Hammerhead Gear Retractors
by Al Campbell
Last spring Hammerhead Industries sent me a selection of retractors called
Gear Keepers for a review. Normally, I could test a similar product and
form an opinion in a week or maybe two, but not this time. This time I was
testing products with some lofty claims from the manufacturer. I didn't
quite believe they could live up to the promises on the package.
Let's look at the claims and how the tools performed.
Corrosion proof - OK, this isn't a bold claim, but I've used products
that didn't meet this standard. Hammerhead's products surpassed the
standard with stainless hardware, stainless springs and nylon coated
stainless steel cables. Obviously designed for saltwater use.
60lb break strength - This was a fun test. Buford, my basset hound,
weighs about 60 pounds, but he wouldn't have anything to do with my plans,
so I had to settle for a harness and 60 pounds of lead shot. (Hey, some of
us reloaders have resources that come in handy for other things too.) Yup,
it held sixty pounds and more, but the hook I used to test it didn't fare
Secure mounting - I've lost a few tools from my vest in the past. For
some reason, the little pins usually found on retractors like to bend and
come loose. Not so with these tools. The attachment devices used on
Hammerhead retractors are secure enough to rip the front off your fly vest
before they fail. The handy fly patch on some of the keepers is nice too.
Actually, everything performed beyond my expectations. In all my years,
I've never had the chance to test a more durable line of retractors. And,
fishermen aren't the only ones who can benefit from Hammerhead products.
They make a line of retractors and gear keepers for scuba divers and
hunters as well. They also make a line of accessories that attach to their
retractors as well as a neck strap that holds attachments.
Buying a Hammerhead retractor isn't cheap, (they cost about $20 apiece),
but you'll never have to replace one because it broke or fell off your
vest. I call that a good investment.
If you're interested in a retractor that holds tools like a jealous
gorilla, contact your local fly shop. If your local shop doesn't carry
them, contact Hammerhead Industries via
their phone number is 1-888-588-9981. If you want to
mail them, the address is:
1501 Goodyear Ave.
Ventura, CA 93003
For more information visit the
web site.~Al Campbell
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