J. Stockard Pro Tyer: Paul Shurtleff, Springville UT, You can find Paul @: www.instagram.com/insectinside/, www.facebook.com/pauliescustomflies

In this article J.Stockard Pro Paul Shurtleff reviews a new series of Daiichi Scud Hooks. Here are the links to each model and you can read Paul’s analysis below.

1924 Barbless Scud Fly Hook – matte green
1925 Barbless Scud Fly Hook – matte brown
1928 Barbless Scud Fly Hook – matte gray
1929 Barbless Scud Fly Hook – matte black

I’ve fully tested all of the new sample hooks sent to me. What I’ve discovered is that these hooks are VERY STRONG! They do not want to bend at all and they are NOT brittle either. They are reluctant to bend but will bend (under extreme pressure) instead of instantly breaking off. I tested 1 hook from each pack of each color and stress tested each hook color to the breaking point. What I discovered is that there is NO difference (that I detected) in strength between colors either. This is not a thorough test since each color of sample hooks received was in a different size. However, from what I could tell, comparable companies hooks in the same size ranges proved to be fairly equal as far as strength goes. I am quite impressed with the strength. What I did notice is that whatever coating Daiichi puts on these hooks makes them VERY SLICK! They’re almost dangerously slick… so much so that 2 of the sample size hooks survived the “Nano Silk” test (where I break a hook in my vise with Semperfli’s Nano Silk Thread) and I had 2 hooks slip out of the jaws of my Regal during stress testing making a horrible snap sending a cold chill down my spine! I have never had a hook pop out of the jaws of my Regal before up until stress testing these hooks, I am quite impressed with the strength to say the least. In fact, that’s one thing I’m going to caution for consumers and a recommendation for Daiichi for production packaging. These hooks are extremely slick: They can and will slip out of the jaws of vices under heavy pressure. That could be due to the stainless jaws of my Regal (which are slick anyway) but it should be something to caution anyway in my opinion.
Tying on these hooks was great. As mentioned before, scud style hooks are typically not my first choice to use but they were great to tie on. Tying on these hooks was like tying on any other hook with the exception of there being very little hook flex under thread pressure like there is on other similar hooks. I understand that these hooks are heavy wire extra strong hooks but it’s still something worthy of noting. Because of the coating and next to zero hook flex, that’s where the caution of the hook popping out of the vise comes in. Having a hook pop out of the vise can cause damage and chipping of vise jaws (not to mention a sharp projectile potentially flying across a room!) so again, something to caution. However, the slick coating of these hooks didn’t cause any issues while tying, the thread stuck on pretty good actually and I had zero material roll with a light thread base. I’m not sure whether that same thing would happen if there wasn’t a thread base, I’m just saying that I didn’t have any issues that way.

The colors themselves is something that I’m on the fence about personally. Of the colors sent, I’m not much of a fan of the grey. The grey reminds me of an unfinished hook, a cheap economy hook that will bend out and break, lose fish, etc., etc., etc…. I’ve had some bad experiences with hooks like that as I’m sure we all have at some point. These new Daiichi hooks will probably NOT ever do that as they’re super strong!! But still, that’s what the color reminds me of. It might do the same for others as well?
Likewise, the brown and green hooks I believe to be very pattern specific, or at minimum, material color specific. The colors are nice, particularly the green in my opinion, but I think they’re more specific purpose oriented. Not that one couldn’t tie whatever they wish on whatever color hook they wanted, it’s my opinion that certain material colors or certain fly patterns would work better than others for the green and brown color hooks. The black hooks are the most pattern/material universal hook color in my opinion. I am already used to tying on and using black hooks so I may be somewhat partial to the black (most of my hooks are black and most of the “high end” hook manufacturers produce black hooks in todays market), but I still think the black is the best color of the bunch. Just my 2 cents… The grey would be number 2 as far as universal pattern/material color choices go, even though I’m not a fan of the grey personally.
Field testing didn’t go entirely as planned. In my limited time I was only able to fish with a couple of patterns and the fish didn’t cooperate as planned either, but that’s fishing. I am not finished field testing these hooks though, I should have some more time to fish in the coming weeks.
Below are picture attachments and a brief description of the fly patterns I tied on these hooks:
For the brown hooks, I tied a simple Deer Hair Midge Emerger. I normally tie these in much smaller sizes than the #16s sent. I like this fly in #18 – #22. The scud style hook in smaller sizes just screamed at me to tie these on them. This pattern is a staple fly for me in many areas, which is why I went with this pattern. These are also one of the patterns that I actually had time to field test to which I managed to hook a fish, but it broke off stealing my fly along with a section of tippet and that’s the only action I got the whole rest of the day. That’s fishing but at least I know the fly worked, right? Anyway, that’s why there are only 3 pictured, the 4th is in a fish somewhere. The brown hook really pops out on this pattern, but I am somewhat regretting my color choice of materials for this hook color after the fact. Although I am satisfied with the results, if I had more hooks in this color, I would probably switch up the material colors some and give it another go. This is also the reason why I’m “on the fence” about colored hooks.

For the grey hooks I ended up tying another staple fly pattern in my fly boxes, a Bead Headed Pheasant Tail Nymph (modified of course). This is a confidence pattern that works pretty much everywhere. Except, when I went fishing with it… This is another pattern that I field tested, but I ended up getting skunked instead. At least I didn’t lose any of these flies and they’re ready for another go! Again, I typically tie them in smaller sizes but they’re ok.

For the green hooks, I tied one of my signature patterns I call the “X-tra Terrestrial.” It is a proven fly pattern and a really good fly particularly for late season rivers and streams. It represents caddis (October caddis), stoneflies, hoppers and even cicadas. The green hook really pops on this and I picked some extra green rubber legs to accentuate the hook. I think it turned out great! I chose this pattern for this hook because the heavier hook helps foam flies to land and keel right on the water. Because this is already a proven pattern for me, I haven’t field tested these particular flies yet, but will soon! It’s hopper season here in Utah and not for much longer… Cold weather is coming and hoppers are gone after the first good freeze.
For the black hooks I chose to tie a staple Stillwater pattern, a Cone Head Squirrel Leech (also modified). These little guys are proven producers in many areas. I have a trip planned for next week and I’m going to put these guys to use! Pictures to come. Anyway, the hook color blends perfectly on these flies and I’m excited to test them.
I hope this is sufficient for a review of these new Daiichi hooks. Overall I am impressed with them and thank you for the opportunity to test them out, I have enjoyed it.

1 Comment

  1. Nice ties Paul. I tend to gravitate to dark-colored hooks to reduce unnatural glint, but some of these colors might accomplish the same.

    I could see how a slick hook surface could possibly benefit deer hair spinning, but you said you saw minimal difference in friction as relates to tying materials.

    So my question…which I’ll ask since I don’t know what makes these hooks slick, be it some kind of coating or plating, is this: There are times when we use adhesives like superglues or head cements to increase hold or friction on a hook shank. Did you happen to try adhesives on these hooks to see if there’s a noticeable difference in hold? Just wondering how tying could be affected, either positively or negatively.

    – Mike

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