Micro Fishing Hooks
Micro fishing hooks are either hooks specifically designed for small fish, like the tanago hooks used in Japan, or fly tying hooks intended for very small flies but useful for very small fish as well.
Just to be clear, though, it is not necessary to use these hooks to fish with one of the Soyokaze rods. The rods are perfectly capable of catching sunfish, and trout, bass, etc. up to 12" or so, on "normal" sized hooks. The tanago hooks are specifically designed for fish that have very tiny mouths - too small for even the size 26 fly hooks. The size of the tanago hooks, and also the shape of the hooks, makes them much more effective for extremely small fish, but perhaps less effective for larger fish.
Here in the US, tanago hooks have not been available so people have resorted to using midge hooks. The smallest fly hook is a size 32, made by Tiemco. I carry Daiichi rather than Teimco, and the smallest that Daiichi carries is a size 26. That is still a mighty small hook, and will not be too large for most micro fishing.
Obviously, it can be used for flies, either midges, midge larvae, micro caddis or even small ants. Many (probably most) micro fishers use bait, often just the tiniest bit of worm to cover the hook point and barb.
If you wish to use flies, though, and many very small fish do eat very small flies, these would make good micro fishing hooks.
The Daiichi 1110 size 26 is described as a wide gape dry fly hook, model perfect bend, oversized straight eye, 1X fine wire, mini barb. Mini barb? Everything about the hook is Mini!
Daiichi 1110, size 26, 25 hooks - $5
Midge hooks were designed for small flies, but they were also designed for large fish. The gape is small because it is a small hook overall, but it may still be a bit too large for the smallest fish.
Midge hook, tanago hook and millimeter scale
In Japan, where people fish for small fish, they use hooks specifically designed for catching small fish. And by small fish, I mean really small fish. There seems to be a general goal to catch a fish that will fit on a 1 yen coin. A 1 yen coin is 20 mm in diameter - about 3/4".
The hooks used to catch these small fish have a very different shape than fly hooks. Although the overall length of the tanago hook is longer than the smallest fly hooks, the point of the hook is much shorter.
The hooks are not designed for the fish to take the whole hook in it's mouth. They are shaped so that the point of the hook is taken into the mouth and the hook is set with the slightest tightening of the line. These are bait hooks, and you only need enough bait to cover the point of the hook - either the smallest bit of worm or a tiny bit of dough. When my wife was a girl, she fished for tanago with a single grain of rice for bait. With these hooks, a quarter of a grain - maybe even an eighth - would do.
Tanago hooks are available both loose and snelled. Snelled hooks are not that popular in the US, but then again, the tanago hooks do not have eyes. Thus, if you do not buy them snelled you'll have to snell them yourself. Unless you have very good eyes, you'd better have a fly tying vise, a magnifying glass and good light. There is an illustration on the package for how to snell the hook, but still.
I have packages of both loose and snelled tanago hooks, and both are the same price - you just get more hooks if you buy them loose rather than snelled. The snelled hooks have a 45cm snell, almost 18", of 1.2# test red mono (Japanese line size .3, where size 1 is 4# test).
If you are going to use bait, and most micro fishers do, you won't find better micro fishing hooks in the US.
Owner Tanago Hooks (New Half Moon) loose, 21 hooks - $4
Owner Tanago Hooks (New Half Moon) snelled, 10 hooks - $4
Just like there's more than one shape of fly fishing hooks, there's more than one one shape of tanago hooks. I got in another hook, and this one's a bit more extreme (at least to my eye) than the New Half Moon. I think this hook is called "Smallest."
Out of the package, the point length appears to be a bit shorter than the New Half Moon (although the millimeter marks on my rule are not nearly fine enough to tell). I think this is the shape that the extreme hard core tanago fishermen grind down with a microscope and jewelers' files, shortening the point even further, so that it can be taken by the smallest of fish. I'm not that extreme (at least not yet).
Owner Tanago Hooks (Smallest) loose, 21 hooks - $4
Owner Tanago Hooks (Smallest) snelled, 10 hooks - $4
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