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shizzy

how sharp should the hooks be?

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I lost a good sized Northern yesterday on Minnetonka. Im positive 99% of it was me not getting a good hook set as I was sitting and having a smoke while casting, but upon checking out the treble hook on the new Mepps I was throwing I noticed the hook wasnt as sharp as most hooks. it didnt pass the "scratch your fingernail" test.

Its a Mepps "Musky killer" and the lure and its treble are larger then what Im used to throwing.

should I hit the points with my trusty hook sharpener or do I just need to learn to set the hook like a real man?

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I am going to blame it on the hooks. You get some that are just not up to par. Give them the once over and sharpen them up. On that note...set the hook like a man!!! Just kidding.

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On that note...set the hook like a man!!! Just kidding.

All kidding aside, a bucktail like the Musky Killer has thick, heavy treble hooks ---- and it takes more force to drive them through for a good hookup than the smaller, thinner trebles you'll find on crankbaits and rattlebaits, etc.

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I always set the hook 2 or 3 times quickly. Sometimes they have such a grip on the lure that 1 set does not get the hooks to slide into flesh. It's not the sharpness of the hook as much as the fish's grip on lure that gives us the misses.

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I rarely pitch any hook out, be it fishing bait for sunpike, trolling for nortons, or waiting for a flathead, without sharpening my hooks myself...I like upping my odds, and I can make ANY hook sharper than it is off the shelf...You never know when big Louie will show up, and I want every chance to snag em'!

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give it a good sharpening. On a second side note, the mouth of a pike and muskie is quite hard and can be very difficult to get a hook in.

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"give it a good sharpening. On a second side note, the mouth of a pike and muskie is quite hard and can be very difficult to get a hook in."

Agreed! And as stated . Those fish can clamp into a lure where you get little hook movement so you need them sticky sharp!

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Good topic!

When I do my fishing seminars I often start it off with a simple question..."What is the most productive thing in your tackle box?".

I get the answers I expect...Rapala's...Jigs...a Hoopa Popper, a Gitchi-Goomy Gambler in Granny's Panty's Pink....ect...ect..ect.

Then I tell them, for me, it's this...and whip out a $4.00 hook file. I get a blank stare most of the time..but I'm dead serious.

Lures do not catch fish, hooks do, and sharp hooks do it more effectively.

The best investment you can make is a good hook file, and build from there.

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I like the reasonably priced high carbon steel files...your basic 2 sided $5 file you see with the bright yellow or red handle. Stones tend to get wet and do not last long. DMT makes an exceptional file, it is called a Diafold Diamond Flat File, but far more expensive. I'm cheap so the $5 file is good tell it is worn, than I replace it.

Thin cheap-o flat files can reach into any hooks, beveled sides, light and easy to store but have a handle long enough to manipulate well. The tiny hook files, I loose them in a day..not sure where..they are lost when I need them none the less.

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I stroke the hook so the file works to the point away from the shank. A couple pass's on each side will usually do it.

1) Firmly hold your hook

2) Draw your file across the barb toward the point. Repeat this stroke several times while making sure you hold the file at the same angle each time.

3) Repeat the same strokes on the other side.

4) Make a few final strokes on the bottom of the point. This will form a triangular point.

5) Test the hook for sharpness by running it across your finger nail as described earlier.

If the point is beaked slightly, I roll out the damaged point straight first and than make even passes on each side tell it is sharp.

There is always the point where replacement of the hook or jig is the best option...just too far gone to repair. So I carry common sizes of treble hooks in my crankbait box's so I can swap them out as needed. Same thing with other bait hooks, or jigs, plenty of spares on hand.

Often a light coating of rust on a hook slows the hook effectiveness, so as a practice I stroke the kook a pass on each side right out of the tackle box before it gets wet. Than I know, it's ready to do it's job.

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Great tip. Last night I got hung and when I finally got it loose I checked the hook and the tip was actually bent over. A few strokes from the file and I had it razor sharp again. It pays to check your hook often.

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How sharp should they be? As sharp as you can get 'em!

After an outing in salt water relying on equipment provided for me where the hooks were dull, I realized how many fish could be lost due to bad hooks.

I'm in fact purchasing a hook file sometime this week so I don't repeat the same incident.

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I use a small flat file like the kind you find in the mini file sets..It's easier to use on small hooks, as the big ones are just to bulky to easily get in there...Also works fine on my trebles and big hooks...I also don't like stones for the same reason...I sharpen mine stroking towards the bend, but thats just how i taught myself...

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I have both a small smooth file,for larger treble hooks and a small hone stone for jigs. I cut a small groove into the side of the stone for hook to follow. It makes them sticky sharp.

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I know I won't use a gold jig until I have run my file across it.

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