In the last few years we are starting to see many new creations in fly tying and the fly tying industry. Many of today's patterns are tied much larger and incorporate the use of free flowing materials such as marabou, rhea, ostrich, and amherst tail to name a few. This allows the tier to create a large fly with a big silhouette, lots of movement, and fairly sparse making them a bit easier to cast. Many of these flies are tied on either shanks or tubes allowing one to use a stinger hook and change out a hook if it becomes bent or dull.
One of the most popular stinger hooks is Gamakatsu's Octopus hook. While these are good hooks, I find themfairly light wire and very easy to bend or have straighten out on a big fish. Owner makes a similar hook, SSW Cutting Point, which has the same size and bend but is a heavier wire and virtually impossible to bed or straighten. These are both popular hooks but my favorite stinger hook is the Gamakatsu Split Shot/Drop Shot hook. This hook is a little heavier wire than the Octopus but has a unique bend which seems to penetrate very well and has had a good hook to land ratio for myself and a few other friends. This is also a favorite hook of well known steelhead guides Scott Howell and Mike McCune. Check them out on your next steelhead outing.