The Daiichi 1760 - A True, Bottom-Bouncing, Nymph Hook
Jun 6, 2010 (Updated Jun 6, 2010)
Review by morilla
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:2X-Heavy; 1,000-packs available; Strong
Cons:Not as readily available as other brands; Sizes 4 & 6 comparatively expensive
The Bottom Line: This is the one we've been waiting for; i.e., what the 2302 always wanted to be and should have been.
Let's just say it right up front...
Recommend this product?
The Daiichi 1760 is what the Tiemco (TMC) 2302 was supposed to be. In fact, the Daiichi is so good, I've switched (almost) entirely to the 1760 for those patterns I've always preferred the TMC 2302 for. I've also found it, in the smaller sizes, to be a good substitute for the TMC 5262 (see link below); particularly when tying the Copper John (see link below). Not only is the 1760 a hook that just feels like it should when you're tying materials to it, the thing just works in the water.
Announced vs. Available
Not to be confused with the less expensive and much lower quality, made in Korea, Dai-Riki brand hooks, Daiichi hooks are made in Japan and distributed by Angler Sport Group here in the States. While not universally accepted as ‘fact,' it is generally conceded, and I certainly feel, that Daiichi uses a better grade of steel and processing than most of the competition. In a sense, I continue to be surprised the company hasn't made greater inroads with the market.
Part of the problem may be inferred from how the 1760 has been introduced...
In the flyfishing industry, a ‘catalog' season runs from September through August. Daiichi announced the 1760 in September of 2008, including it in their catalog, and claimed it would be available in Spring 2009. Well, not quite. I tried ordering some and was told by the retailer I ordered them through that all orders were canceled, including backorders, for that hook. Not a good start and more than a little disappointing; though, to be fair, I'd rather be forced to wait a year and have them get it right - which they obviously did.
The 1760 became available late last year (2009 - 2010 catalog season). Interestingly, however, Angler Sport Group still does not show them on their website; although several sources have had them in stock since, at least, the beginning of the year. Further, I've been able to order bulk quantities (more on that in minute) so as to ensure that I have this hook at all times. I have no problem going back to the TMC 2302 - in a pinch. But, the 2302 is simply not suitable for some of the applications I now employ the 1760 for and I am so overwhelmingly satisfied with the 1760, I just can't see a reason to go back unless forced to. Well, at least for most, general fishing situations.
So, What Is It?
On the packaging, the 1760 is listed as follows:
2X-Heavy Wire Nymph Hook; Round Bend; 2X-Long Curved Shank; Down-Eye; Forged; Bronze; Uses - Flies for Steelhead, Salmon, and Large Trout
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.
Let's simply say that, in theory, the 1760 is twice as heavy (2X) as standard wire hooks such as the TMC 2302. It is certainly a more robust hook than the 2302; something you immediately feel/sense when tying materials on the hook. For those familiar with TMC fly tying hooks... It's a more significant impression than the difference between the 2312 and the 2302 (light and standard versions of the same hook). In the end, while debates are often had regarding the efficacy of light wire hooks and their impact on the fish when the hook is set/removed, the reality is that there are tradeoffs with any choice.
If you choose a light wire hook, you then have to provide more weight, either to the hook itself or the line, to get the nymph to sink. In many cases, that means lead wire or split shot. Thus, you're, theoretically, easier on the fish, but harder on the environment. Then there is the fact that the lighter wire hooks simply aren't as durable when bouncing or caught on streambed rocks; not to mention when tied into a heavy fish. In short, the arguments for the 2302 over the 2312 are the same arguments for the 1760 over the 2302.
Perhaps this is why the company lists the hook for "Steelhead, Salmon, and Large Trout."
Now folks, there's a reason why I continue to reference the TMC 2302; Round Bend, 2X-Long Curved Shank, Down-Eye, Forged, Bronze. In essence and in fact, the Daiichi 1760 is a ‘heavy duty' 2302 in size, shape, and design. As with the 2302, the 2X-Long designation means that 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. Once again, in the smaller sizes, I've found this to be a good substitute for the 1X Long TMC 3761 and Daiichi 1560 (see review links below) when I want to add a bead head.
What Do You Tie On It?
Short answer - Anything I'd tie on the TMC 2302 and more. One of my more common uses is for the caddis emerger version of the Red Fox Squirrel Hair Nymph (see link below). If I want it to ride just under the surface film, I still use the TMC 2302; but, in heavy water or where I want it to sink, I now utilize the 1760.
As I said at the beginning, I've gravitated toward using the 1760 in sizes 16 and 18 for small Copper Johns for the simple reason that I like the effect of the curved shank on the pattern when it gets that small. But, perhaps the most significant effect to my fly boxes is that I now tie Mike Mercer's Biot Epoxy Stone Nymph more correctly, at least most of the time, than I have before. (see review link below) In a nutshell, the commercial version of this fly is offered on the TMC 2302; the same hook Mercer recommends in his book Creative Fly Tying (see link below). I've always tended toward the TMC 5262 or the Daiichi 1710 (see link below) as they are both heavier and stronger than the 2302. I now tie the Golden Stone version on the Daiichi 1760; well, most of the time. I do still like ‘em on the straight shank hooks too. (Oh, yeah. I still use my own dubbing mix. Then there's the issue... Well, at least I'm using the ‘correct' hook more often than not these days.)
I really don't see the 1760 being used for dries; with the possible exception of hair wing or heavily hackled variations. For example, if you desired, for whatever reason, a curved shank hook for a Wulff pattern (see review link below), as a heavy shank hook, the Daiichi 1760 would be more appropriate than the TMC 2302 as Lee Wulff himself stated a heavier hook was more desirable than a ‘light wire' version. (see both Lee Wulff on Flies and Trout on a Fly - see links below) Another option would be a ‘short-bodied' Stimulator or a ‘long-bodied' Elk Hair Caddis (see review links below). Otherwise, for dries, you're better off sticking to the TMC 2302.
Insofar as pricing, without Angler Sport Group listing them on their website, it is difficult to be as definitive in the pricing as I have been with the other Daiichi fly tying hooks I've reviewed (see below). In an overall sense, price wise, Daiichi hooks are pretty comparable to Tiemco. As a yardstick, I've been paying $6.50 locally for a 25 pack in sizes 12 - 16. That's about a dollar more expensive than the TMC 2302. But, remember, you're comparing apples to... Well, let's just say it's not quite apples to apples in that the 1760 has more steel in each hook.
As an example the standard wire TMC 2302 runs about $5.60 per 25 pack, but the TMC 5262, 2X heavy wire hook (see review link below) runs about $6.15 per 25 pack. Be that as it may, it didn't take long for me to discover that the $6.50 per 25 pack for the 1760 was a touch expensive in the age of the internet. I have seen the 25 packs for as low as $5.25 per 25 pack in sizes 8 - 18; with sizes 4 & 6 running $7 per pack. In sizes 8 - 18, I've found the 100 packs for $15.90; with, again, sizes 4 & 6 running a bit more at... sitting down?... $22.70 per 100 pack.
There is another very real advantage that Daiichi has over Tiemco when it comes to pricing. If you're serious; enough of a realist to know that when you've found a product that works well for you - they'll discontinue it sooner or later; or, just someone who knows enough to lay in a good supply when you find a deal of so that you're never caught having to pay premium prices, then Daiichi also offers these in a 1,000-pack (which is really ten, 100-packs in a single box). Even if the 1760 were listed on the Angler Sport Group website, they generally don't provide an MSRP for the 1,000 packs. Based on personal experience, I can tell you that shopping around can pay dividends as the actual ‘street price' can be quite a range.
I have yet to hook a truly large trout, especially one with an attitude, on the Daiichi 1760; but, there have been quite a number of ‘em from 8" - 14" - give or take a little on both ends. Frankly, I'd see the TMC 2302 ‘bending straight' long before the 1760; and I have had some pretty big, strong trout in need of a little attitude adjustment on those. Again, the point is that the 1760 is a true, bottom-bouncing nymph hook where the 2302 is a standard wire hook that tries to split the difference between ‘dry' and a ‘light' nymphing duties. (In a simplistic sense, think of it as a TMC 5262 shaped to look like a TMC 2302.)
Hook penetration is good, even on smaller fish. As alluded to above, there are proponents of the "lighter wire = better penetration and easier on the fish" school of thought. More power to ‘em. There are times when I use light wire hooks for ‘nymphs;' but, my reasoning has more to do with where I want the pattern to end up in the water column than any thoughts as to penetration. The chemically sharpened point on the 1760, even with the 2X heavy wire, sets solidly. In fact, I can't think of any fish that I've "had problems with" on the 1760 where I could honestly blame the hook.
Quite the opposite, in fact... For instance, there was this one trout that turned out to be 21" - 22" long I hooked a couple of months back while experimenting with a new fly line...
Oh well. I'll spare you the story since it would be more appropriate for that review.
Other Fly Tying Hooks Reviewed
Daiichi 1110; Daiichi 1120; Daiichi 1270; Daiichi 1560; Daiichi 1710; Dai-Riki 135; Dai-Riki 270; Mustad 94840; Mustad 9671; Mustad 9672; TMC 100; TMC 200R; TMC 2457; TMC 3761; TMC 5262; TMC 5263
Reviews of Fly Patterns Cited Above
Copper John; Red Fox Squirrel Hair Nymph; Biot Epoxy Stone; Wulff Dry Flies; Kaufmann's Stimulator; Elk Hair Caddis
Other Reviews Cited Above
Creative Fly Tying by Mike Mercer; Lee Wulff On Flies; Trout on a Fly
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