The use of fishing gaff began a long time ago and is still being used today in the industry. Archaeologists have been collecting and keeping different types of gaffs which are dated up to 16th century used by various native tribes worldwide.
Much has not been done on improvement of gaffs since the initial designs are still versatile and applicable by angler’s today. The only significant changes made is on the material used to make the gaffs as a result of evolution in ergonomics.
For this reason, fishing gaffs produced today are light, easy to use and very strong. For beginners, it is recommended to go for those old versions of gaffs as you scale up to the latest versions as they are an essential tool for offshore species.
The article below gives an insightful fishing gaff buying guide.
Table of Contents
- 1 Quick Summary – Best Fishing Gaff
- 2 Fishing Gaff Buying Guide
- 3 Best 10 Fishing Gaffs
- 3.1 1. SAN LIKE Telescopic Fishing Gaff
- 3.2 2. KUFA Sports Telescope Hand Gaff
- 3.3 3. SANLIKE Telescopic Fish Gaff
- 3.4 4. Promar GFE-523 Elite Series Carbon Gaff
- 3.5 5. BUBBA Portable Gaff
- 3.6 6. KUFA Sports Stainless Steel Gaff Hook
- 3.7 7. Aftco Gaff Hook
- 3.8 8. Sea Strike Anodized Aluminum Gaff
- 3.9 9. Bubba 5 Foot Gaff
- 3.10 10. Cajun Bowfishing 24″ Heavy-Duty Aluminum Red Bowfishing Gaff
- 4 Conclusion
Quick Summary – Best Fishing Gaff
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Types of fishing gaffs
On a closer look, all fishing gaffs have a similar look, but there are differences. The two types are flying and fixed fishing gaffs.
Flying fishing gaff
These types are usually designed to have a head that moves away from the pole once it is embedded on to a fish. On the rod is a rope which is 25 feet for as recommended by the regulatory body. These gaffs are used for fishing large species of fish, and you can use two or more gaffs to handle the weight of the fish properly. When retrieving a team effort is required due to the massive catch. As a beginner, you are advised to properly train on using this gaff before the actual fishing session.
The fixed fishing gaff
The head of these gaffs are not moveable; they are permanently fixed on the pole. Fixed fishing gaffs are the best for beginners due to their ease of usage. Moreover, small fishing gaffs are good to use when you are on a small boat and intend to capture the small fish species.
The Handle: Fishing gaffs handles have been manufactured with three different material; carbon Fibre, aluminum and fiberglass
Fiberglass: Compared to aluminum, fiberglass fishing gaffs are lighter, more rigid, and stronger. However, they are quite expensive and can shatter when carrying a heavy load.
Carbon Fibre: Compared to aluminum and fiberglass, carbon fiber is thrice and twice stronger, respectively. They are the most expensive and too rigid.
Aluminum: They are the most widely preferred material due to its light, stronger and cheap features. Moreover, it can bend on carrying a heavy load; thus, it cannot shutter quickly.
The Hook: On the look at two key things materials, are and the size.
The size of the fishing gaff is a myth doing round states that if you are targeting a large catch, you should use a big hook size. This is pure lies since the ultimate decision lies with personal preference. Two gaffs with different heads will give different results. Those with a large diameter tend to produce more resistance to straightening though when placed of the quality scale it may pose as a problem.
Materials: The heads of gaffs are usually made of stainless steel due to how strong they are and resistant to environmental conditions such as rust. When you are shopping, look for a gaff written 316 stainless which means it contains molybdenum material making the gaff extremely resistant to corrosion. Those noted 304 stainless are made using chromium and nickel. These are more prevalent to corrosion.
Features of Fishing Gaffs
When looking at the features, the key considerations are the buoyancy, grip, and cover.
This will be determined by the material used to make the handle. Handles made up of carbon fiber have the best floatation capacity compared to those made of aluminum and fiberglass. The other factor that affects buoyancy is the portion of the handle above the water. To improve the floatation capacity, consider adding a piece of a pool noodle.
The best cover for a fishing gaff is those made of stainless steel. Research has shown that they are protective and resistant to rust. Moreover, your safety is paramount hence go for a fishing gaff that has a cover at the tip.
Always go for fishing gaff whose poles are made of rubber. Alternatively, due to the increased cost attached to rubber, look for a gaff wrapped in ethylene-vinyl acetate which when touched feel similar to rubber. These materials aid you in holding you gaff firmly during your fishing mission.
Designs of Fishing Gaffs
The three designs of fishing gaffs including:
Harpoon designed gaffs
Offshore anglers frequently use them, and they are essential to subdue the fish.
The Australian designed squared gaff
They are essential in keeping the fish hooked up since they make the fish sit in the gap; thus, your catch cannot fall.
8- and 12-foot gaffs
These are mostly used by tournament competing fishers who are eyeing hefty prizes upon winning the competition. The extra length is vital since it enables anglers to reach deeply for fish and get fantastic results.
Price of Fishing Gaffs
Pricing can impede you from getting the best fishing gaff however have a budget and use the seedling below to determine which best fits you.
Fishing gaffs that are considered the cheapest are below $10. Keep in mind cheap is costly; hence the more affordable, the lesser the quality. Good fishing gaffs with better quality in this category range between $14 to $21.
The price range on this scale is from $24 to $60. If you are looking for toughness and size go for gaffs costing above $80. Furthermore, the price may rise depending on the material of the pole.
Carbon fiber pole retail for more than $280.
The type of fishing gaff you decide to purchase will determinantal here. Due to the immense size and toughness of the flying gaff, they are usually sold independently to the hook.
Do not get surprised when you see a tag for theses sophisticated instruments retailing at over $300 and going for the top renewed brands prices is inclusive of the rope and can retail up to $500.
Do your due diligence on the fishing gaff while seeking an expert opinion from an experienced angler. Fishing can be exciting if you have the correct fishing gaff.
Best 10 Fishing Gaffs
1. SAN LIKE Telescopic Fishing Gaff
Having a far-reaching gaff is key to landing large-sized fish in a competitive environment for many saltwater anglers. The SAN LIKE Telescopic Fishing Gaff is an excellent choice for both tournament fishing enthusiasts and recreational anglers as it provides plenty of length for one to adequately reach down into the water and hook their catch.
This gaff is made of highly-durable aluminum material that is capable of holding up against fish of almost any size. The handle portion features a comfortable EVA foam padding that makes it easy for anglers to grip the gaff and maintain their hold on it until the fish is well in-hand.
What I Like About It
Many anglers prefer this style of telescopic gaff as it allows them to utilize the longer section when needed. Despite being made of sturdy aluminum material, this gaff weighs only 4.6 ounces total. The SAN LIKE Telescopic Fishing Gaff offers anglers with a wrist lanyard that ensures anglers don’t drop the gaff into the water. If that does happen, the gaff is capable of floating and can be easily retrieved in most cases.
The hook’s tip is sharpened to allow anglers to easily pierce the fish and bring it in without any trouble, but the tip also comes with a cover that prevents the gaff from posing any sort of hazards on the water.
2. KUFA Sports Telescope Hand Gaff
Telescopic gaffs are highly popular with modern anglers as they allow you to easily store the tool away in a compact compartment of the boat until it is needed. The KUFA Sports Telescope Hand Gaff is another great option on my list of the best 10 fishing gaffs currently on the market. This particular model allows anglers to lengthen their gaff and use it as a 30” tool or up to 46” if needed.
What I Like About It
The gaff’s shaft portion is made with aluminum material that is strong enough to handle just about any type of fish you might encounter on the ocean. The hook is crafted from highly-durable stainless steel material that can be sharpened down to a fine point if it happens to be dulled over time.
The overall weight of the KUFA Sports Telescope Hand Gaff is roughly one pound, which makes this tool relatively lightweight compared to some of the other premium options you might find on today’s market.
3. SANLIKE Telescopic Fish Gaff
Comfort and Capability are two of the most important factors when it comes to the SANLIKE Telescopic Fish Gaff. This saltwater or freshwater gaff is capable of extending out to a length of 55 inches, but can be folded down to a compact size of just 17.3 inches for easy portability on any size boat.
This gaff is very convenient to handle and use as it is made of exceptionally lightweight aluminum material that’s just over half a pound in total weight. Like most other high-quality gaffs on my list, this model offers a stainless steel hook section that also has a sharpened point for easy hooking of any type of fish.
What I Like About It
The gaff’s handle is made with a comfortable grip that consists of EVA foam material. This EVA foam helps users maintain a solid grip on the gaff no matter how wet the conditions are. The stainless steel tip also comes with a rubberized cover to prevent any accidental injuries that could result when the gaff is not in use.
The SANLIKE Telescopic Fish Gaff is made with a reflective blue coloration that makes it stand out against the usual background of the boat’s white surface.
4. Promar GFE-523 Elite Series Carbon Gaff
Sometimes it’s better to have a more lightweight option than the traditional, heavy style gaff that has been in use for so many years. Options such as the Promar GFE-523 Elite Series Carbon gaff allow users to have a greater amount of control over the gaff thanks to its featherlight construction that is only just over half a kilogram in weight.
What I Like About It
The carbon fiber material is sometimes considered to be less durable than aluminum, but it is capable of holding up to just about any type of fish you might encounter on the water. The lighter weight model means users will be able to hook the fish with greater quickness and, therefore, bring it under control in a shorter amount of time. This ultimately lessens that amount of time the angler spends fighting the fish and shortens the window of opportunity for the line to break or for the fish to come off the hook.
Unlike aluminum material, the carbon fiber material of the Promar GFE-523 Elite Series Carbon is made to bend and flex when needed. This helps anglers have a greater chance of the fish being hooked with the gaff and brought in as it will eliminate the frustration that is all-too-common with fish that violently thrash around when brought to the surface.
5. BUBBA Portable Gaff
The Bubba brand has been around for a few decades and the company has quickly established itself in the fishing industry as one that manufacturers quality products that will last many years when cared for properly. The BUBBA Portable Gaff is another excellent example of this gaff’s capability to bring in just about any fish you happen to hook into on the open ocean or anywhere else.
What I Like About It
This gaff model is a full 3 feet in length and is not made to retract or expand like some of the other options on my list. However, the BUBBA Portable Gaff is made of new, sturdy carbon fiber material that is capable of bending and flexing more than aluminum or other material. This allows the user to keep the fish hooked despite its best efforts to break free.
The hook is made of high-strength stainless steel and the handle portion is covered with a rubberized grip material that will help users maintain a greater amount of control over the gaff in the few short minutes that they work to hook the fish and bring it in.
6. KUFA Sports Stainless Steel Gaff Hook
The KUFA brand has been making gaff hooks and other saltwater fishing gear and equipment for many years now. Their KUFA Sports Stainless Steel Gaff Hook is among one of the best fishing gaffs you’ll find on the market today as it offers a number of quality characteristics and is built for performance.
The stainless steel hook on the end of the gaff is made of the highest-grade steel material of any other gaff on the market today. Unlike the previous KUFA model we’ve already mentioned, the KUFA Sports Stainless Steel Gaff Hook isn’t capable of retraction or expanding when needed. Instead, users can rest assured that they can utilize every inch of this gaff model to bring in their fish with relative ease.
What I Like About It
This gaff model comes in three separate size options that include a 12-inch, 24-inch, and 48-inch size. These are perfect for anglers who normally fish from smaller boats or kayaks and are working with limited space. The end is fitted with a short rubberized handle and rope sling that allows the user to maintain control over the gaff and not let it slip into the water.
7. Aftco Gaff Hook
Tournament anglers and serious saltwater fishermen and women are likely to be familiar with the Aftco brand as this company produces high-quality products that are made for the best anglers. This no-nonsense gaff might be a bit more expensive than other options on my list, but that’s mainly due to the high-end quality of each specific component for the Aftco Gaff Hook.
What I Like About It
This gaff is made from sturdy anodized aluminum material that is capable of standing up to nearly any fish you encounter on the ocean. It’s a bit heavier than some of the other models we’ve already noted on my list of the best fishing gaffs, but that’s because Aftco made this gaff with very high-quality components.
Users should be aware that the Aftco Gaff Hook is also not made to float, but the handle portion is made with comfortable EVA foam material that ensures the user’s will be able to maintain their grip on the gaff, even when their hands are soaking-wet. The stainless steel hook portion is sharpened to a point and the gaff’s hook is also made with a more pronounced curve to allow users to hook larger fish with relative ease.
8. Sea Strike Anodized Aluminum Gaff
Serious anglers know that they don’t have the luxury of experimenting with lesser quality gear and equipment items to see if they will stack up to the premium-quality options that are available elsewhere. The Sea Strike Anodized Aluminum Gaff is only 3 feet long, but is made to be exceptionally tough and durable when compared to other gaff models that are the same size and structure.
What I Like About It
This gaff is available for a relatively affordable price, yet still offers many of the look, feel, and on-the-water performance that many of the most expensive brands offer. The shaft portion is made of sturdy anodized aluminum that maintains its shape despite being placed under serious pressure with large-sized fish.
The handle portion offers a short padded foam EVA section that helps users maintain a solid grip so that they can bring in their catch safely and securely. This gaff is also relatively lightweight at just over one pound. The Sea Strike brand boasts that every one of their gaffs’ are hand-sharpened to a knife-like point that is capable of quickly sticking through the scales and skin of any fish and bringing them in without much frustration.
9. Bubba 5 Foot Gaff
This option among my list of the best fishing gaffs is very similar to the previous Bubba product we’ve already mentioned. However, it offers a full 5 feet of shaft length, which gives users the unique ability to reach further down into the water to retrieve their catch without letting it get away.
The stainless steel hook section is made with an offset, rounded hook that users will find to be much easier to employ against larger-sized fish. Needless to say, this model might be much more expensive than most other options on my list, but it is certainly among the best fishing gaffs you’ll find currently on the market. This model is especially recommended for those who take part in competitive fishing tournaments as the quality is outstanding.
What I Like About It
The handle is fitted with 2 feet of rubberized material that’s wrapped around the shaft of the gaff to give users an added level of grip when it counts the most. The shaft is made of high-quality carbon fiber material that will typically outlast most aluminum gaffs when cared for properly. The handle of the Bubba 5 Foot Gaff is made to be especially versatile and to fit into a standard rod holder.
10. Cajun Bowfishing 24″ Heavy-Duty Aluminum Red Bowfishing Gaff
The Cajun Bowfishing 24″ Heavy-Duty Aluminum Red Bowfishing Gaff is listed among my best fishing gaffs despite its namesake indicating that it is mainly used for bowfishing. This gaff’s featherweight design and short stature make it an excellent choice for kayak anglers or anyone fishing from a small boat.
The pole is made of heavy-duty aluminum material and will be capable of letting users handle just about any size fish they happen to encounter. The hook portion is crafted from stainless steel material that is very sharp and comes standard with a tip cover to prevent any potential injury—especially for kayak anglers who are usually working with limited space.
What I Like About It
The foam handle and wrist-strap help users maintain a high level of control over the gaff as they work to hook their catch. The lightweight design of the Cajun Bowfishing Heavy-Duty Aluminum Gaff clocks in at just under one pound overall.
This gaff would function as an ideal multi-purpose tool that can be used by outdoor enthusiasts who might look for a gaff that can be used for both fishing and bowfishing in some instances.
Now that you have selected your fishing gaff you may want to read some tips on the best way to use them.
Last update on 2022-08-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API