first impression of the gunmetal S71Z was not great.
The hooks did not look quite as smart as the shiny
stainless equivalents and despite being chemically sharpened, they
were also not quite as sharp as the TMC 811S, or at least not
It was not until I got onto the water that the S71Z began to 'shine'.
To begin with the hook seems to retain its needle points
forever. I recently caught more than two dozen kahawai on a
Jelly Belly Minnow and the hook point seemed as sharp after the
last fish as when I made the first cast. Had I been using a
stainless hook I would have sharpened it at least twice.
of the many kahawai caught on the size 4 and size 2 hooks, were
hooked very well and I never experienced a single hook breaking or
opening, even though I
pulled hard enough at times to pop a 12lb tippet.
To test the corrosion resistance of the S71Z I did not rinse the
flies off in fresh water after fishing with them. Three
months later they remained coated with a sticky, salty residue,
but, quite remarkably, there was no sign of corrosion anywhere on
the hook. Stainless hooks treated similarly had brown spots
at the point where the hook emerged from the stretch cord
body. Six months after the S71-Z hooks were used in
saltwater they had tarnished somewhat, regardless of whether they
were rinsed off in fresh water or not, changing from the original
gunmetal to a dull oxidised grey. There was no sign of any
rust, however. What is impressive about Z-steel is that even if
some of the coating is removed - when sharpening the hook for
example – the exposed carbon steel remains protected from
are understandably reluctant to describe this protective mechanism
as it would provide clues to the composition of the “secret”
to Mustad the S71Z should appear on the Australian market toward
the end of 2010, with availability in
depending on demand.