Best Fly Tying Hooks in 2023

These are the best fly tying hooks you can buy today including scud and nymph hooks, saltwater hooks, trout-style hooks, long shank hooks and much more.

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The best tying hook is the one that’s strong, durable, and has a sharp point to it. It should also fit into your fly tying budget. They say tying flies saves money, but I think we all know the real answer to that.

But, let’s go into more about hooks. They need to be able to fit the style you need as well as what kind of flies you plan on throwing. Larger hooks are used for streamers, smaller hooks for nymphs.

Best Fly Tying Hooks Compared

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If you’re looking to learn more about the best hook for fly tying, then check out the information below. I’ll cover different types of hooks, their features, and everything else you can think of.

What Is a Fly Tying Hook?

A hook is what brings the whole fly together. Without it, you’d be casting lead wire, string, hackle, feathers, foam, and whatever you can put on a fly.

hook in a fly tying vise

Without a hook, you’re simply imitating baitfish, insects, and other prey without actually catching fish. Which, I suppose, could be its own thing. That’s not why we get into fly fishing, though.

Many, if not all, hooks these days are sharpened chemically. This actually makes them sharper than by hand or using a machine. So, if you want the sharpest of the sharp, make sure it’s done the new-fashioned way, with chemicals.

You’ll need to match the hook to not only what type of fly you plan on tying, but also to the size of the fish you’re going to target.

Streamer flies need specific hooks for holding the extra material, and since you’ll typically be catching larger fish, these will be larger hooks. The opposite applies for small dries and nymphs.

Types of Hook

As I mentioned above, there are several different types of hooks. Each of them meant to tie different flies. Below I’ll cover a few of them.

Nymph Hook

This is the perfect hook for fly fishing with nymphs. They come in three weights: lightweight, medium weight, and heavy. The two most popular shapes are the round bend and the sport bend.

How To Tie a Caddis Fly Nymph Step2

Long Shank

These are great for when you want to tie a big fly. They’re great for tying on large nymph patterns, and also can be used to tie Woolly Buggers.

long shank fly tying hook

Scud Hook

The best scud hook will allow you to tie a shrimp, grub, pupae, San Juan worm, or an egg pattern. This means that these are quite possibly the most popular hook out there.

scud fly tying hook

Saltwater Hook

Saltwater hooks are very tough and strong. They need to be in order to handle the sheer power of a tarpon or bonefish.

How To Tie a Bunny Leech Fly Step 1

What Makes a Good Fly Tying Hook

Below I’ll go over several different features that you should be looking for when purchasing a fly tying hook. Check them out and see which ones you like best.

Barbed or Barbless

Most of the time this depends on the regulations in your area. However, in most catch-and-release trout streams, it’s barbless only.

For bass, panfish, saltwater species, or anything else you can fish for, it’s usually up to the angler if they want to use a barbed hook or not. No matter where you go, please ensure you’re using the correct hook and following the rules set by the game commission of your state.


The temper of the hook has nothing to do with the mood that it’s in. Instead, it refers to how strong it is and whether it’ll break or bend when put under too much strain.

When you’re targeting large fish, this is a crucial point you should think about. The last thing you want is a monster tarpon straightening out your hook and swimming off.

The Eye

You may think the eye of the hook is not that big a deal, but it’s more than you think. There are three different styles of eye: up, down, and straight.

best hooks for fly tying close up

There’s a lot of arguing about which is better. This is true with dry flies in particular. Traditionalists prefer the up eye, and moderns prefer the eye down. Really, though, as long as the eye is closed off, it doesn’t matter too much.


Most trout hooks have a bronze coating on them. Sometimes they even have a red or black color to them.

The bronze coating is typically fine for just about any fly you plan on tying. A white color or dark finish is preferred when tying a fly that resembles those colors.

Eupheng Barbless Nymphing Hook

The Eupheng Barbless Nymphing hooks might be the best nymph hooks, and they’re ideal if you want to tie shrimp, pupa, larva, jig, or egg patterns. Basically any sort of small wet fly will work just about perfectly for this type of hook.

The hook is made of high carbon steel wire, and it’s chemically sharpened to ensure the most hook-ups possible and a deep hook set on the fish you’re targeting.

It’s also black nickel-plated, meaning that it’s also corrosion resistant. So, it can be used in both fresh and salt water.


Mustad Signature Dry Fly Hook

Mustad uses a wire technology on all of its hooks, including the Mustad Signature Dry Fly Hook. It means that hooks are lighter and also 20% stronger than their competitors.

Perhaps this is the best fly tying hook of all because of its high-quality build and versatility.

These are great hooks to use, and it proves that you don’t have to buy a super expensive dry fly hook. These can be used by any fly tier at any level.


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Mustad Classic Stainless Steel Saltwater

The Mustad Classic Stainless Steel Saltwater are similar to the above hooks. Let’s go over the price difference real quick. If you want to purchase a large 10/0 in a pack of 100, then you’re going to have to shell out some cash for it.

That being said, these are a fantastic hook that every saltwater fly tier should be using.


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If you’re new to the world of fly tying and weren’t sure about what kind of hooks you need, then you hopefully have a better understanding.

Now, head on out to your local fly shop and pick some up!

Some images in this post are courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Buyer’s Guide To The Best Fly Tying Hooks
The Best Fly Tying Hooks

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Dallas spends most of his time chasing brook trout in the mountain streams of his home state of Virginia and paddling around farm ponds throwing wooly buggers to bream and bass. When not fishing he's writing about fishing and has been published in The Virginia Sportsman, Southern Culture on the Fly as well as other fly fishing and outdoor sites.

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