Andy Taylor reviews Fasna F-500, F-300 and F-800 barbless hooks.
As the drive for us all to be using barbless hooks increases finding a model, which is strong and reliable, is essential for those of us investing in hooks to tie our own flies. Over the last few years I’ve found some barbless hooks to be good whilst others I’ve had problems with the points turning in or straightening on powerful reservoir fish.
Last winter I purchased some of the new Fasna barbless hooks from Toby Merigan at Funky Fly Tying. Initially I selected the models which fitted my main forms of fly fishing- a decent blob hook- the F-500 Blob Barbless; a hook for dries and nymphs- the F-300 Dry/Nymph Barbless and a hook for buzzers and shuttlecock patterns- the F-800 Larva Barbless. Over the last year I’ve tied on these hooks and for most of this season I’ve used them out on the water.
F-500 Blob Barbless
This has now become my number one Blob hook. It’s a black nickel, high-carbon steel, heavyweight hook with a decent gape that has yet to be straightened. I’ve found this one to have a good hook-hold with very few fish lost. This hook comes in four sizes from eight to 14. The size 10 is ideal for Fritz such as Block Jelly and the 12s for small Blobs. One thing to watch with this hook is that there is a small gap at the eye, which the thread can slip into when you start.
F-300 Dry/Nymph Barbless
I’ve used this hook mainly for dries- CDC patterns and Bits which form the main stay of my stillwater dry fly work. The hook comes in six sizes from size ten down to size 20, enough here to cover smallwater patterns, river and reservoir flies. Again this is a black nickel, high carbon steel hook that is stronger than the F-100 dry fly hook and my preferred choice for dries. Another strong hook which as yet hasn’t let me down.
F-800 Larva Barbless
This hook is designed for shrimps, pupa and bugs but for me it has been a buzzer and shuttlecock buzzer hook. It’s ideal for slim thread buzzers, more meatier flex-floss creations and spot on for those who like to tie shuttlecock buzzers on a curved hook. This hook comes in sizes 10 to 18, with small sizes ideal for river flies.
These hooks are superb. The F-500 Blob hook has probably seen the most use in my fishing during 2018. This is a good quality strong hook, with a decent gape and a point that doesn’t turn in. Whilst the F-300 and F-800 haven’t seen the same kind of action, mainly due to the poor nymph and dry fly sport in 2018, these hooks have performed well with the fish caught. On the whole there have been no issues with hooks straightening or breaking. I’m looking forward to trying other barbless hooks in the Fasna range and look forward to seeing what they bring out in 2019.
Andy is the Features Editor of Today’s FlyFisher.com following three years as Editor of Total FlyFisher. Andy is a multi-capped England International in both loch-style and bank disciplines. A qualified instructor and lecturer, Andy has a wealth of fishery management experience.