How To Make A Kage Gaff

     While planning for the Sailfish Smackdown this year I realized that since I live in Wisconsin there was a lot of gear I simply didn't own.  Fishing in saltwater for pelagic species is a world away from the normal angling I do chasing muskies and bass from a kayak.  The rods, reels, and terminal tackle were simple things to acquire.  However one piece of gear I needed would have to be built.  That item was the Hawaiian Kage Gaff.  A cage gaff was developed by kayak anglers on the coast to subdue large fish species before pulling them over the side of a plastic boat.  This is extremely important because large struggling fish could break bones, destroy gear, or even capsize you.  Using a kage gaff solves this issue by killing the fish and allowing it to bleed out while in the water.  Much safer for you and much more humane for the fish.  After a lot of research I built a couple for me and my buddies.  Here's how I did it, step by step, one cold afternoon.
     First you need to get all the materials.  I used a 1 inch shovel handle because it fits in a paddle clip I use on my kayak.  Then I picked up a 2 foot section of 5/16" threaded rod from the local hardware store.  I also grabbed some wood glue, a 12 inch drill bit, rubber caps for a chair leg, and some 550 para-cord to wrap the shovel handle for better grip.
     Next you need to cut the shovel handle to the length you want your kage gaff to be.  I went with a length of about 32 inches.  Remember that you'll have a 12 inch section of threaded rod inside the handle and that you need to be able to reach out over the water to stab the fish so don't go too short (dogs in the house) on the kage gaff handle.
You'll also notice that I wrapped a couple sections of the handle with tape (black rings).
     Then I clamped the handle securely to a table and began slowly drilling the hole for the 5/16" threaded rod.  Take your time with this step remembering to work the drill back and worth to eject the wood shavings so that the bit doesn't become clogged and deflect inside the wood.  Use some tape to keep the wood handle from splitting while you drill.
     After you've finished drilling, pour some glue into the hole and insert the 5/16" threaded rod.  Allow the glue to setup and then drill a 5/16" hole in one of the rubber chair caps.  Slide the cap down the rod and work it onto the handle.  The end result should look something like this when you've finished this step.
     Now it's time to wrap the para-cord handle.  This step is to long to explain in pictures.  I had never used para-cord before so I went with a simple wrap that would hold tightly in place and look half way decent.  It turned out really well and after fusing the ends with a flame the kage gaff was almost finished.  To learn how to add a wrap like this to your handle just follow the link here.
     The final step is to grind the end of the 5/16" threaded rod to a point.  That's all it takes, follow these steps and you'll soon have your own Hawaiian Kage Gaff.  After I made the first one I sprayed the others ones with some leftover clear coat paint I had in the garage just to help seal the wood a little, but that's it.  It's really strong and should make quick work of any pelagic species you want to bring into the kayak.
     Tight Lines.

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