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ICAST 2009 Coverage

The detail is in the design of Gamakatsu's new hooks


Date: 7/26/09
Location: Orlando, Florida
Admission: Buyers & Press only
Manufacturer: Gamakatsu
Reviewer: Team TackleTour

Introduction: Gamakatsu's hook catalog is massive, and when it comes to delivering a hook for every application they have it down to a science. This year at ICAST Gamakatsu introduced new hooks that not only address even more niche applications but make it easier to rig terminal tackle as well.


Jeff Roberts shows Zander the new hooks


At the Gamakatsu booth we caught up with Jeff Roberts who walked us through the new products. We checked out a number of exciting new hooks and rigs, all of which will be available in the early 2010 timeframe. 


New for this year is an unweighted Superline Spring lock hook


Superline Spring Lock: We start off with the new Gamakatsu Superline Spring Lock hooks. Prior to this Gamakatsu offered these in a weighted form which was great for paddletail swimbaits, but many anglers who loved the spring lock feature also wanted a version to fish weightless plastics like flukes and stickbaits. 


The Superline Spring Lock is great for fishing weightless plastics


These hooks feature a stress relieved steel spring making it easy to rig plastics for a more subtle presentation for fishing weightless. They will be sold three hooks per pack for $3.99 and will be available in a variety of sizes that can accommodate finesse worms all the way up to mag-sized plastics.


The Short Shank Treble hooks are designed for hardbait anglers


Short Shank Treble: This is a product that we are particularly excited about as this is the year of the crank here on TackleTour. Designed for the discerning hard bait angler the new Short Shank treble features Gamakatsu's "Magic Eye" design which opens split rings without the aid of pliers, making it easy to change out your hooks in the field.


Gamakastu's Short Shank Treble makes use of the tapered "Magic Eye" so you don't need pliers to open split rings when changing out hooks


When rigged these hooks will run parallel to the bait creating a perfect balance point, so whether it is a crankbait or a swimbait these hooks are designed for optimal performance. They will be available in sizes 6, 4, 2, 1, and 1/0 and will sold in packs of nine that retail for $6.99 per pack.


A new size for topwater frog fishing


EWG Double 3/0 size: One of the lure types that we definitely saw a surge in this ICAST was topwater frogs. Seems everywhere we looked a new frog, endorsed by a different professional angler, was being introduced. Gamakatsu arms a lot of these frogs including the Spro Bronzeye with their new EWG 3/0 size double hook. These hooks are designed specifically for soft bodied frogs and the angle of the hook makes it ride weedless while the wide gap increases hook up ratios. These hooks are already being used on the new frogs and are available now in packs of three for $3.99.


Gamakastu's new Cat Fish rigs make it easy to get to fishing quickly


Catfish Rigs: With so many bass offerings it is easy to forget that Gamakatsu has hooks for just about every species, and that includes catfish. This year Gamakatsu introduced a new pre-tied catfish rig that is ready to fish right out of the package. These rigs are tied with 28" of 50lb. premium Japanese monofilament and make use of a SPRO power swivel. There will be two options available, the first tied on a NS black Octopus hook in sizes 5/0, 6/0, 7/0 and 8/0. The second tied on an NS black Octopus hook in sizes 5/0, 6/0, 7/0, and 8/0. There are two rigs per package and each will retail for $3.99.


Thanks to Joe Quiocho and Jeff Roberts for showing us all the latest Gamakatsu products


Conclusion: Gamakatsu puts a lot of research and development time into their products and it really shows in the detail in which they address each and every hook offering. This year at ICAST subtle refinements in the product line like the new weightless Superline Spring Lock actually change the way anglers can approach techniques, while products like the EWG Double 3/0 arm manufacturers and anglers with a new tool to modify their topwater frogs. But the product we are most excited about has to be the Short Shank Treble armed with the company's ingeniously designed "Magic Eye," there are simply no more excuses for damaged or dull crankbait hooks in the field after this.   









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