ESP is famous among carp anglers for its top end terminal tackle and the brand has consistently produced high end tackle for the discerning angler. Suppliers to Terry Hearn, living carp fishing legend, along with a number of other top end anglers, the brand continues to excel in all areas of end tackle production. However, even the biggest ESP fans couldn’t have predicted the success of its Cryogen hook range. Released in the spring of 2016, the range of hooks flew off the shelves and were widely regarded as some of the finest carp tackle items on the market. Shortly after their release, ESP started to become inundated with requests to expand the range. Luckily, the brand had anticipated these calls and had already begun work on an expansion to the range. There are now an additional three hooks in the Cryogen series, all of which benefit from the unique tempering process which made the original hooks so popular, which have been designed to fill the gaps that the originals left behind. This Para-Point Hook is the real enforcer of the range and it has been designed to be a supremely versatile all-rounder.
The ESP Cryogen Para-Point Hook has been designed with a medium length shank and almost a ‘crystal’ pattern bend. This is complemented by the inclined point, which leaves you with an incredibly strong shaped hook and the point of the hook itself is very long and fine. This is needle-sharp, to ensure that your carp isn’t going anywhere when it takes your bait. This is the most versatile hook in the whole series. As such, you can use this with confidence regardless of your angling circumstances, whether you’re using it with a bottom carp bait or a popped-up rig. It can even be used both with and without a kicker. This allows you to maximise your angling potential in a range of scenarios and it really ensures that you can step up your game no matter the conditions on the water. However, in testing, ESP has found that this hook is especially effective with the Tungsten Loaded D-Rig.
As the name suggests, this ESP Cryogen Para-Point Hook has been designed using a unique cryogenic tempering process. Most commonly used in the motor sport industry, where it is used to strengthen the resilience of engines in Formula One cars, this is a process which alters the molecular structure of steel. In fishing hooks, this reduces the hook’s susceptibility to stress, increases its resistance against the kinds of wear and tear which you would usual expect to damage a hook on the bank, and it improves overall hook strength. This results in a hook which is, on average, between 30% and 40% stronger than traditional fishing hooks. The process first involves super heating the hook to temperatures in excess of 180 degrees. This is the point at which traditional fishing hooks are left to cool and packaged, but it is only the start of the process in the life of an ESP Cryogen Hook. The hook is then super-cooled over an extended period of time (usually 24 hours), bringing the hook temperature down to minus 195 degrees. This is the cryogenic freezing process and it is where the real strengthening magic happens. Finally, the hook is slowly brought back up to an ambient temperature – again over a number of hours.
Not only does the ESP Cryogen Para-Point hook benefit from ESP’s cryogenic tempering process but it also benefits from a PTFE ‘Tufflon’ coating. A stronger and more durable version of Teflon, Tufflon ensures that the hook is super-slick – your fish won’t even have a chance!