Shank benefit versus hook cut off at the bend?

Buzzy

Active Member
I'm planning a trip to Alaska next year - a friend of mine goes a couple times a year and he's been offering advice on rods, reels, lines, flies, jackets, long johns, tooth paste, bug dope, hats, buffs..... back to flies: Kris sent me a link for an "articulated wombat". The recipe calls for use of "OPST shanks, 15 - 25 mm".

I see a lot of fly recipes shared on this site where folks cut hooks at their bend and then affix assorted materials for the trailing fly. What benefit is there of a shank versus a, for example, Mustad 3407-DT cut off at the bend?

Domo arigato!
 

long_rod_silvers

WFF Premium
Something to consider:

The pre made shanks are nice if you're using dumbells - the return at the eye gives the dumb bell a nice flatish platform to sit on.

Waddington shanks are good if you're rigging your flies old school intruder style.
 

Squamishpoacher

Active Member
OPST shanks are black nickel plated so they're rust resistant but not rust proof so will corrode in salt but are fine in fresh unless you get a chip to the nickel where they will corrode and leave a rusty spot.

With a few finishing nails and a small piece of wood you can make your own shank bending jig. I rescued a couple boxes of stainless steel pins we used to apply Peterson Disc Tags to chum salmon. They work great. You can get stainless wire as well as various coloured wire of an appropriate gauge at craft stores. Heavier copper wire also works. A lot cheaper than buying pre-made shanks.
 

western waters

Active Member
I've tied on both pre made shanks and cut hooks, I see no difference. You can get some shanks already in jig form, up/down or return eye but the same goes for hooks.
 

candr

Active Member
A 2.25mm 1-step looper tool + looper pliers + a roll of AFW #11 (140lb) stainless or brown camo wire will give you a nice supply of shanks you can build yourself at any length/shape you want.
 

Buzzy

Active Member
I am kindof a rookie at this stuff, but one thing I find is that if I use shanks I can make a heavier fly without using any lead.
I'm going to have to think about how using a shank can make a heavier fly than cutting off a stainless steel Mustad 3407-DT #2. (Full disclosure: I'd purchased 100 of the Mustad hooks when I asked the question about benefit of shanks V cut off hooks - the "articulated wombat" recipe came post Mustad purchase. I plan on using tungsten beads/cones for weight.)

Thanks doublebluff!
 

NRC

WFF Premium
My issue when I clip hooks is that the cut end of the hook is sharp and tends to abrade the bucktail or (worse) the stinger loop. My solution has been to try to sheathe it in UV resin, but that creates a weird bump and it doesn’t adhere to the metal very well.

Ive thought about switching to shanks exclusively for that reason. But no one else seems to complain about this problem. Wondering if I’m doing something wrong?

Sorry for the semi-hijack, @Buzzy ! Seemed relevant enough and I’ve been waiting for a chance to ask wff about this!
 

g_smolt

Recreational User
I have used premade shanks, homemade shanks, cut hooks, even cotter pins for my trailer chassis...with the exception of the cotter pin, they all work great. I use the 3407 or an Umpqua U401 as sacrificial hooks, and I deburr them on a stone so they dont cut the trailer material, be it mono, spectra or wire. I also use shanks (flymen 35's), but I usually cut the return loop on those as well.

I wouldn't overthink it.
 

Buzzy

Active Member
My issue when I clip hooks is that the cut end of the hook is sharp and tends to abrade the bucktail or (worse) the stinger loop. My solution has been to try to sheathe it in UV resin, but that creates a weird bump and it doesn’t adhere to the metal very well.

Ive thought about switching to shanks exclusively for that reason. But no one else seems to complain about this problem. Wondering if I’m doing something wrong?

Sorry for the semi-hijack, @Buzzy ! Seemed relevant enough and I’ve been waiting for a chance to ask wff about this!
Interesting! When I tie balanced leeches with a pin I've cut shorter with side cutters, I have to be careful with thread wraps not to cut the thread on that sharp cut off pin........ hadn't considered this at all with dolly llamas and "wombats"... thanks./Patrick
I wouldn't overthink it.
Hazard of being an enginerd.
 

wanative

Retired, gone fishin'
My issue when I clip hooks is that the cut end of the hook is sharp and tends to abrade the bucktail or (worse) the stinger loop. My solution has been to try to sheathe it in UV resin, but that creates a weird bump and it doesn’t adhere to the metal very well.

Ive thought about switching to shanks exclusively for that reason. But no one else seems to complain about this problem. Wondering if I’m doing something wrong?

Sorry for the semi-hijack, @Buzzy ! Seemed relevant enough and I’ve been waiting for a chance to ask wff about this!
Sharp cutoff end concerns me too but have never had an issue. The stinger loop is more likely to wear out at the hook to loop connection in my experience.
I have filed the sharp cut end smooth after completing the fly but doubt it's worth the effort.
 

doublebluff

Go Beavs
I am generally tying trouty stuff. When I use hooks as shanks I use long trouty hooks, and that is why purchased shanks are heavier in my flies.

The above comments about sharp cut points... I have always wondered if that is a bad thing for the fish. I can't envision a way that this would cut a fish while fighting/running, but does anyone have any thoughts about that possibility?
 

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