Hook price sticker shock.

This all makes me wonder how anyone could make a buck selling really good, quality flies. Take an Intruder for instance. The material costs are high but where does the “time to tie “ come into play? Good hooks can set you back


Active Member
Your wife either needs more shoes, more hair care, or a hobby
You’ll be fine
My OL incessantly hounds me to buy more flying/FF stuff. I finally gave into her demands that I buy another Nor-Vise and tying gear for a satellite tying station so I didn't have to lug around the stuff from our craft room.
The price of hooks has increased very much. It surprises me somewhat because there are so many brands to choose from offering similar products that there doesn't seem to be any competition in that business.
However, the quality and variety of hooks offered today is remarkable. I go back to the days of Mustad and Eagle Claw hooks and that was it aside from maybe some hooks from England. And, in those days, it was not unusual to find a clunker or two in a box of Mustads. I am still running through my dwindling supplies of the old Mustads and I am shocked when I go to replace them with modern day equivalents. Ouch! But, the quality is definitely there in the hooks offered today and wow, are they sharp!
I picked up some cheap hooks a couple of years ago and they were garbage. I stick to Mustad generally. I started on them 50 years ago and think their quality now is as good as any. Many won't agree but in my experience this is how it is. I'm lucky to play a lot of fish each year and I had maybe 3 hooks break last year. 3 out of hundreds is manageable. Two of the hooks that broke were a #14 C53S Mustad, both on larger trout after numerous prior hook ups. The largest trout I caught was on a #12 C49S chromie and it was a 12 pound 2 ounce RBT. Yes I also tie on Tiemco, Daiichi, Ahrex, Maruto, Partridge and Gamakatsu, but most times my vise holds a Mustad.

All materials are going up in price and feather, hair and fur quality is terrible. You're lucky if 25% of the feathers in a pack meet your needs. Prices will keep rising because more people tie today than ever and the control of most materials at the retail level is in the hands of Wapsi and Hareline and they won't be giving us a sweeping price reduction anytime soon. You can try to get some stuff out of China but that can be a crap shoot.

I buy locally in a shop for feathers and hair because I want to make sure I get what I need. Hooks and beads via mail order is no problem but natural materials are too varied in quality for me to spend money on poor quality.


It's all good.
What I really need help on though is how to justify that cost when my wife asks me why I’m spending so much on my fly fishing and fly tying equipment.
The whataboutism argument isn't likely to fly unless she has an expensive hobby like horses. (She's unlikely to view clothes or shoes as a hobby.)
Instead, you might point out that as an addiction, fly fishing/tying is cheaper, healthier, and much less likely to land you in trouble than drinking, gambling, adultery, drugs, etc. Tying is also relatively cheap entertainment, assuming you enjoy doing it. If you're at your vice, your spouse knows where you are, what you're doing, and that you're safe and probably happy. It's pretty good money spent, when you look at it that way!
This argument assumes you're not a drunken, gambling, womanizing shmuck in addition to a FF addict. ;)