The intention of this page is to provide some guidance for fly tiers regarding hook selection for their Fish-Skull® flies. As our collective knowledge base and experience grows in tying this new product we will continue to update this page on a regular basis and share what is being learned. Please check back periodically for updates.
Hook Size Ranges
Fish-Skull® is available in 4 sizes (Small, Small-Medium, Medium, Large) and intended to fit a broad range of streamer fly sizes – hooks ranging from as small as a #8 (small freshwater/trout flies) up to as big as #4/0 hooks (for large saltwater or bass flies).
The Fish-Skull® sizes are based upon a common “standard” length saltwater hook such as a Mustad 34007. However, there is nothing really “standard” in the hook industry and due to the wide variance in hook sizes found between different manufacturers and models we can only provide general guidance to the range of hook sizes for each skull.
Size Small for hook size range typically #8, #6, #4
Size Small-Medium for hook size range typically #4, #2, #1
Size Medium for hook size range typically #2, #1, #1/0.
Size Large for hook size range typically #2/0, #3/0, #4/0
Hook sizes highlighted in Red are generally found to be the optimum size, but this will vary.
Recommended Hook Guide
Welcome to the Fish-Skull® Hook Compatibility Guide. The objective of the guide is to provide guidance for our fly tying customers by recommending specific hook brands, models and sizes that are compatible with the different sizes of Fish-Skull®. The guide is free to use, enjoy and share with your friends!
The hook gap is the most important success factor to consider when selecting a hook.
Ensure that the gap between the tip of the hook and the Fish-Skull® is wide enough to provide consistent hook-ups. The wider the gap, the more likely you will be in successfully hooking the fish. This is a commonly overlooked issue in fly tying.
Generally, you will experience no problem with typical streamer or standard length hooks, however with shorter shank hooks make sure you select one with the widest possible gap. The best short shank hook we can highly recommend is the popular Gamakatsu SC15 Wide Gap fly hook. A super hook with plenty of gap! Some other examples of wide gap hooks in various lengths include the Gamakatsu SL12S or the Mustad 3366.
The rule of thumb in hook selection is… always use the biggest possible size of your chosen hook that fits the size Fish-Skull® you want to tie.
In the example below, we illustrate this rule of thumb by sizing the Mustad 3407DT hook on the Size Large Fish-Skull®. Both the # 2/0 and the #4/0 hooks will fit and work very well, but your better choice will probably be the # 4/0 hook as it provides the wider gap.
Hook Eye Width
The 2nd important success factor to consider when selecting a hook is the width of the eye of the hook. Due to the lack of standardization in the industry, the width of the hook eyes vary wildly between different hook makes, models and sizes (especially in the larger, saltwater sizes). As a result, unfortunately some hook eyes are too wide and will not pass through the front slot of the Fish-Skull® . The only solution is to choose a different hook make or size.