Bonefish: the Silver Bullet
Bonefish are strong, and fast. Pictured here are two hooks that were reduced to “not hooks” after an encounter with bonefish. The smaller hook is a #6 and the larger a #4, both stainless Mustad® 34007 models.
The larger hook was straightened after a 2-2½ pound bone wrapped the 14-pound leader around a sponge and left town. The smaller hook was left in it’s present condition after a long run by a 5+ pound bonefish. Even though the drag was loose, the sheer pressure created by the drag of 100 feet of fly line through the water was enough to do that damage—opening the hook and ripping most of the material off the fly.
So, if a standard saltwater hook—the type used in most high-end, commercial flies of that time—if that hook was weak, then what hook should I be using. I got myself a collection of hooks, a scale and a pliers and began testing. Here is what I discovered.