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Jardine’s Hooks - Grayling/Bug hooks

By Magnus Angus

Jardine’s Grayling and Bug hooks.
Jardine’s Grayling and Bug hooks.

Very familiar hooks, I've used these since last century! I have gold and red samples here, both are 'loud', though the red hooks are surely more dramatic.

These are medium-wire, curved shank hooks, needle points, barbed. The points are not offset, which is rather nice for fly tying. Many curved hooks have the return leg bent so the point is offset, ie not in-line with the shank. The idea is that an offset point give a better rate of hook-up and/or a cleaner hook-set. Tying with an offset hook in the vice is quite possible, if a little awkward. If you subscribe to the idea that a curved hook should be offset, simply bend the hook once your fly is tied (although I'm not convinced by this method.)

Most freshwater fly-tying hooks are bronze or black, onto which we tie a fly. We assume fish don't mind – or don't see – the dark metal bend and point hanging out the back of their snack and (assuming we catch fish) the evidence supports that idea. I rather like hooks which can become part of the dressing, so the red hook becomes the inner guts of a pupa, the gold reflects and glints under a light dressing like the moving body of living prey.

Years ago, I fished next to a friend who confidently and successfully fished a bare red Jardines hook. He had fished painted red hooks (called Datsuns) as a bloodworm imitation previously, so a bare red hook made perfect sense. Personally, adding a little dubbing makes me happier, I feel like I'm tying a fly, maybe I have in mind Kite's Bare Hook Nymph, but again here I am suggesting bloodworms and buzzers.

These are strong, nicely made hooks. The red finish is slightly fragile, which makes no fishing difference at all. Gold seems tougher, and looks great under a lightly dressed curved nymph.

These hooks have needle points, so the point is round, straight and tapers to the point. The points look strong and are sharp. Neatly cut barbs are easily crushed, as necessary. The eyes are fully ringed, neatly closed. I'd say the eye size is quite large, that has to do with the wire gauge, but is handy.

An interesting combination of something different and unusual, with well made and reliable.

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