|Adjusting the rig-length pins|
Gizmo Angling's ZT-Pro hook tyer is a pretty impressive piece of kit that, once you have mastered its little idiosyncrasies. It will tie perfect hook lengths time after time, making tying those ridiculously small hooks possible for mere mortals like me. Next time someone says to me they can tie a No. 24 spade hook using 0.07 line I can now say "So can I" instead of making some garbled attempt at being impressed. Hopefully, after today, I will be able to say "I can tie them with a hair!"
|Eagerly awaited Hair Rig Attachment is here!|
The new attachment replaces the standard head of the ZT-Pro. This is achieved by loosening a small grub screw under the original head and simply sliding it off the shaft. The hair rig head is then slid onto the shaft until it stops and secured with the grub screw (located in the same position as it is on the original) after checking the alignment is correct. Two sizes of rig pins are supplied. The shorter one is intended for tying shorter hairs for smaller baits such as pellets. There are rings cut into the body to indicate position and making setting up repeatable. The larger pin is used for tying longer hairs required for bread flake and larger baits. Both pins have a fine 'capped' side pin for holding bait bands and an in-line spike to hold a quick stop or similar. The pins are held in place and adjusted by loosening and tightening a grub screw set into the lower jaw.
|The rig-length pins taped to their packing material|
|The hair rig attachment is simple to fit and it sets itself ready to tie a three inch hook length|
|With the pin at the bottom, mark the capstan|
in line with the red mark on the frame
Insignificant differences aside, Gizmo had planed to include a sticker to mount on the capstan to show the halfway point, however this had been delayed and will follow in due course. In the meantime a simple pencil mark can be used to indicate the half way point. It is easy to 'sight' the central position of the capstan by rotating it so the loop pin is at the six o'clock position. Using a medium hard pencil, HB is ideal, a mark can be scribed inline with the register mark on the mount. An HB grade pencil will work on both the plain and coloured versions of the hook tyer, although it may not be so obvious on the darker background. If it is not clear enough, a piece of paper can be stuck to the rim and the mark made on that, for the time being.
|The capstan is now marked at the half-way point enabling it to be set for a four inch hook length|
First Hair RigI am not showing you that one! Following the video instructions (HERE) it takes a few run-throughs to get the idea and to know how little tension is needed. Over and over again you are told not to hold/pull the line too tight but some tension is required or it just won't work. Yes, it is easy to do once you have mastered it but it is not instant, there is a learning curve to negotiate. Getting the tension right and the positioning of the hand feeding the line needs some experimentation. I tried several times with my first length, really just trying to get the feel for the winding and the locking off. After several goes at it, using the same length of line, I was reasonably confident I could tie a small (ish) hook with a hair using 0.10 line.
I tied a loop in one end of a fresh length of line and secured it around the loop-pin on the capstan, wrapped the cord around the brass 'dome' on the top jaw and started to wind. This stage is so much easier (for me) using magnification when using fine line and small hooks. I know I should be able to tie even smaller hooks with yet finer line but this is as far as I thought I would go to start with. Six or seven winds and I was off making my hair and feeding on a quick stop, see Gizmo's video instructions. After positioning the line and making three more turns, the knot was tightened and the hook length was removed from the tyer. I now had a three inch hook length with a hair rigged quick stop ready to use, on the second attempt. Even I was surprised. Okay, I need to refine the way I am doing it and get some practise in, but there is no doubt in my mind that I will be tying very fine hair rigged hook length in no time.
So far I have only spent about an hour messing about with this new attachment and I have managed to tie a hook length that is perfectly serviceable. Yes there is a learning curve but it is a very steep one that can be negotiated in minutes rather than hours. No paper instructions are included so the only choice is to watch the online video that can be found on Gizmo's various internet platforms. I understand that proper (paper) instructions will be available in due course.
I will have to spend a lot more time with this to give a full report on how good it is, but the first impressions are good. I do like a good gizmo (small 'g') and this is a good one. I think the more competitive match angler will get a lot of benefit out of this unique tyer, for me is is more of a passion to own a nice piece of kit rather than any practical advantage... having said that I am not sure how I would tie a hair on a No.24 hook without one. Do I need to tie a hair to a hook that small? Probably not, but who cares, I can if I want to, thanks to my ZT-Pro and hair rig attachment!
If you have not seen the ZT-Pro before, you can read the original review HERE.
For more information and pricing go to the Gizmo Angling website HERE.