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Artistic view of a Male Pteronarcys californica (Pteronarcyidae) (Giant Salmonfly) Stonefly Adult from the Gallatin River in Montana
Salmonflies
Pteronarcys californica

The giant Salmonflies of the Western mountains are legendary for their proclivity to elicit consistent dry-fly action and ferocious strikes.

Lateral view of a Male Baetidae (Blue-Winged Olive) Mayfly Dun from Mystery Creek #308 in Washington
This dun emerged from a mature nymph on my desk. Unfortunately its wings didn't perfectly dry out.
27" brown trout, my largest ever. It was the sub-dominant fish in its pool. After this, I hooked the bigger one, but I couldn't land it.
Troutnut is a project started in 2003 by salmonid ecologist Jason "Troutnut" Neuswanger to help anglers and fly tyers unabashedly embrace the entomological side of the sport. Learn more about Troutnut or support the project for an enhanced experience here.

WestCO
WestCO's profile picture
Palisade, CO

Posts: 65
WestCO on Sep 27, 2011September 27th, 2011, 6:41 pm EDT
I've been having an internal argument with myself over these two brands and I'm really struggling to come to a conclusion. I have tied for the past 2 years using only Tiemco's because that's what the guy who taught me uses. But now I'm getting to the point where I'm tying dozens of flies a week and using fewer and fewer different hooks. The costs are building up. I'm a big fan of buying Mustad's in 50 packs for the same price that I spend on 25 packs of Tiemcos. After tying with Mustads for the first time a few weeks ago, I really struggled to notice a big enough difference to warrant spending twice as much on hooks. I feel like the shanks are a little less fine on Mustads but I wasn't breaking any and otherwise didn't notice a difference. What do you guys think?
...but fishermen I have noticed, they don't care if I'm rich or poor, wearing robes or waders, all they care about is the fish, the river, and the game we play. For fishermen, the only virtues are patience, tolerance, and humility. I like this.
Taxon
Taxon's profile picture
Site Editor
Plano, TX

Posts: 1311
Taxon on Sep 27, 2011September 27th, 2011, 7:11 pm EDT
Jamie-

I have tied the vast majority of my dry flies on Mustad hooks for about 30 years, and continue to do so. On the other hand, I've gravitated to tying most of my non-dry flies on Tiemco hooks since they became widely available. The only real difference I've noticed is that the acid sharpened hooks are a bit sharper out of the envelope, but as you point out, that also comes with a price. :-)
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
www.FlyfishingEntomology.com
Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Sep 27, 2011September 27th, 2011, 8:31 pm EDT
The three boxes of fly hooks currently sitting on my tying bench (a.k.a. my computer desk) are all Mustad...

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Troutnut
Troutnut's profile picture
Administrator
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on Sep 27, 2011September 27th, 2011, 10:41 pm EDT
Mustad makes excellent hooks.

I can't think of any reason to ever buy a comparable hook at twice the price of a Mustad.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
Softhackle
Softhackle's profile picture
Wellsville, NY

Posts: 540
Softhackle on Sep 28, 2011September 28th, 2011, 3:50 am EDT
I've been tying 50 years and have never tied on Tiemco hooks. The reason, I can not bring myself to spend what they want for them. Honestly, I've looked at them and can not see much difference from other, less expensive brands other than their name. It is like a lot of other products in the fly fishing - fly tying world. Certain products take on a fabricated "aura" of being better than other products. Most of the time, this aura is fabricated by the human mind and has little basis in reality, performance or practicality.

It is only recently that I have started using other brands of hooks other than Mustad. The reason has not been a quality issue, but one of having a basic shape upon which to create my flies. Some hook brands offer specific shapes I like, and that's all. Mustad hooks will serve you well.


Remember the fish are not going to be any more impressed that you are using Tiemco hooks. Tie away!

Mark
"I have the highest respect for the skilled wet-fly fisherman, as he has mastered an art of very great difficulty." Edward R. Hewitt

Flymphs, Soft-hackles and Spiders: http://www.troutnut.com/libstudio/FS&S/index.html
TNEAL
GRAYLING. MICHIGAN

Posts: 278
TNEAL on Sep 28, 2011September 28th, 2011, 4:12 am EDT
IN 57 years of tying (220,000 commercially the last 25 yrs.), I tied mostly on Mustad. I've tried other (tiemco included) and always went back to Mustad. It's only been the past two years that I've switched most of my tying to Togen's product. They are comparable quality to Mustad and much, much less costly.
Allan
southern tier NY

Posts: 10
Allan on Sep 28, 2011September 28th, 2011, 5:05 am EDT
Okay, I'm with all of the above - Mustad for the almost 45 years of tying. Now that's not exclusive. I've also used Tiemco, Daiichi, Eagle Claw and some of the other brands, But that's because I got them at a 'great price' someone gave them to me, got them in a swap, etc. However, if I needed to buy some hooks I'd select Mustad first and foremost. They have the quality, availability, shapes and price that I want. If anyone tells you that other brands are sharper than Mustad, which isn't necessarily true, just think of all the trout that have been caught on Mustad hooks.

Allan
Goose
Posts: 77
Goose on Sep 28, 2011September 28th, 2011, 5:47 am EDT
I've used the old Mustad's for most of my tying, but in my mind, there's no doubt that Tiemcos, Daiichi's etc. are better quality hooks and much sharper out of the box. I haven't used Mustad signature hooks.

How are the Mustad Signature hooks?

Softhackle
Softhackle's profile picture
Wellsville, NY

Posts: 540
Softhackle on Sep 28, 2011September 28th, 2011, 8:12 am EDT
They are chemically sharpened just like the others. Even the older Mustads I've used were not sharpened unless they'd been sitting around for years.

Mark
"I have the highest respect for the skilled wet-fly fisherman, as he has mastered an art of very great difficulty." Edward R. Hewitt

Flymphs, Soft-hackles and Spiders: http://www.troutnut.com/libstudio/FS&S/index.html
Entoman
Entoman's profile picture
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on Sep 28, 2011September 28th, 2011, 9:08 am EDT
Wow, who says regional differences no longer exist? Out here it's hard to find a shop that even carries the older Mustad designs. The 94840's and 3906B's were the chassis of choice for dries and nymphs until the Japanese came out with far superior hooks (though I think the old Mustads finish was better). I still use the old 9575 for classic streamers and bucktails in size 6 as the look of the finished fly is so... umm, classic. The points are horrible though and the sizes above and below are totally different hooks, migrating from 4x to 8x shank length for some strange reason. The return wire is also poorly finished and bulky. If any of the Japanese makers offered a similar model, I'd drop the Mustad like a hot rock.

Mustad should be held up as an example in business schools of what not to do. Whoever was the CEO at the time really screwed up by not re-tooling to meet the challenge. They ended up having to anyway, but their 90% market share is "gone with the wind." Wire strength, point design, eye design, quality control, consistant dimensions through the size ranges, unique shapes... There's no comparison. Yes they (Japanese hooks) are also sharper out of the box, but to me that is the least important difference.

I admit the 94840 in size 14 is still a good hook and also reasonably sharp, but the long hollow ground point is very delicate. Size 12's are dull with shorter shank to gap ratios and 16's are the other direction. 18's have the dimensions of 2x long 20's. In the smaller sizes the eyes turn down too much and are a little oversized (severely impacting the effective gap), and often poorly formed.

Two last points:

For the hobby tier - For the amount of flies you tie and how many you use on a trip, why pinch pennies on such an important aspect of your tackle? Lets say you have a bad day and lose a dozen flies. What are we talking about, 60 - 70 cents difference? If you have a good day and only go through a couple, what are we talking, a dime? You spend more than that starting the car.

The pro tier - The only thing separating ours from the store-boughts is quality and uniqueness. Even these points are debatable as the the major houses are putting out pretty good products with an almost infinite variety. We sure can't compete on price. Building a Rolls Royce on a Ford chassis? I'd have lost a lot of customers doing so.

Anyway, that's my 7 cents per hook.:)

Regards,

Kurt
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
Entoman
Entoman's profile picture
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on Sep 28, 2011September 28th, 2011, 10:41 am EDT
FYI - the Fly Shop has come out with a proprietary line of affordable Japanese hooks of excellent design and quality. As my stocks of TMC's reduce, I will probably replace many of them with this line. They are almost half the price and I have found little difference in quality. I was disappointed with their consistency at first, but I have been assured that these wrinkles have been worked out. So far, I have found this to be true. They have the full line of popular shapes with designations that equate to Tiemco to avoid confusion. Here's the link:

https://catalog.theflyshop.com/index.php?cPath=337_426&osCsid=am0lmmmkciolc6c80043oth6qlnla79b
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Sep 28, 2011September 28th, 2011, 11:20 am EDT
I'll be brutally honest - I buy what's available. If my local fly shop has the right size and model of Mustad, I buy those. If not and they have the right size of Tiemco, I buy those. If the Orvis shop is the closest, as it was while I was living downstate in Troy, I buy Orvis brand hooks. I haven't really noticed a difference in my own fishing, as in more fish lost after switching brands, but I probably don't tie as many flies or fish as hard as others on here or guide for a living, so, as I like to say, your results may differ...but I tie a lot of flies on Mustads and catch plenty of fish.

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Gutcutter
Gutcutter's profile picture
Pennsylvania

Posts: 470
Gutcutter on Sep 28, 2011September 28th, 2011, 5:52 pm EDT
I think that Tiemco is a superior hook. I only tie about 60 - 70 dozen or so flies a year, so cost really isn't an issue. I get Tiemcos for $13 per hundred. (100BL, 2487, 2488, 103BL, 900BL and 206BL)
All men who fish may in turn be divided into two parts: those who fish for trout and those who don't. Trout fishermen are a race apart: they are a dedicated crew- indolent, improvident, and quietly mad.

-Robert Traver, Trout Madness
WestCO
WestCO's profile picture
Palisade, CO

Posts: 65
WestCO on Sep 28, 2011September 28th, 2011, 8:04 pm EDT
Thanks for the excellent advice guys. I think now that I'm getting to the point where I tie flies by the dozen that its time I start ordering in 100 packs. Sounds like you save about half the cost and that evens them out with Mustads. $6 for a bag of 25 is just very expensive.
...but fishermen I have noticed, they don't care if I'm rich or poor, wearing robes or waders, all they care about is the fish, the river, and the game we play. For fishermen, the only virtues are patience, tolerance, and humility. I like this.
Goose
Posts: 77
Goose on Sep 29, 2011September 29th, 2011, 4:52 am EDT
FYI - the Fly Shop has come out with a proprietary line of affordable Japanese hooks of excellent design and quality. As my stocks of TMC's reduce, I will probably replace many of them with this line. They are almost half the price and I have found little difference in quality. I was disappointed with their consistency at first, but I have been assured that these wrinkles have been worked out. So far, I have found this to be true. They have the full line of popular shapes with designations that equate to Tiemco to avoid confusion. Here's the link:

https://catalog.theflyshop.com/index.php?cPath=337_426&osCsid=am0lmmmkciolc6c80043oth6qlnla79b


I'd be willing to try these but they have nothing under a size 18 as far as I can tell.
Bruce-Goose-Lastchance
JOHNW
JOHNW's profile picture
Chambersburg, PA

Posts: 452
JOHNW on Sep 30, 2011September 30th, 2011, 12:12 pm EDT
Kurt,
As far as I know Mustad dicontinued the entire "old school" line and now makes only the signature series. Which in my opinion is pretty much on par with the Japanese Hooks.
I've been curious about the TFS hooks.

For my choice it is what is available at a pricepoint I can live with.
I actually just picked up a pack of eagle claw hooks for stingers on my articulated streamers. They were 1/3 the price of brands carried by local fly shops for the same purpose and to my observation the exact same hook.

"old habits are hard to kill once you have gray in your beard" -Old Red Barn
Softhackle
Softhackle's profile picture
Wellsville, NY

Posts: 540
Softhackle on Sep 30, 2011September 30th, 2011, 12:31 pm EDT
You can still find vintage Mustad hooks if you search. Here's two examples.


Sanders Petit Claret
Hook: Mustad 3135 # 14


Point cadet
Hook: Mustad 3665B, Limerick #10

They work,
Mark

"I have the highest respect for the skilled wet-fly fisherman, as he has mastered an art of very great difficulty." Edward R. Hewitt

Flymphs, Soft-hackles and Spiders: http://www.troutnut.com/libstudio/FS&S/index.html
Entoman
Entoman's profile picture
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on Sep 30, 2011September 30th, 2011, 4:46 pm EDT
Hi John,

As far as I know Mustad dicontinued the entire "old school" line...

If true, I'm not surprised.

Regards,

Kurt
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Sep 30, 2011September 30th, 2011, 8:56 pm EDT
Mark, those are beautiful flies! This season I concentrated on dries, but I should expand my repertoir and try some wets next season. Had some luck many years ago on some partridge-hackled wets (with a chartruese-floss body - love that chartruese!) in Missouri on rainbows and need to try them again!

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Softhackle
Softhackle's profile picture
Wellsville, NY

Posts: 540
Softhackle on Oct 1, 2011October 1st, 2011, 4:33 am EDT
Jonathon,
You would be surprised how many "experts" don't use or know much about wet flies or how to fish them. Everything is about dry fly fishing, with lately some nymphing and streamer fishing thrown in to fish below the surface. Wets are still unused by many.

Mark
"I have the highest respect for the skilled wet-fly fisherman, as he has mastered an art of very great difficulty." Edward R. Hewitt

Flymphs, Soft-hackles and Spiders: http://www.troutnut.com/libstudio/FS&S/index.html

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