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Daiichi 1710 Fly Tying Hook – The Advantages Of A Second Choice
Written: Jan 27, 2010 (Updated Jan 27, 2010)
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:Good steel; Chemically sharpened; Available in 1,000 packs
Cons:Slightly inconsistent shank length varying by size
The Bottom Line: A good, alternative choice to the TMC 5262; especially for tying Wulff dry flies.
Do NOT confuse Daiichi with the much lower quality, made in Korea, Dai-Riki brand hooks. Daiichi hooks are made in Japan and are distributed by Angler Sport Group. It is generally, though not universally, conceded that Daiichi uses a better grade of steel and processing than most of the competition. That does not mean that it is, ultimately, the "best" choice of design for a particular model. Still, it provides a solid base and, in the case of the Daiichi 1710, it actually provides a couple of potential advantages.
The 1710's Potential
In an overly simplistic sense, there are ‘light,' ‘standard,' and ‘heavy' wire hooks. Standard is just that, the average or benchmark. Wire that is ‘lighter' or ‘heavier' in terms of weight/diameter of shank is designated by a numbered "X." Unfortunately, there is some variance in the industry as to what is ‘standard.' In addition, not all manufacturers use the same descriptors; which is something you must pay attention to in that ‘strong' isn't, necessarily, the same as ‘heavy,' etc. Thus, when evaluating/comparing ‘heavy' and ‘strong' or similar it is not only important to compare between brands, it is just as important to evaluate the descriptors within the context of the different models from the same company.
The Daiichi 1710 is listed as: Standard Nymph Hook, 2X-Long, Round Bend, Down-Eye, 1X-Strong, Forged, Bronze.
The listing is correct insofar as ‘standard nymph' or even ‘wet flies.' A 2X-Long hook means the shank is roughly two hook eyes longer than standard. That makes it suitable if you are imitating a certain type of insect or wish to add a bead head to a pattern normally tied on a standard length hook. Unfortunately, they also list Muddlers as a type of pattern this hook is suitable for. A 2X-Long hook shank, particularly the Daiichi, is usable for certain types of streamers such as small Wooly Buggers (see link below); but, in my opinion, is not really suitable for Muddler Minnows (see link below).
Why do I say "particularly the Daiichi?" As was noted, there is some variance in the industry and this especially applies to the 1710 when it comes to hook size. As an example, the most direct competition for this model is the Tiemco (TMC) 5262 and the Mustad 9671 (see links below). The 1710 in size 12 is approximately, give or take a hair, the same length as either of these two alternatives. However, in size 14, it is about 1/3 of a hook eye shorter. As a result, while I feel comfortable using the 1710 in size 12 for say a Copper John or a standard Red Fox Squirrel Nymph (both of which, see links below), I would prefer the TMC 5262 for a size 14 or smaller Copper John and would use either the 5262 or the 9671 rather than the 1710 for a Bead Head Red Fox Squirrel Nymph.
Clear as mud?
Let's try it this way.
The Daiichi 1710 is available in sizes 2 - 18. In sizes 14 - 18, I personally view the hook as unsuitable for bead headed patterns typically tied on 2X-Long hook shanks. It's not that one can't get the bead on there. To my sense of aesthetic, the slightly shorter shank means the pattern must be slightly shortened, potentially throwing the fly out of proportion, and, to my eye, often causing the bead to seemingly ‘overwhelm' the pattern. This ‘weakness' is also a potential advantage in that it makes the 1710 in sizes 14 - 18 a slightly long-ish version of the TMC 3671 (see link below) or Mustad 3906B; both 1X-Long hooks. That means patterns I would normally tie on a 3671/3906B without a bead can be tied on the Daiichi using a bead without having to shorten the pattern; but, without also unnecessarily lengthening the pattern by using the 5262 or 9671.
In the end, it comes down to your sense of aesthetic. Just be aware that a slight difference does exist and that difference can be both an advantage and a disadvantage.
The TMC 5262 is listed as 2X Heavy while the Daiichi 1710 is listed as 1X Strong. This means that the 5262 is a heavier/larger diameter wire than their standard; resulting in a ‘stronger' hook that will sink faster. Being 1X Strong, the 1710 is not quite as robust as the 5262; meaning it does not sink quite as fast as the Tiemco. However, given that Daiichi uses a better grade of steel, their 1X Strong is at least as strong as the 5262. In addition, the slightly smaller diameter hook wire and the chemically sharpened hook gives it an out-of-the-box hook setting advantage over the Mustad 9671.
This strength-to-diameter also makes the Daiichi 1710 a very good choice for certain dry flies such as a Wulff (see link below). Many hopper patterns are also tied on 2X Long hooks. But, as with the Dave's Hopper (see link below), I tend to prefer 3X Long hooks for grasshopper imitations.
Price can be an issue. In size 2, a 25-pack lists for $7 and the 100-pack goes for a wallet-breaking $25. For sizes 4 - 18, the prices are $5.25 for the 25-pack and $18.50 for the 100-pack; making them more expensive than the Mustad 9671, but roughly comparable to the TMC 5262. The potential, biggest advantage of the Daiichi, lies in the fact that 1,000-packs (ten 100-packs) can be obtained; bringing the cost-per-hook down considerably.
Unfortunately, there is no "MSRP" for these 1,000 packs; partly because they are not always available. This means you can be largely dependent on how the retailer might wish to "work with you." For example: If you're tying for a local shop, 1,000-packs may be necessary for you to help ‘fill the bins;' thus, they may be prone to working with the price as it benefits them. On the other hand, if you're walking in as someone "off the street" who doesn't want the 25 and 100 packs the shop stocks, thereby, creating a "special order" - the price may reflect the extra effort it takes to make that available to you. As a result of these factors, I hesitate to even proffer a "ball park" range on the pricing of the 1,000 packs.
I've already mentioned several patterns which can be and are tied on the 1710. To put it in a nutshell, most patterns tied on 2X Long hooks work as well, maybe even better in some ways, on the 1710 as they do on the alternatives. Just note the caveats I mention and remember they are based on personal aesthetics rather than absolute, objective criteria.
In an overall sense, when purchased in bulk, the 1710 is a solid, cost-effective alternative to the TMC 5262. The 1710 may cost more than the Mustad 9671, but it does have certain advantages; and, again, when purchased in the 1,000-packs, the price difference is less noticeable. As a result, that's how I tend to buy the Daiichi 1710 - in bulk. This is especially the case in that my local shops pretty much have to special order the Daiichi's for me anyway; the Tiemco and Mustad brands being more readily available.
However, just the fact that I'm willing to wait on a special order ought to say something...
Even if it's just that I'm tying a few too many flies.
But, hey. That's what cold January days are for.
Fly Pattern Reviews Cited Above
Wooly Bugger; Muddler Minnow; Copper John Nymph; Red Fox Squirrel Nymph; Dave's Hopper; Wulff Dry Flies
Other Fly Tying Hooks Reviewed
Daiichi 1120; Dai-Riki 135; Dai-Riki 270; Mustad 94840; Mustad 9671; Mustad 9672; TMC 100; TMC 200R; TMC 2457; TMC 3761; TMC 5262; TMC 5263
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