As I hope they have been for many tyers, for years Ahrex has been my go-to brand for streamer hooks. I was familiar with the black nickel-finish, the chemically-sharpened hook points and the obvious passion for fly tying and fly fishing that the company is rooted in. I knew what to expect from the Danish brand in that sense. What I did not expect, however, was to be sent for product testing a selection of large, wide hooks designed specifically for salt water. Confession time: I’ve never fished the salt, and I’m not ocean-bound anytime soon. Thankfully, many of Ahrex’s extensive salt-aimed hooks are “crossover” hooks. My testing grounds wouldn’t be totally out of the hook’s target waters. However, to truly put the product through the ringer, I knew I had to find heavy, toothy fish. Thinking creatively, I tied up a series of Paul Monoghan’s reverse bulkheads—a non-traditional pike fly which, because of its reverse-tied fibres, are light and easy to cast. But just like there are no saltwater species in my homewaters, neither are there any pike. Instead, with this baitfish profile I’d be going for big, aggressive bull trout.
I’m happy to report there were minimal issues with locating the target species, and there were absolutely zero issues with the hooks. The points stayed sharp, the fish stayed on (even with the barbs filed off) and not once was I worried about a hook bending or twisting. For the indefinite future, Ahrex will remain my go-to.
Reviewed by: Dana Harrison