How to Make a Gaff

Make a versatile gaff with an extending handle

First, purchase a gaff hook at a tackle shop (or take one off an old gaff) and buy an extension pole for house painting, a stainless screw (with matching nut) slightly longer than the width of the extension pole, and two-part epoxy from a hardware store. Then remove the end fitting with the male screw threads from the extension pole and you’re ready to start.

how to make an extendible gaff
Assembly instructions 1Steve Sanford
  1. Wedge a wad of masking tape inside the open end of the extension pole. Use a finger to push it down about 3 inches and pack it tightly.

  2. Place the back of the gaff hook inside the cavity and drill a hole for a screw across the pole, 2 inches from the end and a bit off center.

  3. Fit the screw through the hole and secure it with the nut. It'll act as an anchor for the gaff hook and add strength once it's bonded in place.

  4. Mix enough epoxy to completely fill the cavity, then pull the gaff hook up to the screw and hold it straight while the epoxy hardens.

How to make an extendible gaff
Add a hook guard to make the gaff safer when it’s not in use.Steve Sanford
  1. Cut a 10-inch length of plastic tubing with an inside diameter that fits snugly over the hook and make a slit through one side, about 1 inch from the end.

  2. Insert the hook into the end of the tubing and out the slit, then slide the tubing down the hook shank to rest against the end of the gaff handle.

  3. Pull the end of the tubing up to the gaff-hook point, measure the length needed to cover the first 11⁄2 inches, and then cut off the excess.

How to make an extendible gaff
Finishing touchSteve Sanford

As a finishing touch, apply a measuring-tape decal to the gaff handle to make sure your catches are legal.