TYPES OF FLY TYING HOOKS
Fly tying hooks are made from materials such as stainless steel or nickel and are designed with different features for the various types of flies. These fly fishing hooks can have long, short, curved, or straight shanks, depending on the shape and size of the finished fly.
Beginners interested in creating their own flies should start by buying fly tying kits containing all the materials needed for tying specific types of flies, including the best fly fishing hooks for the task. As you get better at fly tying, you can forgo the kits and start buying your fly tying hooks as needed, just like how you replace other items of fly fishing gear as needed.
BARBLESS FLY HOOKS
Fly tying hooks can be made either barbed or barbless. Barbless hooks are must-have items of fly fishing equipment used by anglers who practice catch and release fly fishing because they can be easily removed without causing additional harm to the fish.
Tip: Barbed fly fishing hooks can be made barbless by crimping the barb flat using a pair of pliers.
DRY FLY HOOKS
Fly fishing hooks used for tying dry flies are made from lightweight wire and have a shorter shank. The eye on most classic dry fly hooks is also usually turned down so that the fly sits properly on the surface of the water. Dry fly hooks are used for tying flies such as the Parachute Adams pattern or Caddis.
Streamer hooks are used for tying flies like Woolly Buggers or Clousers. Some articulated streamer fly patterns have multiple sections that will require a streamer hook with a long shank. Also, when tying flies that have bulky heads, a wide gap streamer hook should be used.
NYMPH FLY HOOKS
Fly hooks used when tying nymph patterns, such as stonefly nymphs or mayfly nymphs, are generally made from heavier wire and have longer shanks. The heavier wire hook helps to ensure that your nymph pattern sinks. Most nymph hooks have either down turned eyes or straight eyes.
SALTWATER FLY HOOKS
Larger and thicker than freshwater hooks, saltwater fly tying hooks are usually made of a corrosion-resistant or treated metal, such as stainless steel, that will withstand the harsh ocean elements. These types of hooks are used to tie various saltwater baitfish and crustacean patterns, such as pinfish or crab patterns.
Learn about different types of fishing flies, aquatic insects, and starter fishing flies in our next section.