Thursday, July 11, 2013

Tiemco TMC 700 - Lament for a Hook

Some of my favorite TMC 700 treatments

About a month ago, I thought I'd stock up on one of my favorite "specialty" hooks, Tiemco's TMC 700. I figured I'd need some for future orders of Connecticut Broodstock salmon flies, as I tie two of my three favorite patterns for CT salmon on these hooks (Mickey Finn and the Same Thing Murray). Little did I know that Tiemco had discontinued this model of hook not too long ago. I was shocked! I was dismayed! How dare they?!?

When I regained my composure, I hunted for sources of remaining stocks of TMC 700s. I started with the elusive size 10s and ordered the other sizes from that particular source to save on shipping. Two sizes were absent, however. TMC 700s in size 1/0 seem to be relatively abundant compared to the other sizes, ironic given that my source carried almost all the other sizes, but not 1/0. Also missing were size 4s. These proved to be the phantom of the group. They're really hard to find for some reason. I put out feelers all over the internet and was contacted by a kind gentleman in Germany who had a bulk bag of 600 for sale. I snatched them up. I didn't really need that many but I had no idea where else to find them. 


Trying not to succumb to the serial material/hook hoarding instinct which comes naturally to fly tyers, I figured 50 of each size is enough to get me through most of the rest of my life. I just have to stop tying commercially on them, which is fine with me and I doubt my customers will mind too much. I only really use them for three patterns; Mickey Finns (for salmon), the Same Thing Murray and various Muddler variations. The thing is I really like them for Muddlers and Mickey Finns. I could live with another hook for Murrays, but I've had so much success with that fly on this hook that I'm too superstitious to change now* (which is ridiculous). 

The difference is in the wire (and the eye)

As you can see in the Tanner Chart above**, they're pretty much the same length as the heavy wire, up eye offerings from both Tiemco and Daiichi. Other than the eye and the limerick bend, the main difference is the weight of the wire. The TMC 700 is a heavy hook. The wire is substantially thicker than the Daiichi 2441 which, due to those $25 off Orvis coupons, has become my mainstay for salmon wet flies***. It appears that the wire on the 700 is marginally thicker than it's cousin, the TMC 7999. I don't really use 7999s though, at least not when I can get $50 worth of Daiichis for $25 two or three times a year. So the TMC 700 is roughly the same size as my normal hook, but weighs more. I've heard it said that down eye hooks fish slightly deeper than up eye hooks, so I like having a few flies tied on 700s to get down a tiny bit more. They really are a terrific Muddler hook if you're not trying to skate it or fish it dry. The TMC 700 is a tough hook for nasty fish. It's sharp, seems to hold well and I doubt many fish are capable of bending it.

So what I already had and what I just bought is going to have to last. At the rate I'm fishing these days, I probably bought 47 too many of each size. I plan to rectify that come autumn, however. What a drag though...I've spoken to several fellow tyers who feel similarly. Tiemco-san, if you're reading this, please let the TMC 700 live again! 

* The same goes for tying it with a moose hair wing. Just about everyone ties it with bear hair, but my first had moose, and they worked, so moose it is forever...(probably equally as ridiculous and superstitious) 

** Gary, if you're reading this, I love your hook comparison charts. Thank you!!

*** The Orvis Salmon Wet-Fly Hook is a rebranded Daiichi 2441. I wish they made a size 10 in this hook. You hear that, Daiichi-san??


  1. Ben - Did you contact TEMCO and see if they are open to re-issuing the hooks or have unsold stocks somewhere? Maybe by fall the water will return to fishable levels....

    1. I would have to learn Japanese first. I think Umpqua used to distribute them in the United States, but I'm not sure that's still the case. At this point, I think I have all I need for myself.

    2. you can contact Tiemco through this link. Their website is in english too.

  2. Ben, glad you like the hook charts! Love your blog, and surely hope to fish with you someday!

    1. Thanks, Gary! I'm definitely looking forward to fishing with you someday...maybe Miramichi or with John in NY sometime...


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