STA-STUK FIELD TESTING
It’s one thing for a fishhook to perform in the shop. It’s another thing altogether for a fishhook to perform in the mouth of a thrashing blue marlin. In June of 2017, Peters set sail in Costa Rica’s seamounts aboard the Tijereta with Bubba Carter and Charles Perry.
The first two tests were, in Peters’ own words, “a complete, utter, absolute failure.” Of six fish hooked on the first trip, all six managed to escape. Undeterred, Peters went back to the drawing board, diving into his engineering notes and discovering the fatal mistake he’d missed. With his new hook in hand, he returned to the Tijereta… and caught one fish out of seven he hooked.
“I was frustrated beyond belief,” said Peters.
That kicked off 45 days of continuous prototyping and testing. At the end of which, Peters had what he calls his “ah-ha moment.” Rather than the single swivel he’d been using in the middle, he found that three welded rings along the shank allowed much greater freedom of movement once the clips fell off.
He returned to sea with his new design in 2019, this time tackling the massive and aggressive marlins of Cape Verde aboard La Onda Mila with Captain Marty Bates. In just four days of testing, this new design hooked 10 blue marlins and stayed secure as Peters reeled in all 10. This newest design proved to be a runaway success.
HOW IT WORKS
A fish hook is nothing more than a lever, with the hook shank serving the purpose of driving the point home. However, once hooked, the shank creates rotational torque during the fight, which often results in a pulled hook as it twists out of the fish.
Using a system of sleeves and welded rings, the Sta-Stuk hook remains intact on the initial bite, separating only at a specific amount of pressure. By reducing the length of the shank, the design reduces the amount of rotational torque created during the fight.
Sam Peters, President / Owner Release Marine + Inventor of Sta-Stuk Hooks
WHY DID YOU CREATE THE STA-STUK HOOK
Sam Peters, president/owner of Release Marine and Sta-Stuk Hook Company. I have been building fighting chairs for about 30 years now and been marlin fishing my whole life. I think I caught my first billfish when I was about ten and just love pursuing them and chasing them.
I've always wondered why in the world some hook that's been jumping all over the ocean could come on hooked after 45 minutes 30 minutes an hour, and it puzzled me for 40 years.
I started studying the hooks and talking to an engineer, and I realized the hook is a lever. It's basically a lever. The shank is used to actually make the point go in when pulled in the direction of the shank. However, that same lever that you need to hook that fish becomes your worst nightmare while you are fighting it, because if it's pulled up, down or backwards, it's working against you during that fight. This is why we pull so many hooks 10 minutes into the fight, 20 minutes into the fight, 2 hours into the fight…
A NEW HOOK
By SAM WHITE / PHOTOS BY JON WHITTLE