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Photo by Kylie and Rob (and Helen), Flickr

The right hook

Megan Kitching —

How can you find the best fishhook on the market?

Fishing is one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s most popular outdoor activities. Whether for sport or recreation, fishing in our beautiful but sometimes harsh natural environments can take its toll on gear. Bernsport, a fitness and outdoor equipment wholesaler, wanted to find which brand of fishhook performed the best. Michael Grant, an electrical engineering diploma student, set out to put this question to the test for Engineering Project capstone course.

Their project designed two sets of fishhook tests. The first was a simple and effective way to rate the strength of the hooks. By suspending a series of weights from the hooks, and increasing the weights by increments, they were able to record when each hook bent or deformed. Before and after photos provided a clear comparison: the stronger the hook, the longer it held its shape. 

The second test looked at the effects of corrosion. For this test, the student devised a custom-made chamber. Inside this tank, suspended hooks were exposed to heated salt water. This spray doused the fishhooks on a timer for a period of seven days, allowing an accurate comparison of results. Overall, the two tests combined showed how each brand performed under pressure.

The outcomes of this project go beyond the initial findings. Both test designs proved successful. The innovative system of the corrosion chamber can be refined to better simulate real world conditions. The project’s solutions are now available to the client for future use.