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If you’re a fan of science fiction then you’ll already be more than familiar with the term ‘cryogenic’. A super freezing process commonly used to preserve bodies in scifi books and films, you might be a little surprised to see the term used in relation to angling. In this context, cryogen refers to ESP’s brand new manufacture process for the brand’s new range of carp hooks. All of the hooks in the range have been manufactured using the same super-heating process as traditional fish hooks. This is a tempering process which heats the hooks to temperatures in excess of 180 degrees and it is at this point that traditional manufacturers stop. The next stage of the process is what sets these ESP Cryogen Hooks apart from the rest as they then undergo a cryogenic tempering process. This super cools the hook to minus 195 degrees over a 24 hour period before slowly raising the hook to an ambient temperature again.
This process is by no means exclusive to the angling world and it is often used to strength steel in the construction industry. It is also the technique used in the production of Formula One car engines in order to strengthen the engine parts. In ESP’s experience, this process reduces the hook’s susceptibility to stress, it increases wear resistance, and it improves overall hook strength. The ESP Cryogen Hooks have undergone a two year testing period and the brand is pleased to report that they have received hardly any reports of the point on these hooks going over and absolutely no reports of the hooks gaping. Bearing in mind that these hooks have brought in countless double figure carp over the years, this is particularly impressive. It is difficult to quantify accurately, but ESP believes that the hooks in the Cryogen range are between 30% and 40% stronger than any other hook on the market to date – without any increase in the wire gauge. That is surely something worth shouting about.
This hook, the ESP Cryogen Stiff Rigger, is a refined version of ESP’s classic MK1 and MK2 Stiff Rigger hooks. Featuring a slightly more inclined point for a stronger shape and a longer and finer point for overall improvements with sharpness, the hook is ideal for use with pop-up rigs as it maintains the lightness and buoyancy of the rig. Stiff Riggers were the first of the new range of hooks to be produced and the brand saw immediate success with this model. As soon as they had them in stock, ESP passed them over to carp fishing legend Terry Hearn. Tel had always been a huge fan of the original MK1 and MK2 Stiff Rigger hooks and he wasn’t sure that these hooks would be able to improve on the originals. It is fair to say that this new model far exceeded his expectations! Even with the heaviest duty of ‘broom handle’ carp rods, you’re never going to experience gaping or your point going over using these hooks. He has found that he has never brought a fish in to find that 2mm or 3mm of the point has turned over when using this new ESP Cryogen Stiff Rigger and, although they may blunt overtime as all hooks do, their life span is so greatly improved that he is more than happy to simply re-bait rather than completely re-rig with this hook.
Boasting a PTFE Teflon coating, this hook is as sharp as it is strong. It is available in five different barbed sizes, ranging from a size four all the way to a size eight, and you get 10 of these top quality hooks in each pack. If you’re looking for a new barbed hook to revolutionise your carp fishing then you need look no further than the ESP Cryogen Stiff Rigger and it will soon become your go-to hook for hinged stiff rig and chod rig presentations.
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