Many people rig their hooks with looped trailing hook wire, which goes through the eye of the hook and is lashed down along both sides of the hook. This is a good way to rig a hook, but more and more we are using a "Classic Intruder Rig", using our junction tubing. All of our OPST steelhead flies except the Graboid Leech are set up to be rigged this way. It may look more involved but it's really pretty simple. Here's how it works:
- Put the tippet through the hook eye, and slide it down along the shank, parting the fly's materials as you go.
- Put the tippet through a small mono loop (you have to tie this in to the fly, but it's easier than lashing down trailing hook wire.
- Slide the tippet through a short section of OPST Junction Tubing, which should be long enough to snug on to your shank as well as the hook eye with some left over.
- There are two possibilities here. One is to tie the tippet to your OPST Swing Hook with an improved clinch knot, and snug the OPST Junction Tubing on to both the hook and the hook shank. The other is to tie a loop knot, and to snug the loop knot into the junction tubing, and leave the hook dangling free. Some people prefer one way or the other, and we have found that they are both good rigs.
This system allows you to use any hook you want, and it allows you flexibility in where to place the hook. As in a tube fly, it also allows the hook to slide free from the shank, reducing the leverage and swing weight that can work a fly free from a fish's mouth.
More than once we have tied flies the other way, with trailing hook wire, and made the loop too small, preventing us from using a proper hook! When you've tied a really nice fly and you find out that you can't use it, it's a huge bummer. The Classic Intruder Rig prevents this. For an excellent Classic Intruder Rig, check out OPST Junction Tubing and Swing Hooks. If you have questions, get in touch with us over the phone at 206-858-8476 or over email at firstname.lastname@example.org.