: Sharpening Hooks?
03-28-2000, 04:00 PM
Ok, a dumb question here, but I never really got this hook sharpening thing down. I know I need to get with it, so can someone explain it here graphically? I used to be a professional chef, so the whole knife to stone thing is natural to me. Just which "edge" on the hook needs honing the most? It may be tough to explain without a graphic. Sully, got any pictures? Thank you.
I used to use a flat file and sharpen the top of the hook from the point back on both sides so there would be a ridge/ edge on the top.
Last year I receved a file as a gift from LL Bean that is 2 rods held together by the handle. I run it from the behind the point forward. Easy & fast, I can show you the needle sized holes in my fingers to attest to it's effectiveness.
I pay the bucks for chemically sharpened hooks (TMC, Daichi, etc). When dulled, I used a ceramic stone (doesn't rust) but it does't sharpen S/S very well. The old Luhr Jensen Metal files do the trick but rust solid if not washed and oiled. Diamond sharpeners are best from my experiences.
03-28-2000, 09:31 PM
I agree there's a lot more to sharpening hooks than meets the eye. I've seen all sorts of descriptions (three sides, just inside edges, 4-edge diamond...) Most folks seem to take a few swipes and declare it done. I've been doing three edges (two inside and one outside the bend) but it doesn't feel right. If someone has a sharpener's (as opposed to a fisherman's) description of what to do and what to use, I'd be glad to hear it. Methinks the place to ask is at knife or woodworking shows, and not fishing places.
I've been absolutely amazed to see what a new, laser-sharpened hook wil penetrate. Wish I could come even close when sharpening by hand.
03-29-2000, 12:28 AM
Good question Terry!
After tying a few I noticed the Mustad hooks compared to the Gamakatsu's are a blunt instrument. I will pose this question to a Master skate sharpener. This man is the only guy I will let touch my blades. You can shave with your skates when he's done with them, if that's the radius you want. And if the ice is too soft you can get killed setting an edge. I dull them with wood accordingly. Will get back to you.
Oh BTW! No dumb question only dumb answers.
If you use top notch hooks you (a) never need to sharpen to start with and (b) rarely need to sharpen in the field. I'd guess that over the course of a hard core season I needed to do it less than ten times(?)
When needed, I use a simple two-sided technique which follows the tip of the point with a very shallow skew angle. There is only a certain taper and diameter you can attempt, and once the point becomes too blunt you can't get it to sharpen effectively.
I like to break off the hook at the bend once it's beyond hope - these flies are great prospecting flies when you are looking for fish for someone you're fishing with. It's still fun to get the big grab and even more fun to say "cast over there I think you'll find a fish" >ThWoNk!<
I use a diamond sharpener( $10.00 at stoddards). I went there cuz they're a cutlery store... works great, there are 2 groves in it(one on the right and left). they showed me how to use it in about 5 seconds. it only takes a few stroke to make it so that even a lowly 34007 will stick straight into the back of my thumbnail. it is stainless, with diamond dust in it, and though stained(lol) no appreciable rust after 4 yrs. oh yeah... it's the only thing i routinely don't rinse the salt from and it is still fine. Tom
Sounds like a winner Tom!
Stoddards eh? Downtown I suppose? (Tell me more!)
03-30-2000, 08:52 PM
I have a Leatherman PST-2 and one side of the file is a grooved diamond file, made for sharpening hooks. Very fast and effective. The PST-2 also has a fine pair of scissors.
Juro, yeah Stoddards is on temple place in boston, they have fly gear(the original owner was an avid fisherman, and that store continues to carry gear) call Phil or Tim in the fishing section. I looked at the sharpener but it has no label anywhere, sorry, it is about 2+ 1/2 in. by 3/4 in. I have mine on a retractor on my chestpack. Tom
I recently bought a nice little diamond dust sharpener for all of about $2.50 from Kaufmann's. I've only used it on two hooks, so i don't know how long it will last, but it works great. It's equal to, if not better than, my hvy duty Tiemco ceramic. It looks just like a thin metal nail file, but with diamond dust all over it. It weighs next to nothing, and its thinness allows you to get a good angle on the two top edges of the point. I'd be surprised if it was stainless at $2.50, but at that price ..
Kaufmann's is 800-442-4359
I got mine at their Bellevue store.