Fulling Mill Ultimate Dry Fly Hook – Review
I was lucky enough to be sent some of the new Fulling Mill Ultimate Dry Fly Hooks to test earlier in the year and over the past few months I have been putting these new hooks through their paces on all my river sessions.
When I first received the hooks I immediately liked the look of them, the shape of the hook is very similar to the dry fly hooks I normally use but I did notice that the wire was slightly heavier than the Timeco 103BL dry fly hooks I normally use.
To begin with I tied a small selection of dries on the different sizes, mostly tying buoyant sedge patterns on the larger size 12 and 14 hooks, olive and spinners patterns on the size 16 and 18s and finally some very small midge and aphid patterns on the size 20 versions.
Any fears that the slightly heavier wire would effect the buoyancy of the flies was soon eliminated. As I had expected, all my parachute and deer hair based flies remained extremely buoyant but I also found that even small sparse patterns tied with only 1 or 2 CDC feathers also floated perfectly.
I have also found that these hooks, hook and hold the fish very well and the vast majority of the fish I have hooked have made it safely to the landing net, as a competition angler this is very important!
I have found that whilst the slightly heavier wire of these hooks actually has some advantages in certain situations. I have fished a few spots this year were fish have been rising in gaps in heavy weed, both on my local rivers and also on my travels to Ireland. In these situations you really need to increase the strength of your tippet and play fish quite hard, even small fish can quickly get into the weed if you are not quick to apply pressure. In the past I have found that fine hooks can straighten, even on relatively small fish however the Size 14 Fulling Mill Ultimate Dry Hooks have not straightened at any point even when fighting fish in some extremely weedy areas!
This got me thinking about other uses and recently I have tied some micro nymph patterns on these hooks for fishing with tiny tungsten beads in very shallow or slow water. Early tests have been very positive and I have been using these hooks with 1.5 or 2mm beads, they retain their fish holding qualities and being slightly heavier in the wire they are more durable if they come in contact with the bottom of the river.
I look forward to using these hooks further in the coming months and if they continue to perform as well as they have so far they could quickly become my go-to all-round lightweight river hook.