Five years ago I bought two Okuma round baitcasters for striper fishing. Mounted the reels on good rods and was ready to go. First reel didn't make it through 3 casts. The reel bound and basically blew up inside the reel. Second reel didn't make it through the day - same thing. I bought the reels from Cabelas. They were returned for a full refund. Replaced them with Quatum Cabos and have not had a problem in the five years since. Just my experience.
I use Matzuo sickles on small jigs for trout and smallies. Some bad hooks but I get bad hooks from every manufacturer. Price is right, most are sticky sharp, they can be resharpened easily and the thin wire penetrates very well. It's not flipping, its finesse. I've used the larger Matzuo's for tube heads and have caught Stripers up to 20 lbs. Haven't had much of a problem with any hook (Gammi, VMC, Mustad, Owner, Sohumi, Eagle Claw) straightening. Maybe I'm just lucky.