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Ahrex Saltwater Fly Tying Hook Buyer's Guide

Ahrex has taken over as one of the premier manufacturers of high quality fly tying hooks. Most tyers are familiar with the brand, but the wide range of general and niche options can prove to be confusing. This is a buyers guide to help you understand the different properties and applications of the complete saltwater series of hooks currently offered by Ahrex.

SA210 Bob Clouser

Straight eye streamer hook tied to the specifications of Bob Clouser himself. The balance of shank length and hook gap makes it a great all around saltwater hook. Perfect whenever you want a more traditional streamer style hook but with a bit wider gap and stout wire gauge. Although originally designed with Bob’s famous clouser minnow in mind, these are extremely versatile hooks that every saltwater tyer should have in their arsenal. Available from #8 - 5/0 to cover a huge range of tying applications.

SA220 Streamer

The SA220 is a traditional style streamer hook that is suitable for a wide range of saltwater patterns. Anyone who likes the look and versatility of classic O’Shaughnessy style hooks will appreciate the SA220. Flatwings, deceivers, clousers and almost any other standby patterns you can think of fit nicely on the SA220. Available in #10 - 1/0. 

SA250 Shrimp

As the name suggests, the SA250 was designed with shrimp patterns in mind. The slight bend in the shank imitates a natural shrimp profile, and it allows for easier keeling with light dumbbells or bead chain. It also brings the hook point in line with the eye, meaning greater hookset pressure. Although this is the quintessential shrimp hook, it also works great for a range of tropical patterns like gotcha’s as well as high-tie clousers and other New England flats staples. The shape of the SA250 means that it can also accommodate bendback designs, allowing for even more creativity in your skinny water patterns. Available from sizes #8 - #2.

SA254 Salt Jig

Presenting flies around structure or slow crawling them along the bottom is common practice in the saltwater world. The SA254 is the perfect option anytime you want a hook point up presentation. It accommodates a range of new and classic flats patterns from crabs to clousers. The SA254 is one of the only jig hooks on the market that has true saltwater grade corrosion resistance and stout wire gauge. It is geared towards small and medium profiles from sizes #6 - 1/0. Whether slow rolling sparse clousers over eelgrass in New England or dragging a crab in front of a permit in Belize, the SA254 is a great choice.

SA258 CA Bendback

Designed in collaboration with Chris Adams, the SA258 has taken the bendback platform and optimized it for saltwater performance. Featuring thick gauge wire, corrosion resistant finish, and a generous tie in section, this hook allows tyers to build large water pushing flies that are effectively weedless. This is a game changer for anyone who targets large saltwater predators around heavy structure from barnacle covered rocks to thick mangrove roots. The SA258 is available from #2/0 - 6/0. If you are interested in tying smaller bendbacks, check out the PR258, which has the same shape but with a thinner wire gauge and is available from #6 - 1/0.

SA 270 Bluewater

The Bluewater has become a staple in the saltwater fly tying world over the last few years. As the name suggests, the SA270 is designed for the biggest and baddest species. Featuring a short shank, wide gap, and thick gauge corrosion resistant steel, is one of the strongest fly hooks commercially available. It has garnered its widespread popularity as the best option for tying large profiled flies such as Bob Pop’s Beast fleye. Its thick wire gauge and wide gap allow it to keel these huge profiles and keep them tracking straight through the retrieve. The thick wire tapers down to a needle point which drives the hook home with the help of a firm strip set. Available in size #2/0 - 8/0, this is a true trophy hunting hook that will perform in the most extreme scenarios.

SA274 Curved Salt

The SA274 is a super wide gap, short shank hook that is perfect for a range of applications. The wide gap keeps fish pinned throughout the fight and provides a serious keel for bulky patterns like game changers and bulkhead hollows. This hook is also great for patterns like surf candies, mushmouths, EP baitfish, and many others. The super wide gap comes at the expense of shank length, which is something to keep in mind. Available in size #12 - 1/0.

SA 280 Saltwater Minnow

The SA280 offers true versatility in a short shank hook. Similar in shape to the SA270 Bluewater, but with a thinner wire gauge, finer point, and is available in a wider range of sizes. The wide gap and stout wire still allow for secure hookups and the strength to tangle with the most powerful saltwater predators. The reduced leverage provided by the short shank means that fish are more likely to stay pinned throughout the fight. For this reason many tyers are adapting a range of patterns onto these short shank hooks. Available in #10 - 2/0.

SA 290/292 Beast Fleye Hooks

Ahrex consulted with the legendary Bob Popovics for this design, and much like everything Bob creates, these hooks are incredible problem solvers. Previously the Ahrex SA 270 Bluewater hook had been the standard for most serious beast fleye tyers but the largest downside of the SA 270 is the short shank. Mono or shank extensions have to be used even for moderately sized fleyes. The SA290 has nearly identical wire gauge and gap width as the SA270 but with an extended shank length to accommodate more bucktail stacks or composite loop heads. The SA292 Beast Fleye Long is identical but has about 10% more shank length than the 290. Although they were designed with huge fleyes in mind, both hooks are also great for any big saltwater patterns from huge deceivers and flatwings to GT brush flies. Both are available from size #4/0 - 8/0.

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