Sharpening a Hook

It’s remarkable how much time and money anglers will pour into their boats, electronics and fishing tackle, yet most won’t bother to check or change their fishing hooks. If you haven’t checked your hooks all season, do it now, before the fall run.

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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