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CARPology Reviews

ESP Hammer Time

ESP have created a new favourite for Terry Hearn

It’s been 22 years since ESP—then a completely new offshoot of the Drennan empire—launched carp fishing’s first dedicated Stiff-Rig hook pattern. The brand, and carp fishing in general, has come a long way since the iconic Stiff Riggers debuted in 1999, but it looks like this new hook design could create a similar impact.

The Cryogen Chod-Hammer is a modern blend of ESP’s hugely successful Trig-Hammer pattern and the tried and tested principles of the Stiff Rigger. The former provides the ultra-sharp point profile and bend shape, creating a strong design engineered to catch hold in the fish’s mouth as effectively as possible. Where this new pattern lends itself perfectly to Chod and Hinged-Stiff presentations is in its much larger eye (capable of accepting 25lb Bristle Filament three times over) which is bent outwards. It’s quite a subtle outward bend, but it’s been calculated to allow the hook to sit just right with D-rig-style pop-up presentations. 

ESP’s Rich Hook Heritage
Raptor hooks: what the carp world of 1999 was waiting for! These were proper dedicated carp hook patterns designed to ESP’s spec, with ultra fine needle sharp points, and included the cult classics G-4, T-6 and original Stiff Rigger.

The other crucial factor at work here lies in the hook’s Cryogen nametag. This refers to the twin tempering process ESP have formulated to provide the hook with a needle-sharp point that remains durable. The tempering procedure also gives these hooks a certain degree of ‘spring’, allowing them just enough flexibility to avoid opening up or snapping altogether during a fight.

The wire gauge is the same as on the earlier Cryogen Stiff Rigger hooks and the sizes are also similar, meaning fans of those forerunner hooks can upgrade without having too much trouble matching hook sizes to pop-up diameters. Available in 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 in barbed or barbless.  £4.65

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