The Stonfo Hook Tyer makes it much easier to snell the extremely small tanago hooks. The hooks are available either snelled or unsnelled, but since the hooks do not have eyes, if you do not buy them snelled you will have to snell them yourself. Whether you buy them snelled or unsnelled, the price per package is the same. Just for the convenience factor, most people buy the snelled hooks.
With the unsnelled hooks, though, you get 21 hooks in a package compared to just 10 with the snelled hooks. The loose hooks are essentially half price! The savings from only 3 packages of hooks is enough to pay for the hook sneller.
There are a number of hook snellers on the market. I chose the Stonfo Hook Tyer on the strong recommendation of another micro fisherman, who uses it to snell tanago hooks. That an American web site follows the recommendation of a South African angler to buy an Italian product shows you that micro fishing has gone global!
The hook tyer, which is made in Italy by Stonfo, comes with instructions for how to use it. I have to say, though, that even though the illustrations and the instructions are perfectly clear, it does take some practice to get it right with the small hooks and light lines micro fishermen use. It may be because I'm a fat fingered old fart, but my first few attempts were less than successful. After a while I did get the hang of it, though, and could turn out snelled hooks without much problem.
The photo shows three tanago hooks. The top hook is an Owner New Half Moon that I snelled with the Daiwa .08 (1/3# test) line. The line is so thin it is almost invisible. What you see in the photo is the shadow, not the line. In the middle is a New Half Moon hook I snelled with Stren Hi-Vis Gold 2# test line and the bottom hook is an Owner Smallest hook that was already snelled.
I know there are people who buy the tanago hooks loose and snell them by hand, without tools, standing on a river bank. I might have been able to do that back in my youth, but I certainly couldn't now. Sitting at home in good light, though, with the Stonefo Hook Tyer I can easily snell all the hooks I'll need for a day of micro fishing. It really does make it a lot easier and after just a few packs of hooks the hook sneller pays for itself.
Although I initially started carrying the Stonfo Hook Tyer for snelling tanago hooks, it is also extremely valuable for keiryu fishermen.
Japanese keiryu hooks do not have eyes. They are popular with tenkara fishermen, who tie in an eye of silk cord as the first step in tying their flies. Keiryu fishermen, though, snell them to their tippet.
Although you can snell a replacement hook while standing midstream (and I have done it many times), it really is easier to snell a number of hooks ahead of time and keep them in a Daiwa 1500SK Keiryu Line Holder.
The advantage of using Japanese keiryu hooks (small, light wire and incredibly sharp) overcomes the disadvantage of having to snell them.
Because of slow demand for loose tanago hooks and hook tyers, I no longer stock this item.
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