One alternative is to purchase the Mustads one size smaller. The price I see on the Marutos is per 25, not 50. The price difference isn't as heavily in favor of the later. They may both be good values; IMO, the Mustad is.
The hook you bought is the R73 signature. Mustad changed the label to R73-9671, and that may have been a mistake for tyers expecting a facsimile of the 9671. The improvements over the classic series make some Signature hooks in some sizes notably different.
Mustad markets the R73 as 3XL, but have you compared it to a classic 9671? I wonder if the relative shank length of one isn't very close to the other. The description given on the packaging isn't as telling.
Below is a classic 3906B #14 and its replacement S82 (but one size smaller).
The classic 3906B was marketed as 1XL, while the S82 is sold as a 2XL hook. If you measure the shank:gape ratio of each, you'll see that the 3906B is actually longer in the shank than the S82 by a margin. This change in proportion could disappoint tyers looking for an exact replacement, but the difference isn't terribly significant.
You mentioned the R73 being a full size larger than its old counterpart. If you look at the above pic, you can see the #16 S82 has almost the same gape as the #14 classic. I guess the added gape would be a plus for some folks.
The primary reason I purchased some S82 hooks was to supplement my TMC 3761 hooks. I felt the S82 was a reasonable substitute. Here's the two hooks in #16:
They appear fairly similar in that photo, though the Mustad is slightly larger and with heavier wire. The following pic shows it more clearly:
Tiemco markets the 3761 as 1XL, but you can see the shank is proportionally longer than the 2XL Mustad. The S82 is very slightly longer than the 3761 in the same size but has a gape that's equivalent to the 3761 one size larger. Just as hook mfrs don't share the same sizing scale, they don't share the same standards for descriptions.
Finally here's a pic of the S82 (should read 3906B
) and 3761, along with a Daiichi 1710, all in the same size
The 1710 is marketed as 2XL, just like the S82, but you can see again that the length:gape ratio isn't close. Though the box may say "2XL," I'll still view the S82 as a 1XL hook, just like the 3906B. The Signature replacement for the classic 94840, the R50, also has a wider gape, though they run about one size shorter
than Tiemco's model 100.
Although my primary trout hooks have been Tiemco (with some Daiichi and others), I've been tying more and more on Mustad Sig hooks since my first purchase in ~2007. I have conservatively gone through well over 1000 Signature hooks with only one defective hook to date (a malformed eye). That's right up there with my experience with brands T and D. I attribute the criticisms on quality to tyers' experiences with the old Mustad products. The Sigs are sharp, strong, consistent and well made. My only complaint would be that the finish isn't as quite as glass smooth as that of TMC; but, ironically, that did improve when their origin of manufacture went to China. And I wish Mustad offered a couple more styles.