Gizmo Angling is one of the success stories of recent years. A small family business that dared to dream, it is now shipping its products to over 30 different countries around the world.
Its ZT-PRO hook-tying station is one of those genius products that once you see in the flesh (or beautiful powder-coated metal in this case!) you just have to buy one.
At first glance this is ‘just’ an expensive hook-tying device. But get your hands on one and the engineering will blow you away. Made in the UK, the company uses engineers in Sheffield and Leeds to manufacture the parts and then each unit is assembled in Grimsby at the Gizmo unit. The sheer quality of the product is fantastic.
But how did the idea come about? We asked company owner Dennis Vause about how it all started: “My job has taken me across the globe and for a number of years, despite being a fishing nut, my angling had to take a back seat so that I could concentrate on my career in creating internet infrastructure in countries such as Kenya. When that job finished it led to me coming back to the UK and cracking on with some fishing again.
“I bought myself a Pierotti hook tyer on my return and while I loved the idea, the line would twist and damage in use. My dad, an engineer working for Rolls Royce and the army, saw the trouble I was having and wanted to see if he could come up with a better system that would create a perfectly tied hook every single time, without that frustrating line twist.
“He made the first version by hand and totally cracked it, and the ZT-PRO was born. Dad really is a master engineer and what he has come up with is a beautiful piece of kit, something to be proud to own!
We have had many problems to solve along the way – for a start he can’t make each individual part by hand, so we have located some expert UK engineering companies to create the parts to our exacting standards.
“The response to our product has been staggering, with thousands of units now sold. Kamasan has even approached us for it to use our station for its testing.
“Of course, we want to keep developing this product and the next stage is the introduction of the hair-rig attachment. Again this is a stand-alone machined section that allows you to tie a hair rig on a spade-end hook. This has obvious applications, especially where finesse F1 fishing is concerned. Again my dad came up with it and it is just fantastic.”
Here is a step-by-step look at how to use both of the Gizmo heads:
Tying A Spade-End Hook With The Standard Head
1 Tie a loop into your length of line using a loop tyer to help produce a strong loop knot
2 Pull the hook vice towards you.
3 Place your chosen hook into the vice and tighten.
4 Push the vice back into position.
5 Attach the loop to the pin on the barrel.
6 Wrap the line around the rounded brass pin.
7 Bring the line around and, starting from the top, begin to whip down the hook.
8 Make sure there are at least seven whippings on the hook shank.
9 Press the brass button up and trap the tag end under it in the small recess.
10 Release the button to trap the tag.
11 Trim the tag.
12 Press the rounded brass pin to release the loop of line.
13 The loop now needs to be pulled through the whipping.
14 Tighten the loop through the whipping by rotating the barrel.
15 Once all of the slack has been taken up and the knot is tight…
16 … release the jaws of the vice to free the tied hook.
17 Press the button on the underside of the vice to release the tag.
18 Pull the hooklength off the barrel.
19 The finished hooklength, perfectly tied to four inches.
Using The Hair-Rig Attachment
1 The hair-rig attachment can tie different length hairs. In this setting it’s ideal for smaller baits.
2 Put the hook in the vice.
3 Attach the loop on to the pin.
4 Wrap the line around the rounded brass pin.
5 As before, start whipping down the shank of the hook.
6 Wrap the tag end around the hair-rig attachment.
7 Push the brass button on the underside of the vice up and trap the tag.
8 Slide a band on to the tag end.
9 Release the tag and slide the band down to rest against the hair-rig attachment.
10 Whip around the hook two more times.
11 Trap the tag again using the button.
12 Push the brass pin down to release the loop and tighten using the barrel.
13 Release the tag and trim tight.
14 Tighten the knot using the barrel and release.
15 The finished spade-end hair rig.
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