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OPST Steelhead Shanks – Why We Like ‘Em

Posted on November 10 2015

OPST Steelhead Shanks Review
OPST 75mm Steelhead Shanks. Photo: Kyle Shea.

Finally, the shanks we’ve been waiting for..

We tie a lot of stinger-style flies for salmon and steelhead at our lodges. Judging by many of your comments, you do too!

We’ve been playing around with OPST’s Steelhead Shanks lately. They just might be our favorite all around shank for spinning up large profile patterns for anything from steelhead to king salmon, and today we’re going to tell you why.

OPST Steelhead Shanks – Why We Like ‘Em

  • No ‘Articulated’ Bend. Most shanks used today for trailer-hook style flies were originally designed with ‘articulated’ hooks in mind. This means they have a bend at the back of the shank to allow for a hook to be attached directly to the shank. Most of the time we like to attach our trailer hooks with a loop of braid or wire, eliminating the need for a looped shank. The Steelhead Shanks are an entirely straight shank, buffed down to prevent damage to your stinger loop, and we really like that.
  • Accepts Cones and Beads. Due to the fact that there is no loop on the end of the shank, various hardware such as coneheads, beadheads, and so on are able to slide onto the shank. Plus, with a down turned ring eye, cones and beads are able to slide all the way to the eye of the hook, unlike with most ‘return’ eye shanks available today.
  • Super Strong. Salmon and steelhead are strong fish that can put a lot of leverage on a light wire shank. Tying on strong shanks ensures your flies will be able to stand up to more than one fish and these shanks are plenty strong enough.
  • Awesome Sizes. The Steelhead Shanks come in three popular sizes to cover most trailer-hook flies for steelhead and salmon. The 1 and 2 inch models (32 and 51 mm) cover most popular steelhead patterns, and the extra-long 3 inch model (75 mm) has finally allowed us to tie even larger flies for species like king salmon that until now we were limited to tying on tubes or custom made shanks.

We really, really like these shanks and think if you like tying flies for anadramous fish, you should pick some up at your nearest fly shop.

OPST Steelhead Shanks are available in 1, 2, and 3 inch models and retail for $8.00 per 25. For information, check them out on OPST’s website, here.

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