Friday, 6 February 2009

Gamakatsu SL12S Big game saltwater fly hooks

You’ll read pages about the merits of what a good pike fly hook should have, but for me there is just one criteria I look for when choosing hooks for my flies and that is they should have a decent rounded gape between the shank and the point of the hook itself. I’ve never been bothered with a really long shaft, just so I can have enough surface area for all the materials I want to tie on it and the weight of the hook has never been an issue either for me as I would rather put up with a few extra grams with the knowledge that the hook will stand up to the rigors of a decent fight from a pike.
Over the years I have watched as much underwater video footage as I possibly could of pike attacking all manner of lures, and what I have noticed is that just at the point when the pike strikes the plug, spinner, jig or dead bait, it opens its mouth as wide as its gape allows it, thus allowing a rush of water to be sucked back through its gills which in turn…….all be it minimal, pulls its allotted prey ever so slightly in to its mouth.
Unfortunately a pike also snaps its jaws down equally fast which in turn expels water back out of its mouth just as quickly. This isn’t so much a problem for lures brandishing 2 sets of trebles but for a Pike fly it spells……..many a missed hook up.

Having a hook with a less wider gape in my eyes lowers your chances of getting that all important hook up considerably so that is why I go for a more pronounced bend and wider gape from shaft to hook point which gives you a larger surface area for it to find somewhere in the pikes mouth to get a decent hook set

I have been experimenting with quite a few brands, makes and types over the last 4 years in the search of a hook that I could call my favorite pike fly hook, but all have stood up to the test remarkably well although I have become a bit partial to the SL 12S BIG GAME 6/0 Saltwater fly hook from “Gamakatsu”and I have found they have increased the amount of hook ups I got last season. They are specifically for the Saltwater enthusiast & are made from top quality stainless steel and stay rust free for a longer period than other brands on the market, which has become far more cost effective for me to use them especially now in the Baltic. Now you could say that it was the design and type of the fly that attracted the pike to it Si, and not the hook…….which I cant argue with, but at the end of the day, it’s the hook that keeps you in contact with the caught pike all the way down your line to your reel and eventually is the only reason why you end up with you fish in the boat.
Anyway more on hooks a little later

Here is a regular Mustad 34011 long shank hook next to the Gamakatsu SL 12S BIG GAME 6/0 Saltwater fly hook. Sure the Mustad has a longer shank for tying in more materials but I'd rather sacrifice some length for a wider gape.


David Edwards said...

Very similar to the Partridge Ad Swier Absolute Pike... I've been testing the Varivas Big Mouth Xtra... no problems with hook ups.