Hazard Hooks Review

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By Justin Pickett

A good hook is a necessity.

Whether I’m tying my own flies, or buying from a local shop, I always make sure that the fly is lashed to a quality hook. One of the worst feelings in fly fishing is losing a fish to find out that a straightened, or even broken, hook was the culprit. It’s one of those things you should never skimp on. I would much rather buy cheap beer, than buy sub-par hooks. Even the worst beer on the planet is more tolerable when it’s cold. The problem with hooks, though, is that they certainly aren’t getting any cheaper. Many of the popular brands are charging upwards of ten bucks for a twenty-five pack of hooks. Especially for specialty hooks, such as barbless hooks and jig hooks, which I tie a majority of my patterns on. At these higher prices, restocking my assortment of hooks can cost a pretty penny, so finding a quality hook at a lower price is always on my radar.

Lately I’ve been fishing hooks from Hazard Fly Fishing, which is owned by Jeff Harrison and based out of South Carolina. I heard of Hazard from a few buddies of mine that are still very active in competitive fishing and they all had nothing but good things to say about fishing with these hooks. Jeff offered up a handful of his hooks for me to try, and I have to say that I’ve legitimately been impressed. The first thing I noticed with each and every hook that I checked is that they are free from imperfections. Every hook eye is neat, completely closed, and perfectly in-line with the shank. Each point is laser sharp and will stick deep in a fingernail. The black nickel finish is smooth and every hook is the same shape as the previous. The angle of the bends on the jig hooks are consistent as well; right at sixty degrees.

Set the hook in the vise and press down on the eye and you get an idea of how stout these hooks are compared to other brands of hooks of the same variety.

The excellent condition of these hooks is a product of Jeff’s obsession with quality. Jeff went through hundreds of product samples before finding hooks that were up to his standards, and he continues to inspect each and every hook as he packages them, making sure that all of his hooks are up to snuff. Jeff wants to make sure that only perfect, sharp hooks reach his customers. Being perfect is almost impossible, however Jeff’s great attention to detail and his dedication to distributing only the highest quality product has delivered great results. When I asked Jeff about the failure rate of his hooks, six (6) was the number (reported to him) that he gave me out of 200,000+ hooks that he has sold so far. That’s a failure rate of 0.00003%! Even if you multiply that number by ten, then you still have an extremely low failure rate of 3/10000.

Visually and structurally, these hooks look the part of a top shelf hook, competing with more expensive, well-known brands on the market, and I’m pleased to say that they hold up to the rigors of fishing as well. After fishing these hooks for the past several weeks, I can understand why there is such a small amount of failures. I’ve beat the hooks as much as I can, trying to break them, and these hooks continue to hold their integrity. The points of the hooks stay sharp regardless of the constant banging and plinking off of rocks. I’ve snagged numerous large rocks and expected to bring up a dull, or rolled, hook point each time, however, time and time again, they stay sharp. Every time that I’ve snagged a rock or timber, I’ve pulled hard on these hooks trying to bend them out. With fish, it’s the same story. Pulling hard on big fish is just another day at work for Hazard Fly Fishing hooks. The only downside to these beefy hooks is that when you’re stuck in a tree or rock, you’re really stuck.

One of the great things about Hazard Fly Fishing hooks is why they came to be.

Jeff ties a lot of his own flies and was tired of paying exorbitant prices for hooks. So, instead of just bitching, he decided to do something about it. His primary goal was to deliver a high-quality hook that wouldn’t break the bank. Jeff put in a ton of hours of research, taking his time to nail down the right manufacturer and materials. Once Jeff found the combination he was looking for, he went live with his new company and has been gaining traction around the southeast with his high quality, less expensive hooks. Keeping his operation simple and efficient, the cost savings is passed down to his customers. Jeff’s dedication to detail and selling a quality product has made Hazard Fly Fishing successful thus far and continues to grow. If you’re looking for a better barbless hook for less coin, then give Hazard Fly Fishing a look. I’ve been pleased with all of my hooks so far, but if you buy from Jeff and you’re unhappy (for any reason) with any of his hooks, Jeff will happily buy them back from you.

Justin Pickett
Gink & Gasoline
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5 thoughts on “Hazard Hooks Review

  1. They look like great hooks! Can someone in the industry explain to me why barbless hooks are more expensive than barbed hooks when it is one less step in the manufacturing process. Such is the case with some things in the food industry like steel cut oats vs. rolled oats. Why more expensive to do less? Is it just that the larger hook companies such as dairiki or gamakatsu sell more hooks?

    • As I understand it, the lack of a barb means points get tangled in hook eyes, meaning an extra step to get the hooks sorted one from another. That means somehow (or someone) the mess needs to be straightened out, hence the extra cost.

      • So the step involving sorting neutralizes the omission of the step of cutting the barb, there by making a price increase unacceptable.

  2. A wire that is barbed is much easier to go thru the shaping process in making a hook. It helps holds the hook in alignment, speeding up the mfg of a hook.

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