The best tying hook is going to be the one that is strong, durable, and has a sharp point to it. As well as fitting 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 for streamers, smaller for nymphs.

Best Fly Tying Hooks Compared

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So, if you’re looking to learn more about the best hook for fly tying then check out the information below. We’re going to cover different types of hooks, they’re features, and everything else you can think of.

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What is a Fly Tying Hook?

A hook is what brings the whole fly together. Without it, you would 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 are 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. Which actually makes them sharper than by using hand or 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 what the size of the fish you are 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 we mentioned earlier, there are several different types of hooks. Each of them meant to tie different flies. Below we’re going to cover a few of them.

Nymph Hook

The perfect hook for fly fishing with nymphs. These 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. Great for tying on large nymph patterns Also can be used to tie wooly buggers.

long shank fly tying hook

Scud Hook

The best scud hook is going to allow you to tie a shrimp, grub, pupae, san Juan worm, or an egg pattern. Which means these could quite possibly be 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 a bonefish.

How To Tie a Bunny Leech Fly Step 1

What makes a good fly tying hook

Below we’re going to 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 is going to depend on the regulations in your area. However, in most catch and release trout streams, it is going to be 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 are using the correct hook and following the rules set by the game commission of your state.

Temper

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

When 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 of a deal, but it’s more than you think. There are three different styles of an eye. Up, down, and straight.

best hooks for fly tying close up

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

Finishes

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

The bronze coating is typically fine for just about any fly you plan on tying. Put 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 are ideal if you want to tie shrimp, pupa, larva, jig, or egg patterns. Basically any sort of small wet fly will work just about perfect for this type of hook.

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

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

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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 are 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 tyer 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 tyer should be using.

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Conclusion

If you’re new to the world of fly tying and wasn’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 HooksThe Best Fly Tying Hooks