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Hook Up or Down

StryderStryder Posts: 172 Deckhand
Although in terms of time on the water I have more casting hours in the north, Ontario when I am SW Fla I fish hard. I use clousers a lot regardless of location. In comparison to many of the other flies I whip, I have found that with the hook up as with the clouser the hooked fish ratio seems to be lower. This week I tied some clousers so they will ride hook down by putting eyes on bottom of shank, yet to use them but they don't look that great. So I have two comments/questions 1. Does anyone have recipe or instruction on how to make a weighted bait fish/clouser so it rides hook down? 2. Your experience with hook up or down and hooked fish ratio.

Cheers Guys and Tight Lines.

You miss 100% of the shots you don't take. Wayne Gretzky


  • idlerickidlerick Littleton, Colorado & Sarasota, FlaPosts: 247 Deckhand
    Practice and use a strip-strike. Much more effective in lakes and salt than the standard up-lift to set the hook.
    Personally, I'd go nuts picking the sea grass off my Clousers with a hook-down configuration. The pattern hasn't become a classic all over the world with eyes on the bend side, and there's a reason for that.
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 4,770 Captain
    As already stated - learn to strip strike and you'll cure those missed hookups.... This is the actual advise I give my fly anglers each day - and most freshwater anglers continue to miss bite after bite as they try to strike with the rod tip instead of the line.... Don't feel like you're the only one either - most fly anglers will forget from time to time and try to strike with the rod (and you can include me in that category - even though I first learned to strip strike more than forty years ago...).

    By the way, as a former commercial tyer, I can tell you that a pattern like a Clouser, meant to ride hook up won't perform well at all if you try to tie it hook down.... If you want there are lots and lots of patterns that are meant to ride point down (but you'd be smart to add a weedguard for fishing the backcountry or any place with lots of things to snag up on...).
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • FlatsFrenzyFlatsFrenzy Posts: 893 Officer
    Trout setting is a sure fire path to profanity-laden ridicule from the guy on the poling platform.

    Learn to strip strike. :wink
    Gulf Coast of FL
    @flatsfrenzy #flyonly #onelessspinrod
  • BuzflyBuzfly Posts: 23 Greenhorn
    More and more of the flies I tie for fishing the salt from the beach or on low water are being converted to 60 degree jig hooks so they ride hook point up. Dragging flies in the sand, rocks and shells tend to get dull very quick and get hung up. Hook pint up for this type of fly helps prevent dulling and hanging ups......
  • TgrassTgrass Posts: 204 Deckhand
    I spend most of my time up north as well on Stripers and about 4 months in Florida. As far as my hook up ratio with Clousers I find it be actually better. I learned a long time ago to do a strip set and I use it almost exclusively on everything except dries for trout or dead drifting nymphs with an indicator.

    There are many times, specially with Stripers when I am getting hits on a non clouser style fly and missing fish that I will down size to a smaller size clouser and my hook ups improve dramatically. I really like the fact that most of the hook ups arein the upper lip or roof of the mouth. That is the big plus of a clouser to me, it usually does a lot less damage.
  • Permit RatPermit Rat Posts: 2,283 Captain
    Agree with everyone's use of the strip strike. As said, setting the hook with the rod was really only used for trout with very light tippets. To wit, back in those days, tippet strength vs. tippet diameter was considerably different. I have some modern 7X that is 2.3 lb. test. I also have a spool of 7X, left over from the 60's that is labeled 1.1 lb. test. Setting the hook with the rod enabled an angler to temper his hook-set by enabling the rod to absorb more shock, which is a real mono-buster in any strength/diameter.

    But to answer the OP's original question, a clouser is really nothing more than an upside down version of the old Joe Brooks "blonde" series of salt water bucktail streamer. To weight a fly like that, I would suggest several wraps of .030 lead wire. Seems that about 4 wraps should equal the density of a medium pair of lead eyes, but I'm just guessing and you'll have to experiment for yourself.

    As far as hook up or down preferences, the only real one I have is that I believe-hook up flies are definitely preferred for fish with inferior mouths, like the bonefish, permit, redfish, pompano, etc., even though I have caught all those species on hook-down flies as well. Conversely, I'd never prefer a hook-up fly for tarpon and the way their mouths are configured. I think it has to do with water depth and the depth of the plane where the fish is/are located (usually shallow water flats) and the fish and angler are closer to being on that same plane. I say this because while jigs aren't exactly flies, I have caught a lot of tarpon on jigs in deep water, so hook-up flies should work as well.
  • Carl BlackledgeCarl Blackledge Posts: 674 Officer
    Hook up or down?

    Depends on the species .

    My 2 cents

    Carl Blackledge
  • kbkeyskbkeys Posts: 691 Officer
    Spices??? Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves???
  • TgrassTgrass Posts: 204 Deckhand
    kbkeys, I think he got it right.
  • StryderStryder Posts: 172 Deckhand
    Thanks gents for the great replies, I appreciate the feedback. The strip strike is a skill I have yet to master and seem to remember after the fact. In any event cold and icy where I am at but did manage this fella today, lower Niagara River.

    Thanks again for the great feedback.

    You miss 100% of the shots you don't take. Wayne Gretzky

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