Best gaff: fishing gear that pays off
A large fish is involved. The rod is bent in half. The fisherman is dripping with sweat and growls heavily. For every inch of line the angler gains, the fish responds by taking an inch. After an hour, the trophy is on the boat side. A blunder is in your hands, victory is imminent. Getting that big fish into the boat is the last step in winning the battleâ¦ and also the greatest chance of failure. Put the odds on your side with the best blunder.
What should you look for in the best fishing gaff?
A fishing gaff is one of the most important fishing accessories on a big game boat. In fact, seasoned fishing crews carry several, each designed for a specific job. Indeed, when it comes to landing a fish, a gaff is faster and more efficient than a net. Instead of carefully working the fish close enough to scoop it up with the net, these hooks can pull the fish out of the water as soon as it swims within range. And fish that are too big to fit in a dip net require a hook to control them. A net is best for small fish or fish that will be released. But when the big fish strikes, it’s time to grab the gaff.
Gaffs are classified by bite, length and composition of the handle:
- Bite. The bite refers to the distance between the hooked point and the rod. Match the size of the bite to the size of the fish. A two inch bite is perfect for small dolphins and groundfish. A three-inch bite is a good all-round hook. Use a gaff with a bite larger than four inches for fish over 100 pounds.
- Length. The classic four foot design with a three inch bite is ideal for fishing for tuna, wahoo, dolphin, cobia and other fish between 30 and 100 pounds. For landing smaller fish, a hand hook with a two to three foot handle is a perfect fit.
- Composition of the handle. Handles are available in a variety of materials including wood, aluminum, fiberglass, and carbon fiber. Some anglers appreciate the soft touch and shock absorption provided by a wooden handle. Other anglers like the light and stiff carbon fiber handles for quick and accurate shots on big fish. Aluminum provides strength and durability, while fiberglass absorbs the shock of hitting a fish and dropping it into the fish box.
Goofing a fish begins with the leader in one hand and the gaff in the other. When the fish is just below the surface, hold the tool with the hook facing down. Then run your hand over the fish, aim for the shoulder or head, and pull the hook into the fish. In one motion, tip the fish out of the water and into the boat or directly into the fish box.
What is the best all-rounder?
A four foot gaff with an aluminum handle and a stainless steel hook with a three inch bite is best all around. This is the type most commonly used on boats around the world and is perfect for tuna, wahoo, mahi, cobia, amberjack, and king mackerel. The aluminum handle makes it light, rigid and indestructible.
Best all About: AFTCO Taper Tip Aluminum Hook
For decades, AFTCO’s golden gaff has been an icon of deep-sea fishing. AFTCO
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Made from lightweight gold anodized aluminum, the five foot Taper Tip is light and strong. The tapered shaft provides strength along the entire length of the handle and allows it to swing through the air with speed and power. Two foam handles are soft and sticky, for a solid grip.
What are the advantages of a hand hook?
One of the most common tools used on a deep sea fishing boat is the powerful gaff. This short gaff has many uses. Professional fishermen keep it close at hand by storing it under the cover board or hanging it from the fighting chair. Not only does it land smaller fish, it makes moving fish faster and safer. To transfer the fish into or out of the fish box, simply pick up each fish with the hook instead of fumbling with the slimy fish. It is also useful to have one if you need to handle a fish with sharp teeth. Bonus: These can also be used as a dropout and, in expert hands, as a bottle opener.
Best Hand Gaff: Sea Attacker Gaff
Small and useful
Perfect size to fit in a tackle box or kayak crate with the power to handle big fish. Attacking seas
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For something smaller, the Sea Striker Hand Gaff is packed with features. Aluminum handle, stainless steel hook and soft rubber grip make it easy to use. At a foot long with a two inch bite, the Sea Striker is the perfect size for small boats and fishing kayaks.
What are the advantages of a carbon fiber?
When it comes to a gaff grip, nothing beats carbon fiber. The material is strong and light, providing a confident feel for a solid shot. Landing one big fish after another puts a lot of pressure on the angler, and a lightweight carbon fiber boat hook saves energy, keeping you from running out of fish.
Best carbon fiber hook: Promar carbon fiber hook
Modern technology meets old school
It’s super light and strong. Promar
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The most advanced carbon fiber taper rod with a corrosion resistant hook will last for years of intense action. Modern features added to a classic hand-wound tuna cord handle featuring a turkish head combine style with a sturdy grip. It’s light and it floats.
Do you want a classic gaff?
Cut a broomstick and tie a big hook at the end and you have a gaff. Some artisans create gaffs from more elegant materials, and some of these custom designs are works of art. Those made with super tough Calcutta bamboo from India are classic and attractive and have all the efficiency of a modern gaff.
Best Calcutta Gaff:Kill the Calcutta Fish
Using a three inch hook and the highest quality bamboo from India, the Kill Fish Calcutta is functional and attractive. Kill fish
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In addition to real Calcutta bamboo, the strongest in the world, anglers appreciate the soft feel and sturdy construction of Kill Fish Calcutta. A heat-treated stainless steel hook is stiff, sharp and corrosion resistant.
The economical fishing gaff
While fishing gear can be expensive, these specialized tools don’t have to be. Look for an aluminum gaff with a stainless steel hook and a rubberized grip. A cheaper model sacrifices corrosion resistance and improves quality, but for casual anglers, that might be all they need.
Best budget: Ego Kryptek Gaff
The classic gaff with a modern Kryptek camouflage pattern and rubber grip and wrist strap. Ego
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With an aluminum handle and a stainless steel hook, the Ego two-foot Kryptek boat hook with a three-inch hook has a rubber grip and a tether cord to keep it close at hand. The upper is covered in a modern Kryptek urban camouflage.
Q: What makes a good fishing gaff?
A boat hook should be strong with a sharp hook and made of corrosion resistant materials to provide years of saltwater service. The handle should have a textured, soft grip that allows you to hold it in your hand. A lighter, stiffer gaff will be easier to ram into a fish and swing into the fish box. Some anglers like a softer grip to absorb shock.
Q: How do I choose a gaff?
To choose the right hook, consider the length and size of the hook. A longer gaff up to 8 feet long allows you to reach and catch a fish further from the boat, but the hook is more difficult to control and aim. An average size is four to five feet long to reach the side of a boat and snag the target. Short gaffs are handy for moving fish around the boat and handling fish to the fullest. Match the size of the hook to the size of the fish. A good versatile pattern has a three inch hook. Hooks over four inches are reserved for large fish over 100 pounds.
Q: Is a barbed fishing gaff safer?
Most fishing gaffs do not have a beard. In most cases, the gaff is used to swing a fish out of the water into the fish box. The momentum of swinging the fish keeps it on the hook. When the action is hot and you need to goof several fish, you want the hook to come out of the fish quickly so that you can be ready for the next one. The most common use of a barbed gaff hook is on a flying gaff. Used to catch giant fish, a flying design features a long handle and a huge detachable hook attached to a heavy rope. To land a giant fish, the fishermen push the barbed hook into the trophy and then detach the handle. The hook rope is attached to a cleat in the boat. Once the barbed hook is in the fish, the crew can use the rope to bring it to the boat.
A final word on blunders
If you are in doubt about what size hook to get, keep in mind that a hook with a four foot handle and a three inch hook is the regular size. Such a boat hook, with an aluminum handle for strength and durability, is used on fishing boats around the world. Now that you know what to look for, start shopping and buy yours today!