Partridge Flashpoint Series Fly Hooks
reviewed by Whipfinger Ben
For the last few weeks I have been playing with a shipment of Partridge’s new range of trout hooks – the Flashpoint Series. Now I know what your thinking, “Partridge! Not exactly sexy are they?” Fair enough, it’s true that this *respectable* company isn’t really what you might call “radical” in it’s approach. However, what we have here today is something slightly different. In all honesty this is the first time I have been confronted by a product that I can genuinely say is a serious departure from the Partridge of old. By this I don’t mean in general hook quality - as users of the excellent Black and White series will no doubt confirm - but in design.
The whole package just looks tastier and a lot more modern than previously. The labels are as attractive and eye catching as it is possible for a hook label to be, whilst the boxes are ergonomically designed and clip together so you can build your very own ‘modular’ hook collection (Jason). They even have clever new coded names, so no longer do you have to search though you magazine collection to find out what the hell a KRSTYB1 is. Models are simply abbreviated. For example, Barbless Ideal Nymph becomes BIN and so on. Brilliant!
So what makes these hooks different? Well, “flashpoint” is indeed a cool name, but it is more than that, much, much more. If you tie on these hooks women will inexplicably remove their clothes in your presence. Well ok, maybe not, but what it does mean is that this range of hooks undergo a procedure called flash-pointing, whereby a chemical is introduced that eats away at the thinner parts of the wire (i.e. the sharp bit), thus smoothing out any imperfections that may be present. This produces a cleaner, more defined point that is both super strong and razor sharp.
The most startling thing about the range is that they are quite unlike anything this company have ever produced before. In all seriousness if you were to take away the boxes I don’t believe many people would associate these hooks with Partridge. By this I mean that they are not Captain Hamilton’s relabelled and so on, they are unique, individual and sexy.
In addition, the quality of these hooks is exceptional, by far and away some of the best Partridge have ever produced. Believe me when I say that I have examined all 200 packets that were kindly donated and have yet to find a fault in any of them. Yep, no misshapen bends, dull points, wonky eyes or anything else that can possibly go wrong with a fishhook. All models comprise of clean, smooth and very strong wire that displays little or no imperfection.
The 15 models of the flashpoint range have been purposely designed to cover practically every situation a modern trout fisher could face. This I really like. There are too many companies overdoing it in this respect so it’s nice to see that Partridge have narrowed down the plethora of options available to a small series of well thought out designs. It’s also nice to see a third of the selection being barbless, although this could be increased further for my liking.
SLD Surehold lightning Dry Barbless (10 – 20) – If you are looking for an ultra light dry-fly hook then the SLD was made for you (I’d make such a great advertising exec, please note I am looking for work). It comes in a sexy black nickel finish, which is complemented by a down turned eye, wide gape and sleek in-turned point. It looks rather like another well-known dry fly hook, but I feel it may be even lighter.
SUD Surehold Upwing Dry Barbless (8 – 20) – As the name suggests this hook was designed for up-wing patterns. So why do we need one of those? Well you don’t necessarily, but if you are the kind of tier that aims for a more accurately proportioned fly then the slightly longer shank of this model will appeal to you. In addition, the wide gape, round bend and extremely long point makes it an excellent hooker.
Nice general dry fly hook and heavier than the SLD, so also good for those who choose not to live by the seat of their pants.
15BN Klinkhamer (8 – 20) – Missing a little klink from your hamer? Well this is the original klinkhamer hook designed by the creator himself. Perfect for Klinkhamers (no shit!), general emergers and nymphs. Yes! Nymphs! Upside down ones at that. The medium wire, wide gape and *long* sweeping bend make it suitable for a wider range of flies than it is actually advertised for.
BIN Barbless Ideal Nymph and IN Ideal Nymph (8 – 20) – What can I say? It’s a nymph hook. Long shank, down eye and so on. However, don’t buy this thinking it’s just going to be another Captain Hamilton, no, the BIN has a much narrower gape than the old partridge nymph hooks, along with a slightly upward sloping point. Nice, but I feel they encourage the tying of slimmer nymphs.
BMN Big Mouth Nymph (8 – 16) – The best way I can describe this is to call it a gape with an eye stuck on the end. It is quite impressive to behold and I am told that it can actually be used to catch fish in some places. My first thoughts when confronted with the BMN boiled down to the three B’s, Booby, Blob and Bung. Says it all really!
BMD Big Mouth Double (8 – 14) – Don’t know what the hell these are for. E-mail me if you know.
CZ Authentic Czech Nymph (6 – 12) – Apparently these are as close to the original world championship Czech nymph hooks as any company has ever produced – I believe them. They are incredibly strong and comprise of a standard curved design that is slightly shallower than some grub hooks. The point is offset in the extreme, which I was surprised by, but on reflection have warmed to the idea. Partridge have basically dismantled the arguments made by the barbed hook brigade, who normally can’t stretch themselves beyond, “barbless hooks move around more”, by producing a model that completely reverses the argument and stands it on it’s head. The point of this hook prevents excessive movement, thus improving the hook hold, whilst simultaneously pissing people off in the process. I like it a lot, the perfect bug hook.
SHR Barbless Shrimp – (12 – 16) – As above but in smaller sizes. ??????? It’s all I’m going to say.
Additional models available include:
· TWH The Wet (10 – 18)
· TDH The Dry (10 – 20)
· IN Ideal Nymph (8 – 20)
· HND Heavy Nymph Double (8 – 16)
· D3STF Straight Eye Streamer (4 – 8)
· D4AF Bucktail/Streamer (2 – 14)
· GH Gold Headed (8 – 14)
To conclude I would say that partridge have hit the nail on the head with the flashpoint range, producing a series of hooks that are amongst the best on the market. There is something here for everyone, whether you’re looking for the perfect bug or the lightest dry. What more can I say, they come highly recommended.
Partridge of Redditch can be found here.
studies fishery science, "I have to complete 3 environmental survey reports,
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