Customer Photos: Stainless Steel Shackles for Fishing

shark4These latest photos we’ve received were a little surprising. While we know stainless steel shackles are used in a wide variety of the industries we serve, fishing is not one that immediately comes to mind- especially when you’re used to hearing from customers in the rigging and lifting field.shark1

Dalton from Texas sent us these great photos of a 5’8″ bull shark he caught in Matagorda, Texas. He says he used one of our stainless steel shackles: the 3/16″ stainless steel bolt type anchor shackle to connect the hook drops to the rest of the shark leader.  shackle

This particular type of shackle is a great choice for an application like this since it offers an excellent combination of strength and protection against corrosion due to the Type 316 marine-grade stainless steel. The bolt pin design also allows for added securement since a nut is screwed on the end and a pre-drilled hole allows for a cotter pin to keep the bolt form loosening with extended use.

Dalton mentioned that this is just one of the many sharks he has caught with our shackles. We’re just hoping he keeps sending us pictures!

If you have pictures of our products in use- send them our way! Send us an e-mail at or post them to our US Cargo Control Facebook page.

What is Stainless Steel?

*This is the fourth in a four-part series about steel used in rigging supplies and rigging hardware. Visit US Cargo Control to see our entire selection of rigging supplies & rigging hardware

image of stainless steel rigging hook from

There are many different types of stainless steel, and it might be the most commonly known form of steel because even the name sounds strong and pure.  Stainless steel is a form of alloy steel but instead of being mixed with carbon, it is mixed with chromium – and in fact is usually even more than 10% chromium.  While there is some carbon in stainless steel, it is an extremely low percentage.

What sets stainless steel apart?

Stainless steel is known for being incredibly rust resistant, even more so than zinc-covered steel.  This type of resistance is inherent, so it won’t flake away like carbon steel can over time.  It has what can best be described as a “self-healing” surface.

Stainless steel classifications

There are many different classifications of stainless steel, and each one has different properties of note. The four major classifications of stainless steel include:

  • 200 Series Austenitic
  • 300 Series Austenitic
  • 400 Series Ferritic
  • 400 Series Martensitic

These four series aren’t just by themselves.  Each one has a variety of alloys.  The 200 series has five alloys, the 300 series has 15 alloys, the 400 series Ferritic has eight alloys, while the 400 series Martensitic also has eight alloys.

Stainless steel in rigging

The two main forms of stainless steel used for rigging are type 304 and 316, both from the 300 Series Austenitic.  These alloys are a chromium-nickel alloy of stainless steel that is known for its extremely high strength, resistance to corrosion, and for being non-magnetic.  The T304 offers excellent corrosion resistance so it’s a popular choice for rigging applications. However, the T316 is the preferred choice for coastal areas or when saltwater is involved.

Corrosion risks

Galvanic corrosion
Galvanic corrosion

While stainless steel offers superior corrosion resistance over regular metals, there are situations where stainless steel can corrode despite its natural tendency not to.

Pitting. Corrosion from pitting is a localized form that can result from extended exposure to particular environment- specifically those that contain chlorides.

Crevice.  Another localized type of corrosion, this can occur if oxygen levels are low in a crevice area. This is most common in nuts, washers, screw threads, and bolt shanks.

Galvlanic. This type of stainless steel corrosion can happen when metals that have dissimilar properties come in contact within a common environment such as condensation, rain, etc. The extent of the corrosion will vary with a variety of factors (temperatures, surface areas, etc.).  To illustrate, a common example is with stainless steel and aluminum. Side by side in a dry environment, these metals will not react to each other. However, when side by and side and exposed to rain, corrosion will occur. A sealant or primer can be applied to keep the water from penetrating and interacting between the two surfaces.

Stress cracks. Corrosion based from stress cracking combines both specific environments and tensile stresses.

For more information on steel used in the rigging industry, see:



Going Places: Now Offering Canadian Shipping

4026428354_495d99ea80_oLast week was an exciting one here at US Cargo Control. After weeks of planning and preparation, we launched our new Canadian shipping program:  EZ Ship Canada.

Because the duties and tariffs issues associated with shipping out of the country can get complicated, we wanted to make it as easy as possible for our customers. Another goal in the creation of EZ Ship Canada was to make shipping fast and easy to track.


  • A simple, one-rate final price at the checkout is what you pay. All customs fees (duties, tariffs, and taxes) are all included, so there are no hidden charges or extra handling fees after you check out.
  • During checkout, currency is automatically converted when your credit card is processed. For returns, refunds based on the conversion cost at the time of the return.
  • Some items may be stocked by our vendors. Please allow up to two additional business days for drop ship item delivery.
  • Shipping is also fast, with expedited packages arriving in 2-3 days and ground packages in 4-12 days. Some items may be stocked by our vendors, which will require another 2 business days for delivery. See map below.
  • Because we consolidate Canadian shipments together to provide lower cost shipping options, tracking numbers will not show movement until shipments reach Canada. Once they have reached Canada, packages can be tracked more closely.
Joe Rauch, Freight and Customs Specialist
Joe Rauch, Freight and Customs Specialist

Our Fright and Customs Specialist, Joe Rauch, says the biggest challenge in creating the Canadian shipping program was determining shipping codes for our 5,000+ products, but that the process has been worth the time and effort.

“We’ve had a goal for some time now to be able to connect with Canadian customers and offer them products that are sometimes difficult to find in Canada,” said Rauch.

“Our prices, products, and service are really second to none in the industry, so we’re thrilled to have this opportunity to reach new customers.”


What Is Alloy Steel?

*This is the third in a four-part series about steel used in rigging supplies and rigging hardware.

Alloy steel refers to any steel that is combined with a variety of metals or minerals into alloys to make it stronger or better.  While technically all steel is an alloy, including carbon steel, when someone refers to alloy steel, they are referring to a very specific type of combination or process.  While the other metals or ingredients can vary from one blend to another, the most common element that is mixed with the steel is manganese.  This is a blend that is popular because of its ability to remain sturdy but also allows the steel to be worked, molded, and used for a variety of applications.

Is manganese the only blend used?

No.  When it comes to steel, chromium, for example, is the most common mixture that is used to make stainless steel.  Obviously, zinc is applied to steel in a variety of ways, and copper, titanium, and lead are just a few of the other common alloy elements that are used to both increase strength and to help fight the brittleness that many types of untreated steel display.

The actual properties of the steel alloys will vary greatly depending on what mixture is used.  Some may cause the steel to be much more malleable, others make it more resistant to saltwater and coastal environments, while other combinations may be going for pure strength.

So what’s the big difference between alloy steel and carbon steel?

carbon steel twin clevis link from
Drop forged carbon steel connecting link with zinc plating and alloy steel pins.

Both processes are used specifically to make steel both harder and stronger – the resulting durability is definitely a big plus.  However, the differences are:

  • Carbon steel must have additional protection against rust, whereas alloy steel can create steel that is resistant to rust and corrosion without any further help or galvanization.
  • Carbon steel is less expensive and is designed more with the percentage of carbon in mind and not so much for specific properties or use, whereas alloy blends are distinctly looked at to meet specific mechanical properties with an eye to practical use.
  • Carbon steel will also be more limited by its very nature, whereas a nearly endless series of combinations for creating a steel alloy means a wide range of specific applications can be met.

For more information on steel, see:

Examining the 4 Types of Carbon Steel and  Why Add Zinc to Steel?