Mustad Hooks vs Gamakatsu Hooks
It guess it would have been easy to quietly send you an politically correct email without hurting any feelings, but since everyone already knows the answer I will address it here.
No one disputes how sharp Gamakatsu hooks are. Mustad Ultrapoint hooks are nearly as sharp, but sharpness is NOT the only measure of a hook.
Gamakatsu hooks are made with thinner wire than the Mustad Ultrapoint. This creates two distinct problems. The Gamakatsu hooks are more rigid/brittle (to prevent deflection during the hook set) and we have broken numerous hook points off just behind the barb (the weakest point) when dealing with big fish and tough jaws. Capt Rich lost a huge bass this way that nearly cost us a tournament win. In the midst of our second shark show with Capt Bill Brown we broke a shark hook and never saw the fish (after I convinced him to use my hook instead of his). In my charter business we have broken off plenty of hook points always in the same spot (probably because we kept re-using the hook for several days).
The other issue with the thin Gamakatsu wire hook is the barb size. The barbs are small because there is simply not that much material to make a barb with, This can result in these hooks slipping out when fighting a fish if the angler gets sloppy (or the fish jumps). We typically like to work a quick bucktail and the small barb allows baits (especially spearing) to slip off too easily. There is a separate FAQ that addresses SPRO bucktails (made w/Gamakatsu hooks) versus Hookup bucktails (made with Mustad hooks).
The next issue is the hook point itself. The Mustad Ultrapoint has a very tough conical point that can even be sharpened nearly to factory sharpness. The thin wire point of the Gamakatsu hook can easily be deflected especially when fishing on hard bottom. Once that happens, the hook must be replaced. We have several captains who fish with us regularly that simply refuse to use Gamakatsu hooks for bottom fishing.
Mustad makes a huge selection of hooks for every conceivable application. Capt Rich and I are very picky and we hate having to settle on a hook that is less than perfect. The hook is the single most important part of our terminal tackle and since we went with Mustad we have never looked back.
In the interest of honesty, accuracy, and fairness it is important to note that Mustad (among other manufacturers) has supported Northeast Angling for the last several seasons. The opinion epxressed here is my personal opinion and may not reflect the opinion of other writers at Northeast Angling. If you have any questions or comments, please contact us.
Captain Andy LoCascio – Host