Being a grad student at UT working in metallurgical engineering I get some cool opportunities to play with some expensive equipment and every once in a while i get the chance to do some stuff that relates to my hobbies.
My adviser teaches the senior design class for the Material Science and Engineering undergraduates, as part of this class students are instructed to make a comparison between a "high quality" and a "low quality" device. Usually this project focuses on craftsman tools vs no-names tools from china. This year there were more students than tools so I recommended that a comparison be made between fishing hooks.
I wanted to use fly hooks but they can be kinda small so I had some bass fishing hooks laying around that were bigger thus making a comparison easier. Gamakatsu is what i could consider a good hook or an industry standard. Recently Eagle Claw has introduced a top-of-the-line series of surgically sharpened hooks for bass fishing. These hooks are said to be resigned from bottom up to make a far superior hook. They make clames that hook sets are 4X easier among others. With all this "added" performace the cost (10$ for a pack) is double that of Gamakatsu hooks(5$ for a pack).
I am attaching some of the more interesting images from the report below. The overall conclusions were that the Gamakatsu (which is chemically sharpened I believe ) is in fact sharper and required less force to penetrate a leather belt. Also metallurgicaly the alloys were similar but the Lazer Trokar was a bit harder (harder=stiffer). Both hooks had coatings to prevent rust, but the Gamakatsu had a more even coverage with a thicker coat.
Bottom line.....go with Gamakatsu, the added cost dose not necessary mean a better product in this case.
This is a picture showing size and macro shot of the hook point. The Gamakatsu is the hook on top.
This is an SEM shot at 250X showing the hook point angles. Note the coating uniformity.The Gamakatsu is on the left.
This is a higher SEM shot of the very tips of the hook points. This shows that the Gamakatsu is sharper. The Gamakatsu is on the left.
This is the test that the student devised to determine the force required to penetrate a leather belt. probably a little tougher than bass lips but hey....a good idea.
here are the results from the above test. You can see that less force is required to penetrate from the Gamakatsu hook.