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Why the need to protect ?
#1
So before i even get this discussion started, please know this is not a slam intended towards the modern hook makers today. 
   I recently had to send my Renzetti master in for service. It broke, and horribly bad. Per Renzetti's comments, it got me to thinking. Why are we all using some sort of protective material over our hooks when we put them in the jaws of our vises ??
   I often tie on vintage Partridge "code" hooks as well as Daiichi's, Alec Jacksons etc etc
I never use any type of protective coating on these hooks and they always come out of the vise flawless. So if i can do this on a "cheap" hook, why the special treatment to the Lucas's, Reinholds, Sundays etc ? If a "cheap" hook is able to withstand the torture of our vises, why not an expensive artisan hook ? I have wondered this for some time but never had the guts to comment, as i don't want to piss anyone off. 
   I'm beginning to think "modern day" hooks just aren't made as well as the old school cheapies. Now don't get me wrong, the modern hooks are gorgeous w their finishes, guttering etc but i am seriously wondering why so fragile ? 
   I believe the main reason why my Renzetti failed was due to using plastic, as a protective, over my hooks. Frankly, i think it's a silly practice and shouldn't be needed. So lets chat, why is this ??
   Again, this is not a slam on modern hook makers, just a question as to why things are as they are.
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#2
Good question Matt. I’m not sure if I need to make some popcorn or to wait for some insights from the experts ( I think the experts are called experts for real good reasons). I know we briefly discussed this subject and did not reach conclusion.

I do think that some of the production hook makers had/have a process that does not change too much and variables are eliminated. Small lot hook makers, I would think, would have many more variables to overcome. Hydogren embrittlement, chemical impurities and batch to batch inconsistencies to name a few.

I have had issues with my own hook making (reworking) and japaning. Some turn out just fine and some do not. It could be just my degreasing process or not stirring up my japan mixture enough.

I purchased a lot of metal components when I was still working. All metal coatings can be easily scratched or chipped. E-coat, black oxide, zinc, etc can be damaged unless it is protected (packaging).

I’m sure Ronn can shed a lot of light on the subject. By the way...I hate popcorn.

Regards,

Marty
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#3
renzetti. pffft.

how can one impair a set of jaws by placing something softer within it?

cheers,
shawn

we have popcorn here described as 'new york'. it's a mixture of toffee flavoured and cheese.
sure, we eat vegemite... but you lot are disgusting.
the difference between art and a hobby is you can plagiarise for a hobby.


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#4
I think exhibition hooks are just that, for looking at and not fishing. I have tried to fish exhibition hooks for a laugh but that did not end very well at all, they just straighten out. Also my renzetti seemed to remove the finish off some hooks so did need plastic or paper to protect.
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#5
and gold plated/accented hooks?
forget about it...

cheers,
shawn
the difference between art and a hobby is you can plagiarise for a hobby.


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#6
(01-21-2019, 08:15 PM)mitch aka 2 fish Wrote: renzetti. pffft.

how can one impair a set of jaws by placing something softer within it?

cheers,
shawn

we have popcorn here described as 'new york'. it's a mixture of toffee flavoured and cheese.
sure, we eat vegemite... but you lot are disgusting.

using plastic in the jaws voids warranty. Because of the cam type lever, using the protective plastic throws off the levers's "proper" throw ( per Renzetti ) i was told my vise broke because i was using it improperly. So are all of us using our vises improperly ? A protective measure makes sense to us but our vises were never intended to be used in this way. My question though was more aimed at why the fragility of a finish on such an expensive hook ?
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#7
Why use hook protection? One would think that commercial hooks would have bullet proof finishes. Not so! Why is this? Tyers who started tying flies for trout are used to positioning the hooks at the small end of the vise jaws and that’s fine for small hooks/flies. The typical salmon fly tyer is tying pretty large flies compared to small trout flies and here is where things start to go downhill.

“…..why the special treatment to the Lucas's, Reinhold’s, Sunday’s etc….” Sunday’s hooks were just painted which bothered many tyers but they likely wouldn’t say it. Also, He was not a hook maker, he was a hook reshaper. Reinhold was a hook maker and he japanned his hooks. In fairness, there are a few, very few real hook makers out there and a handful produce decent hooks. “….Renzetti master in for service. It broke,….” If the jaws broke. If so, the jaws were likely way too tight. If the hooks were deep into the jaws, I doubt it would have broken and the hooks wouldn’t need all that much pressure. The vise company would claim “operator” damage which is expected I guess. Way back when I was just tying trout and steelhead flies the jaws on my Regal chipped. They replaced them with the prior excuse but in my case it was true. I was tying very small flies on hooks too small to go very deep into the jaws. “….If a "cheap" hook is able to withstand the torture of our vises, why not an expensive artisan hook ?” You've been lucky. As I show below, modern and older commercial hooks do get damaged if used improperly. Any hook can be damaged if not used properly! “I believe the main reason why my Renzetti failed was due to using plastic, as a protective, over my hooks. Frankly, i think it's a silly practice and shouldn't be needed. So lets chat, why is this ?? It isn’t. The plastic or whatever will compress around the hook making a “pocket” for the hook which helps to protect the finish and hold the hook. "modern day" hooks just aren't made as well as the old school cheapies. Wrong, we have the best carbon steel ever. Like I said earlier, there are a handful of hook makers that make decent hooks. Finally, “this is not a slam intended towards the modern hook makers today. I kinda think it is.

Think of a hook against vise jaws as a knife. With enough pressure the interface of the surfaces will “cut” through less durable surfaces think the hook finish in this context. So, as the force of contact increases, the less durable surface will fail. This produces compression damage to the surface finish of the hook. Now if the hook moves in the vise jaws, you can get damage by abrasion. In the majority of finish damage will be a combination of these but damage is from compression is more likely to occur.

There are other factors that make finish more likely to fail. The hook position is one of these factors. Big hooks require the hook with wider surface area in contact so mount the hooks deeper into the jaws. Another factor is if the tips of the jaws narrower behind the hook, the more the force of the jaws will want to push the hook forward & out and then the tyer moves the hook in his/her tying will result will be abrasion damage. A third damage can involve a really big hook (10/0 and bigger) where the bend of the hook can be almost straight which can let the hook move sideways which also results in abrasion damage and assisting the hook to move forward. Vises with jaws that close ahead of the hook slightly will minimize potential damage. Another factor is the leverage of longer hooks can increase the chance for damage. I routinely tie really big flies10/0 to 14/0 so I’m continually battling these issues.
The thickness & hardness of the finish on the hook is another consideration. The thinner the finish, the less likely by compression damage but if the hook moves, abrasive damage is likely.

The bottom line is that placing a softer material between the surfaces at least can HELP with keeping our hooks be undamaged after we finish tying them.

The photos below show a variety of hooks with various types of damage. I’ve got hundreds of phots of similar damaged hooks. I didn’t want to show any identifying details to seem like I’m picking on anyone. Most of the dressings on them were tied by very skilled tyers and I’m sure when they saw the damage were not happy. Some were tied on Regal vises and in my opinion those vises will likely damage large hooks. I tied on one for many years when I tied fishing flies but wouldn’t think of mounting a big hook in it.
You will notice the majority of these are commercial hooks. You will see some with thick finishes which are an invitation to hook damage. If abused, even the best finish will fail. A couple of these look like painted finishes and those are the weakest finish of all.


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Happy Trails!

Ronn Lucas, Sr.
ronnlucassr.com
ronn@ronnlucassr.com
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#8
Thanks for commenting Ronn, i was hoping to hear from you.
I do disagree w what you are saying but that's just MO.
I have tied on hundreds and hundreds of old Partridge "code" hooks. AJ's, etc etc. i've never once considered using any type of protectant in the vise while using these hooks. Why would i ? I've tied on them forever and they always come out of the vise looking the same.
When i first got started in this game, i immediately was drawn to the hook protection measure. I didn't understand it. I still don't. If cheap hooks can take this abuse and come out unscathed, why not more expensive hooks ?
You make a beautiful hook Ronn, no question about that. I really wish i could just stuff one of your hooks in my vise, without any kind of protection, and tie a fly.
Seems i'm just beating a dead horse here and that is not my intent. Maybe the next greatest modern hook maker figures it out and the need for a protective finish will go bye bye. I hope that happens.
I'll let this one die now, i knew it would be a soft subject.
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#9
Matt and I have had this discussion one on one recently in combination with thoughts over vises and what may be the way to go if looking for something new. I recently sold a Renzetti Master Series due to my dissatisfaction with it for several reasons...so where to go from here is yet to be determined.

My thoughts on the recommended/needed plastic are simple...like me Tongue   If it helps to keep the hook's finish intact...fine. That old cliche "I'd rather be safe than sorry" fills the bill here...so I'll continue to do just that...no big deal.

The claims that the Cottarelli Vise eliminates the need for the protective layer is fine. Great if the A#1 primary use of the vise is only handmade custom salmon hooks. Very nice piece of equipment for sure, but I'm not certain I'd want it for tying size 22 caddis today and a 4/0 Jock Scott tomorrow just to avoid going the plastic route on my salmon hooks.

I will be taking a serious look at the HMH TRV this Friday at the Fly Fishing Show in Edison, NJ. Its LAW style very ergonomic jaws and over all well thought out setup for tying flies of all sizes just may be the way I go...we shall see.

Finally...I have to admit a certain bias here. I remember my first order of hooks from Ronn 5 or 6 (???) years ago. I received 9 hooks...3 each of 3 different models...I was mesmerized by their shape and the beauty of the finish. Since I finally worked up the cojones to tie on one...nothing else has been the same. I still occasionally tie on something else...but Ronn's hooks are still the gold standard. Heaven knows I've amassed enough of them by this time to last me a LONG time at the pace I tie. Plus Ronn and I have become good buddies separated by a mere 3000 miles Wink

Bottom line...plastic...who cares? As they say downtown...ya gotta do whatcha gotta do!
Petri Heil,
George
The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits - Albert Einstein
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#10
I have one final thought...and a bit of a repeat of what I typed yesterday. Despite the fact I tie at a very casual pace...as in maybe..MAYBE 2 classics per month...I am truly passionate about tying these flies and I love tying them on the very best of hooks.

I find the idea of adding the plastic to protect the finish no big deal. I may not be the best fly tyer and definitely not the best classic salmon fly tyer on the planet, but I always try to do my best and protecting the hook is part of that thinking. This insures the finished product will be the best I can possibly create...and that is all that matters to me!!!
Petri Heil,
George
The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits - Albert Einstein
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