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It is interesting that the world’s oldest fish hooks made from sea snail shells were discovered in Okinawa Island- a part of Japan. The invention of the fish hook marked the beginning of fishing as we know it. Early fish hooks made from wood then bones were advancements. As technology improved so did the hook, with the advent of metal as a source material. In the 1900s new manufacturing techniques resulted in the development of more styles of hooks and designs for a wider range of fishing techniques.

Gamakatsu, started producing fish hooks in 1955, but at that time, they were the smallest hook manufacturer in Japan, and they still formed their hooks by hand. But the vision of the late Shigekatsu Fujii was much broader and far reaching. He took great pride in manufacturing the highest quality fish hooks in Japan, and the company’s founding really was the cradle of innovative techniques, machines, materials and production methods that would forever change the fish hook business world-wide. Fujii took the first big step in 1963, with the introduction of an

automated heating facility. This new technology allowed Gamakatsu to produce a higher quality hook at faster speeds, giving them a competitive advantage. In 1974 they introduced fully automated hook making machines which led to the need for a second factory to meet the demand for their hooks. By 1976, Gamakatsu was the leading Japanese hook manufacturer. They upgraded their hook manufacturing machines in 1986, which allowed Gamakatsu to expand their product line giving them one of the widest selections in the industry.

At the center of their quality was the use of a high carbon steel designed specifically for the manufacture of fish hooks. Produced in wire coils, this material not only contains a higher percentage of carbon, it also has fewer impurities helping with both strength and sharpness. In 1988, they again invested in the business, this time to upgrade and automate the tempering facilities and expand the hook factory capacity. They started production in Thailand and China in 1989 as sources for hooks for the global marketplace. Their unique electronic tempering process enables Gamakatsu manufacture consistently high quality, extremely sharp hooks in large quantities. With their focus on innovative processing, they have established a reputation for technological advantage in Durability, Strength Sharpness, and Variety in both Color and Style. Sharpness is one of the most important factors in hook performance and Gamakatsu designed a superior conically needle honed point that keeps its sharpness catch after catch. They were the first to introduce colored hooks to better match any lure or bait. Gamakatsu continues to invest in research & development which leads to innovations such as their extra wide gap hooks to hold fish better.

They entered the US market in 1992 with the establishment of Gamakatsu USA Inc. in Tacoma, Washington as a distributor for Gamakatsu brand hooks. In the USA, they are constantly testing new materials trying to improve their product, which has become a standard for quality for the rest of the industry. Entering the 2000’s, Gamakatsu continued to launch new products and expand the reach of the brand across the country, and today Gamakatsu is known coast to coast as a market leader for the finest fish hooks. They have also focused R&D efforts on make products from materials that have no adverse effect on the environment


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