Wide Gape hooks
The Wide Gape hook has been around for more than 20 years now, and during that time has helped anglers to land countless big fish, and will continue to do so for many years to come as it is one of those patterns which will always be popular.
It is one of the first products that Damian Clarke worked on in a product development capacity, and alongside the Longshank, is the first hook that Korda brought out, with two upgraded, stronger X and XX versions being added at a later date.
The Wide Gape hook took all the best bits from the hooks which Damian and Danny Fairbrass were using at the time, and put them into a hook pattern which was more targeted at the carp fishing market – the main pattern that these were based upon was the Maruta Kinryu, which was a Japanese hook that only came in a spade end version and also had completely different sizing to that which we use in the UK.
The Wide Gape came about as a blend of several different hooks that we were already using.
What the Kinryu did have though was a really wide gape, an Iseama shaped bend – which at the time was also found on other popular Japanese carp hooks such as the Owner spade ends – plus a really sharp, in-turned beak point.
The original drawings were hand done on paper by Damien and Danny, before getting them drawn more professionally and then sent on to a hook manufacturer to produce some samples.
As it turned out, the samples that they received were pretty much exactly what they’d had in mind, and very little needed to be changed, and soon after the Wide Gape pattern was launched, and the original has remained unchanged ever since – the range though has benefitted from the addition of a barbless model, plus heavier duty patterns in the same shape, and sharpened Kamakura versions. There is even a version of the Wide Gape hook in the Basix range, which is very similar to the original apart the eye.
Despite it now having been around for many years, it is still the first choice for a lot of anglers in many of the fishing situations that they find themselves in, and that is very much the case for carp-catching machine Darrell Peck, who over the years has used the pattern in its various forms to land some huge carp both at home and overseas.
He first used the original Wide Gape soon after they came out, whilst he was fishing on the famous Yateley Car Park lake, and the very first night he used them, he managed to catch – there were only a handful of fish in this lake – and has been a big fan ever since.
I fish for big fish, you never know which take is going to be the big one, and because of that I need to land what I hook.
It’s a similar story for Damian Clarke, who despite having tried various other Korda patterns over the years, not to mention being involved in developing hooks, still prefers a Wide Gape pattern - although these days it is more likely to be the upgraded Wide Gape X version due to the types of waters he is fishing, and size of carp that he is targeting – and reckons that 99% of the fish he caught over a 20 year period, were on that hook.
It was the first hook added to the Korda range and has been popular with anglers for over 20 years. It was launched with a Teflon coating, which was relatively new to fishing hooks in the UK at the time but still works well even today in terms of protecting the hook from any damage, such as rusting when it has been in water.
It is a great all-round hook and can be used with a variety of different bottom bait and pop-up presentations, including the spinner rig. It comes in barbed or barbless versions, in sizes 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10.
WIDE GAPE X
This is exactly the same hook as the original version except that it features a heavier gauge of wire, which makes it suitable for more extreme situations in the UK such as snaggy or weedy waters, and for use overseas.
It still has the familiar very sharp, beaked point with a heavily forged bend, a relatively short shank and a slightly in-turned eye, it is just stronger overall and capable of having more pressure put on it.
With fish getting bigger in the UK, and many waters being weedy during the summer months, this is now the go to hook for many anglers, including Darrell Peck. Its available in size 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10, and only comes in barbed.
WIDE GAPE XX
If you’re fishing in really extreme conditions abroad, such as on big, snaggy, public lakes containing very large carp, or are even targeting much larger species of carp such as the Siamese in Thailand, and need a hook that can withstand all the abuse you can throw at it, then the XX version is what you need.
This is a thicker gauge wire than the X version but still retains all of the features that made the original so good, such as the super sharp beaked point, plus a heavily forged bend, a short shank and an in-turned eye
KAMAKURA WIDE GAPE
Whilst the original Wide Gape was very sharp for its time and is still very good today, things have moved on and some anglers want the sharpest hooks that they can get, so a version that has undergone the Kamakura sharpening process was added.
These hooks come in special boxes that are designed to keep them in place and thus protect the hook point from any possible damage – in addition to a blob of wax on the point, which needs removing before use.
These hooks are incredibly sharp, but that also means that they have a thin point and are usually only good for one fish before that turns over – the original is still preferred by anglers fishing where there are crayfish or nuisance fish to move the hook around on a gravel bottom, or even just those who are perfectly happy with how sharp the original ones are and don’t feel the need to have an even sharper hook.
They come in both barbed and barbless versions, in sizes 4, 6 or 8.
KAMAKURA WIDE GAPE X
Following the success of the Kamakura Wide Gape hooks, it made sense to also release a sharpened version of the ‘X’ model of this hook pattern.
The Kamakura sharpening process gives these hooks an incredibly sharp point, considering their wire gauge, and that is protected via a blob of wax plus a special box that ensures none of the hooks can move around inside.
So, if you need a hook that is incredibly sharp and at the same time very strong, and has all the attributes of the original Wide Gape pattern, in terms of the beaked point, heavily forged bend, short shank and a slightly in-turned eye, then the Kamakura Wide Gape X is the one to choose. It is available in barbed or barbless, in sizes 4, 6, and 8.
BASIX WIDE GAPE
This is a real all-round hook that has been designed so that it doesn’t need to be used with lots of other components, and a simple knotless knot will work. That has been achieved by giving the Basix Wide Gape an aggressively in-turned eye, meaning that it naturally flips over without the need to add shrink tubing or Kickers.
Other than that it is very much the same shape as the original Wide Gape, and is made from ‘X’ gauge wire so that is suitable for use both in the UK and abroad as well, due to its extra strength.
It has an unobtrusive black nickel finish and a point that has been designed to be longer lasting and suitable for lending several fish on the same hook without needing to change it – although obviously the point needs checking every time you cast out to make sure there is no damage to it.
These are priced at a lower level to make them attractive to newcomers to the sport or those on a tight budget, and whilst they don’t quite have the performance of the originals or Kamakura hooks, they will do the job perfectly well and come in barbed or barbless, in size 2, 4, 6 or 8.