Earlier this year we expressed our excitement about Alaska West alum, Jerry French’s latest steelhead pattern; the Ultra Squid. Why were we so excited? Because the pattern was the first on the market to utilize Jerry’s Ultra Rig; quite possibly the most innovative idea for trailer hook style flies we’ve seen since, well, trailer hooks!
Designed as an entirely new way to rig trailer hook style flies, the Ultra Rig offers solutions to issues commonly encountered with flies tied with trailer loops made of materials like braid or wire. While trailer loops tied with limp braid provide minimal leverage on the hook during the fight, they also have a tendency to foul while casting. On the other hand, trailer loops tied with stiffer wire materials hold the stinger hook in place to eliminate the chance of fouling, but also increase the leverage on the hook during the fight as well as become kinked or damaged over time.
Enter, the Ultra Rig; a trailer loop made from super limp 50 lb. Spiderwire braid over which a piece of flexible silicone tubing is fit to nest tightly between the shank of the fly and the eye of the stinger hook. The result? A stinger hook that holds firmly in place at the back of the fly but provides hardly any leverage on the hook during the fight. Brilliant.
The good folks at Aqua Flies have begun incorporating the Ultra Rig into many of their popular trailer hook style patterns. They’ve also just started releasing their Ultra Rig Kit containing all the components necessary to tie ten of your own patterns rigged Ultra style as well. They even teemed up with Jerry himself to put together a great video on everything you need to know to get started, which you can watch by clicking play below.
Note: If you’re viewing this in a newsletter or a reader, click here to see the video on our website.