Ashley Fransis Hand tied Hooklengths

Fri 04 April 14


Trying to find spare time in our busy life’s to tie hooklengths and pole rig is now becoming harder and harder. This time consuming task is an essential part of the match anglers preparation and arguably one of the most time consuming. After browsing the internet and social media pages, I discovered an ever growing number of anglers offering their services to other needing assistance in this department. The way they work is you select the hooks, line and attachments you would normally use in your rig making, choose a boxes you want them stored in, either buy the components yourself or buy them from the rig maker and they tie them to your personal specifications (amen).

So the UKMA team decided to give one of these numerous services a go, to see exactly what type of quality you could expect to get for your money. So after speaking to a few match anglers whose judgement I trust and after making a few other enquiries, one name kept coming up regularly, introducing ASHLEY FRANCIS HAND TIED HOOKLENGHTS & RIGS. The UKMA team made contact with Ashley and after an informative conversation, we sent up all the bits a pieces required to make a selection of hooklengths that we use regularly. So after a 3 week wait, we received our rig boxes back full of hooklengths for our inspection, read on for our full report.

Who is Ashley Francis?

The UKMA team spoke to Ashley and asked for his angling background and here’s what he had to say. “I’ve been fishing since I was about 7 or 8 years old purely as a pleasure angler. Unfortunately, due to my son playing football, I lost about 10 years on the bank and I only got into serious match fishing about 3 or 4 years ago. My best match weight to date is only 114lbs 15oz, so I’m aiming to better that this year as I’ve been really working hard on my feed patterns & getting my tactics right”. Ashley continued “I started tying hook lengths for fishing mates a few years ago, the reputation of my hooklengths soon spread, meaning it was time to branched out and develop the range to what it is today.

I’ve now tied hook lengths for a few well known lad’s over the past year who are always free & willing to give me help & advice with my fishing including Nathan Watson (Fisho Winner) Shane Atkin (Fisho Winner) Andy Findlay (Preston Innovations) Matt Godfrey (Pole Fishing Magazine) Jamie Wilde (Middy & Bag’em) Glenn Butler (Maver) Steven Homewood (Preston Delcac) and some bloke called Ray Best ( to name but a few.

I’m hoping to carry on this year being as busy as ever & trying to introduce some new services to my website on top of the already popular hook tying & rig making.

Feeder Hooklengths

Feeder Hooklengths

After looking at the pre-tied hooklengths available off the shelves at our local tackle shop that the UKMA team trust and use regularly, we decided to get 200, 12inch long feeder hooklengths tied. 100 of the feeder hooklengths incorporated PRESTON INNOVATION’S PR39 barbed hooks for rivers and all other venues where barbed hooks are permitted and PRESTON’S PR36 barbless, for commercial fisheries and venues where barbed hooks are banned, using sizes from 10, 12, 14 & 16 in both patterns. Our line selection for these hooklengths was the very reliable GURU’S N-GAUGE line in diameters from 0.17 to .22.

Feeder Close ups

A feature that we specified in the instructions we emailed over to Ashley was that all hairs should be exactly 15mm in length and incorporated the GURU Speed Stops for all round practicality and baiting options on the rigs. To house the feeder rigs, we sent up two of the excellent FRENZEE HOOK UP rig case. These comfortably store hooklengths up to 12 inches long, as well as offering plenty of storage for this number of rigs. IMPORTANT INFORMATION, when using larger hooks (sizes 10 & 12) you are limited to the number of hooks you can store comfortably on each retaining peg, so always take this into consideration when ordering your hooklengths.

Pole Hooklengths

Pole Hooklengths

Taking into consideration that most the pole fishing the UKMA team will be doing over the next 5 months is on a natural venue that holds bream and tench from 5lbs to 8lbs and carp from 4lbs up to 20lbs plus. We decided to take no prisoners and order hooklengths that were to be produced from components that we have 100% faith in. Our chosen hook pattern for our big fish pole rigs was the incredibly strong and ultra sharp GURU X-STRONG SPADES, in sizes 10, 12, 14 & 16. Yet again, we chose the GURU N-GAUGE in 0.13, 0.15, 0.17 & 0.19, to totally cover all of our Pole rig requirements. We specified that all of these hooklengths should be 6 inches in lengths, with all connection loops of an identical size.

Pole close ups

To accommodate and store safely 200 rigs, we sent two of the massively popular GURU RIG CASES. These are designed to store hooklengths up to a maximum of 6 inches in lengths and come supplied with labels to make rig identification a very quick and easy job. As with the feeder rigs we requested that all connection loops are identical in size but we found out that this is standard feature on all hooklengths tied by the Middlesbrough based angler (should have known better really!!)

Final Verdict

Based on the hooklengths the UKMA received from Ashley about a week ago, all we can truly say is ‘Exceptional work’! The attention to detail on every rig is of the very highest standard, and all specifications are followed to the letter. On the Feeder Hooklengths, every hair sits straight and presents itself perfectly inline with the shank of the hook. Both the Feeder and pole rig hooklengths are finished off with neat and tidy tags on all knots and then stored for you in your rig boxes. When required, Ashley even prints off and labels every peg in the box for instant identification of hooklengths. The question I here you ask is “would I recommend Ashley Francis Hooklengths to you the angler?” well my answer is a simple “Yes! I simply couldn’t tie them better myself”. As an angler, I pride myself on being organised and only using the best products to suit my style of fishing and these perfectly hand tied hooklengths will become a permanent addition to my terminal tackle essentials.

IMPORTANT NOTE – Please allow at least 4 weeks lead time when ordering your hooklengths to ensure they are ready when you need them. For full prices and product information please click on the link at the bottom of this page.


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