What are Wychwood Hook Hold fly boxes?
The Hook Hold range is Wychwood's new collection of silicone-slit fly boxes. Pretty much everyone making fly boxes is now switching over from slotted to foam to silicone as it provides so much more durability and a better grip on flies.
While foam slotted fly boxes tend to wear out after a few years, causing flies to fall out, slotted silicone fly boxes promise greater resilience, so your fly box could last you a lifetime. In addition to having the toughest silicone inserts of any fly box I've used, these also have a number of other neat features that make them particularly handy.
What sizes are these fly boxes?
There are several different fly boxes in the Wychwood Hook Hold range. All of them are great looking fly boxes and are very smartly packaged. The range currently includes three models: The Duo, the Double Nymph and the Micro.
The Duo and Double Nymph boxes are a similar size to the popular Fulling Mill Silicone Fly Boxes and Tacky Fly Boxes, measuring around 19cm x 10cm. The Micro is a tad smaller at about 13.8cm x 9.5cm, but they're all just under 2cm thick. This means they fit inside the average pocket, chest pack or waist pack, and can hold flies of most sizes, with the exception of really busy patterns with big hackles or those tied on big hooks.
|The Micro||The Duo||The Double Nymph|
|Capacity||Up to 74 flies||Up to 80 flies||Up to 131 flies|
|Size||13.8cm x 9.5cm x 1.8cm||19cm x 10.4cm x 1.8cm||19cm x 10cm x 1.8cm|
|Dry fly chambers||No||Yes||No|
What are the white sections on The Duo?
The Duo Hook Hold box is designed for dry flies and includes a couple of small chambers at one end to hold smaller dry flies. These have magnetic backs which hold the hooks in place without squashing the fly and damaging its hackle.
It's greater for smaller patterns, like Griffiths' Gnats, which would be a struggle to get into the silicone slits without damaging the fly. The magnets are strong enough to hold the flies in place if you drop the box or if a gust of wind catches you.
How are the slots arranged?
As with other silicone insert fly boxes, the Wychwood Hook Hold boxes all have staggered slits. These help you fit more flies into the box since the eye end of one fly lays neatly between the back ends of two others. As these boxes have a locking mechanism on one side, this does encroach a little onto the insert, which slightly reduces the capacity in places, but it's not particularly noticeable.
What is the silicone insert like?
The Hook Hold name is quite apt. Wychwood says it's using a different type of silicone insert to the rest of the competition and this is noticeably firmer. You have to use a bit of force to push the flies in. Once in place, you can easily shake the fly box while upside down and even bang it, and the flies remain stuck in place. The grip is really impressive.
What are they like to use?
These are great quality fly boxes that are easily on par with the best of the competition. They look great and feature a snap lock mechanism and tougher silicone inserts that those of rivals and they're just the right size to go in most jacket pockets or chest or hip packs. The magnetic chambers of The Duo are excellent if you fish smaller dries, and the snap lock mechanism means your flies should stay dry even if you fall in or wade too deep.
There is one minor downside, however. While the black silicone looks good, in fading light it can be a bit harder to locate the slot into which to replace your fly. However, once in the slot, you do have extra confidence that it's not going to fall out again, as you do need to push the bend in firmly to secure it.
If you fish competitions to international rules, you'll like the little fly gauge on the back of the box, which lets you double check that your pattern is the correct size to go by the rules.
How much do they cost?
The Wychwood Hook Hold fly box range is priced similarly to the other similar ones on the market, making them very good value for money. If you're buying a new fly box, it's definitely worth considering one of these, especially over a foam based one. They're good looking, great to use and feel extremely robust. The only downside is the firmness and colour of the silicone - softer, brighter coloured silicone would make hook insertion easier.
More information: Wychwood Game