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pike fly hooks well there is a lot of hooks out there where do you start well here's some that i use

Varivas Plated Stainless Steel 6/0 i love this hook for sub bugs it is quite a heavy hook but when tying highly buoyant sub bugs this hook offsets the buoyancy to give the fly a ultra slow sinking fly you'd be hard pressed to get this to sink before the end of the retrieve i find that it usually will sit a couple of inch's under the surface Varivas Saltwater Champions , Long shank, light but strong Gunmetal finish i use this for tying surface poppers Varivas Big Mouth XTRA , pretty much my standard hook in 4/0 and 6/0 for e.p type patters lightweight strong becoming pretty much the standard pike fly hook made using 2X wire so they are even stronger but just as sharp

. Varivas Big Mouth Wide gape, medium length shank with super sharp point. these go up to 5/0 size a great lightweight hook the wide gape means you can get a lot of material on the hook shank great for bunny bugs

Varivas Aberdeen .Super sharp with a small eye and very impressive strength. Neat barb and gunmetal finish i use these for smaller patterns in 1/0 -2/0 -3/0 great for perch and zander CIRCLE HOOKS - Circle hooks are starting to get a good following in the UK and if you like this type of hook then these Varivas ones are amongst the best. If you haven't tried a circle hook before don't forget that you do not strike, just lift into the fish and it will hook itself in the corner of the mouth 9 times out of ten the fish will be hooked before you know its on . these are great hooks I'm using them more and more i find theme best used with bucktail type patterns owner 5111 SSW Cutting Points , i use this for smaller ep bait fish flies a really top notch hook black chrome finish, up-eye forged shank and reversed-bend cutting point








































the truth is out there

Circle hooks


A debate has raged over regarding the use of circle hooks in fly fishing but you can only judge the method by your own results

i have completly the opposite to to some people who have had some trouble deep hooking pike with circles in the last season 99.9% of fish i have caught have been lip hooked 1 fish was hooked in the scissors

one thing is i dont use the gamakastu circles as they are to heavy and more suited to bait fishing


the picture below is a far lighter hook as you can see from the build and more suited to flys



i think having a lightweight hook is key to lip hooking especially when tying flies on them , ive seen up close a pike taking a circle tied fly , when the fish takes the fly and realises it is not real its first thought is to spit it out when doing so the circle catches the lip on the way out through its up turned design (this is all split second stuff) if you were to strike before it puffs it out you would off course hook it further down which is why you dont need to strike as while stripping back you will feel the weight and the fish will be on (when you feel the weight the fish has already puffed it out and hooked itself)

if you were to use a heavy hook like the heavy gauge bait hooks the hook would drop in the mouth and hook further back  by the very nature of the weight of the hook


the main problem with people deep hooking so to speak is that people strike when they feel resistance which of course is the wrong thing to do with circles , but we as anglers have a subconscious ability to strike at the slightest knock honed over many years from wanting to catch fish so to not strike at a pull is a very hard thing to do ,

I belive people dismiss circles far to quickly they are an outstanding hook and very fish friendly , below youll find some quotes and information from the www

Lots of anglers are using circle hooks on flies, and flies are very rarely ingested to any depth. I have not used natural bait for pike or muskies for many years





I've tied a few clousers with circle hooks...kind of like you describe...they work as you hoped, I think. But you don't even have to strip strike any harder than your normal streamer strip of you'll miss the fish. You just kind of adjust from stripping the fly to fighting the fish. They get hooked in the corner of the mouth in the back of the jaw.”


A really interesting article by brad burns on circles can be found here




According to manufacturers, advantages of the circle hook design include

  • Higher catch rate;
  • Higher lip-hook rate, which greatly reduces mortality;
  • Ease of use because the fish hooks itself;
  • Less snagging in certain bottom fishing applications.


The debate will never end on this and rumble on forever but if you happy with the hooks you use then carry on using them if you cant get your head round circles then that’s fair enough as well my self I love tying high ties on these and I do belive they give me an advantage over j hooks

But im not by any means claiming to be an expert I can only report whats  worked for me and I hope you find this an interesting read

Tight lines



I know some people who have been tying their bigger flies with circle hooks, they say they have more hook-up and the fly has better movement without the long shanks. These are all streamers they are tying, can't see any benefits of tying with circle hooks on any other type of fly though"


Just returned from Little Vermilion a few weeks ago and my group of four had over 30 northerns larger than 40 inches -- I tried the circle hooks and had great success with them -- in the corner of the mouth!!!”

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