks. first pinch the barb before tying barbless flies and sharpen the hook before adding your thread and or materials. I don't use them because they're the cheapest;more because I live in the boonies and they're the easiest to get. If I want to get really good hooks , I have to take the ferry boat over to "America" and visit some good fly shops. I also do bulk orders through Hook and Hackle


Hallelujah, I'm a Bum!!!
I prefer to tie my trout and warmwater flies on Mustad and Partridge and my steelhead/Atlantic salmon flies on Partridge.

I use Mustad almost exclusively and have for close to 30 years. While the older Mustad hooks were okay, the new Signature series is as good as any out there in my opinion. No need to sharpen at all and a point that doesn't deform as readily as some I've heard.

The new Mustad Signature salmon irons are good as well and do have the tapered eye. However, for some of my steelhead stuff I've turned to Partridge (owned by Mustad) and the SALAR hooks. Those I really, really, really like.



Active Member
I tie exclusively on Daiichi hooks whether for trout, steelhead, slamon, or bass because they have the best and sharpest point in the business, have a nice small barb (makes it easy to bend it down), have very well formed eyes, are made of nicely tempered and strong steel. Additionally, Daiichi does such a great quality control job that there are virtually no malformed hooks (out of a brick of 1,000 hooks of the same size and model, it is very rare to find even 1 malformed hook).

Mustad has been in the hook making business for many, many years and they produce the largest selection of readily available hooks, most with a lower price than other hook makers. They are entirely serviceable hooks; but the standard Mustad hooks (not the Signature Series Keith mentioned) have a lower temper, much longer barb, are more easily bent, dull much easier, and almost always have some malformed hooks in a box of 100. But they are economical and used by a lot of tyers because of their lower cost.

Targus hooks are very similar to Daiichi in quality and temper; but like Daiichi are not found in all shops. Tiempco is also similar to Daiichi and Targus and readily available in most shops. Partridge has some unique models that are not made by other hook makers, are of decent quality, and some shops carry them locally.

But like I said, if you don't mind having a few malformed hooks in a box of 100, the longer barbs, weaker points, and less hard (means the open up the hook gap when snagged or with big fish more easily) wire than Daiichi, Targus, and Tiempco, they are a lot cheaper and have been in use for many years. Just remember to sharpen the Mustad hooks after you tie one on.
I gave up on Mustads 20 years ago because they are not sharp, and seldom is the eye properly closed. Lately the Daiichi hooks seem to be pretty consistent and high quality. Does anyone have experience with Kamasans? I heard they are very good, and have an order for 700 on the way.

Tim Cottage

Formerly tbc1415
I use Kamasan hooks when I want a heavy hook for a fast sinking soft hackle wet. I have only used one style, Kamasan 987PB #8, #10, #12. It is a short stout hook with a wide gap. Very strong. Due to the heavy wire gauge, I like to touch up the points for better penetration. I don't know what these hooks were originally intended for but they adapt well to my use.

In general I will use any hook that has the physical and aesthetic properties that suit the pattern.
I am especially fond of Partridge for some of their unique styles with Daiichi and Tiemco making up the bulk of the rest of my supply.
I gave up on Mustad years ago because of their crude manufacture and quality control, but things have changed at the Mustad company in recent years and I think it is time to go back and look again.

Plastic fly rod...$500 on Mastercard

Gore-Tex waders...$325 on Mastercard

Fly vest...$110 on Mastercard

Gas to the Henry's Fork for the Green Drake hatch...$200

Not having your hook straighten out or not set completely because you refused to settle for inferior hooks...Priceless.

With all that said, here's a few comments:

When I am tinkering with new patterns or refining a tying technique, I'll use cheap hooks as most of the stuff ends up in the circular file. When the kids (ages 4, 6 and 8) are inventing things like the infamous "Rapunzel Barbie Spade", we use Mustads.

Although Tiemco and Targus may have the same profile, they are far from the same. Tiemco has better tempering. Also, contrary to popular belief, they are (according to the very dependable information I have received) NOT made "in the same factory" as it has been purported.

Dai-Riki make good hooks. Tiemco, Owner and Gamakatsu are top-shelf as well as Daiichi. These are some of the sharpest you will find. The newer Mustads are good too. I wouldn't cross the street for Partridges if they were giving them away...well maybe so I could put them on eBay. They may have changed since the factory moved but I gave up on them a decade ago so maybe it's time to re-evaluate.

Prices are all over the board but anymore I try not to step over a dollar to save a dime. The way I look at it, time is too precious and the money invested on the front end of a fishing trip is too great for me to all of a sudden become a tightwad (actually more of one I guess I should say) and scrimp on a hook. For an average trout fly the difference is probably going to be around a 10 cents (give or take a little) between an expensive hook and a cheap one.

The cost of expensive hooks does add up but there's always ways around that such as getting together with a few other tyers, buying hooks by the hundred (or even thousand) then splitting the cost and dividing the package accordingly. And, if one is just learning to tie, cheap hooks don't make bad chassis due to the level of "recycling" that is sometimes the norm.
Daiichi gets an enthusiastic thumbs up as my hook of choice. I like a quality product, period.

I've used several models of Partridge hooks, namely for aesthetic tying on hook designs and sizes not yet manufactured by Daiichi.

"Targus hooks are very similar to Daiichi in quality and temper;"

I beg to differ. IMO, your comment is akin to someone saying that a Yugo is similar in quality to a Rolls-Royce. In the spirit of the holiday season, though, I will say something positive about Targus hooks.

'Thank God, they're not found in all shops.'


mr trout

Trevor Hutton
Don Johnson said:
Plastic fly rod...$500 on Mastercard

Gore-Tex waders...$325 on Mastercard

Fly vest...$110 on Mastercard

Gas to the Henry's Fork for the Green Drake hatch...$200

Not having your hook straighten out or not set completely because you refused to settle for inferior hooks...Priceless.

Very good point.


board to the new
Use, The best hook money can buy, depending on the style of hook for the application it was intended for.

<b>Daiichi</b> hooks are a good all around entry level hook with many good applications, inexpensive, but not worthy of such high praise coming from some sponsored tiers as the end all best hook on the market. They have a few good hooks and fill the gap with designs the other manufactureres have ignored. Beware of the alec jacksons spey hooks...you will lose fish! The wire is too thin and flexible in conjunction of the dropped point, will also cause the hook to eject like a spring rather than penetrate.

Some Mustad hooks are good, but the wire is too soft and points need sharpening. Stay away from Mustad for steelhead, salmon irons except for tying Bill McMillan type patterns requiring heavy wire hooks, be prepared to sharpen frequently. Mustads are what I use when I need to re-forge a hook for a presentation full dress salmon pattern. I will also re-finish the hook with baked enamel or powder coating.

I like Partridge hooks, I use the bomber hook for many steelhead patterns such as waking muddlers and steelhead bomber variations. The trout hooks are superb.

In short, buy lots of hooks, experiment, think about such things as its design intentions. Is the wire stout enough for the job, or light enough to keep a fly afloat. What shape is the hook? if its a curved shank hook...is it offset or the line of pull off parralell(this is where diacchi got it right)? if so, good. What about gap width and barb length in relation to the shank length? <i>(You dont need a mechanical engineering degree to understand basic principles of physics...<u>fulcrum points</u>)</i>

I spend more time considering the hook for a pattern than any other design consideration when designing new flies. Not any one single hook manufacturer covers every need of all the fly tyers and fishers out there. Expert or professional tyers will have pet hooks they like to use, or hooks that manufacturers ship to them in bulk in exchange for lip service.

You will need to shop around, spend a few hours browsing the hook displays, think about the application of the hook and make descisions accordingly. When in doubt, use the hook that the original designer of the fly calls for in thier pattern dressings, they have already taken the time deciding what hook to use for that fly, and have eliminated what hook NOT to use.

I am a signature umpqua tier, but I dont always use tiemco hooks in my boxes. My new patterns in production for UFM are in fact using a combination of Mustad and tiemco hooks.

Bob Triggs

Stop Killing Wild Steelhead!
Daiichi hooks for me mostly,( and ss for salt) and the Alec Jackson hooks and Partridge for some finer steelhead and salmon hooks. I dont mind the TMC (Umpqua)for my regular stuff; working class guide flies etc.

I gave up on the Mustad old style hooks since the points were too soft, too often. The newer Signature series are alright.

Buy the best you can possibly afford. I have used the dai Riki hooks and they were disappointing, brittle, and well, cheap.

Could you define "entry level" as it relates to hooks, please?

On an aside:

"Expert or professional tyers will have pet hooks they like to use, or hooks that manufacturers ship to them in bulk in exchange for lip service."

As a contract tyer for UFM, and as an expert flytyer, don't you usually give a sterling recommendation for the hooks that you use?