Maxcatch dry fly hooks

ejw

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Without the likes of Maxcatch prices would just keep on going up ! As long as there is a cheaper alternative (even if it is not of the same quality) then there is an alternative. Some items from Maxcatch are very good, but agree the hooks are not worth it. However their beads are !!!
If nothing else it makes you think that the "premium" brands are not worth the extra for their more expensive items.
 

baca157

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Without the likes of Maxcatch prices would just keep on going up ! As long as there is a cheaper alternative (even if it is not of the same quality) then there is an alternative. Some items from Maxcatch are very good, but agree the hooks are not worth it. However their beads are !!!
If nothing else it makes you think that the "premium" brands are not worth the extra for their more expensive items.
This is an interesting point of view but I am not sure it’s that simple ejw. Premium brands don’t really compete on price so cheaper options don’t have much influence on their prices (if any). Look at Rio, for example, or any premium rod brand. I am not really seeing any evidence of their prices dropping or even stagnating. People who buy premium products rarely look at what the item costs. Not all have the same reasons for choosing the product but price is rarely a factor when choosing a premium product.

The likes of Maxcatch will have more impact on mid price market, where price is more of a factor.

One thing we have to remember that fly fishing and fly tying are hobbies. Hobbies have their own rules. I could tie flies on a £30 cheapo vice from eBay and they wouldn’t be any worse than the flies tied on my £300 vice; however I get a lot more pleasure from tying on a nice vice and using nice tools. And that matters a lot to me.

Cheers,
Sebastian
 

ejw

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Ahh, but "Who" do Maxcatch and others "Suppy" and what is the Mark Up. Lockdown has a lot to answer for ? If you have the time to look around and check items out, there is always someone out there who sells "it" or something like it a LOT cheaper.
Most Rods and Reels are made in the East, all you pay for is the "Logo".
This post may get a reaction !!!
 

kingf000

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When you compare hooks you need to make sure that you are comparing like with like. So you need to ensure that when comparing hooks from two different makers, they have the same diameter wire and the same weight of hook, otherwise you may end up preferring the maker who uses slightly thicker, heavier wire. So the SLD is 0.2mm and weighs around 0.2g. The Maxcatch 0.3mm and 0.3g. Pointless comparing these with, eg. the 170 with 0.4mm wire!
 

kingf000

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When you compare hooks you need to make sure that you are comparing like with like. So you need to ensure that when comparing hooks from two different makers, they have the same diameter wire and the same weight of hook, otherwise you may end up preferring the maker who uses slightly thicker, heavier wire. So the SLD is 0.2mm and weighs around 0.2g. The Maxcatch 0.3mm and 0.3g. Pointless comparing these with, eg. the 170 with 0.4mm wire!
To illustrate my point, this morning I compared 4 hooks that all had the same length of shank as the SLD size 14 hook: SLD, Maxcatch, 175 and 160 (size 10!), so comparing the same size of fly body. I tied some strong line and connected the hook to a spring balance through the eye, clamping the point of the hook in my vice. I then pulled on the balance to see how much force was needed to bend the hook by 45o. On this, all the hooks returned to their original shape. I then increased the pull until they permanently bent. The results are below:

SLD wire diam: 0.2mm, weight 0.2g, 45o pull 12oz, distortion pull 1lb 4oz
Maxcatch: wire diam 0.3mm, wt. 0.3g, 45o pull 1lb, distortion pull 1lb 10oz
175: wire diam 0.4mm, wt 0.37g, 45o pull 1lb 3oz, distortion pull 2lb
160: wire diam 0.5mm, wt 0.5g, 45o pull 1lb 6oz, distortion pull 2lb 8oz

So clearly, the thicker the wire, the greater the force needed to bend and permanently distort the hook. So just as you would be asking for trouble using a 2lb tippet to target 4lb trout (though I'm sure someone on this Forum will say they do it all the time and never lose a fish!), you wouldn't use the SLD or the Maxcatch hook for big fish.

I'll be interested to see where the Maxcatch thicker wire wet fly hooks fit in this range.
 

baca157

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To illustrate my point, this morning I compared 4 hooks that all had the same length of shank as the SLD size 14 hook: SLD, Maxcatch, 175 and 160 (size 10!), so comparing the same size of fly body. I tied some strong line and connected the hook to a spring balance through the eye, clamping the point of the hook in my vice. I then pulled on the balance to see how much force was needed to bend the hook by 45o. On this, all the hooks returned to their original shape. I then increased the pull until they permanently bent. The results are below:

SLD wire diam: 0.2mm, weight 0.2g, 45o pull 12oz, distortion pull 1lb 4oz
Maxcatch: wire diam 0.3mm, wt. 0.3g, 45o pull 1lb, distortion pull 1lb 10oz
175: wire diam 0.4mm, wt 0.37g, 45o pull 1lb 3oz, distortion pull 2lb
160: wire diam 0.5mm, wt 0.5g, 45o pull 1lb 6oz, distortion pull 2lb 8oz

So clearly, the thicker the wire, the greater the force needed to bend and permanently distort the hook. So just as you would be asking for trouble using a 2lb tippet to target 4lb trout (though I'm sure someone on this Forum will say they do it all the time and never lose a fish!), you wouldn't use the SLD or the Maxcatch hook for big fish.

I'll be interested to see where the Maxcatch thicker wire wet fly hooks fit in this range.
I hope you don’t mind me interjecting again kingf000. Thank you for taking the time to do this test. It is very interesting but it doesn’t tell us much about the quality of these hooks. After all, you compared 4 hooks, with different wire thickness. Should you not be comparing like for like as you said in the post above?

The difference in wire thickness of SLD and Maxcatch hook is 50% so I don’t think these should be compared against each other; however it seems that Kamasan hook is weak comparing to Maxcatch. 33% increase in wire thickness but only 23% increase in strength. Oddly enough SLD seems to have the strongest wire as Maxcatch is only 30% stronger for 50% thicker wire. Or maybe increasing wire thickness doesn’t have direct correlation with increase in strength?

Is B160 not a short shank hook? If so then maybe it should only be compared against other short shank hooks?

Wire thickness is only one factor. I think that with fine wire hooks, the quality of the wire will be more important.

I would be interested to see this test done on hooks with the same wire thickness, from different manufacturers. Sadly, I lack equipment to do that.

Sorry for all these questions but not you got me interested!

Cheers,
Sebastian
 

kingf000

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I hope you don’t mind me interjecting again kingf000. Thank you for taking the time to do this test. It is very interesting but it doesn’t tell us much about the quality of these hooks. After all, you compared 4 hooks, with different wire thickness. Should you not be comparing like for like as you said in the post above?

The difference in wire thickness of SLD and Maxcatch hook is 50% so I don’t think these should be compared against each other; however it seems that Kamasan hook is weak comparing to Maxcatch. 33% increase in wire thickness but only 23% increase in strength. Oddly enough SLD seems to have the strongest wire as Maxcatch is only 30% stronger for 50% thicker wire. Or maybe increasing wire thickness doesn’t have direct correlation with increase in strength?

Is B160 not a short shank hook? If so then maybe it should only be compared against other short shank hooks?

Wire thickness is only one factor. I think that with fine wire hooks, the quality of the wire will be more important.

I would be interested to see this test done on hooks with the same wire thickness, from different manufacturers. Sadly, I lack equipment to do that.

Sorry for all these questions but not you got me interested!

Cheers,
Sebastian
There are a number of points here. First, the data is not robust enough to do too much analysis other than putting them in rank order of strength. I was only trying to show that there are huge differences between hooks that give size 14 sized flies that has little to do with the quality of the hook, as some of the respondents to this thread didn't seem to appreciate this, just saying that hook A was great and hook B was crap, just by looking at the ease with which it distorts ignoring the reasons why this should be. I wasn't trying to prove whether one hook is superior or inferior to the others, just different. As you say, you would have to do a different experiment to show that, making sure that the shank length and wire diameter are identical. My micrometer is only accurate to 0.025mm, so 0.2 is somewhere between 0.175 and 0.225. My spring balance has not been checked for accuracy. I used mono line which stretches, so that probably introduces a non-linearity into the data.
The B160 is a short shank hook. On another thread I argued that it is ridiculous to call a hook size 14, when the resultant fly you tie on it has a size closer to a 16 or even 18. So I chose the B160 hook that had the closest shank length to that of the other size 14 hooks, in this case the size 10, so giving a similar sized fly. The strain I was putting on the bend of the hook is the force times the distance from the eye to the bend, so a shorter shank would require a greater force to cause the hook to distort.
The advantage of tying your own flies is that you can tailor the flies to suit your needs. So the SLD is great when you aren't targeting big fish and want a very light, sparsely dressed dry fly for delicate presentation or for use with the duo, where the lighter hook means you can use a slightly heavier nymph. For bigger fish you would use a thicker wire hook.
 

baca157

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There are a number of points here. First, the data is not robust enough to do too much analysis other than putting them in rank order of strength. I was only trying to show that there are huge differences between hooks that give size 14 sized flies that has little to do with the quality of the hook, as some of the respondents to this thread didn't seem to appreciate this, just saying that hook A was great and hook B was crap, just by looking at the ease with which it distorts ignoring the reasons why this should be. I wasn't trying to prove whether one hook is superior or inferior to the others, just different. As you say, you would have to do a different experiment to show that, making sure that the shank length and wire diameter are identical. My micrometer is only accurate to 0.025mm, so 0.2 is somewhere between 0.175 and 0.225. My spring balance has not been checked for accuracy. I used mono line which stretches, so that probably introduces a non-linearity into the data.
The B160 is a short shank hook. On another thread I argued that it is ridiculous to call a hook size 14, when the resultant fly you tie on it has a size closer to a 16 or even 18. So I chose the B160 hook that had the closest shank length to that of the other size 14 hooks, in this case the size 10, so giving a similar sized fly. The strain I was putting on the bend of the hook is the force times the distance from the eye to the bend, so a shorter shank would require a greater force to cause the hook to distort.
The advantage of tying your own flies is that you can tailor the flies to suit your needs. So the SLD is great when you aren't targeting big fish and want a very light, sparsely dressed dry fly for delicate presentation or for use with the duo, where the lighter hook means you can use a slightly heavier nymph. For bigger fish you would use a thicker wire hook.
Thanks kingf000. I am happy with the tolerance on you mircrometer. The thing with B160 is that size 10 will have a wire thickness of size 10 B175. I am pretty sure that the wire thickness increases with size of the hook. I can only find product sheets for Arhex hooks online and their wire thickness always increases with hook size. Also if you are using the same nylon for testing all hooks then it doesn’t matter what it is for the purpose of the test as long as you use new piece of nylon for each hook.

This discussion was about fine wire hooks from the start so I think that Kamasan hooks should be taken out of the equasion as they do not produce a fine wire hook. B175 is heavy wire and B170 is standard wire (medium?).

I believe that fine wire hooks should be strong enough for bigger fish. The purpose of using a fine wire hook is to have a light fly, not to fish for tiddlers. Most of us fish rivers where there is a chance of a fish above 2lb (even if it’s very small) so we shouldn’t be worrying about hooks failing. This is why I don’t use Partridge or Hends hooks as I found them to be very weak. It goes without saying that thicker wire hook from the same manufacturer will be stronger. I am really interested to see how fine wire hooks from different manufactures perform against each other.

Would you be happy to do this test again but only on fine wire hooks from different manufacturers? I would be happy to supply the hooks.

Few more points:
  • at what angle are you applying the force?
  • could you please remeasure SLD hook? Seems extremely thin. Arhex fine wire dry fly hook in sie 14 has a wire thickness of 0.5mm according to their product chart
  • Another test worth doing would be to test for metal fatigue. Each hook will be bent in and out multiple times during a fight with a fish. It would be good to see what this type of pressure does to the hooks. Bend them to 45o repeatedly using the same wight and see if they fail?
The test should answer the following question.

Are expensive fine wire hooks better than the cheap ones?

or

Are cheap fine wire hooks as good or better than expensive ones?


Food for thought.

Cheers,
Sebastian
 

BobP

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There have been lots of posts & threads about knots breaking and tests have been made to show that this mono or that breaks at a given strain. Now we have the same being applied to hooks.

What is being missed out is that the most common point at which a knot, mono or hook will break is not at a steady pull, but at the impact of a fish hitting the fly hard. Certainly if anyone tries to horse a big fish to the net on a fine wire hook then they are asking for trouble. The hook is not designed for that sort of treatment and anyone doing it needs to learn how to play fish. I have learned, though, that a check of the hook after a hard take close in pays dividends.
 

baca157

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There have been lots of posts & threads about knots breaking and tests have been made to show that this mono or that breaks at a given strain. Now we have the same being applied to hooks.

What is being missed out is that the most common point at which a knot, mono or hook will break is not at a steady pull, but at the impact of a fish hitting the fly hard. Certainly if anyone tries to horse a big fish to the net on a fine wire hook then they are asking for trouble. The hook is not designed for that sort of treatment and anyone doing it needs to learn how to play fish. I have learned, though, that a check of the hook after a hard take close in pays dividends.
Hi BobP,

All of this matters of course.

However, what we are trying to find out which fine wire hooks are stronger.

Cheers,
Sebastian
 

kingf000

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Hi BobP,

All of this matters of course.

However, what we are trying to find out which fine wire hooks are stronger.

Cheers,
Sebastian
As there has been such praise heaped upon the Hanak hooks, I've ordered some H130BL fine wire dry fly hooks to compare. I've checked the size 14 SLD again on 5 hooks and all are around 0.2mm, and definitely look finer wire than the maxcatch. The size 10 hooks also have the same 0.2mm wire.
I've only been trying to find which fine wire hooks are stronger because, as the term 'fine wire' doesn't appear to have any meaning, I'm interested to find out whether the stronger fine wire hooks simply have slightly thicker wire, nothing to do with the quality of the HiC steel that they all claim to be made of.
My concern about the nylon is that it stretches, and the degree of stretch is non-linear with regard to the force applied.
 

BobP

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Hi BobP,

All of this matters of course.

However, what we are trying to find out which fine wire hooks are stronger.

Cheers,
Sebastian
That being the case you are going to have to come up with some rather more rigorous testing of all the hook makes.
 

baca157

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As there has been such praise heaped upon the Hanak hooks, I've ordered some H130BL fine wire dry fly hooks to compare. I've checked the size 14 SLD again on 5 hooks and all are around 0.2mm, and definitely look finer wire than the maxcatch. The size 10 hooks also have the same 0.2mm wire.
I've only been trying to find which fine wire hooks are stronger because, as the term 'fine wire' doesn't appear to have any meaning, I'm interested to find out whether the stronger fine wire hooks simply have slightly thicker wire, nothing to do with the quality of the HiC steel that they all claim to be made of.
My concern about the nylon is that it stretches, and the degree of stretch is non-linear with regard to the force applied.
Seems that maybe this is why SLD is such a weak hook. Will be interesting to see what thickness Hanak is and how it performs against the others.

Maybe use another type of line? Fluorocarbon is low stretch so could be better (assuming you used nylon).

That being the case you are going to have to come up with some rather more rigorous testing of all the hook makes.
You’re probably right Bob. Although test done by kingf000 seems like a good start.

Cheers,
Sebastian
 

pentlandflyman

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Don't know anything about maxcatch but do they build on over runs of big brand blanks and re brand reels, lines and hooks ? Or are the manufacturers of their own tackle ? I remember a similar company a few years back that was selling rods built on Greys streamflex blanks and rebranding big name reels, I bought a few things and they were excellent. The name fishtec rings a bell and the rods were streamtec maybe ? You were getting them for £30 from ebay and they were cracking.

Hooks though I will only buy from brands I know and trust and I won't penny pinch on them. They could cost you a fish of a lifetime or the point that wins you a comp.
 

kingf000

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Don't know anything about maxcatch but do they build on over runs of big brand blanks and re brand reels, lines and hooks ? Or are the manufacturers of their own tackle ? I remember a similar company a few years back that was selling rods built on Greys streamflex blanks and rebranding big name reels, I bought a few things and they were excellent. The name fishtec rings a bell and the rods were streamtec maybe ? You were getting them for £30 from ebay and they were cracking.

Hooks though I will only buy from brands I know and trust and I won't penny pinch on them. They could cost you a fish of a lifetime or the point that wins you a comp.
My understanding is that their products are made in China for them to their design. They may copy, such as their clicker reel that they admit is based upon the SAGE design, but I'm not aware that they break any patents. They may also source from the same factories that manufacture for other brands.

If Hooks are only stronger because the wire is thicker, then you have the same issue you have with tippets. Big (wild) fish tend to be canny and are put off by thick tippets and possibly also heavy hooks, especially on dry flies, so you may fool them. Finer tippets and hooks may be more likely to fool these canny fish, but you then run the risk of losing the fish. That said, heavier hooks are probably better for, eg. klinks. Of course, if you are fishing for naive stocked fish, the situation is different.
 
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kingf000

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My Hanak dry fly hooks H130BL arrived today. I compared them with the SLD and Maxcatch dry fly hooks as before, but now I used wire to connect the hook to the balance (no stretch) and clamped them up to the bend, as I thought this would be more like the force exerted on the hook with a hooked fish. Unfortunately with this clamping I was unable to permanently distort any of the hooks using the balance. Findings below:

Hanak H130BL diam. <0.3mm, length 12mm, weight 0.24g, force to 45o bend 12oz
SLD 0.2mm 11mm 0.20g 12oz
Maxcatch 0.3mm 11mm 0.24g 16oz

Within the accuracy of my micrometer, both the Hanak and Maxcatch came out as around 0.3mm, but the Hanak looked slightly less than 0.3mm and the Maxcatch slightly more. I more accurately weighed the hooks by weighing 10 hooks together and dividing the total weight by 10, hence the difference from my previously quoted weight for the maxcatch hooks.
Interestingly the SLD hooks distorted more along the shaft than the other two, which distorted at the bend.
So the Hanak has slightly thinner wire than Maxcatch, but the same weight as it is 1mm longer. The lower force to invoke the 45o distortion is probably a combination of the longer length and the slightly thinner wire.
Distorting all of the hooks 25 times showed no difference in the force required, so no rapid metal fatigue. I got bored after 25 times!
I did a subjective permanent distortion of the hooks using a two pairs of pliers. All three hooks distorted, with possibly the SLD distorting easier than the other two.
 

baca157

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My Hanak dry fly hooks H130BL arrived today. I compared them with the SLD and Maxcatch dry fly hooks as before, but now I used wire to connect the hook to the balance (no stretch) and clamped them up to the bend, as I thought this would be more like the force exerted on the hook with a hooked fish. Unfortunately with this clamping I was unable to permanently distort any of the hooks using the balance. Findings below:

Hanak H130BL diam. <0.3mm, length 12mm, weight 0.24g, force to 45o bend 12oz
SLD 0.2mm 11mm 0.20g 12oz
Maxcatch 0.3mm 11mm 0.24g 16oz

Within the accuracy of my micrometer, both the Hanak and Maxcatch came out as around 0.3mm, but the Hanak looked slightly less than 0.3mm and the Maxcatch slightly more. I more accurately weighed the hooks by weighing 10 hooks together and dividing the total weight by 10, hence the difference from my previously quoted weight for the maxcatch hooks.
Interestingly the SLD hooks distorted more along the shaft than the other two, which distorted at the bend.
So the Hanak has slightly thinner wire than Maxcatch, but the same weight as it is 1mm longer. The lower force to invoke the 45o distortion is probably a combination of the longer length and the slightly thinner wire.
Distorting all of the hooks 25 times showed no difference in the force required, so no rapid metal fatigue. I got bored after 25 times!
I did a subjective permanent distortion of the hooks using a two pairs of pliers. All three hooks distorted, with possibly the SLD distorting easier than the other two.
Very interesting readling. Thanks for doing taking the time for doing this kingf000.

What is the finish quality like on Maxcatch hooks? Any misshapen hooks in a packet? Any dodgy looking eyes?

Cheers,
Sebastian
 

kingf000

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Very interesting readling. Thanks for doing taking the time for doing this kingf000.

What is the finish quality like on Maxcatch hooks? Any misshapen hooks in a packet? Any dodgy looking eyes?

Cheers,
Sebastian
I was a bit surprised that all of the hooks were a good shape and no dodgy looking eyes, things that I've found with some cheap hooks in the past. My other Maxcatch wet fly hooks arrived today - 11 days from order. Actually received what I had ordered. Again they all look fine and my measurements:

size 10: 0.6mm wire, 0.076g, 15mm long, shank 11mm
size 12: 0.6mm wire, 0.055g, 12.5mm long, shank 8.5mm
size 14: 0.45mm wire, 0.034g, 11mm long, shank 7mm 20oz to 45o distortion
size 16: 0.45mm wire, 0.024g, 9mm long, shank 6mm
 
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