Tinheads Hit The Spot

Tinheads Hit The Spot

Could you please tell me what Tinheads are?
Ian Mitchell

Robbie Winram replies: A Tinhead is a hook that is pre-weighted with a mixture of tin and lead, moulded around the shank just behind the eye of the hook. The advantages are that this ‘blob’ of weight will not come off like shot and it will not move up and down the shank like beads.

Tinhead hooks were the brainwave of Bob Church and Colin Wilson. Jeanette Taylor, a former England ladies international and renowned fly-tyer, then developed the Tinhead fly patterns.

Tinhead hooks were originally available in size 6, 8, and 10 long shank and then a 10 and 12 short shank. A later development was a Tinhead size 10 grub hook with the weight situated in the middle of the hook, ideal for creating grub and shrimp patterns. The last in the series was a size 10 long shank with the weighting at the rear just before the bend of the hook.

There have been literally hundreds of patterns tied on these Tinhead hooks and the possibilities are only limited by the tyer’s imagination. They have been used on small and large stillwaters, fast-running rivers and for targeting coarse fish. One of the most recognisable and used patterns was the Hothead Tadpole with a marabou tail and palmered hackled body. Another favourite was the mini Zonker Tinhead which comprised a rabbit fur wing, grizzle hackle and eyes painted on the Tinhead, incredibly effective in a wide range of colours.

Reprinted with permission of Trout Fisherman magazine.