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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys! Anyone who builds their own hooks care to share the materials and process? I've seen it mentioned in the odd post, something like "here is a (insert pattern name here) tied on a hook I made". How the heck do you make a fishing hook?

This is a post/question purely out of curiosity as I don't have time, space or patience to do this...Thanks to anyone who shares their experience!
 

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Meiser Loop Loomis Lamson SpeyCo
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you should reach out to @Aleksandr) - he makes beautiful hooks and ties some incredible flies on those. Check out his profile and posts to see what he has done.

Gero
 

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There are two good written resources that mI can think of:
1. Tying the Classic Salmon Fly by Michael Radencich has a really good chapter written by Eugene Sunday (if memory serves, my copy is in storage at my family's house so I can't check).

2. here is an issue of the Salmon Flyer that has an article discussing hook making from Piano wire I believe. I remember reading it, but can't recall exactly which issue it is: you can find them all here: Welcome to the Salmon Flyer
 

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Meiser Loop Loomis Lamson SpeyCo
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Further to Jason's recommendations, I've also seen references to using straight gauge steel bicycle spokes.

Gero
 

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I’ve made a few, but it’s been years. Since then I’ve picked up the trade of forging knives, very similar use of steels and heat treatment. Don’t bother using steel that you don’t know EXACTLY what alloy it is. You can buy quite a bit of .035” 1084 steel, piano wire from McMaster Carr for under $20. That’ll make a pretty darn heavy iron, but the steel heat treats well and is easy to use. Unknown steel means unknown HT process and not so good results. Using needle files and abrasive stones for making a point and eye is pretty straight forward. Go blind eye or experiment with round nose pliers to make a return eye. Barbs were cut with a chisel. Fly Rods and Fly Tackle by H. P. Wells talks about the whole process. Heat treating (making steel glass hard) is done by heating the steel to 1475F or so with a propane torch, and quenched in canola oil. Then you have to temper (make the hook tougher and not so brittle). I’d start at 400 degrees, or a straw color and test from there. Too brittle, go a little hotter (425). Bends out, go 375. Test. Once you’re happy with an iron, I don’t think japanning isn’t too difficult.
Nick
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I’ve made a few, but it’s been years. Since then I’ve picked up the trade of forging knives, very similar use of steels and heat treatment. Don’t bother using steel that you don’t know EXACTLY what alloy it is. You can buy quite a bit of .035” 1084 steel, piano wire from McMaster Carr for under $20. That’ll make a pretty darn heavy iron, but the steel heat treats well and is easy to use. Unknown steel means unknown HT process and not so good results. Using needle files and abrasive stones for making a point and eye is pretty straight forward. Go blind eye or experiment with round nose pliers to make a return eye. Barbs were cut with a chisel. Fly Rods and Fly Tackle by H. P. Wells talks about the whole process. Heat treating (making steel glass hard) is done by heating the steel to 1475F or so with a propane torch, and quenched in canola oil. Then you have to temper (make the hook tougher and not so brittle). I’d start at 400 degrees, or a straw color and test from there. Too brittle, go a little hotter (425). Bends out, go 375. Test. Once you’re happy with an iron, I don’t think japanning isn’t too difficult.
Nick
Thanks Nick! Fasinating stuff! But seems so simple...like I said, no space to do anything like this at the moment but I am a tinkerer at heart and have always loved making something from nothing!
 

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Making hooks is a whole beast of a project, and requires some specialized tools if you really are going to get into it (barb cutter and bending jigs for example). If you want to dip your toes in, look into reworking hooks instead. Basically taking a suitable hook and rebending, filing, and sanding until you get the shape and profile that you're looking for. It can be done pretty easily with some pliers, files, sandpaper, and old hook charts.

Here is an example of a hook that I currently have in progress. It's an old Mustad 3366, size 6/0 hook. I've done the reshaping and filing thus far, just need to do the final sanding, degreasing, and tallow tempering. These aren't particularly strong hooks, I probably wouldn't want to fish them. But plenty suitable for tying and framing.
Rectangle Font Art Fashion accessory Metal


I'm fairly green to the whole reworking process, but have a handful of hooks under my belt so far. Ask away if you have any questions.
 

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Also, tempering and coating could be a whole book in itself. Lots of different methods for applying coating, from old school japanning, to spray on engine paint, to a simple tallow temper and blueing.
 

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If your on Facebook there's a pretty good page with a lot of info. @Aleksandr) is part of it. I don't do it myself but I like to follow along.

 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks unch! At the moment I barely have space to tie. I've seen guys say "this fly was tied on a reworked hook", that makes sense and it also makes sense why you'd wanna do that...I've seen the prices of hooks bigger than 2/0...good lord! So, if you could find an antique one or an old damaged fly why not use it...same goes, I guess, for making them...custom size, shape, wire weight, etc....Man, I gotta get retired so I can have time to do all this stuff...about 25 more years!! Thanks for feeding my curiosity guys!!
 

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Google Rockwell Hammond, Jr. and on his web site you will find an excellent slide show on hook making!!
 

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Good question. Top line custom hook maker Ronn Lucas, Sr. charge $15.00 per hook and up depending on model and size. When you hold one of his hooks in hand or tie on one you understand and appreciate the quality of his hooks and how they make a fly look so much better.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Good question. Top line custom hook maker Ronn Lucas, Sr. charge $15.00 per hook and up depending on model and size. When you hold one of his hooks in hand or tie on one you understand and appreciate the quality of his hooks and how they make a fly look so much better.
o_O I would hope these are for framing/display only...As my flies are largely meant for decorating trees and the river bottom :ROFLMAO:
 

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Absolutely framing/display only. You're not the only one who occasionally leaves a hook on the stream bottom or a tree somewhere :cool:
 

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Val does do both unusual and beautifulwork...to say the least.
 

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Hi guys! Anyone who builds their own hooks care to share the materials and process? I've seen it mentioned in the odd post, something like "here is a (insert pattern name here) tied on a hook I made". How the heck do you make a fishing hook?

This is a post/question purely out of curiosity as I don't have time, space or patience to do this...Thanks to anyone who shares their experience!
There are much more material for making hook, I usualy prefer perfect spring steel, which had done according all test in factory, quiete good carbon steel. And depending of situation, there are annealed wire or others steel, I have made right termo process. Yes, as for me, if you only fishing and have not display flies, usual hooks are more than reable. Specially I like Blue Heron hook #2.
 
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