Fulling Mill Short Shank Barbless Hook Review
The Fulling Mill Short Shank Barbless Hook
For the past few years I have been working as fulling Mill ambassador and I’m lucky to often test new products before they are released to the public. This was the case with the new Fulling Mill Short Shank Barbless hook and I was certainly very excited to give them an outing. Almost all of my still water fishing is now done on a catch and release basis, I have been working on converting all my boxes to barbless for the past few years.
Whilst Fulling Mill have already produced many excellent barbless hooks, such as the heavy weight champ and grab gape there has been a definite gap in the market for a high quality wide gape barbless hook – enter the Fulling Mill Short Shank Barbless Hook.
For years the barbed Fulling Mill Short Shank Special has been a very popular hook amongst UK anglers. The larger sizes are ideal as the wider gape is ideal for blob and booby patterns whilst the smaller sizes are perfect for tying small dries and nymphs.
Fulling Mill have designed the Short Shank Barbless Hook in both bronze (here) and black nickel (here) which allow you to select the best finish to compliment the flies you are tying. I like the bronze finish for bright flies whilst I prefer the black nickel finish for dark and more natural patterns.
When the hooks arrived I immediately liked the look of them and tied up a small selection to try on my upcoming stillwater sessions. I used the larger sizes in 6’s and 8’s to produce a selection of blobs and small tadpoles whilst the 10’s – 14’s were perfect for nymphs, buzzers and CDC dry flies.
First impressions upon using the hooks were very positive! The hooks are very sharp and demonstrated very impressive fish holding properties. I fished a range of methods and had no issues with any of the hooks straightening – I even happened to land a rainbow approaching 20lbs in weight n the size 8 Fulling Mill Short Shank Barbless Hook.
At the start of the day I concentrated on using the lure patterns. I fished a classic black tadpole on the size 6 hook and whilst the fish tapped the tail of the fly, when they committed to take the fly they were always well hooked and I was able to bully them to the net very quickly. I found the Short Shank Barbless Hook strong and reliable that allows you to land fish quickly – An issue that is very important for both fish welfare and competition fishing! Due to the sheer size of the gape, these hooks will definitely be a great addition to any loch style anglers who fish lure patterns.
Later in the day when the weather warmed, I was able to get some action on the smaller hooks. A black buzzer fished under an indicator was particularly effective, the takes were very gentle so the indicator proved vital, despite the gentle takes the FM Short Shank Barbless hooks still hooked the fish very well and I landed almost every fish that I connected with.
As the end of the day grew close, the few fish began to move in small sheltered bay. I decided to target these fish with a small dry fly pattern, a single cdc shuttlecock pattern on a size 14. With a number of fish rising close to the bank, I degreased the copolymer tippet and cast gently in front of the fish closest to the shore. It wasn’t long before the fish took with confidence and once again safely made it to the net.
Overall I had a brilliant days fishing and am already confident in the ability of the new Fulling Mill Short Shank Barbless Hooks! I am looking forward to continuing to use these hooks this year.
I also think they have a great potential for river patterns. If you’re looking to use a large bead on a small hook the large gape of the Short Shank Barbless Hook would be perfect.