Big Game Shank Q & A:
Q: What are the typical “Big Game” species that anglers are now targeting with fly rods?
A: One of the most exciting developments in modern fly fishing is that our equipment (fly rods, reels, line, tippet and larger flies) now enable anglers to target almost any fish species previously considered nearly impossible to land with a fly rod. Even marlin and sailfish are now regularly being targeted and caught using fly rods!
Generally in freshwater, the Big Game Shank will be used for tying large flies to target predator species such as musky, pike, peacock bass, golden dorado, tiger fish and larger lake trout.
Generally in saltwater, the Big Game Shank will be used for tying large flies to target predator species such as barracuda, striped bass, roosterfish , or Spanish mackerel, and offshore species such tuna, sailfish, and mahi-mahi, just to name a few.
CLICK HERE to view some big game fly examples.
Q: How many sizes are there?
A: There are three sizes: 28mm (1 1/8”), 40mm (1 5/8”) and 80mm (3 1/8”) lengths.
Q: How many shanks do I get in a pack?
A: There are twenty x 28mm shanks per pack, sixteen x 40mm shanks per pack and twelve x 80mm shanks per pack.
Q: What size hooks can be used with the Big Game Shanks?
A: The BGS uses a heavier gauge (thickness/diameter) wire which means that the diameter of the hook eye needs to be slightly bigger in order to fit on the shank. The eye diameter will vary between different hooks, but generally most hooks from size #1 up to 7/0 will fit comfortably.
Q: Why does the Big Game Shank have “extended length, with oversized front and back-loops?”
A: We have extended the length of the wire loops as much as possible so they can be tied down further along the shank. This adds strength to the loop and helps prevents a bigger fish “pulling out” the loop during an extended fight.
A: The BGS has larger, oversized loops so the eye of the fly has enough room to use a heavy duty bite tippet. In addition, the larger loop creates space for bigger hooks (6/0 or 7/0) to move freely on the back loop.
Q: Can the Big Game Shank be used in saltwater?
A: Yes, the BGS is made of stainless steel.
Peter Koga lands a Yellowtail using Al Q’s “Q-Calamari Squid” fly
For the link to Al Q’s killer squid pattern click here: http://www.flyfishinsalt.com/techniques/fly-tying/tie-q-calamari-squid-fly
Q: What is the basic method for tying flies using the Big Game Shank?
A: Typically most flies will be single hook flies on a single shank with the hook positioned towards the back of the fly. The fly is tied in two basic steps:
First, put your hook in the vice and tie the tail section of the fly.
Second, attach the shank and tie the body and head section of the fly. To do this, thread the hook (back section) onto the back loop of the BGS. Then put the BGS in your vice held in place by the back loop. Attach your tying thread to the shank and lay a strong thread base along the entire length of the shank. In the process you will be “closing the back loop” with your thread. We suggest you use a strong Gel Spun or Kevlar thread and make the thread base as thick and strong as possible. When complete, cover and seal the thread base with a layer of Super Glue, epoxy or Clear Cure Goo to add strength.
Q: Will the Big Game Shank fit the Fish-Skull™ Baitfish Heads?
A: Yes, the LARGE SIZE Fish-Skulls can be used with the BGS.
Q: Can multiple shanks be “daisy-chained” together to tie longer and more articulated flies?
A: Yes, this is an increasingly popular method of tying extra-large articulated streamers. The fly can be constructed in several different segments using a shank for each section. Below is an example of a 3 section fly.