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When considering whether to sharpen a hook or replace it, the primary consideration should be how much damage has been done to the hook point.  If 2 millimeters of the hook point have been broken off completely, leaving a flattened nub, the hook should be thrown away because there will not be enough tip left to sharpen.  If however, if the point is just slightly rounded or scratched, you may be able to use a file to repair the hook.  

Common types of hook damage

Many hook sharpening devices have been invented and sold through the years, but I find that a plain old hook file is really all that you need to sharpen a hook.  The secret is to shave off as little of the hook as possible, and make sure to hit the hook from all sides to create a conical point.  This is especially important on smaller hooks.  With premium hooks, re-sharpening the hook will typically only work once.  If your re-sharpened point gets dulled a second time, it will be time to replace the hook.

Hopefully with these tips you'll become more aware and better prepared to determine the health of your hooks.  Remember, your hooks and line are the only links between you and that limit fish or your fish of a lifetime.  Keep them sharp.
Copyright © Robert Belloni 1997-2012. All Rights Reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without express written consent.
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