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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
One of the guys I had out last week, said he was down at Bob Clousers fly shop, when he wanted to make some flies for the trip. He was told to use circle hooks, that it was the latest thing and they worked real well. Make clousers with circle hooks he was told. We used them and hooked most of the blues in the hinge of the mouth. Also had bite offs.

I have mixed feelings. If you hand strip it is like setting the hook, which you aren't suppose to do with a circle hook. Almost wonder whether this is a fresh water thing, where you lift the rod tip to set the hook and slowly pull the fly slowly to get the hook up.

On the other hand, when a striper grabs a fly and turns away it sort of does the same thing.

Anyone have any experience or thoughts with them on flies, good or bad?
 

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I've tried some Ray, but definately takes getting used to. I imagine the more you tie with them the easier it is to not set the hook when you get a hit. If we ever have to use only circle hooks I think we'll still catch fish. Bill
 

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I've used them before and don't like them. Like Bill said, it takes some getting used to for not strip-striking, and the hook looks clunky.

I've used circles in bait fishing (yes, I did occasionaly fish with bait in years past!!) with success, but only because I let the fish swim off with the bait and tightened the line. Every time they were lip-hooked.

Plus, when do you ever gut-hook a flyrod-caught fish? Rarely, unless you are dead-drifting it. Circle hooks aren't needed for flies. Your best bet is to use "circular" hooks (like Varivas), where the point is in-line with the hook eye, or just plain old standard J-hooks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I use the circles when we fish clam with the charters. They really work super with the smaller fish. It is hard to get charters not to set the hooks. I would find difficult not to set the hook with a fly rod after learning to do it without lifting the rod tip. That is half of the fun, feeling the fish and hand setting the hook. Could be a whole new training program, that I would have to go through. I might just play with them a little and see how I make out. They just seem weird when you go to tie the fly.
 

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The patient fly fisherman must be sound asleeep at the wheel to not feel the hit when the line is between your fingers!
Maybe for those with bad senses in their fingers, but for the regular guy I think it misses the mark...For me, at least.
 

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Have tried them, really wanted them to work, but I find the fly doesn't swim the same & as a few have said, how can you not set the hook & have you ever gut-hooked a fish on the fly. They "kind of" work with tarpon flies but most of the guys & girls I know don't use as the swim is not the same. Bait yes, flies no, for now.
 

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I've only used them for fresh water flies, some nymphs, caddis dry flies and large midges. Once I got myself to count 1001, 1002, 1003 before lifting the rod, I had some decent success with them. I really don't like them for streamer or baitfish patterns, as already stated they don't ride right and stripping the fly defeats the purpose. One place they might be useful is tying a chum fly, or maybe a shrimp pattern, where rather than stripping the fly you're just letting if drift back in the slick.
Ron:
I've had some bass and sunfish get themselves gut hooked on flies. Nothing like that has happen in salt water though
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Looks like most are thinking the way I do. I like that strip set and very rarely do you get a fish that takes a hook deep. I will continue to use J-hooks and leave the circles for the bait.
 

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Capemayray,

Why not just bend down the barb on a regular hook? I caught about 40 Stripers over the last 5 nights of fishing, dead drifting w/a very small fly. Of those fish not lip hooked, some very small fish, it took only seconds to remove the hook.

By bending down the barb, many of the fish where released without ever touching or taking the fish out of the water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
aubv, I have never had a problem with deep hooking fish with flies. Problem is with the blues they bite off a lot of flies. Did notice with the circle hook they were hooked in the side of the mouth preventing a bite off. I will still use regular hooks. With barbs bent down there is no unhooking.
 
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