Saturday, June 27, 2015

New England Fly Fishing Lessons: Hooks

Fly Fishing Lessons: $5 per Hour!

We believe, in order to get more people into the sport of fly fishing, you deserve the very best instruction, at the lowest price possible.  This is why we offer lessons based on a donation only fee system.  In other words, if you have a well paying job, do the right thing by paying the suggested minimum donations.  If money is tight, make a donation that works for you and your family.  It's that simple.

Beginner Casting Class Donation Rates

  • (1) Angler: suggested minimum donation is $20.00 per hour
  • (2-3) Anglers: suggested minimum donation is $10.00 per hour, per person
  • (4-6) Anglers: suggested minimum donation is $5.00 per hour, per person
  • Minimum Course Time: 2 hours
  • Age: Under 12 years old, must be accompanied by an adult  
  • Monday- Sunday

You can read more about our lessons and guiding programs at

Tippet Size
Tippet Diameter
Approximate breaking strength in Super Strong nylon (pounds)
Balances with fly sizes:
22, 24, 26, 28
18, 20, 22, 24
16, 18, 20, 22
14, 16, 18
12, 14, 16
6, 8, 10
4, 6, 8
2, 4, 6
1/0, 2, 4
5/0, 4/0,3/0, 2/0
5/0, 4/0,3/0, 2/0
5/0, 4/0,3/0, 2/0

Since the above graph features typical trout hook sizes, let's take a closer look. The below picture accurately describes the hook's features, but how do we determine the size of a hook?  Hooks come ins all sizes and shapes.  The largest hooks range from a monstrous 18/0 to 1/0, and the smallest hooks range from 1 to the eye squinting 32. 

The size of the hook is simply determined by the width of the gape (the measurement between the shank and the point). 

Initially, the system may seem confusing, but always remember to start at zero.  As you progress up in the numerical numbers (1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14,16,18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 30, 32) the gape becomes smaller, thus the hooks become smaller.  As you decrease from zero (1/0, 2/0, 3/0, 4/0, 5/0, 6/0, 7/0, 8/0, 9/0,10/0,11/0,12/0,13/0,14/0,15/0,16/0,17/0,18/0) the hook gape becomes wider, thus the hooks become larger (not necessarily longer). 

By now, in the above chart, you'll see how smaller or larger hooks match up with smaller or larger diameter leaders and tippets.  For example, you would never match a size 2 hook with an 8X leader. Why?  the diameter of the 8X tippet will not be strong enough to cast or turn-over the larger fly. Thus your casting and presentation will suffer, if not be impossible; and the likelihood of your tippet breaking increases significantly. Try it on the'll understand immediately!

The 'X' Factor: Strength and Length

Your at the fly shop and you see hooks labeled Size 2, 2X/2XL or Size 4, 2X/ you are really confused.  To keep things simple, all this means is the hook is stronger and has a longer shank (when compared to standard hooks noted in the above graph).  To be a bit more precise, 2X simply means the hook has a thicker-stronger diameter; and the 2XL simply means the length of the shank is two times the length of a standard hook.  Applications for stronger and longer hooks usually means you fishing deep for bigger fish (large streamer flies).

Converting from the world of lurers, worm and bobbers, and 8lb test line, will take some time.  But once you master it, you'll soon realize how simple and effective it is.