there is one thing you can buy which will increase your lure fishing success when
using lures with large hooks it is a hook file. A few quid spent on one of these
simple pieces of kit will put more pike in your net than any expensive lures or
rods ever will! Then again, you have to use it too.
any successful lure angler and you will see that he checks the hook points for
sharpness every time he changes lures. They will also get checked every time the
lure bumps bottom, a fish is dropped or when a fish has been landed. Whenever
the points are not as sharp as they could be the file gets used to touch them
Although there are some
fancy looking files on the market, consisiting of two small diameter round files
side by side in one handle, the old style flat file is hard to beat. A flat file
allows for more precise honing of the point. Custom made hook files like that
from Luhr Jensen are made with fine, tapering edges which gives them more precision.
a hook point as having six faces when viewed from the front of the point and you
are getting the picture. File each face to get a really sharp point. One that
is 'sticky sharp' and will catch as soon as it touches something. I test hook
points on the ball of my thumb. Others use a thumbnail. Take your pick.
file towards the point of the hook. Never use a back-and-forth motion. File the
sides of the point first (A &B), then the outside faces (C & D), and finally
the faces on the inside of the hook where the barb is (E & F).
a hook has been resharpened too much the point will become short. It is time to
replace it. Carry a small box with spare hooks and split rings for these occasions,
and the times when a hook has had to be cut when dealing with a fish. Some people
carry their spare hooks ready sharpened, but rattling around in a box hook points
can get damaged.
wear out and rust. Don't keep rasping away with a dull one. Save it as a back
up and get a new one. A worn file actually seems to make sharpening your hooks
more difficult while a fresh one not only makes sharpening your hooks quicker
it makes it easier too.
care of your hook points and you will suffer far fewer bumped takes - guaranteed!
article first appeared on this website - May 2001)