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Best Salmon Fishing Gaffs

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Choosing the best salmon fishing gaffs can significantly enhance your fishing experience, ensuring you land your catch efficiently and safely. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you select the right gaff for your needs.

Understanding Salmon Fishing Gaffs

Salmon fishing gaffs are essential tools designed to secure and bring large fish aboard. They consist of a long handle and a sharp hook. The primary purpose of a gaff is to assist in landing fish that are too large to be lifted by the line alone. When choosing a gaff, consider factors such as size, material, and handle length.

 Salmon Fishing Gaffs

Best Salmon Fishing Gaffs

Choosing the Right Size

The size of the gaff is crucial in ensuring you can effectively handle the salmon. A gaff that is too small may not securely hook the fish, while one that is too large could be cumbersome. A gaff with a hook size of 2 to 4 inches is typically ideal for salmon fishing. This size provides a good balance between strength and manoeuvrability, allowing you to land salmon without causing excessive harm.

Material and Durability

The material of the gaff determines its durability and performance. Stainless steel hooks are highly recommended due to their resistance to rust and corrosion. The handle should be made of a lightweight yet sturdy material, such as aluminium or fibreglass. These materials ensure that the gaff is both durable and easy to handle, even during long fishing sessions.

Handle Length and Grip

The handle length of the gaff plays a significant role in its usability. A longer handle allows you to reach the fish more easily, especially when fishing from a boat or pier. However, it’s essential to find a balance between length and control. Handles between 3 to 5 feet are generally suitable for most salmon fishing scenarios. Additionally, ensure the handle has a comfortable grip, which is crucial for maintaining control and preventing slippage, especially when your hands are wet.

Hook Design

The design of the hook is another critical factor. A sharp, barbless hook is preferred for salmon fishing. Barbless hooks are easier to remove and cause less damage to the fish, which is important if you practice catch and release. The hook should also be strong enough to penetrate the salmon’s tough mouth but not so large that it causes unnecessary harm.

Portability and Storage

Consider the portability and storage of the gaff. Some gaffs are collapsible or come with detachable handles, making them easier to transport and store. This feature is particularly useful if you’re travelling to different fishing locations or have limited space in your gear bag.

Brand Reputation and Reviews

When choosing a salmon fishing gaff, consider reputable brands known for their quality and performance. Research online reviews and ask fellow anglers for recommendations. Brands like Fishpond, Sea Striker, and Promar are well-regarded for their reliable and high-performing gaffs. Reading reviews and seeking advice from experienced anglers can help you make a more informed decision.

Using the Gaff Properly

Knowing how to use the gaff properly is just as important as choosing the right one. Approach the fish calmly and aim for a spot behind the head or just below the dorsal fin. A quick, firm motion ensures the hook penetrates securely without causing excessive harm to the fish. Practice using the gaff in controlled environments to build your confidence and skill.

Maintenance and Care

Regular maintenance of your gaff is crucial for its longevity and performance. Rinse the gaff with fresh water after each use, especially if you’ve been fishing in saltwater. Check for any signs of wear or damage and replace components as needed. Proper care ensures your gaff remains in top condition for future fishing trips.


Choosing the best salmon fishing gaff involves considering several factors, including size, material, handle length, hook design, portability, and brand reputation. By understanding the specific requirements of salmon fishing and selecting a high-quality gaff, you can enhance your fishing experience and increase your chances of landing your catch safely and efficiently. Remember to practice using the gaff properly and maintain it regularly to ensure it performs reliably on every fishing trip. With the right gaff, you’ll be well-equipped to handle the challenges of salmon fishing and enjoy the thrill of bringing home your catch.

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