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Sharpening Hooks?

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timsnitch

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Hi guys, I was looking for a reliable (preferably cheap) way to sharpen my fishing hooks. I would buy one of the mechanical ones if I needed to, but I was curious if people used like a nail file or something, and how would you keep from making it more dull? I've never sharpened anything with grit/sandpaper, and I don't want to make a bad problem worse. Any help is appreciated
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bigjim5589

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If you're using a good brand of hooks, Owner, Gamakatsu, Daiichi, Trokar or Mustad Ultra Points, they should not need to be sharpened right out of the package. However, you may occasionally find a new one that is dull, or after some use they'll get dull. The cheapest hook sharpener I've ever used is a diamond grit finger nail file, but they're really only good for touching up a point. Since I also fish in saltwater, I still use some older hook models that are not very sharp, so I also own a couple of fine tooth flat files, and several hook hones. A file is usually best when you have a very dull point on a large hook, and need to shape it, and the hones are then used to make it sticky sharp. I have owned diamond grit hook hones, but frankly, for the price, I don't think they're any better than a diamond grit finger nail file.

Most newer bass hooks can be touched up, at least those with needle points, but once they get dull, it's usually best to change hooks as it's often difficult to get them as sharp as the factory makes them. Cutting point hooks are difficult to to resharpen, and likely you'll make them worse most of the time.  ~shade
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mrshakeyhead

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GATCO (Great American Tool Company) makes a hook honing stone that is one of the best I've ever used. 

http://www.gatcosharpeners.com/product/sport_sharpeners/lake.mgi?mgiToken=41D30B0312027E9E2
The older I get the better I was.........

timsnitch

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Cool thanks to both of you. I've never tried to replace a treble hook on like a crank bait, is it difficult? Some of mine are completely rusted, but I dont think I've got the finesse or dexterity to open that tiny little ring like they have on keyrings. Do you generally just cut those off and replace the whole thing?
"Bro I don't think we're gonna be able to get out there tomorrow. Calling for rain"
"Fish are already wet, a little rain won't hurt 'em"

Kal-Kevin

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I replace the ring if it looks bad or bent but not as a norm do I replace it.

There are pliers that help you open the ring to replace the hooks, but I find if I take the new hook and start it on the ring then push the old hook in to the opening they rotate at the same time and replace each other with ease.

tsmith35

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Cool thanks to both of you. I've never tried to replace a treble hook on like a crank bait, is it difficult? Some of mine are completely rusted, but I dont think I've got the finesse or dexterity to open that tiny little ring like they have on keyrings. Do you generally just cut those off and replace the whole thing?

You can cut off the old split rings if they're badly rusted, but don't mess with putting these tiny split rings on by hand. Get a pair of Texas Tackle split ring pliers (they call 'em "SSplit-Ring Pryers") and you'll never fear a tiny split ring again. I use them for fishing tackle (of course), but they also work great for putting small split rings on flashlights, keyring remotes, etc. Best split ring pliers I've ever used.

As for sharpening, remember to use a very fine grit stone. Sharpening a hook (versus forming a barb) requires removing a very small amount of material assuming the hook is not horribly dull. If you're touching up a slightly dull hook, you don't want to take off a lot of material. Using a course stone will remove material quickly, but the rough surface of the stone will leave fine gouges in the hook rather than a sharp edge. A stone made specifically for sharpening hooks (as mentioned by mrshakeyhead) is often easier to use than a plain, flat stone.

Of course, it's usually faster/easier to swap out the hooks with new, but where's the fun in that? ;D

copnjax

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I've had an electric hook sharpener for about 25 yrs. and it will sharpen a hook without "burning" it in seconds.  I just looked for you and found that it's still being made.  A little pricey but, well worth the money!  Here's the web site:

            http://www.texastackle.com/pointmaker.htm
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Pro Reel

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Don't waste time trying to sharpen trebles. Get some split ring pliers to open the ring, slide a new hook on and rotate the old off as you go, it takes just a few seconds. Individual hooks of any top brand are usually chemically sharpened. You will never get those to new sharpness again, toss them and use new hooks. The hooks that you should sharpen are your spinner baits, buzzbaits and jigs or any other fixed hook bait. A good fine grit honing stone such as an Arkansas stone will bring back a needle point with just a little work. I found a super quick way to touch those hooks up that works great. If you own a dremmel tool, take a small wood dowel or even a tooth pick. cut a flat edge on the nose then use a razor blade to cut a slit in the top. Get some 1500 or 1800 sandpaper from the auto paint section at walmart or an auto store. Cut the paper into 1/4 in strips and then cut the strips about 4/4 inch long. Place on strip in the cut on the dowel. It will look like a little flag with the grit side facing you on the left. Roll the strip around the dowel and then run it on medium speed letting the flag flip off the end of the hook, Rotate it around the end of the hook to get all the sides and it should produce a needle sharp point in just a few seconds.

nuke

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One of the best hones that I have is a small India Stone hone/file. 3 or 4 swipes on a dull hook and the hook point will bury into my thumb nail.  I recently bought a file at BPS which works almost as well but I'd give my left testicle for a handful of those India stones.  The ones I use are about 3/4" wide by 4" long and about 1/8" thick; very easy to manage and 1 is always laying on the boat deck by the seat post.

The importance of a sharp hook was driven home to me years ago when I was trout fishing. I was missing fish left and right and checked my hook which ws dull.  A few swipes with the then-new India stone and I limited out within the hour.
Rick

jellyroller

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Buy the diamond Hone of your choice.  Lightly draw the hook over the hone with a slght rolling action to get sides and bottom evenly.  Test the sharpness by touching the point and try to slide it across your fingernail at a sharp angle.  It should stick and not slide.  The bass's boney material in his mouth is made from the same material that your fingernail is.   Practice it till you get it right.  NEVER use a dull hook.  Sometimes that slight grab is all you will get.