The point to catching fish is the “point”! Sharp hooks work better! I am amazed how hard it is to find decent Hook Sharpeners.
If you wanted to catch 3 times more fish than you are now, sharpen your hooks! I sharpen hooks fresh out of the pack. If I am missing strikes, I sharpen the hooks. If the lure gets snagged, I sharpen the hooks. Get the Point?
Jann’s Netcraft Catalog has the best style of hook sharpener for fresh water. These pen style sharpeners are under $10 and worth every penny. Saltwater hooks are often larger so a small file will do the trick. The diamond dust coated pen style of sharpener works great. It has a small groove in the shaft that positions the hook perfectly. Sharpen the hook from the point to the bend direction. I do go in both directions, but you want to remove any burr on the tip of the point.
The hook may look sharp but if it will not scratch your thumbnail, it isn’t. The Pen style sharpener comes in 2 pieces. Throw the cap away and drill a hole in the butt of the sharpener. Add a cord to the sharpener and pin it to your vest or gear. If you use the pen cap to shove and secure the sharpener in a pocket, buy several so you can replace them as they end up lost.
I also use my forceps to bend the hook slightly out and up from its normal position. A larger gap and an angled hook will result in a more secure hook set.
No need to go barbless. A sharper hook makes releasing the hook or fish easier. When fishermen smash down the barbs, they weaken the hook at that point. Barbs do not cause fish mortality, poor unhooking techniques and no forceps will.
Get the Point!
For more Montana Grant, hook up at www.montanagrantfishing.com.