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Thread: Defective Gamakatsu hooks?

  1. #1
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    Default Defective Gamakatsu hooks?

    Last year I bought 500 Gamakatsu hooks in the Russian River pattern. These hooks were in boxes of 100 each; I bought for my own use and for some friends. These hooks were very expensive even in bulk quantities.

    In two trips to the upper Kenai including last night I've checked my gear after losing a fish and found that the whole point of the hooks including the barb had competely broken off. For an expensive hook to have these many failures out a dozen or so hooks is totally incrediable and terribly disappointing. I can't recall seeing this happen before with any hook I've ever used or recovered and I've seen a bunch over the years.

    I haven't contacted Gamakatsu yet; I though I would check others expeniences on this forum first.

    Has anyone else had this expereince with Gamakatsu or other brands of hooks?
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

  2. #2

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    I broke my first Gammy hook this last weekend. Never ever had one fail before. Mine broke on a small king, one of the three shanks on the treble broke off. I have always rehooked all my lures with them. I think I'm switching to Owner 4X only from now on.

  3. #3
    Member John_Pennell's Avatar
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    Default I've had hooks break

    Mostly Russian River flies I tied myself. I always blamed myself for clamping them too tightly in the vice when I was tying them.

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    Default Broken hooks

    In my case I was using hand tied yarn flies that had never been in a vise or other wise stressed except on the main shank where I grabbed them with my pliers to check my leader knot. This testing obviously caused no damage to the point.

    Your breakages may have not been caused by the vise!


    Quote Originally Posted by John_Pennell View Post
    Mostly Russian River flies I tied myself. I always blamed myself for clamping them too tightly in the vice when I was tying them.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

  5. #5

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    A couple of "points" here... Pun intended... Gama hooks are chemically sharpened which makes them much more brittle then "regular" hooks. I have seen these type hooks break often over several years. If you are breaking even the chemically sharpened hooks you should maybe think about lightening up on your main line test. Even a regular forged hook will still staighten out if you are using say 35# test with a size 3 hook. Lighten up! Also as mentioned in this thread, be careful to use only "enough" force when clamping a hook into your fly tying vise. This will also conpromise the metal of the hook and may help causing it to break.

  6. #6

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    I've had a couple Gamakatsu's snap off in the past. Usually it was after I had torqued down with some needle nose, and it was further into the bend of the hook, not the very point. Sorry to hear of the bad points snapping on you. I've gone Owner's for all of my Kwikfish and haven't had any issues since.

  7. #7
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    Default Brittle hooks

    I am not aware of any circumstances where chemical / acid sharpening would cause metal embrittlement in unstressed carbon steel. If it can I'd sure like to know the metallugy involved - I've never ran into that kind of embrittlement in my 40 yrs. of engineering experience but I'm not saying it couldn't happen either.

    Fishing for reds in the Kenai and Russian River - where these hooks are specifically designed to be used - a heavy leader must often be used in swift water and crowed conditions if you want to land the fish without being inconsiderate to othes fishing around you. I normally use a 9wt. fly rod with a 30# leader inorder to land the fish in a hurry so others around me can get back to fishing after I quickly land my fish. In the unusal circumstances where there are not many fisherman close by I do use a lighter rod and leader of course.

    As I mentioned earlier I hand tie yarn flies without a vise so the hooks aren't stressed or damaged prior to being used. I have seen instances of hooks breaking elsewhere or straighten out but nothing like the problems I'm having with these hooks. An expensive premium hook should work in the application for which they are designed and marketed.


    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskan Fly Guy View Post
    A couple of "points" here... Pun intended... Gama hooks are chemically sharpened which makes them much more brittle then "regular" hooks. I have seen these type hooks break often over several years. If you are breaking even the chemically sharpened hooks you should maybe think about lightening up on your main line test. Even a regular forged hook will still staighten out if you are using say 35# test with a size 3 hook. Lighten up! Also as mentioned in this thread, be careful to use only "enough" force when clamping a hook into your fly tying vise. This will also conpromise the metal of the hook and may help causing it to break.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

  8. #8
    Member L. G.'s Avatar
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    Default

    I'm a Gama-guy myself.

    Lost a sockeye last night when the hook straightened out. ***? Never seen a Gama do that.

    Wonder if they started making their hooks in China? like just about all other manufacturers are doing.

  9. #9
    Member akshrop's Avatar
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    Default

    I would contact Gama. I love them and replace almost all my baits with them. In all my own tying I use them. I have only had one fail and it was on a trebble. I think your failure rate was insane. They better back you up on that. Let us know.

  10. #10
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    Default From the Gama web site

    "In 1988, after upgrading the automated tempering facilities and expanding the hook factory, Gamakatsu Co. Ltd. opened Gamakatsu International Co., Ltd. in Thailand and Gamakatsu Shantou Co. Ltd. in China in 1989. These two factories import hooks from Japan to get them final products such as snelling, rigging, tying flies, and packaging."

    I'll check the package to see where mind were made - I thought it said Japan. If they have a factory in China I bet they are now making hooks there also.

    Quote Originally Posted by L. G. View Post
    I'm a Gama-guy myself.

    Lost a sockeye last night when the hook straightened out. ***? Never seen a Gama do that.

    Wonder if they started making their hooks in China? like just about all other manufacturers are doing.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

  11. #11
    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Over the last few years I have had some break and some straighten out. Now that I have thought about more than I used to get years back. It seems Ill have 3 or 4 go south on me then nothing for a few days then a few more go. I buy them by the 100 box and im guessing 10 out of them fail now.
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

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    I use Gama's for walleyes here in MN and they work great. I would not use them for salmon however.

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    Default Never Had a Gama Fail Me Yet

    I'm sure there is a first time for everything, but I have used their octopus in 4/0 through 6/0 in nickel-plate for saltwater salmon mooching and trolling ever since I found the first ones in Bob's Sporting Goods down in Longview, WA years ago. I go through a couple hundred in a year. I suspect I am relatively hard on my terminal gear and I change it often - but if the hook looks like it is still in good shape and the point is intact I will re-tie it to another leader. I throw the questionable ones in the top tray of the tackle box and use them later for non-salmon applications. Even with repeated use all I have to do is touch up the point and the hooks perform just fine.

    I'd be *****ing to Gamakatsu if I had experienced the problems being described by tvfinak. That is 'way too high of a failure percentage so it must be a bad batch or shoddy QC at the factory. I hope you get it figured-out. If you contact them - let us know how they react, because I've never had to deal directly with them and I'm curious how they handle such problems. Good luck.

  14. #14
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    Default Russian River Fly

    The stock no. on these hooks is 14109-100, the style is "Rusian River Fly". These are an interesting hook for people that aren't familar with the fishery and the reason they are made the way thay are.

    The box is marked "Hooks Made in Japan Packaged in Thailand" so it doesn't appear they ever were in China.

    I've got to go out of town tomorrow for the weekend; I'll post some pictures of the failed hooks next week.

    I'll also contact Gamakatsu and post what I find out.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

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