MORE NEW GEAR FROM MUSTAD Mustad’s new releases this year include some exciting non-hook products — some new monofilament line and a remarkable new assembled wire trace. But just to show it hasn’t forgotten about hooks, Mustad has introduced a new variant on their famous Aberdeen hook. I previewed these products at the recent Australian Fishing Tackle Association trade show. Here is a run-down on them. NEW MUSTAD ‘STEEL FOR TEETH’ 49 STRAND WIRE TRACE The phrase ‘assembled wire trace’ conjures up visions of a stiff, heavy contraption encumbered with oversized swivels, clips and crimps. It is inherently fish-resistant. Serious anglers prefer to make their own wire traces, but even then the result is often disappointing. Wire is something we use only when absolutely necessary.
So, it is very pleasing to see that the Mustad people have used some lateral thinking, and come up with an original and innovative approach to assembled wire traces. Do we actually need those swivels, clips and crimps anyway? Why not use a neat and compact loop system instead? That way, the angler can easily connect the wire to terminal components that are right for their purpose. Mustad’s new ‘Steel for Teeth’ traces are a range of fine, flexible traces; part of a large range of assembled traces and bulk wire. Made from super-flexible, super-thin 49-strand stainless wire, the traces have a neat, compact loop at each end, allowing anglers to attach hooks, swivels, rings and clips that suit the occasion. This system allows quick and easy modification of your rig. The Steel For Teeth traces are European-designed, and assembled by Mustad in its own terminal tackle assembly plant. The loops are well secured by manual whipping over the join with fine wire.
When you see the black and white Steel for Teeth packages, you’re almost struggling to see the contents inside. And that’s the great thing about these traces — they are so compact and unobtrusive. With the neat looped ends, you can attach any hook, swivel or clip you like, and change it with a minimum of fuss.
Many anglers will find a use for the Steel for Teeth and it would not surprise me if some heavy, stiff monofilament traces were dumped in favour of the lightweight Steel for Teeth. I think barra fishers will be experimenting in this area, particularly those chasing bigger fish. Saltwater fly rigs designed for toothy critters are another obvious application, along with mackerel fishing and barracouta-resistant rigs down south.
And with luck, the Steel for Teeth might be taken up by casual weekend fishos who habitually rig up with those old-style heavy, ponderous wire traces in fear (mostly unfounded) of being bitten off by a flathead. Too often, they go home fishless. The Steel for Teeth might change that. The Mustad Steel for Teeth 49-strand traces with looped ends bear reference no. 77366 and are available in lengths of 40cm and 80cm in breaking strains of 4, 6, 9 and 12kg. MUSTAD AYAKA SPINCAST MONOFILAMENT Regular readers will know that I am now a dyed-in-the wool braid user. I love the stuff and now use it for just about everything. But it’s not everybody’s cup of tea and I sense that there’s a renewed interest in high quality monofilament. By high quality, I mean mono that is very thin for its breaking strain, has limited stretch, with very low memory and excellent castability. That description pretty well sums up Mustad’s new Ayaka Spincast monofilament, a new top-of-the-range special monofilament line now launched in Australia. Manufactured in Japan to Mustad specifications, Ayaka Spincast is a low stretch, low memory monofilament with very low diameter to breaking strain. This makes it well suited to precision fishing with spinning reels, including finesse lure fishing and fishing with soft plastic baits. I also like the special lime green colour on the Ayaka Spincast. It is nicely visible without being excessively lairy or bright. Mustad Ayaka Spincast is made with additional resins such as Teflon, which increases softness and reduces memory to almost nil. The result is a line perfect for all situations where casting is a priority. A surface coating allows smooth passage through the guides.
Anglers looking for a line with great sensitivity, castability and fine diameter, but who don’t wish to fish with braid, will find Mustad Ayaka Spincast ideal. Mustad Ayaka Spincast is available in 270m spools and in breaking strains/ diameters as follows: 2.3kg/0.160mm; 3.1kg/0.18mm; 3.5kg/0.210; 4.6kg/0.241mm; 5.8kg/0.267mm; 7.1kg/0.295mm; 9.9kg/0.343mm. EFTTA APPROVED: Ayaka Spincast first went on sale in Europe and has gained EFTTA (European Fishing Tackle Trade Association) approval. The EFTTA approval system is a special certification system developed after it was discovered that many fishing lines sold in Europe bore wildly inaccurate descriptions of their diameter and/or breaking strains. EFTTA approval is thus a guarantee of accuracy in these areas. MUSTAD’S NEW FINE WORM HOOK A new ‘Aberdeen baitholder’ Mustad was the first hook manufacturer to seriously market the Aberdeen hook in Australia, and since it coincided with the soft plastics boom, it quickly became famous. The first Aberdeen was adapted as a base hook for leadhead jigs until it was followed up by more specialised Aberdeens, with specially bent eyes. Aberdeens are characterised by their distinctive round bend and have long been a highly favoured hook for jigs. But that fact can overshadow the Aberdeen’s merits as a general bait fishing hook, for which it is outstanding. Mustad’s new Fine Worm hook (ref 32813BLM) is a new Aberdeen design but with opposed baitholder slices at the top of the shank. It is intended for delicate natural bait fishing in both freshwater and saltwater, but it is also useful for many soft plastic rigs. It can be used unweighted, or the baitholder barbs can also be used to anchor a split shot to the top of the hook. The characteristic Aberdeen round bend makes baiting easy and gives good point exposure. A special non-reflective matt black finish adds to its credentials for stealth fishing. Like other Aberdeens, it has a straight point — not kirbed or reversed. The Mustad Fine Worm is part of the Mustad Ultra Point range. That means it has a chemically sharpened point fashioned with Mustad’s unique Ultra Point method, giving it greater durability and less susceptibility to bending or curling over. The Mustad Fine Worm is available in sizes 1/0, 2,4,6,8,10 and 12 (for some reason, there is no size 1) and will be used for all light tackle worm bait fishing in both freshwater and saltwater for many species including trout, whiting, bream, mullet and garfish. MUSTAD CELEBRATES ITS 175TH ANNIVERSARY This year, the Mustad Company celebrates its 175th anniversary, which makes it one of Norway’s oldest industrial companies. As everyone knows, Mustad is the world’s largest manufacturer of fish hooks and the Mustad brand is well known all over the world. In fact, some languages use Mustad as their only word for fish hook. But it is also interesting to note that since its start in 1832 in Gjøvik, Norway, Mustad has also made a quite diverse range of products, including screws, nails, zippers, cast-iron stoves, horse shoe nails, paper clips thumbtacks and even margarine. The Mustad headquarters are situated at Gjøvik, Norway, but the company has a total of 900 employees in 13 companies in 8 different countries, exporting products to more than 140 countries. The operation consists of manufacturing of fish hooks, sport fishing products, machinery for long liners and real estate at Gjøvik. Today the company is owned by Hans H. Mustad and his family. They represent the sixth and seventh generations of Mustad owners. Mustad engineer and factory manager, Mathias Topp, constructed the world’s first fully automatic fish hook machine in 1877. This started Mustad on the road to becoming the world’s largest manufacturer of fish hooks. At one stage, Mustad could offer more than 60,000 different patterns of fish hooks, and throughout its history, Mustad has made more than 100 billion fish hooks that have been sold all over the world. Today, Mustad has fish hook factories in Norway, Singapore, China, Brazil and Portugal. It also assembles its own terminal tackle, including flies and ready-made rigs, in its plant in The Philippines.