What should I do if I straighten out or bend a gaff hook or handle on my AFTCO fixed-head gaff?
Carefully rebend the hook back into shape using a cleat or a bench vise, or take it to a machine shop or muffler repair and have them rebend the hook. The hook material we use is all 316L or Project 70 stainless steel. These are the best alloys available for marine application, which won't rust and have a high yield strength (resistance to bending). If a fish opens up the gaff, then either the hook is too small for the fish being gaffed, or the gaff was not used properly. The stainless we use is a cold-working alloy, which means it will actually get stronger each time it is rebent.
The gaff handles are all thick-walled, swaged 6061 T6 aluminum. Again, this is the best alloy available and should not bend when used properly. If a handle is bent, it can be carefully rebent in a bench vise with soft jaws.