Making a traditional fishing hook pattern by hand for a classic salmon fly.

Cosimo Raia contacted us from Italy recently looking for sources of vintage salmon flies and salmon hooks of the Victorian era and early 20th century.

He makes hooks by hand as a hobby and is hoping to reproduce more of the classic patterns of salmon hooks if he can find good examples.

This sounded so interesting that we asked Cosimo if he would share some photographs of his hooks with us and his process so we could share them with you. Please enjoy this selection of images below and if you can help him with his search for vintage salmon flies and hooks please email him here.

“Hookmaking is my hobby”

  1.    I start from annealed High Carbon steel wire with different diameters
       according the size of the hooks.
  2.    At the moment I make Limerick hooks and also hooks according to the
       Phillips shape.
  3.    With a special tool I cut the barb and start to file the wire. Then with
       other specialised tools (different according the size of the hook) and
       pliers I make the shape. Then the shank is filed and the wire
       tempered.
  4.    After tempering the hook is cleaned  (very, very well) and put in
       acetone for a while….. then the tempered hook is varnished according
       to the original Japanning technique….left in the oven at a special temperature
       for hours….. with usually two or three lacquer layers being applied.

All my hooks are hand made – no electronic or other devices are used – only the oven.

Each hook takes hours to complete and I can make just 2 or 3 hooks a day.

(please click on any image below to view them in a larger size)

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