Monday, January 4, 2016

More soft-hackled flies...opinions needed.


The start of the new year, cold weather kind of slowing the fishing, and the time to talk, and tie flies. While digging through my hook "mess of a drawer I came upon these hooks. They looked like they could be useful in constructing some soft hackles. They are in no means traditional hooks used in the North Country flies, but I tied up a few and they don't look to bad. The hooks are Allen N202 #14. They classify this as a Hopper-Terrestial....the second is Cabelas Model 21 #14...classified as a stonefly, stimulator hook.. The Allen which I prefer has a slight curve to the shank as well as down-turned eye and is slightly shorter. The Cabelas hook is somewhat straight shanked with a straight eye and is a tad longer.



Here they are side by side...Cabela's top, Allen bottom.


Here are a few soft-hackles tied on the Allen hook. I love the profile and overall look of the hook-fly.


Here is the Allen and Cabelas hooks side by side. The flies look similar but I still like the Allen hook...."What say you"?

While the answer to the test will be the fish, soft-hackle season is still some time away. Buy the way we have some fly fishing shows coming up..."lots of stuff" there.

36 comments:

  1. I'm with you on the looks of the AFF hook. Based on the side by side, I like the AFF hook better. In my own opinion the smaller profile of the hooks works very well with that pattern. Nice flies, Alan!

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    Replies
    1. Justin Carfagnini
      Thanks
      Justin I appreciate your input. I to like the Allen.

      Delete
  2. Honestly, I know squat about hooks, but agree with Justin provided AAF is the Allen.

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    Replies
    1. thedeadfisher
      Thanks
      John, I hope that's your name, if not forgive me.
      But you are showing an interest, who knows where it can go from here.

      Delete
  3. They both look good but all else aside, I would choose the shorter shanked hook. Why? It just looks a little more traditional to me. No better reason than that. It appears the gap on both hooks is about the same. Is there any difference in fishability? That's highly unlikely.

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    Replies
    1. ssj
      Thanks
      So you like the "look" of the Allen hook. Looks do carry weight.

      Delete
    2. I like the look of the Allen hook compared to the other hook. There are other hooks I would choose over either.

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    3. OK, name a couple please. Not to pricey though.

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    4. Tiemco 100, Kamasan B160

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    5. Tiemco 102Y, Tiemco 100BL

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  4. I would go with the Allen. I like a little bit of a curve to my flies. Maybe you could tie some sakasa kebari with them?

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    Replies
    1. Chris "Kiwi" Kuhlow
      Thanks
      Chris the curve adds a nice touch to the overall look of the fly, a plus.
      Maybe a Tenkara fly is in the future.

      Delete
  5. I'm going to give you my honest opinion Alan (and it's worth every cent you're paying for it!), I don't think the slight difference in appearance between the two hooks will even be noticed by the fish. The profile of the fly is almost entirely the same with both hooks and that is the first thing that registers in a fishes brain. There may be other differences that would make one a better choice over the other...sharpness, strength of hook and even the difference in how the different eyes will affect how the fly rides on the water. As far as how they look to a fish, I think they'd both be eaten equally well!!

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    Replies
    1. HighPlainsFlyFisher,
      Thanks
      Jeff you have made some good points. The biggest is that the fish really don't care about looks, they just want to eat. On the other hand anglers put most of their reasoning on the concept that it has to look good or I won't use it or more importantly I won't buy it.

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  6. I personally like the Allen hook. I like the shorter profile.i think that hook with black silk,black uv ice dub,and dark hackle would be great for the little black stones, that hook gives great profile.alan as usual beautiful ties

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    Replies
    1. Brad Basehore
      Thanks
      Brad that pattern sounds like a winner, just need the black ice dub.
      The Allen seems to be the favorite.

      Delete
  7. Alan, I'm an expert on crappy looking flies. They are to nice looking for me to comment any further.

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    Replies
    1. Howard Levett
      Thanks
      Howard an English fly tyer once said "the scruffiest looking flies seem to always catch fish".
      Tie on.........

      Delete
  8. I too prefer the Allen over the Cabella's hook.

    I was lucky enough to meet and listen to John Shaner (from Hardy) talk about spiders and per his notes:
    "I use the following, but there are many brands and models that will work fine. For Spider fly proportions, see the diagrams below.

    Tiemco 3769 12 – 16 Tiemco 9300 14 – 18

    Varivas 2400 V

    Partridge L2A 14 -18 (Very Strong, Heavy Wire)

    Partridge L3AS “Classic Spider” 12 -20 (A new hook that is excellent for lightly dressed flies)

    Mustad R50 in 14 – 18

    Tiemco 2499SPBL 12 – 16 (“Competition Style”)"

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    Replies
    1. J Dono,
      Thanks
      Wish I knew your first name.
      I checked out the hooks you have posted and they look like they would do nicely. The Partridge L3AS, and the Mustad R50, which I have work well indeed.

      Delete
    2. Then name's Jonathan, but I go by J. Only my mom calls me Jonathan and to this day, I still get that "uh-oh! I'm in trouble!" feeling when I hear it.

      Delete
  9. Alan
    I am more of a fan of the Cabala as oppose to the Allen, because of the profile of the hook and shorter shank. Excellent work at the bench, thanks for sharing

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    Replies
    1. Bill Trussell
      Thanks
      Bill the Allen hook has the shorter shank.

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  10. They all look good Brk Trt, but I like the Allen also!!

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    Replies
    1. TROUTI
      Thanks
      Pete you are a master at catching trout on soft-hackles. Your liking of the Allen is pretty much in line.

      Delete
  11. Nice looking ties. But for the slight drop of the eye, the Allen looks very similar to TMC200R. Similar to popular Spey hook styles, the bowed shank serving to accentuate a prawn profile. Beautiful design, but prone to flipping over & tracking upsidedown if weighted or overdressed on the shank (not a problem as you show them dressed).

    Aesthetically, I like the Allen. Pragmatically, the Cabela model gets the nod. Looks like a deeper hook gap, & the straight eye, straight shank tracks more reliably when swung.

    I like both, in #4-#8, maybe #10, but smaller than that, neither would be my first choice. Just my take.

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    Replies
    1. Steve
      Thanks
      Great observations Steve. Your choice of the Cabela hook for it's stability is well taken.
      I see from your site you use soft-hackle flies for steelhead that's why the larger hook size.

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    2. I rarely fish steelhead with soft-hackle flies, though, because of the size of the upper Columbia redbands pictured on my site, many think them steelhead &, indeed, the wetflies we swing on these fish are very similar to steelhead flies. Regarding the larger hook sizes, I was thinking the hairwing wetflies we use for these trout, tied on this style hook. I like the TMC 200R for these -- gives a cool spey look like the Allen, yet the straight eye allows it to track better.

      Of course, if you like the longer body on your smaller flies, the Allen is a handsome option.

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  12. Great looking soft hackles, Alan. Amongst other things on your site, I have learned to short tie the shank for the appearance of a smaller fly. That is a great method.

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    1. Parachute Adams
      Thanks
      I wish I could take credit for that short slim body but the credit is due to those tyers of "North Country" they have been doing the same since the 1800's, maybe longer. Sometimes tiny, and sparse is the way to go.

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    2. Props those fellas from the North Country. We all learn from somebody, and I sure learned this method from your site.

      Delete
  13. Excellent review of these two wonderful style of hooks! Although the two seem very similar, that small difference in the straight eye vs. the slightly down eye is very important to the overall look of the finished fly! Hence, a better sense of confidence when fished? Ah, there's another can of worms to open. Maybe I should not have said it that way here....sorry!
    Great reviews and comments all around! I really enjoyed reading all of them!
    Dougsden

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    Replies
    1. Dougsden
      Thanks
      Good looks my friend are a plus in your ability to make the fly productive.
      A can of worms is OK, we have a few youths who check in from time to time and they still dunk them, but interest in the fly is high.

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    2. Now the light comes on. You see what happens when you reach my age.
      Hi Doug...you tie some impressive soft-hackles.....

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