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September 21, 2007

How To - Get to the Point

Start sharpening hooks and stop missing fish.
SHARP THINING: Keep a hone handy whenever you're fishing.
Photo: Manfred Koh

Sharpening your hooks periodically is one of the simplest ways to increase your catch rate, especially when gunning for hard-jawed or rubber-lipped species such as tarpon, reds and billfish. A razor-sharp hook will penetrate with less force, allowing the use of lighter tackle. This can be very important when targeting wary fish that demand scaled-down terminal gear. The instructions provided here apply to most hooks with an inside cutting edge.

Step 1: Grip the hook rmly. Using two or three short, firm strokes, push the file toward the barb to sharpen the outside of the point. Always push the file in the same direction.
Step 2: Holding the le at an angle, sharpen one side of the point's inside cutting edge with a few strokes. You may need to turn the hook slightly to achieve the best sharpening angle. Again, push the file in a single direction.
Step 3: Sharpen the other side of the cutting edge as described in Step 2. Lastly, check the point for burrs.