Fly Tying Sizing (mm to inches..fly size and bead size)

You will often see the size of a fly represented in hook size or in mm’s. I have never easily adjusted to metric and have a rough sense of flies in the 5mm to 60mm range. But, I need to actually see the graph to be sure. I enclose these charts for visuals, realizing you will refer to a ruler, etc.

Bead Chart to Left, courtesy of Wingaersheek Flies


Natural Insect: Black Winter Stonefly (Family: Capniidae)

Imitation: Black Elkhair Caddis

Hook Size: 18-22

So, notice a 5mm fly is about the equivalent of a size 18 to 22  hook. Many references world wide will always utilize mm references for insect size, pattern size, bead size or compare hook size (standard references) to an insect size (in mm’s)


24 Responses to “Fly Tying Sizing (mm to inches..fly size and bead size)”

  1. February 21, 2016 at 11:53

    Thanks for stopping by my blog again. You are one of my best regular viewers, and I appreciate you. 🙂


  2. April 20, 2015 at 16:33

    Great post with a lot of great information you sure put your work in on this post well done .


  3. September 27, 2014 at 18:12

    On another note .. thanks for stopping by “It Is What It Is” and the follow …. I hope you enjoy your visits there. Peace …..


  4. July 5, 2014 at 17:14

    Thanks for reading my blogs. You must be a caring man. I hope your wife appreciates you. Thanks for your support, it means alot. beebeesworld brenda…I forgot your name….


  5. January 17, 2014 at 18:27

    Thanks for reading, Switter! beebee


  6. November 22, 2013 at 19:15

    As always, thanks for reading-I always look at your work-fly fishing or words or whatever you write! beebee


  7. November 13, 2013 at 16:59

    A new picture-I cant even remember how I put photos on my “about” page-I enjoy your varied works…..beebee


  8. 13 raspberryfisher
    October 27, 2013 at 10:02

    Very nice and this goes into my record and notes. Unfortunately, I have found not all beads of the same size fit the same hook. Or the same bead will fit one hook of one size, but not another of the same size. Never-the-less, a great reference to start from.


  9. April 21, 2013 at 22:44

    This is a genuinely well thought out and beautiful blog. How on earth did you find mine and give it a like?


  10. December 19, 2012 at 19:20

    This is great – busy for me, but I KNOW my husband will love this info. Nice blog, and I’ll look for more! Thanks also so much for liking some of my recent posts, “Medford, Oregon”, “Black Bear” and some of the “Rogue” series. It was a great trip.


  11. November 15, 2012 at 19:08

    What a science & art!


  12. March 13, 2011 at 03:44

    Great to see this, but from a European point of view the Bead Chart from Wingaersheek Flies is not correct. In Europe we have had this inch.vs.mm problem for several years so we have used this table:

    1.5mm 1/16″ used for hooks 20,22 & 24
    2.0mm 5/64″ used for hooks 18 & 20
    2.4mm 3/32″ used for hooks 16 & 18
    2.8mm 7/64″ used for hooks 14 & 16
    3.2mm 1/8″ used for hooks 12 & 14
    4.0mm 5/32″ used for hooks 10 & 12
    4.4mm 11/64″ used for hooks 8 & 10
    4.8mm 3/16″ used for hooks 6 & 8
    5.1mm 13/64″ used for hooks 4 & 6
    5.5mm 7/32″ used for hooks 2 & 4

    By the way, great blog. Best regards from Iceland.


  13. December 6, 2009 at 19:03

    great info– definitely snagging that bead chart done in excel as I don’t have my head wrapped around mm’s yet.



  14. 22 FlytoFly
    December 6, 2009 at 17:27

    This is really a great article SwittersB! Very informative and timely! I am spending time trying to tie while it is so cold out! Only one problem, the shop could freeze a guy to death!



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