Status of Hook & Hackle?

A place to discuss the collecting and tying of classic flies, the tyers who made them famous, the tools, materials and techniques they used as well as the waters they were designed for. While classic is generally used to describe old things, classic is also used in the sense of first class or in the highest form. Therefore a fully dressed Salmon Fly, or a Carrie Stevens Streamer are just as much classics as a Chernobyl Ant would be. Enjoy the forum.

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flyfishermann1955
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Status of Hook & Hackle?

#1

Post by flyfishermann1955 »

Does anyone know what is up with Hook & Hackle?

I know they were having a big sale on tying material. They also
seem to have a new address. I saw a post on the Fiberglass Fly
Rod Forum that says they no longer sell hooks or hackle; in fact--no
fly tying material at all!

Look here: https://fiberglassflyrodders.com/forum/ ... =7&t=70349

Thanks- Ken

Clif Sikes
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Re: Status of Hook & Hackle?

#2

Post by Clif Sikes »

Ken,

I bought a few lines from them a couple of months ago. I was told then that the owner no longer wanted to carry tying supplies. Sad news, since I bought a lot from them over the years. I was told that they are referring customers to Feather Craft!

Clif

PYochim
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Re: Status of Hook & Hackle?

#3

Post by PYochim »

If they no longer carrying tying supplies they need to change their name.

bassman
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Re: Status of Hook & Hackle?

#4

Post by bassman »

PYochim wrote:
10/14/20 22:25
If they no longer carrying tying supplies they need to change their name.
Ya' think? Kind of attracts the wrong clientele if you don't sell your companies name stock.

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DrLogik
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Re: Status of Hook & Hackle?

#5

Post by DrLogik »

I think selling fly tying materials and equipment is a very tough business given the cyclic nature of fly fishing's popularity, the shifting demand of "what's cool" and carrying inventory all the time. All of the cool flies seem to be called "Rocko's Glitter Ball Sparkling Emerger" made with no natural materials at all, except for the steel hook which is made from Iron, coke and limestone...

jeffkn1
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Re: Status of Hook & Hackle?

#6

Post by jeffkn1 »

I shouldn't cut 'em any slack because I've always believed they were a factor in the demise of many a small independent fly tackle dealer over the last three decades, but selling 50-cent ziplocks of fur is a tough way to make a living. I'm surprised he lasted that long and I suspect that the internet was his payback for undercutting brick and mortar businesses all those years.

Over-the-counter customer to me: I can buy these Mustads a buck cheaper at H&H

Me (for the umpteenth time): Could be, but I notice you didn't mail him an order when you needed them in a hurry.

Good luck to them, just the same. Regardless of the name.

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DrLogik
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Re: Status of Hook & Hackle?

#7

Post by DrLogik »

jeffkn1,

The times do change. It seems as though they are now "Just Another Online Fly Shop" selling the same stuff as every other shop trying to eek-out a living and profit. Commodity product is a tough game also!

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mer
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Re: Status of Hook & Hackle?

#8

Post by mer »

I admit I've ordered a few things from H&H over the years, but it's been mostly on the "hook" side of things. Lines, a reel or two.
Fly tying material, even hooks, always preferred to go to my local shop. I've been lucky, I've been dealing with the same guys for almost 30 years now. It's not just "the stuff", it's the people that I enjoy.
Do they have an online presence? Yep, almost mandatory now, but I can still open the door and spend a couple hours just buying a pack of hooks.

jim royston
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Re: Status of Hook & Hackle?

#9

Post by jim royston »

I can't imagine a business that is more SKU (stock keeping unit) intensive with such low unit prices than the fly tying business. It seems like a hard way to make a living. There are exceptions like the Fly Shop in California, but they are not typical in any way.

billems
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Re: Status of Hook & Hackle?

#10

Post by billems »

I was always a classic Mustad holdout, and they were among the last to sell them. I bought my Cortland peach lines from them because no one--no one--in the Twin Cities sold them any longer. I always considered H&H a "mom and pop" shop, though an earlier poster made me aware they were perhaps predators in the demise of the small shops, though I'm not sure of that. I always liked the shop and all its goofy accouterments it offered fisherfolk of average means.

joaniebo
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Re: Status of Hook & Hackle?

#11

Post by joaniebo »

H & H claims their bamboo rod blanks are made in the USA. Wonder who makes these blanks?

Bob

Mistermike
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Re: Status of Hook & Hackle?

#12

Post by Mistermike »

When I began tying I started with simple nymphs patterns that didn't require me to buy lot of different materials. As I gradually expanded my repertoire I recall holding a package of Lemon Wooduck in my hands at the fly shop, debating if I should spend $5 in order to tie some Wd40 's. Little did I know at the moment that eventually I would be spending far more than that on materials without blinking an eye. I do buy most of my materials locally, but I had the misfortune of starting to tie dry flies precisely when the hackle-in-the-hair fad was picking up full steam. Try as I might, unless I wanted to get into a bidding war with a hairdresser on Ebay, there simply was no hackle to be had. Out of desperation I called many shops across the country, and Hook and Hackle was the only shop that had hackle. I spoke with Ron I believe, and as a relatively new tyer, found him to be very helpful, patient, and he had a great attitude. I bought several of their house brand necks and they were of good quality as promised. I have also been satisfied with their lines and hooks. Though I most often buy locally I thought they were a class operation and I think it's too bad they decided to get out of this increasingly crowded market.

john8
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Re: Status of Hook & Hackle?

#13

Post by john8 »

I as well as my father bought lots of stuff from them over the years from fly rod blanks and rod parts to fly tying materials to waders. My dad started buying from them back in the 1970s so they have been around for quite awhile, I thought they were great as there were not any fly shops in our area. Originally they were located in New York, the original owner retired and he sold the business. The guy who bought it moved it to I think MCKeesport, Pa as that is where he was from and he wanted to try and bring some business back to his hometown which was in pretty bad shape. My dad was from Duquesne which was right across the river and those areas were in rough shape for awhile maybe still are. Anyway They always had gear at affordable prices also they were one of the few places you could buy rod building supplies and build your own rod. We built a bunch of rods over the years using their blanks and supplies which was great and helped to save money, etc. not sure about putting any fly shops out of business but I thought they were always good as not every place in the country has a local fly shop or carried the products that they had. For many years there was no local fly shop in my area and I know many others who were in the same boat with no local shop.

PA Limestoner
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Re: Status of Hook & Hackle?

#14

Post by PA Limestoner »

I have known Ron Weiss, owner of H & H for over 25 years, long before he bought the company and moved it to Homestead PA. He leased a small warehouse there to run his business and the amount of product he stocked there was astounding. New owners bought the building and weren't very forthcoming with Ron, so he decided to move to Carnegie PA outside of Pittsburgh, which is actually closer to his home now than his old location. At the time of the move he was clearing out tying inventory to make his move easier. He intends to keep selling rod making supplies but he's not sure about restocking the fly tying components.

From the beginning, Ron has been committed to internet sales, without a traditional retail operation. He still has a sizeable mail order/phone order business from customers who don't have the best internet access. his last catalog had about 10K copies printed and mailed.

perfesser
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Re: Status of Hook & Hackle?

#15

Post by perfesser »

h&h have a 20% discount for veterans and active duty military, a commendable offer in these times.

Fats62
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Re: Status of Hook & Hackle?

#16

Post by Fats62 »

When I first started tying back in the late 80's I was stationed at Plattsburgh AFB, NY where they were located. Even living there they wouldn't let you pick up local you had to wait on the mail!! It's a shame to hear they might not carry fly materials anymore!!!

Booman2
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Re: Status of Hook & Hackle?

#17

Post by Booman2 »

As a retired military disabled veteran, a appreciate the 20% discount, but beyond that I thank H&H for their support to my local fishing club's rod building class. They have been here for us for a long time, and my experiences have always been excellent.
BTW, I live in a county of about 500,000 and no fly shop.

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