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What hook do I want?

Sage ManSage Man Posts: 195 Officer
I want to tie some flies for tripletail.

For tarpon I use Owner Aki 3/0 - 1/0 but I'm told I need a smaller hook.

Where do I go when I get below a 1/0?



  • stussingstussing Posts: 85 Greenhorn
    next size down would be 1, then 2, and so on up to 16 (which is micro). I would think the Aki hooks would be available in sizes 1-4.
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 4,909 Captain
    More than 80% of the saltwater bugs I tie - are done on standard Mustad 34007 hooks (and I buy them by the 1000 per size...). Yes, I use (and love) Owner Aki hooks (buying them by the 1000 per size as well...) when I need extra strong, extra sharp hooks - but for reds, trout, tripletail, and a host of other species (including baby tarpon....) those old Mustad hooks are still the standard as far as I'm concerned....

    Our tripletail fishery along the coast of the Everglades has lots of winter-time offshore buoy fishing - but every summer the fish come into less than three feet of water and we target fish up to around ten pounds on fly. Our go to bug is a 2/0 clouser variation, called the Whitewater Special (it's just a fl. green or chartreuse over white clouser with a belly, large beadchain eyes, and a wire weedguard (it was first designed to work mangrove shorelines but it works in a variety of situations... and is almost four inches long from hookeye to the end of the bucktail...). Here's a pic...
    The bottom left fly....

    I'm no longer a commercial tyer but at one time I tied for as many as three shops at the same time -so I've been using the standard Mustad hooks for years and years.... For my own use I always flatten the barb with a pair of pliers and sharpen the hook with a mill **** file - before I tie up any pattern with it...
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • troutbomtroutbom Posts: 421 Deckhand
    It looks like you're tying your Clouser with both chartreuse and white bucktail wings below the hook shank instead of one above and one below. Is that for speed of tying or another reason? I ask because a Clouser is my go to fly for everything from Alaska to Montana to Argentina. I just vary weight and color .

  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 4,909 Captain
    Many, many years ago when the first articles about the Clouser (Bob Clouser's amazing smallmouth bass pattern...) came out -the first one I read was by Lefty Kreh.... He went on and on about all the various species the fly worked for around the world -but towards the end of the article he mentioned that he preferred to tie it with the wing on top entirely (that's with the hook riding point up, of course) and I've been tying it that way for more than thirty years now... In short it's just quicker to tie that way and it works just as well - while also guaranteeing that the fly rides "hook up" even with bead chain eyes.... Here's some examples from when I was tying for shops (and bonefish clousers were ordered by them in the dozens and dozens....). The one exception was a clouser pattern meant for peacock bass - but that wasn't my pattern at all - I just filled orders for it in both natural and synthetic wing versions....
    bonefish clouser size #4 (I do them in #6, #4, and #2's..)

    Whitewater clouser, 2/0

    These are Whitewaters on jig hooks - note half lead eye, half beadchain eyes for different depths...
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • Sage ManSage Man Posts: 195 Officer
    Hey Bob...thanks for the wonderful, detailed insights.

    The tripletail here seem to be a little larger with 20lb fish not uncommon. Do you think I'd be OK with the Mustad?

    I don't buy them in your bulk but I do buy them by the hundreds. It's just when I see one of these nice tripletail I wonder about the Mustads.
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 4,909 Captain
    If they're that big then I'd go with a 1/0 Owner Aki (or a 1/0 Tiemco 600sp). It will all depend on the hook size you've chosen... for the fly pattern you're using. Where I am in summer the large clouser just gets hammered (by everything that sees it - except tarpon....) - if you're fishing in cold water (winter) conditions the fish may be looking for shrimp and that will mean a smaller hook than the 2/0 we use...
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • Sage ManSage Man Posts: 195 Officer
    This is what I've been tying for tripletail. This is tied, as I said, on an Owner Aki 1/0. What do you guys think? Too big? I've never caught a tripletail (at least on a fly) so I'm sorta guessing. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
  • Sage ManSage Man Posts: 195 Officer
    Any suggestions/thoughts on this fly? Does it look like it would catch a tripletail?

  • Flat NutsFlat Nuts Posts: 72 Greenhorn
    Looks good to me. I haven't found the triple tail I have caught to be super picky. How are you fishing them lights, markers off shore???
  • Sage ManSage Man Posts: 195 Officer
    Hey Captain...

    I noticed you said you use the Mustad 34007 for 80% of your tying. Does that 80% include bonefish.

    We are going to Abaco this summer and I'm a bonefish virgin so, needless to say, I am pumped beyond belief. I may not be able to bring any luggage because of all the flies I'll tie and bring.

    Is the Mustad 34007 OK for bonefish?
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