@hambone My favorite is Malta Black. It’s hardy, productive, and best flavored. Chicago Hardy comes in 2nd place.
When figs die back, they form lots of shoots in the same places along the branches, very close together. I’ve found it important to thin out the new growths (rubbing them off) when they are still small to allow more space between these new developing branches. This allows more light to reach each branch to help fruit grow and ripen faster. Less vegetative growth also seems to facilitate fruit formation. When I do this, the bushes form fewer branches with much more fruit than if I just let it grow freely. I will take pictures next year to better represent my words. I also pluck off any fruit that forms after the middle of July, because they won’t ripen before cold weather in my climate.