I have now had ample time to both tie with and fish the TMC 103BL hook that Catskill John recently brought to my attention and I have to say - it is now tied for first place as my favorite. It is extra fine - barbless- very sharp and has a nice wide gape so hook ups are excellent and as he stated - the trick to landing the fish is to keep a tight line so they don't set themselves free....which is usually the strategy anyway - and they are also very easy to extract from a fish. I have recently landed some nice Farmington specimens on dries using these hooks and I just ordered more so I have them in sizes 11 through 19. My other favorite remains the TMC 2488 which is "billed" as a nymph hook but which I use for all sorts of dries...re: caddis, flying ants, parachutes, emergers - as its 3x wide...2x short with fine wire. If you ever are forced to fish primarily size 22's 24'2 and yes...even 26's.......these have no comparison. Always go a size larger than you need because they are 2x short (ie: if you want to tie a size 22 olive or midge - buy them in size 20). Because of their 3x wide hook gap....your hookup rate and ability to tie on them far exceeds the standard sz 22 hook which has such a small gap I always feel its a miracle when I'm able to "stick my fish"....and of course as they are curved they are also great for various nymphs.
Favorite Dry Fly Tying Hooks
Posted 14 August 2015 - 10:59 PM
which has such a small gap I always feel its a miracle when I'm able to "stick my fish"....
That's so true...whenever I have a very abbreviated hook up with a tiny hook I don't even get upset anymore, its like I am expecting it!
I am so pleased you are enjoying those hooks. I sometimes don't like making recommendations because everyone fishes different and what may be a revelation for me would be a flat out loser to someone else. Those 103's are good though...
You and I are on the same ship with these wide gap hooks. Give me a shorter shank with a wider gap any day, as connecting solidly is much more likely with them. Shorter shank hooks have always been better at holding on anyway since there is none of the levering action that long shank hooks have.
That said, I have been tying on vintage Mustads, Bergman gold box, and Allcocks the past few days...my classic dry fly selection is getting a re vamp! CJ
Posted 03 January 2017 - 06:42 PM
I use the TMC 103 BL's for western fishing on places like the Henry's Fork and eastern rivers like the WB and find that they are quite sturdy. I also like the 2488 for small dries. The Daiichi 1100 is also a favorite because of the bigger eyes- I'm old! I wish Daiichi or someone else would make a 2488 style hook with an oversize eye like the 1100.
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