The Tool Every Angler Should Have On Them (But Probably Doesn’t) –

The Tool Every Angler Should Have On Them (But Probably Doesn’t)

NOVEMBER 7, 2014


Dr. Slick Hook File

Don’t leave home without it.. Photo: Kyle Shea.

For the most part, fly fisherman are gear heads.. and we’re certainly no exception! The amount of gadgets and gizmos on the market for today’s techie fly fisherman are endless. However, we are always surprised with the number of guests we fish with who have everything imaginable in their vest or pack EXCEPT a hook file! Hook files are cheap, easy to use, and extremely important to angler success!

Hooks don’t stay sharp forever. In fact, they dull much faster than most anglers realize. Bouncing nymphs along the river bottom, swinging streamers through rocky or snaggy structure, or simply leaving your flies wet in your box can all lead to a duller hook. You wouldn’t throw your razor blade against a slab of granite, and then have the confidence to shave your face would you? We didn’t think so.. So why trust a hook that’s not as sharp as it could be?

A sticky sharp hook allows for a margin of error when a fish takes a fly. A little late on the hook set? ‘Trout setting’ on that first bonefish of the day? Steelhead just ‘nipping’ at the fly? A super sharp hook still has the potential for a solid hook up regardless of angler error. If your hook is even a little bit dull however, forget it!

Luckily, sharpening your hook is super simple! A few swipes of a quality hook file is usually all it takes to bring a hook back to life. Check the sharpness of each hook by sliding the point of the hook across your thumbnail with very little pressure at a 45 degree angle. If the point of the hook sticks in to the nail, unable to slide across, the hook is sharp enough. If the hook point is able to slide across the nail, it needs some sharpening.