Best way to sharpen circle hooks

These hooks are rather expensive. Can you offer any help?

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Q: For some of my fly-fishing, I like using circle hooks. But if the hooks dull, I sometimes have trouble sharpening them, often ruining the point. These hooks are rather expensive. Can you offer any help?

Bill Anderson,
Houston, Texas

A: Any hook with a point that curves inward (such as circle hooks like Wright & McGill's Eagle Claw models, etc.) needs to be sharpened differently from standard hooks. Use a flat, fine-tooth file or one coated with what is often referred to as "diamond dust." A round file does a poor job. Hold the hook between thumb and forefinger and take just two or three strokes along the outside edge. Do not attempt to file the inside of the hook. It is best to stroke the file from the point toward the bend.