Photo/New England Boating, Tom Richardson.

Photo/New England Boating, Tom Richardson.

Good fishermen always make sure their hooks are in peak condition and sharpened before they make a first cast.

With the fall season fast approaching, it’s probably a good idea to inspect the hooks on your lures, flies and bait rigs. If you’re new to hook sharpening, here are some simple tips, plus a video, to help you out.

Hooks are cheap compared to most other pieces of fishing equipment, so make it a point to get rid of any old or rusty ones.

Even if the hook looks like it’s in good condition, it could still be dull. You can test the sharpness by dragging the point across your thumbnail. If it digs into the nail under light pressure, you’re good to go. However, if the point slides across the nail, your hook needs a tune-up.

Here’s how to do it:

  • 1. If you don’t already have one, get yourself a simple hook file and keep it handy. It’s a good investment—as long as you remember to use it!
  • 2. When you’re ready to sharpen the hook, grasp it firmly between your thumb and forefinger.
  • 3. Next, push the file across angled cutting edge of the hook. It’s important to push the file away from you as you make each swipe. Do not “saw” the file back and forth across the hook. Three or four swipes with the file should suffice.
  • 4. After filing the first edge, turn the hook over, grasp it in your other hand and file the other cutting edge. Again, make sure to push the file away from you with each swipe.
  • 5. Touch up the base of the point with a few swipes to remove any burrs.
  • 6. Lastly, give the hook one more “thumbnail test” to check its sharpness



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