Fisherman's 'bombproof' hook set to catch big players video


Tran Lawrence is a fireman and environmentalist. He's invented a hook that doesn't need a knot to be tied onto a line.

Catching fish can be a frustrating exercise at the best of times.

Snagged lines, bloodied parts pierced by razor sharp hooks, and barracuda stealing the catch.

Just ask New Plymouth angler Tran Lawrence.

Tran says he's caught "loads of fish" with his new knotless fishing hook.

Tran says he's caught "loads of fish" with his new knotless fishing hook.

Lawrence was ready to throw his crew mates overboard after repeated requests to help tie their lines onto hooks, or unfurl tangled traces.

* How to catch a fish using a iPhone as a lure

* Bigger hooks reduce mortality
* Fish hooks becoming public hazard 
* How to release fish caught in deep water

"But I couldn't chuck them over the side because they owned the boat," he said.

Tran Lawrence designed a selection of fish hooks to use without the need to tie a knot to the line.

Tran Lawrence designed a selection of fish hooks to use without the need to tie a knot to the line.

Squinting fiercely with narrowed eyes while threading a thin piece of nylon through a small hole on a rolling sea became more difficult for the crew as the years rolled on and their vision worsened.

Instead, the Vietnamese-born fisherman decided to invent an easier, faster, and less painful way to attach a line to a barbed fish hook.

Lawrence wanted a hook "bombproof'' to all ages and genders, and more importantly, not strain the friendship of his fishing mates when he berated them for losing a fish from a poorly tied line.

Tran Lawrence has invented a 'knotless' fishing hook.

Tran Lawrence has invented a 'knotless' fishing hook.

Over six months, while working shifts as a fireman at the New Plymouth Fire Station, Lawrence drilled, filed and bent pieces of aluminium into shapes of fish hooks.

Ad Feedback

Finally he fashioned an ideal shape with a hole drilled in the middle of the shank and a gap in the eyelet to thread the line through.

The line is wound around the shank '5-6 times' and over the tail and pulled tight so it slips freely into the eyelet.

New Plymouth fisherman Tran Lawrence demonstrates how to tie on a hook without using a knot

New Plymouth fisherman Tran Lawrence demonstrates how to tie on a hook without using a knot

An Auckland company was hired to use a laser to make a number of titanium prototype hooks for testing.

Lawrence and his mates, Kerry Bulman, Murray Bryant and Danny Waide​, then set off from the Taranaki coastline to catch a fish.

It was a resounding success, Lawrence said.

"We've caught loads of fish with these hooks - snapper, kahawai and kingfish."

Hooks were tied onto lines faster and there were less arguments on board the boat.

"When we used the old style hook, we would have trouble threading the line through the eye," Bryant said.

"Tran would shake his head and grab the line and do it for us.

"It made him frustrated and cut down on valuable fishing time."

Lawrence said the new technique was similar to snelling a line onto a hook.

"The difference is that on our hooks there is the gap in the eyelet, whereas the snell knot uses a conventional hook with the eyelet enclosed," he said.

The new hooks and knot are also environmentally sound and make it less harmful to the fish when taking the hook out of the fish's mouth, he added. 

As well the line strain is centred on the loops around the shank, and not the eyelet.

"A knot will weaken the line by up to 40 per cent, whereas this concept put no stress on the line and retained the strain by 100 per cent," he said.

Lawrence applied for a New Zealand patent on the design and hoped to get interest from overseas companies to manufacture and distribute the hooks on a wide scale.

The important element is that his mates are happier, he said.

"It has extended their fishing time, it's useful, quick and has the ability to go global.

"We're going to go fishing with the idea and see who will take the bite."


 - Sunday Star Times


Ad Feedback
special offers

Live: Storm moves south

Wild wet and blustery conditions are making driving conditions difficult in Canterbury on Friday morning.

Christchurch sends pumps to flood prone areas, as heavy rain and blustery winds hit the South Island.

Power back on for Aucklanders

Traffic built up on Auckland's motorways on Thursday evening as commuters headed home through heavy wind gusts.

Weather warning lifted and electricity restored after strong winds batter region.

Govt apology on passport fraud

Paul Sisson said he hit a brick wall with the Department of Internal Affairs when he complained about alleged passport fraud.

DIA promises to investigate complaint about suspected international money scam.

From loss to blessings video

Emma Farry, author of book 'Beloved' at Muriwai beach where she lives.

A Muriwai author helped deal with loss of her mother by sitting on a rock at the beach.


RNZB hosts open day

Dancers Joseph Skelton and Madeleine Graham play the title characters in the Royal New Zealand Ballet's production of ...

Get a sneak peek at the Royal New Zealand Ballet's new production before it opens.

Ngauranga tunnel plan

Ohariu MP Peter Dunne, who is also leader of United Future, suggests a Ngauranga tunnel could run parallel to the main ...

United Future leader Peter Dunne proposes 4km route in case gorge road shuts.

Woman attacked on beach

The assault is alleged to have taken place at Mahia Beach, near Gisborne on the East Cape.

A woman was exercising on Mahia Beach near Gisborne when a man assaulted her.

Wet Wellington escapes the worst

Heavy rain is set to ease into showers, but they'll be heavy. (File photo)

About 15mm of rain fell overnight in Wellington, and showers are expected to continue all day.


Conman faked his death

Wayne Eaglesome, alive and well, outside one of his backpackers last year.

Millionaire "Alex Newman" needed super yacht staff. Then he "died", leaving all to charity.

Storm to soak south

Big swathes of rain cover large parts of the South Island in this MetService rain radar image from shortly after 6am on ...

Heavy rain falling in Canterbury as storm bringing deluge, strong winds and snow hits the country.

'I'm living the nightmare'

Michael Craig McGrath went missing on Sunday, May 21.

Missing man's brother believes he met "something sinister" as police appeal for car sightings.

Lay off boy racers, who don't exist

Signs of burn outs on Summit Rd.

OPINION: Boy racers are fictional characters made up to scare old people.


City homes and sections shrink

Council rules allow duplexes to be built on a 400sqm section.

Builds put more people on smaller sections and infill housing makes up half of new consents.

Man found shot dead

Police say enquiries into the man's death will continue overnight.

A  man has been found dead with a gunshot wound at an address in Taupo.

Pair quit eco island board

Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari, near Cambridge.

They fear the Maungatautari wildlife sanctuary is laden with debt and destined to fail.

Maitland's Top 5 - hot springs

The private spas at the Te Aroha Mineral Spas are large wooden tubs filled with hot mineral water.

Help take the chill off this winter by taking a dip at these hidden gems around the region.


Doing the dirtiest work

After Disaster owner James Nunes-Vaz has never ever turned down a cleaning  job.

After the police and fire brigade have done their jobs at an emergency scene, the clean-up begins.

Builders hammered 

Taranaki builder Logan Korff, right, with Hayden Manson,  had $16,000 worth of tools stolen from a building site.

Hammers, saws, even the beer in the fridge from the roof shout - nothing is safe on these building sites.

Mark makes food his living

A Fridge specialty is manuka smoked salmon.

New Plymouth butcher Mark Wormald talks about his life in the trade.

Best mate's brutal blow

A Taranaki man pleaded guilty in the New Plymouth District Court to a serious assault on his best friend. (File Photo)

He admitted he was stealing from his mate and for his honesty he was punched in the head.


Residents want 'bickering' to end

Horowhenua ratepayers want mayor Michael Feyen and the council to get on with their work.

Horowhenua ratepayers are fed up with a council that clashes.

Tennis courts for sale

Feilding's four asphalt courts will be sold despite five submissions opposing the sale.

Feilding's four asphalt courts will be sold despite strong opposition.

Saddle Rd slammed

Saddle Road near Ashhurst.

If the the road collapsed under the weight of a bus, there could be carnage.

Greening the gullies up

The Mangaotane Reserve on the outskirts of Palmerston North in 2015 showing the results of native planting by the Green ...

A native planting project had matured into a winner with the birds.


Wakatu pulls out of SHA

Artist impression of the Ocean View apartments to be built in Tahunanui, Nelson.

Wakatu Incorporation has left the Ocean View SHA project to concentrate on other work.

Dairy owners get help


Blair Hall of Nelson Police with Darshini Chauhan and Vijay Chauhan at the ...

After a spate of robberies across Nelson, the council has initiated a meeting with police and dairy owners.

Shipwreck danger

The wreck of the Janie Seddon on Motueka's foreshore.

A wooden prop holds up the stern, but children still love climbing it. 

Land grab off to court

Lindsay McKenzie says compensation for the land required for the dam project is unlikely to exceed $2.5m on current ...

Landowners whose properties are earmarked for the proposed Waimea dam are heading to court.


What it's like to be a 'cyclor'

The Team New Zealand cyclors dig deep to power the hungry cat against Sweden's Artemis Racing.

The fear factor, the jellied legs, the leaps across the boat. A Team NZ cyclor says he felt like a human battery.

Bug spreads from pool to playground

People in Marlborough are being urged to be vigilant about washing their hands, in the wake of a surge in cases of ...

More people reported to have contracted cryptosporidium bug.

'Why not' sink navy ship?

Waikawa Dive Centre instructor Kate Trayling, left, and owner Stuart Scaife hope to use a decommissioned navy boat, ...

Divers push to sink HMNZS Endeavour in Marlborough Sounds for Cook commemoration.

Postal delivery going electric?

The council is working through a legal agreement with New Zealand Post to allow the fully-electric Paxster delivery ...

Move aside mobility scooters, posties in Marlborough might be switching out their bikes for electric delivery buggies.

South Canterbury

Storm's 'widespread disruption'

Big swathes of rain cover large parts of the South Island in this MetService rain radar image from shortly after 6am on ...

Heavy rain falling in Canterbury as storm moves south after soaking the upper North Island.

Patrol proposed

Temuka Neighbourhood Support co-ordinator Jocelyn McKay said a new Temuka community patrol group has been proposed to ...

A community patrol is set to be established in Temuka following vandalism in the town this week.

Wild weather arrives

Fire service Mid-South Canterbury assistant area manager Steven Greenyer said fire fighters, even those off duty on ...

Friday could see half of South Canterbury's annual rainfall drench the region in one day.

Labour to scrap fire rule

Labour's Rangitata candidate Jo Luxton.

Controversial rule banning use of old woodburners would be scrapped under Labour.


Gecko stolen from visitor centre

The Marlborough green gecko that was stolen from the Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre in Te Anau.

An at risk gecko has been stolen from the Department of Conservation visitor centre in Fiordland.

ED not for minor ailments, hospital says

Southland Hospital, Invercargill.

Stay away from "extremely busy" Southland Hopsital ED unless it's an emergency, public told.

Pump station may be replaced

Invercargill Airport, on reclaimed land

The "significant" cost of the replacement pump station is yet to be determined.

Ski tourers rescued from snow cave

End Peak, near Lake Wanaka and Treble Cone.

After getting out of their depth in back country snow, the tourists contacted the UK to say they'd built a shelter.

Ad Feedback