Re: Sharp Hooks catch more fish

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Posted by Dan Blanton on 2019-02-05 18:35:47 in reply to Sharp Hooks catch more fish posted by Bob Arwine on 2019-02-05 12:49:25

I sharpen my hooks pretty much the same way Bob does but one thing none of you mentioned is filing a 'chisel point' as the last step.

I climbed a lot of wood power poles for PG&E and lineman's gaffs or 'hooks' as we called them were filed with a knife edge on the outside, flat on the inside (or pole side) with a chisel point on the flat/pole side. This was done for one purpose - when the hook cut out of the pole and it did/does, the instant it touched the pole again, it would cut back into the wood (saving your ass from a bad fall), just like a chisel digs into wood.

I just place my file on the barb side, at the point, holding at about a 30 degree or so angle and flat and give it a few strokes to form a chisel angle at the very point. I remove the bur on each side with a couple of light strokes of the file toward the point.

Hooks have to take some purchase before you can really set the hook properly. lots of times the point, no matter how sharp can skip out of the fishes mouth, especially with bass and tarpon. The chisel point will take purchase instantly because that's what it's designed to do - dig in. Now you can really set.

I prefer the 'scissors strike" a combination of 'strip-strike' and rod swing, simultaneously moving the fly much farther than it would with just a strip strike. If a fish eats a fly on the sink and keeps swimming toward the boat, you won't stick it with a strip strike no matter how sharp the hook is. The chisel point will help though.

Try it. Take a hook out of the box, do nothing else but file a chisel point and de-bur it and then drag it across your thumb nail, hook shank parallel to the nail. It will stick and the harder you pull the deeper the point will penetrate. Sometimes with smaller hooks that's all you need.

I published this sharpening technique both here and in a fishing column for one of the mags some years ago.

Just another way of doing it and it works.


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